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How to Wear This Summer’s Hottest Colors
Update your activewear with the season’s newest hues. Bright green sneakers, pink leggings and yellow tops will keep you sweating in style.
Summer is coming, and so is the feeling of excitement and hope as millions of people make up for lost time. Optimism is in the air, and it’s reflected in everything from the return of live events to the reopening of your favorite local attractions. Summer's colors capture this vibe: The palette trending for 2021 is lively and confident, from neon green to the cheerful yellow that you can expect to see everywhere this season.
Activewear trends for summer 2021 include flare pants, eco-friendly designs and asymmetrical cuts—but it’s the bright pops of pink and orange that will really give your gym clothes a summer refresh. Here are four colors coming in hot this season that can instantly upgrade your workout wardrobe.
Shades of Green
If you want to add some brightness to your look, neon green is a slam-dunk this summer. But the notice-me color can also be intimidating. You can neutralize some of the bold effect by going for a lighter or deeper shade of green and pairing it with neutrals. For instance, a chartreuse T-shirt goes well with grey pants or shorts. Another way to work this hue: Sneakers that look just as cool at the gym as they do on the street. More than workout shoes, this pumped-up style pairs easily with jeans and a T-shirt. If you’re feeling fearless with this summer 2021 color trend, go all in with matching leggings and a high-shine jacket for an ’80s spin.
Another shade reminiscent of the days of leg warmers and leotards, hot pink is having a moment. To capitalize on the feel, focus on one item—a pair of bright shorts—and build the rest of your outfit around it. If super-feminine is the look you want, try mixing in other pinks, purples or even reds. To achieve a more edgy impression, pair your pink top with sleek black leggings or pants. To soften the strong shade, offset it with white, nude or heathered tones. Or maybe you want the option of wearing your pink when you feel like it: Outerwear like hoodies or jackets allows you to cover up or flash your pink pride on your own terms. For variations on the bright pink trend, consider shades like fuchsia or raspberry—also popular for summer 2021.
Along with the bright pinks and bold greens, it’s a quieter yellow that tops the list of summer’s hottest color trends. To let this color really shine through, pair it with a shade of lighter grey (the combo makes for a great lounge and athleisure look). Or contrast it against white or black: For example, white leggings with yellow stripes and a yellow sports bra with black accents help the hue stand out. Monochromatic is another way to embrace this color trend. Go head-to-toe in a matching sweatsuit in this soft hue. The optimistic tone is ideal for workouts: If you believe in color psychology, yellow elevates your energy levels while giving confidence a boost. Let it motivate you to get moving on days when you’d rather stay in bed or on the couch.
Closing out the colors of summer 2021, orange demands your attention and respect. The color really pops when paired with white and neutrals, and mixing it with black makes a bold statement (but might not be for everyone). It also works well with pale blue, navy and even aqua. Purple and orange form a surprisingly pleasing combo: Try a solid carrot-colored tee with dark orchid leggings or joggers. If you fear orange overkill, accessories like a baseball hat or backpack require less of a commitment but still come across strong. Even a sneaker that puts a coral twist on the classic color lets you get in on this trend. If the vibrancy is still too much, take it down one more notch with this faded tangerine bucket hat. Bottom line: Whatever shade calls your name, there’s no wrong way to wear this summer’s hottest hue.