Pantone Colors: Spring/Summer 2020

Cooling Off after Seasons of Warmth!

Happy day, dear reader!

Now that we are heading into the coldest part of winter (in our area), let’s take a peek forward to spring and summer. Well, at least to color for spring and summer! Twice yearly, the color sages at Pantone give us their prediction for the colors that will be hot for the season. Predicting color trends is a serious business; one that really took off during World War I when American manufacturers were cut off from French fashion cues and German fabric dyes. The color gurus watch waves and trends around the world, and predict what colors will be popular. (Pantone creates separate palettes for fashion and decor.)

Some trends are cyclical. In the US, Red, White, and Blue are always popular during election years, and so are likely to be again in 2020. There are also larger waves that start slowly, crest, and then die away. You couldn’t have imagined Millennial Pink/Blush in the 80’s, but it defined the first decade of the 2000’s. Each season, I look forward to Pantone’s predictions, and even more to the color names! (I want the job of naming colors… Some travel for inspiration. A pitcher of margaritas. Piles of color swatches. Sounds like a dream come true!

Spring/Summer 2020 Warms

Fall/Winter 2019 Warms

Comparison: Wow! What a change to the warm palette. If you take out the Mosaic Blue and Chive (Which, although not warm, I included in both palettes because we will see warm variations of these two), there are only five warm undertone colors shown. That’s a dramatic shift from this time last year, and also from fall. The browns have disappeared completely, as has the red, to be replaced by one color combining the two. The colors, although varying drastically in intensity, do not range widely in value. That said, you will see all of these in both tints and shades, as well as warmer and cooler variations.

Spring/Summer 2020 Cools

Fall/Winter 2019 Cools

Comparison: This is the year that it is cool to be cool, but not just any cool… Cool blue. Reds (and even pinks!) have completely disappeared from the palette, to be replaced by an aqua green and a purple. This time a deep rich purple, not the softer lilac shades of last spring, but I’m sure we’ll see plenty of those, too. I find it interesting that this palette for the warmer seasons of the year skews quite dark and serious, with the exception of Biscay Green, Orange Peel, and Mosaic Blue. Even the Color of the Year, Classic Blue, although vibrant (and feeling a bit 80’s) is on the dark side.

So, how about you? Are there any colors here that make your heart sing? Or shudder? What colors are you drawn to for spring and summer? Brights? Pastels? Do let me know, and if you know why, share that as well! I love to hear from you…

Stylishly yours,


  • Leslie Susan Clingan

    Thank you for sharing a little about the history of Pantone’s colors. I very much liked the colors for fall and winter, and like the upcoming colors, too. All the blue in the cool spring/summer colors is a bit excessive to me. I have blue eyes and when I wear blue, it does seem to make them pop but I feel like wearing blue is too easy, too cliche. Does that make sense? I would rather wear coral or a shade of purple and have my eyes pop!

    • closetplayadmin

      Thank you for visiting, Leslie! It looks blue heavy to me, too… And no (cool) pinks or reds. Sigh. It’s okay. There’ll be another season not too far behind. I find the best reason to track the colors is that it keeps me realistic about what will be in the stores (less disappointment) AND it gives me a chance to save more of my clothing budget for later (Allows for investment pieces when they come around!).

  • Lise

    I think the upper four cool colors will make a fabulous capsule; gray, white, blue and ‘biscay’ green – whatever Biscay is 🙂 I am cool toned myself so they will be very flattering for me but as of last year I am also drawn to the earthy rusts and camels. Fortunately I am more neutral than extremely cool so I can mostly pull off any color, however I do look super washed out in cream or oatmeal off-whites. I don’t really care too much about pantone colors but I realise they influence retail, but being a thrift shopper myself it really has very little impact on me.

    • closetplayadmin

      Those four would belovely! I’m actually working on a post combining different colors from this palettes to inspire some wardrobe combinations… Great minds think alike? As a thrift shopper, it may not affect what you are buying this season, but it will certainly affect what you see in years to come!

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