Do’s and Don’ts for Wearing Neon

Love them or hate them, acid tones like electric pink, fluorescent green, and neon yellow grab the spotlight.  Many celebrities have worn neon party dresses on the red carpet. Sometimes they’ve worked, and sometimes they’ve bombed. If you want to try one, here are a few do’s and don’ts for wearing neon.

DO Keep it Classic


Neon colored party dresse

If you plan to wear an in-your-face color, then stick to a clean silhouette. Keep your streamlined and unfussy, so it doesn’t complicate or fight the color. This strapless gown has a classic silhouette, and there isn’t a lot of detail, but the neon gives it a modern edge.

DON’T Over Accessorize


bright neon clothes


When you are going somewhere special, it’s tempting to want to wear big, bold earrings or a statement necklace like Cameron Diaz has; bright neon clothes don’t go with fuss accessories. This electric citrine shade is so powerful; it’s best to omit the jewelry or use it very sparingly. This gaudy necklace competes with the loud color of the dress. Remember when wearing neon clothing and accessories: Less is more.


Do Consider Your Hair and Skin Colorneon clothes for women


Often these acid tones bomb, but neon clothes for women can work if you have warm coloring. Yellow complements Kathy Griffin’s warm complexion and flaming red hair. It would look terrible on someone with cool skin, pink undertones, and ash blond or ash brown hair like Michelle Pfieffer.


DON’T Wear Neon Unless Your Grooming is Flawless

neon dress


Neon colors scream for attention when you step into a room. So bright neon clothes for women mean your grooming must be flawless! Your hair should be shiny and coiffed, your make-up impeccable, and your nails perfectly manicured. There’s no wiggle room here, especially after 40.


DO try Citrine as an Accent


neon dress


Neon clothing and accessories worn in small amounts can be used to accent an outfit. Try a neon accessory like a bag or shoe, or wear it as an accent color. Diane Von Furstenberg’s color block dress has this not-so-mellow-yellow color on the top only, which is quite flattering.


DON’T Wear Neon if You Don’t Feel Confident

neon dress


Jane Fonda once made a bold statement in a neon-colored party dress. You must have the confidence to pull off this color. She managed to pull it off because she oozed confidence. Don’t get talked into wearing it if it is not you, or you will end up looking like a fashion victim.

Have you worn a neon-colored dress? Would you?

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6 thoughts on “Do’s and Don’ts for Wearing Neon

  1. While you may not feel comfortable wearing neon at the office, you might feel better about wearing something ultra-bright in the evening. A cocktail or party dress in a vivid hue often works better than going neon during the day, wildly if you’re dancing or to another event where the energy will be running high.

  2. This is the best article on neon colors I’ve read this spring. Reading your tips, I understood why I left all the neon outfits in the dressing room. Now I’m going back in armed with your roadmap.

  3. No, I wouldn’t necessarily wear the acid yellow. However, I would try the electric pink. The acid yellow would not feel like me. However, I would feel comfortable and confident wearing something in electric pink. Pink used to be my fav. Color as a little girl! :)

    1. Hi Carlita,
      Acid yellow is very hard to wear, even with a warm complexion. I think the electric pink is more accessible, especially if your skin and hair are cool, meaning your skin is more pink than yellow, and your hair is ash.

  4. Yellow seems to be the go-to Neon color for these ladies, but none of them look great in this neon. Neon is too much unless you’re under 24, and that was true even in the 80s.

    1. Hi Mimi,
      It’s true. Neon is solid and can look harsh against aging skin and hair. It draws so much attention, and there’s so much contrast that it can exaggerate any imperfections, so the easiest way to wear it if you like it is as an accessory.

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