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I love hearing about and seeing  the new colors for the season. I especially love to hearing why the Pantone Institute believes these colors will strike a chord with us shoppers. What do think? What is your favorite?

“The global psyche is increasingly all about inclusivity, so why not for fall colors, too?  Building off its gender-neutral take on fashion colors, the Pantone Color Institute has culled a Top 10 list that plays up seasonless shades, including a few that are far from wintry. Designers and consumers are pedaling away from cyclical trends in favor of more self-expressive, nontraditional choices, according to Pantone Color Institute’s executive director Leatrice Eiseman.”

Leading this fall’s Top 10 list are Red Pear, Valiant Poppy and Nebulas Blue, followed by Ceylon Yellow, Martini Olive, Russet Orange and Ultra Violet. Ranking eighth through tenth are Crocus Petal, Limelight and Quetzal Green. Save for the autumnal-inspired Red Pear and Russet Orange, most of these shades don’t conjure up images of afternoons raking leaves in the yard.


1. Red Pear
“To me, what’s most fascinating is that you have two variations of almost every color family. There is this deeper red and then you’ve got the Valiant Poppy which is that really outgoing effusive nature of red. You could look at this as if it is an extension of the last season where we also had red included,” Eiseman said. “Designers are enabling consumers to look at it and say, ‘OK, here’s a slightly different red and I could wear this with the red leather boots that I bought last year or something else that I have in my closet.’”

Red Pear

2. Valiant Poppy
As the name suggests, this is one of the brightest of all reds with a dynamic punch. Eiseman added, “From psychological terms, that’s a very brave and outgoing color. That is a real attention getter. If you chose to use some of the deeper tones as accessories or surrounding pieces, but then you have this red poppy, that’s a real attention-getter. It goes back to this whole idea of being an individual in your choice of clothing and using a bit more ingenuity and a little more creativity.”

Valient Poppy

3. Nebulas Blue
Whether the number-three shade’s popularity stems from the public’s curiosity about all things Arctic, the seldom-seen Super Blue Blood Moon or a longing for blue-skies ahead is anyone’s guess. Reminiscent of a twilight blue, and not as deep as a navy blue with more brightness, this shade shows that consumers have a love affair with blue that never seems to go away, according to Eiseman. Designers are savvy enough to think, “Why not take advantage of that if we want people to buy our clothing?”

Nebulous blue

4. Ceylon Yellow
As last season’s number-one ranked Meadowlark can attest, no one is ignored while wearing yellow. “Yellow has been climbing in the past few seasons. In this particular palette, we see two variations of the yellow. This spicy yellow with an exotic touch is always going to be fabulously sophisticated, when used with any of the other leading fall colors,” Eiseman said, adding that it pairs well with Ultra Violet or Crocus Petal as a “really creative statement.”

Ceylon yellow

5. Martini Olive
Three martini lunches are long gone, but cube dwellers, outdoor enthusiasts and Silicon Valley leaders are all-in with this understated, versatile, sophisticated neutral. “This kind of a green really has a great grounding influence on so many other colors. It’s also different,” Eiseman said. “You’re not using black or deep navy but a color that is really fascinating when you combine it with other colors in the palette whether it be the blue, the red, the orange.”

Martini Olive

6. Russet Orange
“While not unexpected in an autumn palette, it’s more about what you’re using with it that will make the difference,” adding that Crous Petal is on of the more creative options.

Russet orange

7. Ultra Violet
More than a simple, bright or primary color, this purple has some staying power as Pantone’s Color of the Year. At Justin Timberlake’s halftime show at Sunday’s Super Bowl, the crowd was doused in purple light during his tribute to Prince.  “I do think the time had come for purple because ultraviolet, the color of the year, is a color of complexity and we live in complex times. From a historical psychological standpoint, I think we really hit the nail on the head,” she said.

Ultra violet

8. Crocus Petal
Refined, subtle and airy, this pastel has already been used by designer labels like Armani Privé. Salvatore Ferragamo and Rodarte. Men and women are a fan of this soft shade, as evidenced by Stan Smith rehearsing recently in a lilac shirt and sweater. “Years ago there used to be the onus that anything in the lavender family was too girly…There is just this broader acceptance today, particularly with ath-leisurewear. Younger generations just don’t have prejudices about lavenders and pinks that grandpa did. Lavender, like pink, can be a great color next to a man’s skin. Men don’t have all the great aids that women have — the makeup, lipstick and eye shadow to enhance their looks,” Eiseman said.

Better crocus petal

9. Limelight
Animation come in many forms, as this “Pow” kind of color shows. Its ranking on a winter palette is an achievement in itself. Snowboarders, skiers and winter sports fans have helped to spur it on by choosing sunglasses with lenses in this color. “It’s just that exciting shade that has captured people’s attention,” Eiseman said. “From a historical perspective, yellowish greens or greenish yellows are a little slower to catch on — 10 percent of people want to latch onto immediate trends and then it kind of trickles down. It’s just one of those colors people have fun with and are definitely embracing.”


10. Quetzal Green
Prince Harry’s bride-to-be Meghan Markle literally introduced the world to the magnetism of this color, thanks to the Parosh dress she wore when they announced their engagement in Kensington Palace’s Princess Diana memorial garden. But Pantone has visions of birds of a different color, naming this green for the peacock-like bird known for its vibrant plumage. Eiseman said,”It’s hard to make a mistake with blue greens because they are so versatile and they look so good with so many other colors. It’s a color that is always a smart choice as far as designers are concerned.”

Quetzel green

Not to overlook more neutral shades that more conservative dressers favor, Pantone has created a classic fall palette. This time around there are five colors instead of four. Eiseman explained, “When you move into the classic colors, we know that classics don’t change all that much. Yet we will see or expect a preponderance of certain colors. Sargasso Sea is that staple fall color. Navy is like the new black so to speak. It doesn’t replace black, of course. As navy blues have gained in recent seasons, this is an acknowledgement that this is the mooring of our entire palette.”

The top five classics are: Sargasso Sea 19-4031, Tofu 11-4801, Almond Buff 14-1116, Quiet Gray 14-4107 and Meerkat 16-1438.

Sargasso sea TofuAlmond BuffQuiet Graymeerkat
These colors are classics and should be the core of you fall wardrobe.


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