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Color shades: Pastel

Pastel colors are light and subdued. Known for being soft, soothing and milky, these desaturated colors are often associated with gentleness. For these reasons, pastel colors are commonly used to decorate baby-related items. Thus, names like “baby blue” and “baby pink” are frequently labeled onto colors in the pastel spectrum.

Pastel colors are soft and usually associated with light shades of pink, yellow, green, blue and purple.
Pastel colors are soft and usually associated with light shades of pink, yellow, green, blue and purple.
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
The Queen of England even likes pastels--as shown when she wore this mint green outfit.
The Queen of England even likes pastels--as shown when she wore this mint green outfit.
Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

Pastel colors are usually regarded as being light forms of pink, yellow, green, blue and purple. Since these colors are associated with babies and calmness they are closely tied to spring—a time of year when many baby animals are being born and pastel-colored flowers are coming into bloom. Subsequently pastel colors are also strongly associated with the holiday of Easter. Plastic eggs, stuffed bunnies, baskets and candy wrappers intended for Easter activities are almost always decorated in some pastel shade or range of pastel shades. The relationship between Easter and pastels is so strong that many people think about Easter as soon as they see pastels.

Pastels are also popular colors in the fashion world. Women’s clothing frequently includes garments that are colored with pastels since these are light and gentle colors that are easy to look at and enjoyable to wear. Although the “in” and “popular” colors change from year to year pastels are always available, especially in the spring and summer.