Try The Trend – Grown Up Neon

You…a forty something…wear neon I hear you ask? Don’t worry, I fully understand your concerns. If done badly at this point in my life there is a very strong risk of me channelling, well me, circa 1985 when it was all string vests, fingerless gloves and backcombed hair. Seeing neon everywhere makes it a hard temptation to resist and one that tends to make me forget that I am actually 42 and not 24.

This is happening a lot lately. Whilst in Brighton I tried on a beautiful polka dot dress in the Whistles sale; the over sized dots combined with the particular style begged the question “Am I too old for this?”. Sadly the answer loomed as large as the dots – yes you are. No Whistles sale bargain for me. Not this time anyway.

Grazia Daily showcase some ideas for bringing elements of this SS12 catwalk trend to life but I don’t think any of these should be practised by the over 35’s. Pinning images of lithe young personal style bloggers draped in neon onto my Pinterest Daily Inspiration board is no excuse for me to go and drape myself in it willy nilly. No…if this one is to be indulged it should be done with the utmost of care.

In my fashion dreams it would be the Celine Luggage Tote in hot pink or the Roksanda Ilincic Margot bell sleeve dress that has already sold out over 80 times at Matches. Not only are these off the scale of “over budget” but both seem to be harder to come by than a front row seat next to Anna Wintour at fashion week. Unless you’re Bill Nighy. But I don’t think pink is his colour.

DVF Shizuka Ruffled Silk Dress – £370 Stanwells, Equipment Hot Pink Silk Signature Shirt – £230 Stanwells, Giuseppe Zanotti Neon Lace Covered Ballet Flats – £330 Net-A-Porter, Fluoro Cambridge Satchel – £149 Harrods

Team one thing with neutral pieces or limit it to flashes here and there. Diane Von Furstenberg is the master of grown up, ladylike dressing and I love the neon panel in the Shizuka ruffled dress. For a weekend mood lifter I can think of nothing better than jeans, white T, leopard print ballet pumps, a trench coat and then the eye-wateringly bright Fluoro Cambridge Satchel slung in an oh-so-casually-but actually-carefully-planned manner about my person.

Illamasqua Nail Polish – £13.50 each at Selfridges, Ash Delirium Fuxia Sandals – £147 Stanwells, Stella McCartney Brass & Patent Faux Leather Bangle – £285 Net-A-Porter, Yellow Digital Gummy Watch – now £1 Miss Selfridge

A first time out fail safe is an accessory or a splash of almost fluoro nail polish – Illamasqua at Selfridges do a great range of brights to experiment with. And yes that watch from Miss Selfridge is £1…it’s not a typo!

J Brand Electric Neon Skinny Jeans – all £220 Donna Ida

You may or may not agree but this one is about body shape as opposed to age for me. I love the electric neon J Brand skinnies at Donna Ida and if I were two dress sizes smaller I would happily don any of these beautiful bright jeans with a neutral hued, over sized knit.

If out and out neon is a no no then opt for it’s stylishly bright siblings…the hot shades. Brights are a subtle nod to the trend and maybe less panic inducing than their dayglo relatives. Hot pink, zingy orange, lust worthy yellow and the brightest of blues are all instant mood lifters.

Curved shift Dress – £149 Isabella Oliver 365 Collection, Pleated Skirt – £45 Oasis, Coral High Low Dress – £34.20 Wallis, Plain Palette Top – £28 Warehouse

As the Grazia piece says, it takes balls to wear neon because you will stand out but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that…on a good day!

Will you give it a go or is neon an absolute no no?

Images: Glitter Guide, Bagsnob, Telegraph, Miss Moll Cherie


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  1. says

    I’ve been adding hints of neon into outfits with accessories. A yellow necklace here or a pair of orange flats there. I’m not brave enough to go all out…. yet!!! Maybe with a tan?! :) xx

  2. says

    Neons look terrible on me (I had a draping once – anything too bright or too pale and I looked like I should be lurching around the place hunting for brains to eat!), but I do like a bit of bright – I’m sticking with tomatoey reds and the like for this one :)

    • says

      Ha ha…love your description! I know what you mean…I think I’d need to have neon pink if it was going close to my face. The green has to be the right one or we could be on the same horror movie set together!

  3. Emma says

    I have a Neon pink scarf I can’t wait to wear but am worried about blinding
    other people on the street. Am holding off until the sun shines and sunglasses are needed!

  4. says

    Thanku for making me chuckle again… I swear sometimes you write the things that go on in my head! I have the “am I too old to wear this ?” conversation with myself often. Luckily I have a good barometer in teen Ellie, she always tells me the truth and is pretty spot on.
    For the record, you are honestly my inspiration on staying fashionable post 35, you do it perfectly mrs!
    Oh and I love the pink neon satchel and the red dress, although possibly not together right ;D
    Happy Friday lovely xx

    • says

      Thank you so much H…you say some truly lovely things! I think its good to have the Am I Too Old conversation now and keeps a fashion run-away like me in check thats for sure. From what I see of your outfit pics you have great style so don’t think you should worry! I SOOO want a neon satchel and I actually sometimes love red and hot pink together if its done right. See….am a danger to myself! xx

  5. Jennie says

    I think a tiny bit of bright would be nice, but I am not very adventurous, so probably the Stella McCartney bangle or the Celine bag would do the trick. Both in my dreams, of course! Xx

    • says

      Oh the Celine bag…if only. You know that expression, you can’t get one for love nor money, well apparently, even if we had the money, all the love in the world wouldn’t get us to the top of the wait list! xx

  6. says

    I don’t know about the neon….but I am definitely leaning toward the brights this season (yes, me. The one whose closet is filled to the brim with black and gray). I have already purchased an orange-y skirt and am currently sporting bright blue nail polish.

    • says

      This is excellent news proud of you. A couple years ago I would’ve stayed well away from the zingy brights but am now hooked! And the blue nail polish sounds gorgeous! xx

  7. Estelle Howell says

    Brights, yes. Neon, no. I’m not sure if they really suit anyone’s skin tone, but I know for sure they don’t suit mine. I like the orange Wallis dress you’ve picked out.

    • says

      I do think you have to be careful how close the neon gets to your face and skin tone and which shade of neon you go for is definitely a factor. Yes…I really liked that dress too…such a great colour! x

  8. says

    Hmm I’m not too off far off your cut off age and I’m giving it a go! I think like you say the trick is to find the perfect piece for you and your shape and not just go with the trend for the sake of it. I do love the bags that are around in neon right now, I’ve seen some lovely clutches that compliment black and white dresses perfectly. I do love this I.O 365 dress here though – beautiful!

  9. tina says

    Love it! The accesorize are to die for. Even if your skintone doesn’t allow neon, you can always wear a bag, necklace or shoes. I’m definitely going to give it a try. x

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