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RUNWAY TO REALITY

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Shopping to update your spring wardrobe is like going on an Easter egg hunt. Unlike past seasons of boring beige, you can walk into any store and find a feast of color, from pastels to hot, bright hues. The racks are dripping with colors like hot pink, cantaloupe orange, lemon yellow, lime green, turquoise and electric blue.

Spring is the time to brighten the wardrobe’s color palette, and not just for women. Hot colors have turned up in the men’s collections for spring too.

How to Do It Big:

Designer Oscar de la Renta loves those sizzling colors of his Latin heritage. This hot “mango” silk and cashmere sweater set from his spring collection is a sensation for $1,400. The matching embroidered, silk chiffon double-tiered skirt ($3,600) pulls the hot look together.

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De la Renta’s collection can be special-ordered from Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills. The silver sandals were made for the runway show only.

Total: $5,000.

How to Do It for Less:

If shopping by catalog, you’ll find they sizzle with color too. This cantaloupe-orange cotton and rayon knit sweater set is from Boston Proper. The cardigan is $59, and the crew-neck shell is $39. To order, call (800) 243-4300 or visit https://www.bostonproper.com.

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The long ball skirt is back for spring. This one of iridescent acetate and rayon taffeta is only $24.99 at Charlotte Russe stores. To give it a flowy effect, tie this matching orange chiffon scarf ($20) with beading from Cassedei Fashion, downtown Los Angeles on Santee Street. The metallic sandals are by Partners for Mervyn’s California for $28.

Total: $170.99

How to Do It Big:

Kenzo designed a colorful menswear collection for spring 2000 that included bright hues of blue mixed together. His version of the new power suit is a shirt jacket--not in navy but a bright sky blue for $330. It is worn over a $110 shirt in a shade of royal blue. The pants are a bright baby blue for $200. Everything is made of 100% cotton and available at Kenzo on Madison Avenue in New York. The sandals, also designed by Kenzo, cost $180.

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Total: $820.

How to Do It for Less:

The best and cheapest shirt jacket for men is from China. This royal-blue cotton, Mao-inspired jacket with four patch pockets is from Imperial Dragon Gifts in Chinatown. It’s a steal for $24.99. The electric blue men’s shirt is $34 from Mervyn’s California. The light robin’s-egg blue pants are also from Chinatown. They are sold for $6.99 on a rack outside a store simply named Outlet Store near the Hill Street entrance to the Bamboo Plaza in Chinatown. The brown, double-strapped leather sandals are from Mervyn’s California for $45.

Total: $110.98.

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