The fall 2020 Pantone colors have been released following New York and London Fashion Weeks, paving the way for a practical season that still allows for some creativity. One thing that stands out to us is that the fall 2020 color trends are not particularly trendy. Instead, they are mostly timeless colors that will surely have longevity in our wardrobes.
Speaking of the colors presented at New York Fashion Week, Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute said that they are “reflecting a ‘less is more’ mindset that is becoming increasingly important to consumers prioritizing value and functionality, our color palette is stripped of excess.”
She expressed similar thoughts about the colors from London: “Autumn/Winter 2020/2021 is a story of mindfulness as we see a stripping back of color to the essentials.”
That is not to say that the fall/ winter 2020 Pantone colors are boring or mundane, however. These colors are still sure to inspire creativity or make a statement. They are pragmatic in the sense that they are easy to mix and match into thoughtful and unique pairings, but they still evoke pleasure and joy.
Pantone’s Fall/ Winter 2020-2021 Colors from NYFW & LFW
We’re excited that even when looking at color trends, we can start to recognize a clear shift in fashion and design away from fast fashion and quick-changing trends towards sustainable, eco-friendly options.
#1. Pantone 16-1328 Sandstone
We’re starting with one of the fall 2020 Pantone colors that really represent what this season is all about. It’s not quite a neutral, but it’s certainly a timeless earth tone imbued with just a bit of warmth, like the sands of Wadi Rum. Despite being gentle and subdued, this color is also very uplifting and comforting, so it’s perfect for seasonal outerwear. It had its debut on the statement-making New York runways.
#2. Pantone 17-1225 Tawny Birch
Tawny Birch is a tan shade with a woodsy feel that is described by Pantone as rugged and “evocative of a rustic nature.” This taupe shade has cooler undertones, but it’s still neutral enough to work with a wide range of colors. It was one of the more ubiquitous shades at London Fashion Week, and we look forward to seeing it in real life in the form of leather accessories and cozy knits. A similar shade was also presented for the Pantone spring 2021 colors.
#3. Pantone 19-1662 Samba
Samba was the starring red at both LFW and NYFW, giving off upbeat energy despite its dark hue. According to Pantone, this color is “a voluptuous, sultry red,” but we would add that it also has some mature refinement to it. It’s definitely one of the more statement-making fall 2020 color trends.
#4. Pantone 19-1540 Burnt Henna
Rich and warm, this is a deep red shade with some serious brown leanings. According to Pantone, this color that had its debut at LFW “combines heartiness with sophisticated earthiness.” It’s a flawless color for autumn, and we envision it as an especially fetching shade for leather.
#5. Pantone 19-1337 Fired Brick
Fired Brick was NYFW’s answer to Burnt Henna – another deep red that is just a hint more neutral and vivid than its British counterpart. It is a strong and sturdy shade that adds gravitas to any look, giving a more serious feel to some of the more unique silhouettes that were presented this season.
#6. Pantone 17-1562 Mandarin Red
Those with a wild streak will love the addition of Mandarin Red to the LFW fashion palette. This warm, dynamic red is vivid and bright with strong orange undertones. The Pantone Color Institute describes it as “amplified and provocative,” the kind of shade that turns heads when worn from head to toe.
#7. Pantone 17-1349 Exuberance
This great autumn orange from LFW isn’t overly bright or in your face, but it’s still warm and cheerful. Pantone describes it as a “good natured and expansive shade […] that conveys a message of spontaneity and happiness.” We think it’s a shade that will pair well with the copious earth tones and brown-reds presented on the runways.
#8. Pantone 16-1350 Amberglow
Amberglow was the breakout orange fall 2020 color trend from NYFW, and it is slightly lighter and more subdued than Exuberance. Despite that, it is still a very radiant and lively color that can, according to Pantone, “promote self-confidence and creative self-expression.”
#9. Pantone 14-1220 Peach Nougat
This pale, peachy-pink was one of the few softer and more feminine shades presented in the Pantone fall 2020 color trends. Despite being soft and pretty, it’s not overly twee or childish. In fact, it puts out a more nurturing vibe thanks to its inviting warmth, making it a mature and maternal choice that is still chic rather than dowdy.
#10. Pantone 16-1511 Rose Tan
Much like Peach Nougat, Rose Tan is another feminine shade that made a frequent appearance on the New York runways. Like its warm counterpart, this dusty pink is also a restrained and mature shade. According to Pantone, it imparts a sense of composure, likely thanks to its understated nature and perfect neutrality.
#11. Pantone 19-2428 Magenta Purple
This hypnotic jewel tone stands out as the only purple to come out of the Pantone fall 2020 color trends. The institute describes it as an intriguing and mesmerizing shade, and we have to agree. It’s the kind of color that demands to be utilized in magnificent satin dresses or eye-catching coats.
#12. Pantone 19-4052 Classic Blue
Classic Blue is Pantone’s 2020 Color of the Year, but surprisingly it only made a showing at NYFW. Pantone explains that this color is “evocative of the vast and infinite evening sky,” and that it opens us up to possibilities. Since this shade of blue is so versatile, we have to agree.
#13. Pantone 18-4051 Strong Blue
This vibrant blue shade is a bit brighter and more vivid than Classic Blue, and it was one of the two main blue fall/ winter 2020 Pantone colors to come out of London. It’s a confident shade of blue that is impactful and dynamic, rather than exuding the typical calmness we expect out of blue tones.
#14. Pantone 19-4057 True Blue
The second blue to come out of London Fashion Week is decidedly less intense and a fair bit darker. Pantone describes it using words like reliable, constant, and faithful – a color that inspires respect and trust. We think it’d be a particularly smart color choice for more professional garments and office wear.
#15. Pantone 18-5338 Ultramarine Green
Ultramarine Green made a splash both in New York and London, a gorgeous blue-leaning green that exudes self-assurance and poise. Because of its darkness, this shade reminds us of the solidity and calmness of ocean depths.
#16. Pantone 13-0648 Green Sheen
Green Sheen, which is clearly a yellow, is also by far the boldest of the fall 2020 Pantone colors to show up on the New York runways. It does have a bit of a green undertone, which lends it an acid-like quality that would stand out anyway, but is even more noticeable because the rest of the colors are on the more serious side.
#17. Pantone 14-0647 Celery
The second yellow in the fall 2020 color trends is also a little greenish, but it doesn’t have the same intensity as Green Sheen. Instead, this color feels botanical and fresh, much like the vegetable, after which it is named. If you are looking for color pairings, we think this unique green-yellow will pair best with shades in the blue family.
Pantone’s Fall/ Winter 2020-2021 Classics/ Neutral Color Palette
Aside from the 17 mesmerizing main shades, the Pantone palette also offers 7 fall 2020 neutral colors that are comfortable and wearable, serving as the perfect foundation for unique color combinations.
#18. Pantone 19-0622 Military Olive
This olive green tone was recognized by Pantone as one of the key neutrals at NYFW, while at LFW, it was one of the main fall 2020 colors – perhaps this says something about the sensibilities towards neutrals in the US vs. the UK. In either case, Pantone describes this warm, deep shade of green as “strong and stalwart,” a shade that implies fearlessness and discipline.
#19. Pantone 14-1122 Sheepskin
It’s rare to see such a peachy tone show up as one of the neutrals for a season, and yet this light camel made it as one of the neutral fall 2020 color trends out of LFW. It’s a soft shade that is emblematic of natural fleece, which is one of the main materials that will be keeping us warm going into the upcoming cold seasons.
#20. Pantone 19-3940 Blue Depths
Delve deep into Blue Depths, a dark yet rich navy blue that Pantone explains, “implies an air of mystery and the unknown.” As far as neutrals go, it is quite cool and saturated – one of those Pantone fall 2020 color trends that seem unassuming at first but then stick in your mind.
#21. Pantone 19-4024 Dress Blues
Whereas the darkness of Blue Depths is mysterious, Dress Blues is a dark navy that is a little more muted and even a touch warmer, making it a color that conveys integrity and credibility. It’s a formal color that is always dependable, ever flattering, and appropriate in every situation. We can just imagine hordes of women wearing well-tailored pantsuits in this shade in offices and courts all over the world.
#22. Pantone 16-3916 Sleet
We think Sleet is one of the most appropriate fall/ winter 2020 Pantone colors to represent autumn in New York and London. This neutral gray is chic and timeless and is described by Pantone as “dependable, solid and everlasting.” We do think it skews a little cool, which means it’d fit well with all the blue shades presented this season.
#23. Pantone 12-0713 Almond Oil
“Tasteful, smooth, and subtle” are the words the Pantone Institute uses to describe Almond Oil, the warm off-white that showed up as the lighted neutral in New York. It’s a creamy shade that can add a touch of lightness to all the deep and muted Pantone fall 2020 color trends, and we especially covet it in the form of a soft, billowy blouse.
#24. Pantone 11-0605 Jet Stream
We’re finishing our list with the most delicate of all the Pantone fall 2020 colors, Jet Stream. This is a cool, off-white shade that isn’t too pure. In fact, according to Pantone, it is actually “suggestive of our affinity for raw and recycled.” Perhaps this is a sign that this season, brides (and everyone else) will wear eco-friendly garments!