Yellow not so mellow this season

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I ran into my very cool and always fashionable friend Ali last week at (not surprisingly) the nail salon, and she was toting a season-old, but very current-looking, neon-yellow Celine chain-strap bag that brought incredible life to her simple ensemble of a charcoal gray blazer, black skinny trousers and white T-shirt. It was the pop of yellow that tied her sleek basics together so well and worked perfectly to update a classic look. A burst of the sunny shade is a great tool in this transitional weather — you can wear layered pieces from fall or winter and just update them with a hit of summery, sunshine-y color.

Another plus: Pairing the yellow bag with a tailored charcoal blazer made for a fresh and interesting combination.

Designers are churning out accessories in shocking versions of yellow, and they’re also doing some variations on the yellow and gray combo. Check out Tory Burch’s contrasting elastic espadrille wedges ($175), which are primarily yellow, with a gray-green border on the straps. The neutral color helps temper the brightness and adds a modern richness that’s more appealing than solid yellow straps.

Jil Sander also has a two-toned wedge ($450) in the cool color combo, this time in a silvery gray. The asymmetrical straps on the Sander sandals are lemon yellow and shimmery silver, providing an interesting contrast that would look great paired with cropped white jeans and a black T-shirt. The shoe also fits the season’s color-blocking trend, but in a subtle and chic way.

Of course, there are also a slew of fun and sunny yellow handbags out there right now that will revive your neutral basics and go-to items for summer. Go for something unapologetically yellow, not some soft buttery shade that teeters on tan or beige. Those colors won’t have the same effect as more shocking versions of the shade.

A smaller cross-body bag or a clutch is a good option to give your look an unexpected boost. For the more daring dresser, a larger tote or satchel in yellow looks great too — it’s just much more of a commitment.

Don’t be intimidated by the color. By tempering it with white or gray, you’ll achieve a clean and modern look. You can even pair a yellow bag with a floral dress that has little hits of yellow in it. The yellow accessory will work to bring out the color in the dress and tie your whole look together.

Yellow is definitely the color of summer, and this time around, it’s anything but mellow.