Things are lightening up for spring. This season's sorbet colors, unlike their super-sweet predecessors, have a modern edge. We went to three Twin Cities boutiques for advice on how to make the subtle hues look contemporary.
PLAY WITH THEM
You can take almost any combination of muted hues and wear them together. "In the past, we thought of pastels as being conservative or for little kids," said Wesley Uthus, owner of Primp. "This dress is short and sexy, but still conservative with the higher neckline." The floral scarf balances with the more geometric, color-blocked clutch. Uthus also suggests pairing the dress with bright jewelry for a different way to make it pop.
Shop clerk Molly Bard wears a dress ($40), cuff ($14), scarf ($16), earrings ($12) and bag ($42) from Primp (618 Selby Av., St. Paul, 651-414-0091, and 1628 West End Blvd., St. Louis Park, 952-303-3791, www.primpyourself.com).
MAKE THEM EDGY
Pastels aren't just for Laura Ashley dresses anymore. "I'm more of an edgy person, so pastels are too sweet for me," said Susan Sun, owner of OPM. "With the leopard and the black and white, it still has an edge." Don't be afraid to wear black with sweet colors for unexpected contrast.
Owner Susan Sun wears a Marcus Lupfer sweater ($355), Equipment blouse ($208), MIH jeans ($198), Jennifer Zunner rose gold necklace ($165) and Mulberry bag ($1,100) from OPM (3700 Grand Way, St. Louis Park, 952-567-7399, www.opmboutique.com).
WEAR THEM AS NEUTRALS
The surprising things about these mint-green jeans is that they go with more than you might think. "The colorful denim is a really easy way to wear pastels," said Joshua Sundberg, owner of Cliché. Here, the jeans are paired with a floral shawl and cut-out T-shirt, but they'll also pair easily with any plain black, white, brown or gray top you already own.
Designer and shop clerk Kimberly Jurek wears Reverse fringe shawl ($78), KUT jeans ($84), Billabong tee ($36) and Amore sunglasses ($12) from Cliché (2403 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., 612-870-0420, www.clichempls.com).
ADD A DASH OF DAINTY
You can dabble in the pastel trend, by adding a small pop of subtle color to your look.
Dolce Vita pumps, $180, Ladyslipper Boutique (4940 France Av. S., Edina, 952-224-1900).
Coral pendant necklace, $20, Fringe (3906 W. 50th St., Edina, 952-746-4922, and 1055 Grand Av., St. Paul, 651-292-4943, www.fringeaccessories.com).
Pixi Nail Colour, luminous lilac, $8, www.target.com.
Pick of the week: JOSIE MARAN'S ARGAN MATCHMAKER POWDER FOUNDATION
If your complexion needs a little adjusting under the glare of the sun, Josie Maran's Argan Matchmaker Powder Foundation ($34, Sephora) has you covered. The silky, light powder offers sheer to medium coverage in three shades that magically seem to adjust to your skin tone and it also moisturizes, thanks to argan oil. While it does have SPF 20 to protect your face, it doesn't have parabens, sulfates or phthalates.
Monique Lhuillier trunk show: Be the first to order the sharp fall ready-to-wear collection of separates, cocktail dresses and evening gowns, featuring a show-stopping fiery shade of red, lace and leather.
Through Sat., 3928 W. 50th St., Edina, 612-929-0747, appointments requested, www.moniquelhuillier.com.
Trunk Club's Twin Cities debut: The Chicago-based company offers men a personalized shopping experience, culminating in wardrobe options from top designers such as John Varvatos and Billy Reid being sent to your home.
6 to 8 p.m., Bluebird Boutique, 3909 W. 50th St., Edina. RSVP to email@example.com or 1-312-622-1428.
Yigal Azrouel pop-up shop: Shop a wide selection of the designer's spring collection.
4930 France Av. S., Edina, 952-926-8725.
Nelle Handbags trunk show: Shop the 2012 collection or create a custom clutch. Order four or more clutches and receive a 10 percent discount.
Tue. to April 14, L'atelier Couture, 219 N. 2nd St., Mpls., 612-367-8120. By appointment only.
Sara Glassman • 612-673-7177 firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @sararglassman