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Green is having a moment — here's how to style the two most popular shades

Shop the stylist and interior designer-approved picks.
Illustration of a hand holding the One-Touch Electric Kettle in Sage Green by Drew Barrymore, Cowl Neck Slip Dress in evergreen and Bedsure Duvet Cover Queen Size Set with Zipper Closure in green
TODAY Illustration / Walmart / Amazon / Fleur du Mal

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Embracing natural colors for spring is nothing new. When everything starts blooming around us, we want the seasonal change to reflect in our homes and wardrobes.

But this year in particular, that desire to bring the bright spring colors indoors has reached new heights with the color green — specifically, sage and emerald shades.

According to Google Trends, searches for “sage green aesthetic” have recently seen a 2,000 percent increase and searches for “emerald green” items have also seen a rise. Experts say the growing popularity of these shades has a lot to do with how we’re feeling in the current moment.

"Seasonal fashion trends mirror what is happening in the world around us," wardrobe stylist Stacee Michelle told Shop TODAY "With the pandemic disrupting our normal routines, colors like sage and emerald give us a sense of optimism, freshness and calm.”

“Softer shades of green, like sage, typically trend during warmer months, while richer hues, such as emerald, find their way into our fall and winter wardrobes,” Michelle explained. “This season is different, as we’ve seen shades on both ends of the spectrum take center stage on runways and magazine spreads."

While both are green variants, the two shades are actually very different and can each inspire a different mood. Sage is often a color used in spas and medical facilities for its calming properties, explained Ryen Anderson, a color expert for personal styling service, Stitch Fix. Emerald, on the other hand, is a brighter, more invigorating shade that feels lush and activating, he said.

We asked experts across the home and fashion spaces to share their tips for styling the popular colors, as well as their recommendations for ways to shop the trend this season (and we included a few of our favorite items, too).

How to style sage

Sage is a tinted color, which means it has white added to it, Anderson said. One of the easiest ways to style the shade is by pairing it with other tinted colors. “Sage will look great with a washed out grey denim, a dusty blue or you can make some bold choices and wear a sage dress paired with a blush color accessory,” he said. “White also looks great with sage.”

In the home, sage can add a pop of color to your space, while still fitting into a neutral palette, said interior designer, Laurie Blumenfeld-Russo of Laurie Blumenfeld Design. Sage can be paired with dusty pink or mustard yellow and ivory or clay shades, as well as deeper tones of greens, like pine or black-green.

Sage clothes

J.Crew Poplin Shirtdress

Michelle likes this shirtdress, which can serve as an upgraded version of the classic white t-shirt dress. "Wear it wrapped as a dress or wear it open with a swimsuit to the beach," she said. "It can also take you right in to fall by adding a leather jacket and boots."

Lagos Striped Paperbag Waist Shorts

You'll need a good pair of shorts to carry you through the warmer seasons and Michelle said this cute striped option will pair perfectly with a snug tank top or a bodysuit.

Overland Linen Top

"The '90s are back and so are crop tops," Michelle said. For a complete look, she recommends pairing the top with high-waist wide-leg vintage jeans.

Lulus Sleeveless Wide-Leg Jumpsuit

"This sleeveless jumpsuit works for every occasion," Michelle said. "Dress it up with heels and statement earrings for a night out or keep it casual by layering a denim jacket with sandals."

Coach Shearling Coat

Heather Newberger, stylist and author of “How to Date Your Wardrobe,” said she is “obsessed” with this splurge-worthy shearling coat from Coach. “I love everything about it, from the fabric to the detailing, and it’s a great example of a piece that would look good in black but is even better in sage.”

H&M Oversized Shirt Jacket

Shirt jackets are a huge trend right now, thanks to their versatility, and Newberger said that this one is "the perfect fit for spring."

SHEIN Lantern Sleeve Pointelle Knit Cardigan

"Priced at a mere $21, this is your new favorite sweater for spring," Newberger said. "I love the woven chevrons, and the sleeves make it feel luxe, while the color mutes it from being too obnoxious."

Gap Modern Tank Top

You can never have too many basic tank tops in your closet, and this flattering scoop neck option can be paired with just about any outfit.

All In Motion High-Waisted Leggings

If you're not feeling totally ready to make the switch to "normal" clothes just yet, you can incorporate the trend into your loungewear collection with these comfortable leggings. They have a wide, flattering waistband and are made from a UPF 50+ rated material to protect you from the sun.

Sage home decor

Clare OMGreen Paint

If you're the type to dive headfirst into a DIY project, interior designer Taniya Nayak suggests repainting a wall, cabinets or a piece of furniture using the on-trend color. For just $2, you can get a removable swatch to test the color out on different surfaces before you commit.

Beautiful by Drew Barrymore One-Touch Electric Kettle

Drew Barrymore just launched her kitchen collection, Beautiful, at Walmart. And just as the name would suggest, it’s filled with stunning (and functional) products for the home chef. From a cookware set to an air fryer, many pieces in the collection come in the on-trend green shade, but we appreciate this one-touch kettle, which will look great sitting on your kitchen counter. It comes with preset temperature buttons for all types of tea and a convenient 60-minute Keep Warm mode.

Bedsure Duvet Cover Set with Zipper Closure

If you can’t remember the last time you replaced your bedding, it’s definitely time for a refresh. This sage set will make the perfect upgrade, as it comes with a super soft duvet cover and two pillow shams.

Smart Tiles 3D Peel and Stick Wallpaper

Peel-and-stick wallpaper has become a popular option for home upgrades since it's low-commitment and renter-friendly. These tiles will look great in your bathroom or kitchen and won't yellow or crack over time.

How to style emerald

Emerald can be a little trickier to style, Newberger said, but you shouldn’t be afraid of the bold color. “Just wearing a touch of it can add ineffable class to almost any outfit,” she said. “Whether it’s with a handbag or you’ve fallen for the same pajama set that I’ve had my eyes on all quarantine, bringing some emerald into the mix can elevate just about any look.”

Since the color makes such a statement by itself, Anderson recommends pairing it with a clean, neutral shade, like black, white or brown. “I’d avoid trying to pair it with gray, as it will wash the emerald out,” he said. “If you have a bold style, you can also pair it with other saturated colors.”

At home, Blumenfeld-Russo, said that she’s been hearing a lot of requests for emerald sofas and kitchen accents. She added that the color pairs well with mustard yellow, dusty pink, eggplant and lavender.

Emerald clothes

Averie Sleep Zola Two-Piece Set

This is the pajama set that Newberger said she’s had her eyes on for the last year. “I love how the lush emerald plays off the tigers to make going to sleep look super chic.”

Fleur du Mal Cowl Neck Slip Dress

Newberger also likes this eye-catching emerald slip. The luxe silk dress is an elegant choice, whether you’re dressing up for date night at home or an evening out.

Reformation Molly Two-Piece

"I love these emerald, ribbed separates from Reformation for their casual elegance," Newberger said. "They can be worn just as easily to a date as they can a rehearsal dinner."

Mulberry Silk Face Mask

These days, no look is complete without a mask, and this will add the perfect pop of color to your outfit. It’s made from pure mulberry silk, which dermatologists say is more skin-friendly than your typical fabric mask.

Still the One Floral Print Satin Dress

"Nothing says summer is near like a maxi dress," Michelle said. "The emerald jewel tone of this dress blends beautifully with the floral print, bringing a resort look to your closet."

Zara Satin Effect Midi Skirt

Michelle also likes this midi skirt, which really lets the color speak for itself. You can take it from a work-appropriate to weekend look simply by swapping out your shoes, she said.

Emerald home decor

TOV Furniture Metropolitan Forest Green Velvet Chair

"Dining chairs are an unexpected way to make a color statement," Nayak said. "I love this option in a bold, rich jewel tone. This would also make a great desk chair for your WFH setup."

Ornavo Home Round Velvet Storage Ottoman

This chic ottoman will make the ultimate addition to your living room, thanks to its multi-functionality. It can be used as a comfortable seat, with hidden storage or you can flip the top over to reveal a sturdy, wooden surface and transform it into a coffee table.

Walensee Fleece Throw

If you don't have room to make any major additions to your home, adding a bold-colored throw to your sofa or bed can be a great low-commitment way to bring the trend to your space.

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