Skin is in: From left, a Joseph A knit top from Macy's, Kristen Bell in Herve Leger by Max Azria at the Country Music Awards and a model on the Valentino spring runway. Photos: Macy's; Jon Kopaloff, FilmMagic.com; Pierre Verdy, AFP/Getty Images


Do you dare to go bare? We're not talking a full-on skin show here -- just some pretty flesh-toned fashions. The new neutral is most definitely nude.

Spring and fall runways were all about stripped down, skin-tone shades: Donna Karan, Stella McCartney, Givenchy, and many others went beige, caramel, cream, apricot and blush when it came to everything from dresses and blouses to slacks and jackets.

Celebrity stylist Nicole Chavez (Rachel Bilson, Scarlett Johansson, Kristen Bell) says the nude trend works well for most women because there are so many shades and fabrics to choose from.

A lacy nude from Whitney Port's Whitney Eve line. Photo: Whitney Eve

"It's also really sexy because it almost looks like you're naked, but you're not," she tells StyleList. "It has this soft, elegant energy about it that's very pretty and very feminine ...It's timeless," Chavez says. "There's a nude with ruffles, there's a nude with lace ... There are so many different looks can be created from that one trend....I think it's a really easy trend to do, you just have to figure out ways to incorporate it into your personal style."

Whitney Port, designer of Whitney Eve and star of MTV's "The City," tells StyleList a nude shade is chic and sophisticated.

"It's more daring than your basic neutral and you can play around with the illusion of being naked which is on trend for spring -- the lingerie look as outerwear as done by Dior and Stella McCartney is so cutting edge," Port says.

Nicole Fischelis, Macy's Group Vice President/Fashion Director, says nude is also very sensuous.

"It works well with old and few fabric manipulation -- draping and illusion treatment, folding, asymmetry," she tells StyleList. "It can be very modern when you start combining nude shades with your cargos and your khakis and your military -- the merging of the two worlds can be really interesting," she says.

Here's some advice on how to look nice -- not naked -- in the latest flesh-colored fashions:

Skin tone tips:
  • "I think anyone can wear it, it just depends on the shade," Port says. "Light complexions should look for more of a rosey, pinky shade, where as darker tones can go more taupe."
  • "It's a palette of nude, not just one shade, so it goes from very, very pale skin all the way to a more sandy color and stone color and even shades of gold," Fischelis says. "So, there's no rule. It can look very good on very pale skin or tan skin. It just depends on the item and the intensity of the nude color."
  • "You just want to make sure it doesn't wash you out or it's not too close to your own natural color," Chavez says. "Just look for something that's not going to be your exact flesh tone."
Fabrics to try:
  • "Chiffons for tops and dresses, wools for jackets, knit jerseys for shirts and easy dresses are great," Port says.
Colors to pair nudes with:
  • "Black is always an easy go-to to pair it with," Port says. "Jewel tones are also pretty -- it kind of parallels the idea of jewels on bare skin."
  • Chavez likes black, as well, but says fashion risk takers shouldn't shy from brighter colors. "Valentino paired it with red, which I thought was really interesting if you're looking for something a little more fashion forward," she says.
Invest in a nude pump:
  • "The nude pump is something every woman should have in her closet," Chavez says. "A nude classic heel is going to make your legs longer and leaner, it goes with everything and it's seasonless."
Shades of nude:
  • Fischelis says she likes the idea of combining several nude shades together, creating a graduated appearance, or entire palette of flesh and neutral tones. "I like it when it's sort of laundered, sheer, linen, mesh," she says. "There's one side of it that can be really very refined and feminine, and it can also go into a more active, sportswear approach, as well."
Don't forget the shoes:
  • Fischelis says everything from a platform strappy sandal to an open-toe mesh bootie to a natural leather clog to an embellished ballerina flat would compliment a nude ensemble.

Looking for more tips on how to wear the latest trends? Here's how to look slim in shorts.