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Rick Edwards on style: pastels

Pastel shades are like a gateway drug because… hey! Don’t immediately turn to the page about gardening. Hear me out. Pastel shades are like a gateway drug because they’re perfect for wearing in the spring, before you graduate in the summer to the hard drugs – primary colours. Wearing colours is addictive (probably) and has been proven (probably) to affect your mood. LIKE DRUGS. See? I can’t figure out a way to extend this analogy to autumn and winter, but if – when – I do, I’ll be sure to let you know. My point, though, is that now is the time to invest in some muted blues and pinks and yellows and, at a push, lilacs. Or, if you have some oversized clothes in wincingly bright shades, this is the season to douse them in stain remover and boil at 90C.

I should mention I don’t think pastels are especially easy to wear. Remember when your pasty dad wore that pale green cardigan one Easter? It really washed him out. That’s the tricky thing about pastels. They are definitely better with a tan, so I guess a quick blast under the beautician’s brown shower might be prudent*. Or a stint on a building site. Topless. It’s also best not to wear more than one pastel-shade garment in any given outfit. Several pastel pieces will look like indecision crossed with cheap Neapolitan ice cream.

A stylist once told me that she thought trousers should never be lighter than the top. She said it with such confidence and authority that I have taken that to be an unquestionable truth. I also routinely pass it off as my own wisdom, but that’s by the by. What it means is that pastel trousers, while nice, can only really be worn with a crisp white cotton shirt, or a simple white tee. No bad thing. A pastel top of some description, though, is a little more versatile. It’ll work well with indigo jeans or dark beige chinos or even smart navy trousers.

Realistically, it still ain’t warm out, so you will be wanting a light coat or jacket. Unfortunately – and I realise this may be a contentious statement – dark coats are better. I’m sorry, but there just aren’t many that look good in a soft hue. One that does, though, is my favourite spring jacket, the Harrington. While it’s perfectly possible to pick up a cheap version, if you can stretch to it, spunk your cash on an original Baracuta. They come in a variety of pleasingly delicate colours and ooze cool. Trust me, it’s the kind of jacket that makes people want to buy you drinks. Which will come in handy because you won’t have any money in your snazzy tartan-lined pocket after purchasing it.

* Don’t actually get a spray tan. Please.

Follow Rick on Twitter @rickedwards1

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