03/04/2012 04:20 pm ET | Updated Oct 11, 2012

How To Wear Feathers Without Looking Cuckoo (PHOTOS)

Feathers have been in fashion since screen legend Marlene Dietrich donned a dark boa in "Shanghai Express" in 1932. The trend really hit a high note with Proenza Schouler's spring 2010 peacock-inspired show, where Barneys Creative Director Simon Doonan described being overcome by the beauty of the feathered dresses as they came down the runway.

The trend continues -- starlet and fashion darling Evan Rachel Wood wore a plunging emerald green feathered Gucci gown to the 2012 Golden Globes. The feathers were flying on the fall 2012 runways; Oscar de la Renta trimmed trousers with feathers, Ralph Lauren showed a stunning black and gold feathered bolero and Prabal Gurung combined two of our favorite trends -- feathers and peplum -- to stunning effect.

Photo Credits: GoRunway, Getty Images

The question is, how to wear feathers without crying fowl (sorry, we had to). The key is to keep the rest of your look minimum with neutral separates: think black blazers, white button-downs and subtle accessories. Otherwise, Big Bird will come a-callin', asking for his outfit back.