When autumn and winter truly set in and the chill takes over, you might find yourself reaching for pastel-colored coats, sweaters and jackets, a fresh take on the season's usual somber palette.

When autumn and winter truly set in and the chill takes over, you might find yourself reaching for pastel-colored coats, sweaters and jackets, a fresh take on the season's usual somber palette.

Fall fashions historically feature deep emerald greens, plums and other jewel tones, but this year, designers have lightened things up.

The fall 2013 runway shows were awash in Easter egg shades of daffodil yellow, powder blue, cotton-candy pinks and mints.

At Céline, roomy blush-colored coats were paired with sleek wool shifts and light-gray, chunky-heeled ankle boots.

At Proenza Schouler, leather coats in rounded silhouettes were shown in a candy-colored lavender, and modern drop-waist dresses featured barely-there hints of mint.

The idea of candy colors in fall and winter might at first seem strange, but the look works quite well with darker cold-weather basics.

Central Kentucky designer Sarah Jane Estes added a gray wool Peter Pan collar accented with black sequins to a pink floral baby-doll top. Pair it with tights or skinny jeans for an easy fall outfit.

For a striking contrast, try a peach-colored jacket over a black wool shift and booties. With a cool mint sheath, add a bit of textural interest with ornamented footwear, such as Sam Edelman's studded Blair ballet slippers.

Grays are another great way to play up a bright color. Pair a pastel-accented long-sleeve top with gray wool shorts, and ground the outfit with a pair of moto-style black boots with silver studs.

Accessories are a great way to add a finishing touch to a cold-weather pastel. A crystal necklace with a blush-colored top or frosty mint dress add a wintry sparkle to an outfit.

Gold, either in a fun little clutch or maybe a stack of bold bangles, brings warmth to the look and is a chic alternative to the basic black bag.

For classic winter style with a twist, add leather accents. We paired a feminine bouclé pink dress with a natural-colored leather clutch created by Lexington, Ky., artist Matthew Cook of Borderstate Made. For added interest, we stacked a gold bubble bracelet with one of Cook's leather wraps.

That seems to be a winning recipe for wearing these sugary winter hues: a mix of soft colors, a touch of metallics and some classic fashion ingredients such as leathers, wools and basic blacks and grays.

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©2013 Lexington Herald-Leader (Lexington, Ky.)

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PHOTOS (from MCT Photo Service, 202-383-6099): FALL-FASHION

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