This collection of the fall/ winter 2021-2022 color trends may not be flooded with the expected colors of the colder seasons. Sure, there are some of the common fall and winter hues, but this upcoming season’s star colors are truly nothing ordinary. Looking to the future, designers seemed to crave bright, vibrant, and heavily saturated tones for their collections – and consumers reacted, clutching at this list of colors in particular and forcing them into the ‘it color’ status.
It seems that now is the time to color block in your wardrobe… so if you feel like an emerald green jumpsuit, a bubblegum pink scarf, and bright yellow shoes, you’d be perfectly on the winter 2021 color trends. Oh, and let’s not forget the rise of shiny metallics that will allow you to glitter all day and into the night!
Along with the bright tones comes the lack of liking towards the unsaid rules of combining colors. Color play came about this season in an unexpected and truly fun way. Hot pink and orange were spotted together at some points, just while slime green and bright yellow started to get cozy! It seems like the rules of the color wheel are now completely out, and it couldn’t be more in.
The paring of mustard and lemon may have been seen as strange a few years ago – but Jil Sander proves it’s positively chic. Hopefully, this trend will continue, and people will realize that fashion rules are only meant to be broken, so we can further express our individuality!
However, for those of you that might consider bright colors too intense and ignoring the color wheel guidelines as sacrilege, have no fear! Cream, black, olive, and navy were all popular colors this season. Besides, using more classic colors and then popping in a bright accessory is an excellent way to have fun with color without worrying too much about it or needing to plan your outfit in advance.
This rich red adds a bit of drama and romance to the winter season. French designers, in particular, seemed to use it in their collections – though is it really that shocking the French gravitated towards romantic colors?
While Simone Rocha added tiny floral buds to her collection in this shade, Dior used the tone to entice us with different skirts, and Isabel Marant created some truly fantastic leather pants in this hue. Still, rose red wasn’t a shade just saved for the City of Light. Dries van Noten used the color in his flowery fall collection along with Oscar de la Renta. Perhaps it really is time to drop rules and over-generalizations so that we can all become romantics?
#2. Fire Whirl
This classic red was a favorite in multiple collections throughout the spring and seems to have found its way into various fall/ winter fashion weeks. While Carolina Herrera surely loved using it in the cocktail dresses, it was Alice & Olivia by Stacey Bendet that truly took the cake (or should I say cherry?). It was easy to see the influence the red held over the collection, as the models in the presentation posed in cherry red skirts, shirts, dresses, and accessories. Oh! And the song played in the presentation? Cherry by Chair Model! Yes, cherry red is a definite color trend for this upcoming season, as it prances about in the perfect position between a ‘cool’ red and ‘hot red.’
#3. Red Alert
This color straddles the line between wondering if it’s more orange-y than red or if it’s more red than orange. This curiosity into what category the color should truly fall into is certainly one of the reasons why people are drawn to it. Throughout the fall fashion shows, the enigmatic color was used mainly for jackets from brands such as Dries van Noten, Marine Serre, and Marni. But, if you find this color in any item, it’s a definite one to purchase – popular and ultimately chic, red orange is a certain fall 2021 color trend.
#4. Tomato Cream
While the combination of orange and brown tones might have come to be expected for fall, this shade is a bit different. Tomato cream sits directly between orange and brown without veering too far to one side. This ease of coloring allows it to be paired with either a neutral tone or pop of color equally well.
If you’re still a bit stuck on how to best play with this color, wear it as a dress! That was the popular option with brands such as Oscar de la Renta, Self-Portrait, and Nanushka. Still, Collina Strada showed it lends a soft flair when paired with jeans or placed under a suit.
#5. Butter Yellow
Creamy and dreamy, this buttery yellow has fluttered into the fall and winter collections everywhere. From Kim Shui using the yellow shade in both a bias-cut shirt and skirt to Bevza using it as a knit, we see the true versatility of the hue. If you can’t wait to wear this color, it’s perfectly in season now as well – just a few weeks ago, supermodel Elsa Hosk sported a matching two-piece in this color!
How does one go about listing all the designers that used this bright and vibrant Pantone color of the year in their collections? Would it go like ‘Tory Burch to Prada used this color multiple times from turtlenecks to coats to show the fun brightening impacts of yellow tones in the winter’? Or should it be on a list? After all, Simon Miller, Dolce & Gabbana, Loewe, Versace, and Burberry fell in love with this color too. Whatever sentence form you choose, this playful color was used in just about every fashion piece you can think of for fall/ winter 2021 and is most certainly a new color trend.
Both Illuminating and butter yellow might be the main two for yellow color trends, but daylily yolk yellow is a certain micro-trend that cropped up on many runways as well. Similar to ‘Mimosa,’ the 2009 color of the year, yolk yellow sits somewhere between gold and Illuminating. Considering this, along with the fact that the hue can easily replace many a neutral, the popularity makes sense.
So, if you’re shy of overtly bright yellows or just want to add a new color to your neutral repertoire, yolk yellow is your tone. Pick the shade up in numerous different locations… Victor Glemaud used it in dresses, Emilia Wickstead in florals, and how could we not add 3.1 Phillip Lim’s pops of tone throughout his collection?
#8. Green Bee
Are we really that shocked that this electric color is popular again? American fashion labels seemed to be most invested in this fun and funky color, with Anna Sui coming in as the lead. She used the fall 2021 color trend in the tartan plaid of coats, skirts, and dresses. But she wasn’t the only one to fall under the influence of this psychedelic shade: both Collina Strada and Kim Shui used it as an influencing color in their collections.
This impish spring color, named after the mythical Irish creature, has danced its way into fashionable popularity. Bright and fun, Collina Strada played it up in their collection along with Dolce & Gabbana and Isabel Marant. Dolce & Gabbana used the highly pigmented color in small pops throughout the collection and at a crescendo in a cropped fur coat! If you’re in the mood for just a spot of this color, then Isabel Marant’s use of it in leather goods is right up your alley.
#10. Olive Branch
Send out an olive branch to this color… or better yet, an apology by adding it to your closet this season. While olive is a classic neutral, it hasn’t truly entered a list of full-blown color trends in a while. Thankfully, this season it has! The rich neutral hue was exceedingly popular for knits and suede. Take a look at the long suede coat (with fringe!) that Fendi added to their fall 2021 collection. Then do a mental scream of joy and head to your favorite place to shop and hope they’ve been paying attention to this trend.
#11. Clear Sky
Clear sky is the popular color of the fall/ winter 2021-2022 season for so many reasons. The first one is that all of us are just so happy to have something that reminds us of the outdoors after on-and-off lockdowns in different regions throughout the past year. The second is because this calm and soothing color can be both minimalist and maximalist. Go look at the Nanushka suit and then the Dolce & Gabbana patchwork jacket! Finally, spinning around in this color gives off major cottagecore vibes – a Gen Z dream!
#12. Ibiza Blue
Rich and juicy, this island-inspired blue was a Pantone favorite at London Fashion Week, and not only. It’s a bright blue, perfect for bringing some summer-inspired sunshine to the gloomy fall days.
Ibiza blue was a hit at Prada, used for a chic coat that could hardly ever go by unnoticed. Louis Vuitton also used the color for outerwear to break the edginess of a long, oversized leather vest. Finally, Isabel Marant utilized the rich blue for a suede overshirt tucked into a floral printed wrap skirt.
#13. Spring Lake
Apparently, the fall/ winter 2021-2022 color trends were a tribute to all the shades of blue, with this restful mid-tone blue being almost a neutral that could appeal to many tastes. So fantastic to wear just on its own or in combination with nearly any other shade featured on this list, this is definitely going to be a fall favorite among the fashionable crowd.
Our favorite use of the color was spotted at Off-White, where a simple leather skirt suit won the hearts of both the professional businesswomen and those looking to upgrade their wardrobes with some timeless classic pieces. On the other hand, Alberta Ferretti and Boss proved the versatility of the color for outerwear, both showcasing maxi coats in spring lake.
#14. Mykonos Blue
Tell me that purple is the color that symbolizes luxury and royalty all you want, but royal blue truly is THE regal color. From being used in crushed velvet suits at Dundas last year to soft knitwear pretty much everywhere this season, the tone brings a bit of royalty into your everyday life. Collina Strada may have only used small pops of the color, but we can all die happy now knowing that Dries van Noten used it in both a blazer and a jacket.
This classic color has also re-entered our fall repertoire for this season. While Self-Portrait used the tone in a variety of skirts and dresses, Isabel Marant leaned into it with pants. Small pops of the color also appeared in accessories, from a Dior handbag to a Marine Serre bucket hat too! When styling these items, think of using it as a monochrome outfit, as Jason Wu did in his collection with small pops of red for a truly breathtaking color combination.
#16. After Midnight
Straddling the line between deep navy blue and classic black, this was the gloomiest blue color featured on the fall runways. Just like the name suggests, it’s a midnight-inspired dark blue, a classic, neutral shade especially great for professional attire options.
Courreges unveiled a fabulous pantsuit in this color, finished off with a matching bag and a sporty black cap. Anteprima brought in a series of looks in after midnight blue, but a long loose skirt layered with tailored pants, and an architectural blazer stood out from the crowd. It was also featured a lot at Dior, and Alexis Mabille, who used it for a blazer-inspired maxi gown with decorative buttons.
Lavender, being soft and romantic, is easily flirtatious in a classic floral bouquet – or as an Oscar de la Renta dress. Still, the color is beautiful in separates as well. Marine Serre played up the 2021-2022 color trend at the end of their collection with jackets, mini skirts and pants. The sweet combination of white and purple was particularly focused on this week after the trend forecasting agency WGSN and experts at Coloro released a statement that it might just stick around until 2023 and become the color of the year.
#18. Deep Purple
This luxurious shade of purple is quickly becoming a hot color for fall/ winter 2021. From the way it looks stunning on all skin tones to the quiet sophistication it oozes, it isn’t shocking. Many designers for the upcoming season chose to pick up the color for their collections, leading to options of any style you might want! A velvet sweatsuit? Head to Kim Shui! A Floral silk dress? Cinq a Sept will be your dream! But if you only crave small bits of this rich color, Anna Sui, Isabel Marant, and Marni all added a little deep purple throughout their collections.
#19. First Blush
From silk dresses at Self-Portrait and Dries van Noten to silk scarves at Marine Serre and satin separates at Fendi, blush proved its only limit was your imagination. The pretty pink hue took over many a runway (and heart) this season with no more than a simple glance. And before you decide that blush must always appear in silk, know that it cropped up in many of the popular knitwear trends of this season. Who can resist that blush houndstooth cardigan at Nanushka anyways?
#20. Pale Rosette
Sitting between first blush pink and bubblegum pink, pale rosette is a gentle romantic pink that looked oh-so-chic for a number of party and casual dresses on the runways. It has a touch of salmon finish to it, as pretty as can be.
We loved Moschino’s use of this pink for a red carpet-ready silk dress with a high side slit, matched with boots, gloves, a hat, and a funny boot-shaped bag in the same shade. Pale rosette looked breathtaking at Marques’Almeida, appearing on several looks, including an asymmetrical shirt dress with a pleated hem. Last but not least, Andrew Gn utilized the color to tailor an elegant maxi gown with a lace-trimmed bib and feather-embellished sleeves.
#21. Bubblegum Pink
Time to pop the pink champagne and blow some bubbles because this perfect Instagrammable color is back! From floral pants at Collina Strada to a tartan plaid vest at Cinq a Sept and a Victor Glemaud skirt suit, the bubblegum tone of pink is back in full force. While it’s a bit more of a departure from the yellows and neutrals that have seemingly ruled our closets this year, it’s a fun Y2K-esque addition to any outfit.
#22. Fuchsia Fedora
Tip your hat (or should I say fedora?) to this Pantone color that’s easily making its rounds. Bright and vibrant, fuchsia fedora stands out from the crowd while also blending seamlessly in among all the other highly saturated color trends of the fall/ winter season. Dries van Noten seemed particularly fond of using the shade in color-blocking patterns, while Anna Sui reached for it with jumpsuits, and Isabel Marant found inspiration in it for leather pants. Clearly, it’s versatile and fun; the perfect shade for anything!
#23. Coconut Cream
The white of the fall 2021 season is coconut cream, a rich velvety off-white, oftentimes with a hint of pink. It’s a chic neutral you can never go wrong with, a versatile color to pair with any other shade or pattern, and to take from season to season.
Adeam’s use of coconut cream was for a deconstructed A-line dress you can easily wear in the upcoming spring and summer season as well. While Bevza went for a head-to-toe off-white look, Burberry decided to break the monochromatic pattern with a pair of camel ankle boots.
#24. Perfectly Pale
This is a versatile color that pairs well with anything! Navy? Naturally! Yellow? Mais oui! Green? Of course! Black? Just look at Valentino’s collection, and those classic cream dresses with the black accessories and scream the answer (obviously, yes!).
While cream was used in many capacities this season, it seemed that the color was most popular in the form of lace. Isabel Marant opened her collection with lace dresses and blouses in this shade, while Anna Sui scooped it up to use in a lacey puritan-style dress.
Perhaps a classic for trench coats and khaki pants, but don’t disregard the power of this creamy brown color! While people might often associate it with golfer pants, Fendi placed the color on display for coats, shorts, jackets, shirts, and skirts (so pretty much every wardrobe item imaginable?).
Oh! And Cinq a Sept proved the shade was perfect for an effortless leather one-piece. Truly, how could you say no to such a classic color being used in every way imaginable?! But if you’re still looking for a new pair of khakis, have no fear, Marine Serre has created some just for you.
#26. Ultimate Gray
Ultimate Gray is the color that has contrasted this season’s Illuminating and also took on the title ‘color of the year’ from Pantone. The easy and supportive color naturally makes sense for this choice, and many designers seemed to agree as they sought to incorporate it into their collections. While Loewe used the shade in a dress, coats are the exceedingly popular option for the tone. Dior, Self-Portrait, Isabel Marant, and Bav Tailor all used it in this way. Talk about the perfect trendy overcoat options!
Metallics have become irresistibly popular this season, from shimmering silver to melted gold. Coming from the ‘80s, that style is trending – maybe it’s that? Either way, chic Marni dresses, the oversized tinsel coat from Dolce & Gabbana, and then silver fringe dresses from Herve Leger have led the fashion world to be completely and utterly in love with this color.
While silver might be a personal favorite of mine, gold is truly having its moment right now. Pairing perfectly with many colors and falling into the ‘return of the roaring ‘20s trend’ we’re all seeing, the love for gold simply makes sense. For those of you interested in the metallic shimmer that still want to stay somewhat minimalist, Valentino’s oversized jacket is your dream.
However, if you’re maximalist all the way, then Dolce & Gabbana’s take on the metal will make you swoon. Still, it’s Schiaparelli that has even me falling in love. The entire collection is an ode to a golden god (or goddess?). Dreamy and sculptural, the collection truly exemplifies why so many people love this color and why it happens to be a 2021 trend.
This NYFW color from Pantone wasn’t only popular with the American designers. Since knitwear is on the rise, this earthy hue became a go-to for most brands to use. However, woven clothes weren’t exclusively drawn to the use of Adobe. Kim Shui incorporated it into leather pants, and as the ongoing adoration to leather continues, Marine Serre also used the tone in this way.
#30. Downtown Brown
Let’s confess that many of us associate fall fashion with rich chocolate brown shades, and the designers couldn’t agree more. Brown appeared aplenty at all the four major fashion weeks in different shades and combinations, but downtown brown – a deep metropolitan brown – was the apparent winner.
From outerwear to evening dresses to two-piece sets, this Pantone color was used for practically any type of fashion item in almost any style, perfect for every occasion. Zimmermann provided us with chic party looks in this brown, completed with golden star patterns that were too cute to handle. While Sportmax embraced the somber side of downtown brown with its tailored brown jumpsuit matched with an oversized blazer, Marc Jacobs unveiled the chicest oversized trench coat in this color.
#31. Root Beer
Pretty similar to downtown brown, root beer brown is a London Fashion Week favorite, a rich herbal brown that was equally chic and sophisticated. In some cases, it’s even confusing to distinguish between these two shades of brown, yet each one deserved a spot in this color trend report.
We love the saturated root beer brown shade spotted at Zadig & Voltaire on a pair of leather pants matched with an oversized blazer in the same shade. Alyx unveiled professional wear in root beer – a mini skirt suit with an oversized blazer that could also look chic with more casual denim looks. Finally, at Adeam, root beer had a bit of burgundy touches, used for a knit cardigan that was paired with cropped bell-bottom tailored pants in exactly the same hue.
Black is the classic color no one is going to say ‘no’ to, therefore there truly wasn’t a single collection this fall/ winter 2021-2022 that didn’t use the color. However, the dark and foreboding tone appealed to certain designers more.
Rick Owens, ever the avant-garde artist we all adore, used black leather and waste plastic (major sustainability points right there!) in his collection to create an out-of-this-world style. Matthew Williams, Givenchy’s creative director, strayed from the classic Audrey Hepburn silhouettes of the brand to create powerful extra-terrestrial looks as well… all in black!
And should I add in Valentino’s use of the color? Maybe, because it was in almost every piece of his collection! Perhaps he’s switching his signature color from red to black?
Photos via Vogue