Look on the Bright Side with Neons

Forget somber colors for fall and winter. This year’s cool season will be full of hot color, and nothing says “hot” like neon. But take care: These shades must be applied carefully.

A reliable way to sell the trend is to suggest brightly colored accessories. A belt, tie or scarf works well when paired with a lower-key color on the base garment. Khaki is an effective companion to anchor the neon pop. White also works, though it’s livelier. Take care with black; the contrast of a neon against a dark color like black can be jarring.

A neon infinity scarf from Assertive Creativity (asi/37166) works well for female audiences. The fashionable accessory definitely grabs attention but does so in a more sophisticated way. At trade shows, pair scarves for female salespeople with ties for male salespeople to become a beacon for an exhibitor’s booth.

Another tip is to choose a neon garment that is small, such as a tank top or pair of running shorts. You want something that covers less of the body so that the neon doesn’t overwhelm a person. S&S Activewear (asi/84358) hits the right note with a Boxercraft Novelty Velocity running short. Its neon lime and neon orange choices are blocked off with either white or striped side panels with black trim. The look is fresh and fun.

You can also punch-up a garment with a neon embellishment. Transfer Express (asi/91804) offers custom neon transfers ready to customize and apply with a heat press. Madeira USA recently added five bright fluorescent and neon colors to its inventory of 100% polyester Polyneon brand of embroidery threads. “For those nervous about the volume at which these colors ‘speak,’” says Alice Wolf, marketing communications director with Madeira USA, “fashion bloggers recommend jumping into neon with small items, taking up small spaces or using a print that incorporates a fluorescent color or two with other, more subdued colors.”