Ah, summer. It’s so close we can almost taste it. While school (and work) may still be in session, it’s only a matter of time (we’re talkin’ mere days, people!) until you’re soaking up the rays in paradise. As you get a head start on shopping for colorful sunnies and one-piece swimsuits you can wear everywhere, it won’t be long before you’re itching to trade in your favorite spring color pairings for a palette that screams SUMMER. The more vibrant and punchy, the better! Going beyond traditional summer whites and overly predictable aquatic hues, we’ve compiled 11 unexpected color stories (we bet you didn’t see banana yellow and bright green coming!) that will inspire your next color crush. Did we mention that you can start wearing them now? Oh yeah.

Teal + Goldenrod


1. Zara Multicolored Striped Dress ($50) + Mango Platform Strap Sandals ($120): This playful beach-inspired pairing will not only complement your sun-kissed skin come Memorial Day weekend, but it’s guaranteed to leave you smiling from ear to ear. For a getup that’s part retro, part island girl, team this multicolored stripe dress featuring hints of teal with some goldenrod platform slingback sandals that were made for the dance floor.

Cherry Red + Aqua


2. Araks Emeline One Piece ($325) + Mango Denim Shorts ($30): Too much color? No such thing. If there’s one statement piece you need to add to your repertoire this summer, it’s a stunner one-piece colorblock swimsuit that puts all eyes on you. Pair these aqua cutoffs with this cherry red and fuchsia bathing suit for an afternoon bike ride or a round of beach volleyball.

Bubblegum Pink + Chartreuse


3. J.Crew Collection Embellished Polo Shirt ($248) + French Connection Bobbie Lace Up Leather Sandals ($95): Prepsters who swear by madras shorts will get a kick out of this OMG-worthy color pairing. As if the bejeweled bubblegum pink polo wasn’t enough, these chartreuse leather tassel sandals are begging to be paired with some khaki chinos for a stroll at the farmers’ market or wine tasting at the vineyard.

Black + Gold


4. Mango Off the Shoulder Dress ($40) + KREWE St. Louis Sunglasses ($215): Avoid twinning hard with every other girl on the block by styling this black off-the-shoulder LBD with a pair of gold mirrored sunnies that are cutting edge and modern at the same time. Totally diva? Oh yeah. Snoozy and overdone? Not a chance. Proceed to rock this flawless combo to the boardwalk, Sunday brunch on the veranda — you name it.

Faded Red + Denim


5. Scotch & Soda Fringed Tank Top ($75) + Wilfred Free Sage Short ($65): Between Memorial Day festivities, the Fourth of July and backyard barbecues, this all-American color combo is one with major staying power. Embrace lazy-girl dressing with these denim drawstring shorts that can be styled with zero effort. Top ‘em off with a faded red striped tank that can be worn while lounging about in a hammock or playing tourist in Cali.

Red-Orange + Fuchsia


6. Topshop Cold Shoulder Bardot Jumpsuit ($115) + Zara Pineapple Evening Minaudiere ($36): Go bold or go home with this dynamic color story that packs a punch… and then some. Be it a night of salsa dancing or a tropical-themed bachelorette party, gear up for a weekend of festivities with a fierce orange cold-shoulder jumpsuit that’s ready to make an entrace. Up the va-va-voom factor with this hands-free fuchsia pineapple minaudiere that deserves to be front and center.

Navy + Tangerine


7. Maika Top by Ellesse ($38) + H&M Short Skirt ($30): Lend some variety to your lineup of summer athleisure staples with a laid-back yet striking combo that will inspire you to hit your daily step goals. This navy t-shirt by old-school sportswear brand Ellesse is a shoo-in with white tennis skirts or, better yet, this striped woven mini skirt that has GNO written all over it. Take note: When contrasted with navy, tangerine is unstoppable.

Mauve + White


8. Wilfred Hymne Dress ($145) + M.Gemi The Sala ($198): Your iCal is booked to the brim with summer weddings, showers and fancy get-togethers that call for after hours-appropriate formal wear. Unless you’re attending a beachside wedding, a bikini cover-up and Birks unfortunately won’t cut it. Keep things fresh and fabulous with this gorgeous mauve dress, featuring a breezy criss-cross back, and some resort-ready white and tan cap-toe espadrille flats that are sensible and stylish.

Neon Coral + Dark Navy


9. Babaton Everly Camisole ($55) + Mango Cotton Jacquard Shorts ($40): Navy-or-nothing enthusiasts, rejoice! As pretty and polished as navy looks paired alongside your rotation of classic whites, we’re challenging you to inject some neon coral into the mix à la this silk cami and dark navy jacquard shorts (featuring neon tassels, no less!). The juxtaposition between the hues is one that will turn heads and win you major style cred at the beach.

Banana Yellow + Bright Green


10. Zara Printed T-Shirt ($10) + Zara Mini Skirt ($26): For a look that’s straight-up bananas (literally!), take it there with this foolproof combo that calls to mind serious jungle vibes. All that’s missing is a straw fedora and some platform wedges, and you’re there. Style this eclectic banana printed t-shirt with a bright green mini skirt for an #OOTD that demands attention, whether you’re hitting the club with your girls or hanging by the tiki bar somewhere in the Caribbean.

Green-Blue + Coral


11. Madewell Beachcomber Cover-Up Romper in Bandana Print ($88) + BaubleBar Coraline Drops ($36): Solidify your status as a beach goddess with these two swoon-inducing colors that are the epitome of summertime fun. While this blue-green bandana-print romper brings the ocean vibes, it’s the tropical coral tassel earrings that lend a mermaid appeal and feeling of serenity. Between dinner al fresco, a picnic in the park and poolside lounging, you won’t run out of excuses to wear this tried-and-true combo along with your favorite straw tote and leather slides.

Which colors are you most excited to test drive this summer? Follow us on Pinterest for more colorful style inspo!

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