Share this article

print logo

Here, there, pastels are everywhere

While I always have been one to choose fuchsia over shell pink and emerald over pale mint, I must say pastels are getting my attention this spring.

At the mall, I notice the sales associate packaging our purchase has polished her nails in different pastel shades. Though not a new look, it looks adorable on this particular early-spring day.

At Target, my daughter holds up a pink-handled whisk in the housewares department. We don't need a pink-handled whisk, but it sure is pretty.

Days later as I flip through the pages of Traditional Home magazine, I come across a drawing of a guest room designed by Charlotte Moss. The color scheme? Pale pink with coral and green accents.

"To steal a line by Audrey Hepburn, 'I believe in pink.' Plus, it gives your face a glow in the morning," Moss says of this "Cozy Glam" guest room.

Deeper in the magazine, I see another bedroom -- this one decorated in soft aqua and ivory. Again, so pretty -- and serene.

All this reminds me of something I saw in the New York Times Style Magazine back in February. Or did I dream it?

After digging out the issue, I discover I did not. Sure enough, right there beginning on Page 164 are models with pastel-colored hair, dyed by professional colorists.

One has blue hair the color of her eyes. The next, soft pink. The third has mellow yellow. Lavender hair closes the fashion spread.

"The new pastel hair is more pretty than punk," reads the headline. They're not talking feathers, dips or fluorescent tips here.

"I wanted to show that unconventional colors can work if you do them really well," celebrity hairstylist Orlando Pita tells the magazine.

"Dyeing hair one soft, uniform color looks elegant and new," he adds.

(By the way, I have no plans to change the color of my hair to match Easter baskets -- anymore than I plan to dress head-to-toe in the colors of the decorative grasses that fill them.)

Thinking back, pastels were something my grandmother wore. I remember her in robin's egg blues and blush tones. With her blue eyes and gray hair, she looked lovely.

Yet I never dressed our daughter in pastel colors when she was a baby. Nor did my mother dress me in pastels.

"Underwear pink" was the description she gave a certain shade she did not care for -- named for the cotton undies sold in packages in the little girls' department, no doubt.

These days, my daughter has dreamed up a name for a color to which she turns up her nose: Dentist green.

This is the minty green color she sees on flosses and other dental products, she explains.

Even so, she has worked some new pastels into her wardrobe. And I am thinking about doing the same.

Just not underwear pink.