Picture this: Flowing dresses in aqua or seafoam, jackets and pants in Granny Smith apple, and Bermuda shorts or beaded tunics in turquoise – the hot colors of spring.

Why are these clean, crisp colors so popular?

"They remind us – and it’s all about association – (of) a clean, clear body of water, some place that would be very refreshing and soothing," says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of Pantone Color Institute. "We all know that this is what we all need right now."

The hues also recall other aspects of nature: the sky, grass, stones. Designers such as Michael Kors, Narciso Rodriguez, Peter Som, Tracy Reese, Chloe, Gucci and Alberta Ferrerti set the green-blue standard with their spring/summer collections.

"A lot of the designers were talking about escape, a place to get away to," says Eiseman. "Some place like Hawaii or some place that we can stop the world and get away from the craziness."


–Determine what shade in the blue-green range works best on you. Bring variations of the colors to the dressing room. As you try them on, keep the hues that make your eyes and skin look brighter.

–Mix any of the shades with white, navy blue or any maritime colors, and you won’t miss. "Or you can go across the color wheel and pair it with pinks and mauve or rose tones," says Leatrice Eiseman of Pantone. Chocolate brown and tan are also good contrasts, says Laryn Adams, ChezELLE’s owner.

–Dark blondes, brunettes and redheads all look good in the deeper shades such as jade and turquoise, says Adams.

–The color range is flattering to most skin tones, especially darker ones. If your skin is really pale, consider using a bronzer or sunless tanning product, says Eiseman.

© 2005, The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.).

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