It looks like it’s that trend report time of the year again, as the fashion weeks around the globe are wrapping up. While Spring solstice may have just happened, the Pantone Color Institute has already put out the colors for the fall/ winter season that were highlighted at both NYFW and LFW. This makes sense, though, because the fashion industry moves at such a rapid pace! I mean, who else already has their outfits picked out for next season after watching all the fashion shows last month?
The fall 2021 Pantone colors mix the playful with practical, using rejuvenation and reemergence as crucial factors. As Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute so eloquently put it “…a range of pragmatic hues infused with vivifying bright pops, colors for Autumn/Winter 2021/2022 offer a plethora of possibilities that support our lifestyle of continual reinvention and convey a promise of reemergence.”
Last fall’s colors were far more sober and down to earth, while the fall 2021 Pantone colors have been given the titles of ‘energizing’ and ‘uplifting’ – something we all clearly needed, and Pantone filled the void perfectly!
The fall 2021 color trends range from bright greens and vivid reds to the more basic fall colors of taupes and oranges. If you’re concerned about colors clashing, you can always give your outfit a test drive at home, as Eiseman so perfectly pointed out, stating: “Experimentation is something that you can do at home, because who is going to criticize you?” But really – who cares if someone tells you that Fuchsia Fedora and Illuminating are too bright for winter? It’s color. It’s art. And it’s fashion! So, have a blast!
#1. Pantone 13-0647 Illuminating
This is one of the Pantone fall/ winter 2021 colors that have been taking the fashion world by storm. It’s described as “friendly and joyful, an optimistic yellow offering the promise of a sunny day” on the Pantone website and has appeared at both New York and London Fashion Weeks. If you’re hunting down examples of this color, then look no further than the stripes in Burberry’s sweater shirts, Tory Burch’s turtlenecks, Loewe’s show-stopping ankle booties, or Simon Miller’s array of purses!
#2. Pantone 15-0956 Daylily
Daylily is an energizing orange-infused yellow that also looks surprisingly wearable. The name suits it well, as the color could easily appear on a lily you plucked in a garden. The color was popular for both Temperley London and Victoria Beckham, who used it as a bright print accent.
#3. Pantone 18-2330 Fuchsia Fedora
This bright and lively pink has got us all in a tizzy for winter to come – just not in a Game of Thrones type way! Different celebrities and athletes have already been sporting Fuchsia Fedora. Not only did Olivia Palermo sport a leopard printed coat with this color as the collar, but also Serena Williams incorporated it into the asymmetrical stripes of her unitard. And if you still need more encouragement to fall in love with it, Anna Sui created some adorable leggings, and Tom Ford a mini dress in this color.
#4. Pantone 18-1559 Red Alert
This color has a bit of a poignant name, doesn’t it? Red alerts are often used to alert people to impending danger. But since we’ve all escaped 2020, hopefully, there will be far less danger! Yet, the name makes sense for this dashing, brilliant red that catches the eye immediately. Vivienne Westwood’s latest collection played with Red Alert in accessories from head to toe, literally (from berets to socks!). Every piece that used this color comes out absolutely stunning, signaling the impending danger to our credit cards.
#5. Pantone 18-1453 Fire Whirl
This Pantone color is filled with the symbolism and excitement we all seem to be looking for this year. It is a bright, dark rusty red with a touch of fall air, so perfect for brightening up the colder months. On New York Fashion Week runways, models wore it for Carolina Herrera, Tod’s, Jason Wu, and Alice & Olivia, easily catching our eyes and wallets.
#6. Pantone 18-6022 Leprechaun
Yes, yes, I’m sure Pantone has already been asked why they decided to give a fall/ winter color a name that references a holiday in the spring. But in their defense, it’s a designer world, and we’re just living in it! Not to mention the fact that leprechauns bring luck (and gold) – something no one would be willing to turn down. It is a saturated bright green “emblematic of the mythical imps featured in Irish folklore.” The impish New York Fashion Week color appeared in Paco Rabanne’s fur hair scarf, and Anna Sui’s psychedelic swirled pants.
#7. Pantone 17-6154: Green Bee
Green Bee has nothing to do with being a queen bee, nor is it inspired by any green bees that don’t exist in nature. This color may have shown up in patterns mostly to make the yellow that is taking this year’s color trends by storm even brighter, but by itself, it’s just stunning. It is inspired by nature to remind us of the outdoors we all adore. Green Bee might be reminiscent of the spring/ summer colors, yet its cheerfulness will be excellent if one finds the winter months dreary (for a particularly fashion-forward and colorful outfit, think of pairing it with Ibiza Blue, Illuminating, and Ultimate Gray).
#8. Pantone 14-4123 Clear Sky
This Pantone color is breathtaking. It may have come out of London Fashion Week, but I argue that it’s right out of Regency London. The popular Netflix show Bridgerton incorporated it heavily into the costume design! For more modern appearances, look no further than the Bav Tailor button-down, sheer appliqué shirt or the Burberry sweater shirt that seems to have come right out of Harry Potter‘s Ravenclaw house.
#9. Pantone 18-4221 Spring Lake
This simple Pantone color is in between all the other blues of this upcoming season. It’s not quite as dark as Mykonos Blue, is duller than Ibiza Blue, and yet more vibrant than Clear Sky. It still offers the transportive effect of the other Pantone fall 2021 colors. You can see this used for Tod’s flowing blue dress or Tory Burch’s skirt suit.
#10. Pantone 17-4245 Ibiza Blue
Inspired by the lively island of Spain, this color fills you with the images of white sand beaches and pine-covered hills rolling into the sea. The stirring blue from London Fashion Week appeared on a Molly Goddard show-stopping dress that transported us to an island I’m sure we all wished we were on. This color easily adds a touch of whimsy to any outfit and can be mixed and matched with nearly all the other Pantone colors of this season.
#11. Pantone 18-4434 Mykonos Blue
Similar to the Ibiza Blue, this New York Fashion Week color transports us to the Aegean Sea. It’s far deeper than the other blue shades of this year but just as vivacious and stunning. It was incorporated into many collections, but the one that easily transported us to the Greek island was Jason Wu’s use of the color for several softly flowing dresses and skirts.
#12. Pantone 19-3838 Rhodonite
This is a very autumnal, deep blue with purple touches – a dark neutral everyone needs in their closets. This stunning, almost midnight color makes you look twice. Is it blue? Is it purple? Odds are it depends on the lighting you’re in! It is one of the more calming Pantone colors, not quite as eye-catching as Fire Whirl, but just as striking. And while the fashion set might attempt to abstain from puffer jackets, Tod’s jacket in Rhodonite will certainly make you rethink that decision.
#13. Pantone 16-1348 Tomato Cream
Is there anything better than curling up on a fall or winter day with a warm cup of tomato soup? Pantone has taken that delicious feeling and bottled it up into a color designed to “warm the heart.” Tomato Cream is an orange-brown that happens to be a bit lighter than Adobe. Carlota Barrera brought this color in under a black suit and somehow managed to make it appear fashion-forward instead of Halloween-ready – yes, please!
#14. Pantone 17-1340 Adobe
This sun-dried color is described as being as “warm and supportive as sundried clay.” With the latest Instagram analysis stating that brown is on the rise by 6% in Europe and 5% in the U.S, there’s little to doubt that this Pantone color will be a hit. It appeared not only on a Loewe pantsuit, but also on the runways for Jil Sander, and The Row. It looks like everyone is wanting a bit of support from Adobe.
#15. Pantone 19-1537 Winery
In case you don’t live in a wine region, this color brings it to you. Winery is reminiscent of a pinot noir wine. Simple and timeless, it is filled with poise and elegance – something we can all wish to acquire. Burberry used this color in easy-going plaid pants, beautifully creating a contrast of ease and elegance.
#16. Pantone 19-1223 Downtown Brown
Oh, look – a brown for fall/ winter! But this isn’t just any brown, it’s “a metropolitan brown with a bit of swagger.” The Pantone website is right, this color is dark, rich, and yet still somehow tender. 16Arlington masterfully worked Downtown Brown into its collection in the form of suits and pants, pairing it with Tomato Cream and After Midnight for a classic fall collection. Now all you need is a pumpkin spice latte, and you’re good to go!
#17. Pantone 19-1228 Root Beer
This is “an herbal brown tone symbolic of the root bark of the sassafras tree.” As browns have been gaining in popularity, this color has too – perhaps partially due to the fact that Ella Emhoff (Vice President Kamala Harris’ stepdaughter) wore a Miu Miu coat to the inauguration that had the color Root Beer incorporated into it? If you don’t want to wear the preppy plaid coat, then go pick up Ulla Johnson’s oversized sweater in this color and pair it with jeans. Very casual-chic!
#18. Pantone 19-4109 After Midnight
This color is a potent blue based black that effortlessly pairs with any of the aforementioned colors. It can be found in almost any collection due to this ease of pairing. However, the most stunning examples come from Harem London’s shirt and pant designs or Edeline Lee’s off the shoulder blouse.
#19. Pantone 18-0527 Olive Branch
This versatile color that symbolizes growth and peace is something that we could all use. While it appeared in runway collections in the form of Alberta Ferretti’s leather pants and Tod’s shirt and jacket, it is truly a seasonless color. If you need any further proof of that, Sergio Hudson was sporting this color in a camouflage hoodie a few weeks ago.
#20. Pantone 13-0003 Perfectly Pale
Perfectly Pale is a perfectly dreamy off-white. The color is a marriage made in heaven between eggshell and cream. Both Victoria Beckham and Temperley London played with Perfectly Pale in their London Fashion Week collections. Temperley London created an entire long-sleeve mini dress using the color, reminiscent of when nightclubs existed, and Victoria Beckham used it for a sophisticated long coat. Whatever your style, Perfectly Pale is a shining star among white colors this season.
#21. Pantone 11-1007 Coconut Cream
Taking a glance at this color, one really can’t decide if it’s a true white or a cream. It somehow straddles both spheres, being cool and yet having a subtle pink undertone. Rick Owens used this color in an avant-garde dress (though, is that really shocking considering he’s known for his otherworldly designs?). So, if you feel like wearing a slightly warmer white, Coconut Cream is a dream and looks amazing paired with Tomato Cream.
#22. Pantone 13-0919 Soybean
Soybean is one of those classic colors, along with Ultimate Gray and Olive Branch, that will never truly go out of style. Part of this is simply because it can blend so well with anything. Being a beige-blonde, it elevates any garment into appearing far more luxurious than it may be. Many fashion houses used this color in their collections, the main ones being Stella McCartney, By Malene Birger, and Tory Burch.
#23. Pantone 17-5104 Ultimate Gray
Ultimate Gray is the “quietly assuring and reliable” color that is starring next to Illuminating. And this gray has been busy! The color was part of both New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week shows, looking equally stunning on a Loewe dress and Bav Tailor’s coats in London. Phew, and who said gray was a cool color?!
#24. Pantone 13-2003 First Blush
The Temperley London cold-shoulder dress seems to symbolize everything about this color. The shimmering, flirty fabric highlighted the delicate pink, used in the ruffle sleeve. Yet the color kept it tame, sophisticated, and delicate. No doubt your need to incorporate it into your outfits this upcoming season – who knows, you may get a first blush!
#25. Pantone 13-1716 Pale Rosette
Pale Rosette is a calm, soft and romantic pink. Pantone described it as “a baby blanket color that you can wrap around yourself and feel very comfortable in.” Who doesn’t want a bit of baby color comfort in their wardrobe? The color clearly wrapped itself around Wes Gordon, Carolina Herrera’s creative director, because it appeared in six looks in the collection, from being the background color on a mini dress to being the tulle that poked itself out of the bottom of an evening gown.