Happy day, reader dear!
Here’s wishing your day is bright and colorful! (In all the good ways…)
Why am I writing about the Pantone Fall/Winter 2021/22 colors in August when the news published in February? Well, who needed fall/winter colors back in February? Here in the Northern Hemisphere, it was still frosty and people were longing for spring and summer!
Consumers didn’t need the information back then, but plenty of other people did! Who? Boutique buyers, home sewists, fabric manufacturers, knitters, and all kinds of people who have to think ahead! As for most people? Now that it’s Back-to-School, and fall clothing is filling the racks, (AND your email and social media ads… Yes, here, too!) minds are turning toward color for fall and winter.
About Color: (1) These colors are not “new”. There are no new colors in the world. Until chemistry or biology change, colors are, but whether a particular color is on our radar or not? That’s a different story. Color trends are a response to cultural and economic factors. Color forecasting is an interesting business with its roots in World War I. American manufacturers were cut off from French fashion cues and German fabric dyes. (2) Colors are colors. Please wear what you like and (I would add) what makes you look fabulous! Every color palette has colors you can select to create a fall vibe. Wear any color you want in any season that pleases you. (3) Colors don’t have seasons. You can find all colors in different places at different times of the year. (I think about pink flowers in the spring AND rosy pink cheeks in winter.)
Pantone forecasts colors for both New York and London twice yearly. For blog purposes, I’ll stick with New York since the vast majority of my readers are in the US and Canada. Personally, I track both because I am that kind of geek…
Fall/Winter Color Overview
I love these descriptions! I long to write like the color gurus… (I’m pretty sure they always have a thesaurus at hand!)
I rearranged these colors… To include that deep, dark blue as a neutral. You might choose to move Root Beer down to the neutrals row, too! I’ll leave it in the colors for now.
You might think the top row looks surprising for fall and winter… The first four are particularly sporty looking, colors we associate with spring and summer. Illuminating is one of Pantone’s 2021 Colors of the Year along with the neutral Ultimate Grey,; those two were a given for the season. I think the sporty brights in the first row reflect some of the optimism many are craving after last year and the hard times still at hand. The earthy browns of the middle row are very stable and earthy colors, also sensible for trying times. And who can’t use “quiet and restful” like Spring Lake?
I love that there are both deep, medium and light neutrals this season. YAY! Some seasons skew heavily one way or the other, making it hard for those for whom a Medium Value Contrast is most flattering. It looks like a good shopping season for cool undertones! Although there are both colors and neutrals for warm undertones, too.
All in all, it looks like a pretty balanced and practical set of colors to shop and dress from.
Let’s look at the connections and shifts from Spring/Summer to Fall/ Winter. Other than the sporty shades, we can see the expected deeper Values and more subdued shades for F/W than S/S. If you can imagine adding black and grey to some of the oranges from S/S, you’ll get Adobe and Root Beer! S/S’s nature colors were very sand and sun based. For F/W the nature colors include both a warm and cool green, the browns, Soybean, Spring Lake and even Fire Whirl and Ultimate Gray. You could even call Rhodonite, Midnight Sky… What’s more nature that that?
What to Buy?
I know that you readers aren’t trend chasers, but it is helpful to know what is going to be showing up in the stores and where to invest your hard-earned money, or when to let the wave pass by and save your cash! If you love a “trend” color and it suits you, that’s a great time to stock up on what you love, or replace worn items. Even more important? Knowing what to expect to see in the stores saves you shopping frustration. Managing your expectations goes a long way to making any shopping trip (or click) a happier one!
The Pantone pantheon aren’t the only colors you will find in the shops. You should also expect to find both warm and cool versions of most of the colors shown! Some blues will be warmer, some olives more blued. I’m sure we’ll see both cool and warm versions of the pale pink and cooler reds. I know a lot of women who will be happy to see navy again this season, rather than just for spring! I’m lifting up my brown lovers this season, it should be a great shopping year for you! It’s been a good few years for brown… I wonder how much longer that will last?
We’ll know more about what colors will last into next year after the September runway shows, regardless of format. I’m with Coco Chanel…
My advice? Buy those! And if you don’t know what colors look good on you? Or that seems to have changed in the past few years… Because it does. I’d love to help you with a virtual color consultation! I’ll be starting up with new clients again in the fall!
How About You?
What colors here are you hoping to see in the shops for fall and winter? What color injection is your wardrobe in need of? I’m holding off on the seasonal shop for a few more weeks… When do you start thinking fall style? When can you start wearing fall layers? Boots? Do tell! I want to live fall vicariously through you… We still have months to go. Sigh.
Stylishly (and colorfully) yours,