Every year Pantone comes up with what they call the “Color of the Year.” Then, they add on an entire palette of colors for the upcoming season. This means you’ll likely be seeing a lot of all these colors in ads, home furnishings, and of course, fashion. And when we take a look at Pantone’s 2020 colors for fall/winter, you may understand why.
Pantone’s Color of the Year started back in 2000 when a few savvy marketing people observed recurring patterns of color in daily life that reflected the cultural moods and attitudes around the globe. That small group of marketing mavens has now evolved into a group of 20 researchers who study these influences for nine months prior to coming up with each year’s colors.
The Color of the Year for Fall-Winter 2020 is called Classic Blue. They describe it as a “shade reminiscent of the sky at dusk.” It’s a whitened and lightened version of lapis luzuli. If you wear a lot of blue in general you might like this one because it is a cheerful break from the darker navies and the typical fall/winter shades.
Let’s look at some items you might be seeing in this color and the other ones on Pantone’s list that you might be seeing this season.
These kick-flare pants bring an upbeat shift away from some of the heaviness we saw in last fall’s fashions. It would make a great transition piece for work, casual events, or running errands. It might also be a better replacement from the sweats you may have worn a lot for the past several months. You’d start to feel a little more “normal” in something like this.
Prints have had such a huge resurgence over the past couple of years. This is a very feminine way to embrace that trend in this color, but in a more toned-down way.
This year’s “black” is also a blue. It leans more toward navy but almost has a glow to it. It’s brighter and more forward. It works very well as outerwear.
Classic Blue is also a versatile color for a dress. You could dress this one up or down for a great day-to-night look.
On the other end of the color spectrum is Pantone’s 2020 glow-y version of orange, a rich and almost pumpkin-like shade called Amberglow. It has a lot of energy and, again, more brightness. But it also gives off a sophisticated vibe. Here are a couple of possibilities in this color for the transitional season.
Pantone’s version of white this year is a very warm shade called Almond Oil. It’s almost halfway between true white and khaki, nearly a wheat-like yellow. It works well for those with warmer skin tones and might muddy those with bluer undertones. It is rich, versatile and would add some lightness to your wardrobe during the cold months.
Ponchos were everywhere last year but scarce this year. That’s too bad because they are extremely useful for travel, lounging at home, and throwing on when it turns chilly or just when you’re sitting in an air-conditioned room.
It’s very unusual to find denim in such a light color, let alone such a unique one. This is a hip piece that will take you from fall to winter but will also then work into the spring.
And a v-neck cardigan is a go-to that can be worn on its own or paired with a tank.
This year’s beige is Pantone’s Sandstone. It’s a warmer, more reddish shade, almost like caramel. And although a neutral it can stand on its own. You could also pair this color with something in one of the rich red shades (coming up) for more of a punch.
Speaking of reds, get ready to Samba! That’s the name of the roasted chili-like red we’ll be seeing on the runways this fall and winter. This would be a great color for dresses, tops and sweaters. If you could find it in a coat, that would be a knockout.
We’ll still see brown in autumn. This year’s brown is called Fired Brick. It doesn’t quite read as a neutral because it has more energy. That seems to be a theme with a lot of these darker colors this year. It almost reads as burgundy.
This is both cozy and kind of sexy because of the red undertones in the color. It would be spectacular on darker skin tones.
This could be dressed up for a date night or holiday party look.
Every fall we see some version of Purple. This year it is Magenta Purple, a very regal color. There’s a lot going on there besides just the combination of red and blue. It has some brown that adds a lot of sophistication, making it almost like grape juice.
The cardigan has come back with a vengeance! Fashionistas of all ages are recognizing their value. A good quality cashmere cardigan will likely be a perennial in your wardrobe.
You’ll also see Magenta Purple in a lot of dresses this year, for work, casual dressing, or special occasions.
One of the two more pink neutrals they are showing this year is called Peach Nougat. It’s almost beige. If you have pale skin you might disappear behind this one, but it’s interesting and unusual, not a color we’ve seen a lot of before. You’ll find it in a lot of sweaters this year.
Rose Tan might as well have been called ballet pink. At least it’s pretty close to the color of some ballet shoes. This is not an easy color to wear. But for those with paler skin and bluer undertones, it could be really lovely and delicate.
Most of Pantone’s 2020 colors for fall/winter are pretty versatile. But if you want to really get noticed this fall or winter, wear this electric, vibrant yellow called Green Sheen.
In the darker neutrals, Military Olive just lends itself to outerwear. That means you’ll be seeing a lot of field or utility jackets in this color. But this isn’t a straight-up olive green. It has more brown and less yellow in it.
This one works really well as a transition piece before it gets really cold.
Finally, Sleet. This is such an unusually light version of gray for a cooler season. It’s not somber by any means. Think of packing away those comfy sweats you’ve been wearing for months and replacing them with something more sophisticated, but in a similar shade. Or look for an outerwear piece that will be cozy but light on very chilly days.
Want to check out the rest of Pantone’s 2020 colors for fall/winter? Check out the entire list! I always tell clients that if you see one of your favorites represented in this year’s palette, get ready to buy! You aren’t likely to see it again for a very long time!
Do you have your favorite denim ready to go for fall/winter? If not, check out the best jeans for women over 50.