The Color Purple…Can You Wear it?

Pantone Color of the Year 2018

Every year representatives from the Pantone company meet with a small group of fashion industry elites in a secret location in Europe. This is the “cabal” that determines the eight colors that will be represented in fashion and design that year. One of those colors becomes the “color of the year.”

The Pantone Color of the Year 2018 is ultra violet. It’s a pretty unusual choice because purple, in general, has a rather unique emotional and energetic imprint. It’s a combination of red, which is a dynamic and passionate color, and blue, which is a calming and conservative one. The result, purple, has the best of both; a royal refined and spiritual color. Ultra violet leans more toward the blue end of purple, making it a more quiet shade and more wearable than a lot of purples. You’ll find the Pantone Color of the Year 2018 in everything from accessories and dresses to homewares. But it’s likely that it will be available only briefly because it is unusual. You’ll more likely see softer lilacs (like “Bodacious” below) come spring and summer.

Striped Velvet Leggings, $55

Denton Dress Pumps

Nine West Denton Dress Pumps, $49.99

Pantone Color Chart 2018

Along with ultra violet, Pantone Color of the Year 2018 also features several other colors. Interestingly, the one called “Oriole” is in the orange range, which is on the opposite end of the spectrum from purple. Orange has a very different imprint. It’s seen as an expansive and optimistic color. It’s more forward as opposed to passive and reads as playful rather than regal.Lace-Up Sleeve Dress

Michael Kors Lace-Up Sleeve Dress, $140

Yellow is a stimulating and intellectual color. The one chosen for this year is called “Citrus” which is an orange-influenced yellow with a touch of brown to tone it down a notch. It almost becomes a neutral in this shade but still maintains its reputation as a playful and cheerful color.Macie Asymmetrical A-Line Dress

BCBG Macie Asymmetrical A-Line Dress, $298

Another featured color this year is raspberry. This is one on the cool end of red, which means it has a lot of blue added to it. It also conveys a bit of the majesty of purple but with a little more “heat” from red. It’s a lovely, refined shade and works well for wearing to formal gatherings and special events when you want to appear more elegant than fire-y.Karen Scott Sweater Raspberry Large

Karen Scott Sweater Raspberry Large, $38.83

Whether or not you can wear some of these specific colors will be determined by your own color markers: eyes, skin, and hair. But this year, there seems to be something for everyone: warm and bright colors, cool and subtle ones, plus a lively neutral or two. It’s a very welcome relief from the shapeless so-called “norm core” dark, neutral-colored fashions we’ve subjected to for the past few years. If you look in your closet and see lots of black, gray, olive, and navy, you can punch them up this year with one of these brighter shades. Or, why not add something in one of these colors as your main focus? It’s a great year for those who love wearing color.


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