Pastels might be a spring and summer staple, but for some of us, we just can’t hack it. While they’re totally versatile, they can conjure up images of frilly, bubble-gum pink dresses and less-than-hip sweater sets — all of which have not made their way into our closets (and won’t be anytime soon). So how can you wear this lightened-up look without feeling like a prissy princess? Take note from these eight incredibly stylish ladies. You’ll be ready to run out and snap up a few sky blue staples STAT.

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1. Create balance. Yes, that is indeed a pastel skirt ($60), and in lace no less. But before you start running for the hills, note how the overside button-down balances out this skirt’s super feminine vibe. The look feels instantly contemporary, approachable and chic. (via See Want Shop)

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2. Go graphic. Who said pastels can’t be edgy? Unexpected pieces, like an on-trend bomber ($99), and cool patterns take the lightened-up hues to a whole new level. (via Connected to Fashion)

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3. Sprinkle them in. Skip the statement pieces and give your getups the pastel touch with a few carefully curated accessories. Fringe-tastic or bold platform pumps ($100) feel anything but prissy and give everything from your favorite pair of denim to a classic LBD a major pick-me-up. (via The Daileigh)

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4. Reimagine borrowed-from-the-boys style. Rock your pastels in oversized silhouettes ($83), then pair them up with rugged separates like a pair of distressed boyfriend jeans for the ultimate off-duty look. Throw on your favorite heels for an extra feminine touch that says fierce rather than fussy. (via Gabi Fresh, Who What Wear)

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5. Opt for no-frills frocks. Say no to ruffles and lace and pair those pastels with a more contemporary style. Shirt ($64), shift ($68) and tunic ($115) dresses have a more relaxed fit that counteracts the pale hues’ flirty feel, while modern flourishes like color blocking, sheer panels and graphic prints will take the getup into sartorially sound territory. (via @maraferreira)

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6. Layers upon layers. Consider pastels a new sort of neutral. Instead of balancing out an outfit with a classic black, white, khaki or camel piece, look to lightened-up shades of blue ($118), purple, pink and mint to create dimension and drama. Pair with bold, eye-catching prints to really make them pop, choosing complementary hues to keep things feeling put-together. (via Dariadaria)

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7. Suit up. “I’ve got this” doesn’t just come in shades of black and gray. Redefine age-old work attire with unexpected pastel colors and loosened-up silhouettes. The real key to pulling this off? A confident #girlboss attitude. (via Amlul.com)

How do you like your pastels? Tell us in the comments!