Of all the neon colors dominating fashion this spring, yellow has the biggest PR problem.
That Big Bird image is hard to shake.
It's one reason many women avoid getting yellow anywhere near their bodies.
Another is the tendency to think the color is too tricky to wear: It makes the pale look jaundiced, it washes out blonds, it clashes with redheads.
Christian Dior, in his Little Dictionary of Fashion, went so far as to say that anyone in those categories "must be afraid of this color." That's a little extreme, and he does rein himself in by offering practical advice: "There is a shade of yellow for everyone — but you have to take the trouble to find it."
There are no hard-and-fast rules for who can wear yellow. Figuring out what works requires a good eye and good instincts.
Consider your skin tone, eye and hair colors; the shade of yellow in question; whether you're considering a small piece of clothing (a top) or a bigger one (dress); what accessories you'll wear with it; and even your makeup.
An easier way to incorporate the color into a wardrobe is with accessories. Shoes, handbags and jewelry add a shot of yellow without you having to worry about how it looks against your neck.
Just stay away from Big Bird purses.
Sharon Fink can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and (727) 893-8525.