Top 10 colours for fall fashion

In autumn, nature changes her hues — why can’t we? ‘Tis the season to update your look as summer’s warm temperatures ease off into crisp days and cool nights.

Wondering what hues to keep your eye on? Every year, the experts at the Pantone reveal their top colours for the coming season. Once again, you’re sure to find a little something to suit your preference and style.

“By playing to consumers’ practical side with versatile neutrals, and boosting their confidence with bold, spirited hues, this skillfully balanced palette has something for everyone,” says Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute® in the PANTONE Fashion Color Report Fall 2012.

Fall 2012’s Top Colours

PANTONE Tangerine Tango swatch Tangerine Tango (Pantone 17-1463): Good news if you’ve already purchased pieces in this hot hue — Pantone’s Colour of the Year is still going strong this fall.

PANTONE French Roast 2French Roast (Pantone 19-1012): As comforting as a good cup of coffee, this neutral makes the perfect backdrop for this season’s brighter choices.

PANTONE Olympian Blue Olympian Blue (Pantone 19-4056): Inspired by this year’s Summer Games, this bold blue will pop against other brights — especially complementary tangerine tango.

PANTONE Honey Gold Honey Gold (Pantone 15-1142): Warm and inviting, this hue is an update on classic camel and pairs well with brights as well as browns.

PANTONE Bright Chartreuse Bright Chartreuse (Pantone 14-0445): Who says fall is the end of greens? This leafy colour plays nicely with browns, purples and pinks.

PANTONE Ultramarine Green Ultramarine Green (Pantone 18-5338): Jewel tones like this green hue complement many people’s colouring — especially when paired with purple.

PANTONE Titanium Titanium (Pantone 17-4014): Colours inspired by nature are popular again this year and work well with both deep and fair hues.


What about the next three? Naturally, men’s and women’s palettes offer some different hues. For women, these colours round out the top 10:

PANTONE Pink Flambe Pink Flambé (Pantone 18-2133): This playful pink can go bold in a dress or coat, or any can brighten up any outfit as an accent.

PANTONE Rhapsody Rhapsody (Pantone 19-1652): This hue works with much of this year’s palette, including greys and greens.

PANTONE Rose Smoke Rose Smoke (Pantone 14-1506): This soft colour works well with French roast or rhapsody and is perfect for people who love softer hues.

Men’s palette’s this fall include:

PANTONE Rhubarb Rhubarb (Pantone 19-1652): This deep hue is a natural fit with autumn’s fiery colours and brings intensity to the mix.

PANTONE Sea Fog Sea Fog (Pantone 16-3304): Just a hint of purple adds coolness and confidence to a masculine neutral.

PANTONE Whitecap Gray Whitecap Gray (Pantone 12-0304): Don’t be fooled by the name — this off-white neutral leans to the warm side of the spectrum and pairs nicely with cool hues too.

(Note: PANTONE® Colors displayed here may not match PANTONE® identified solid color standards. Consult current PANTONE FASHION + HOME Color System® publications for accurate color. PANTONE® and other Pantone trademarks are the property of Pantone LLC. © Pantone LLC 2012.)

Tips for using them

Experiment with pairs and trios. Obviously, you won’t want to use all of these colours at once — but there are many hues that play well together. For example, a neutral French roast makes Tangerine Tango pop while Rhapsody, Rose Smoke and Titanium make for a delicate palette. Pantone recommends combining Rhubarb, Honey Gold and Tangerine Tango for a collegiate look.

Play with accessories and accents. You might not want an entire outfit of bold Pink Flambe or Bright Chartreuse, but you can play up this year’s trends with a fun accessory. For example, look for prints that include this year’s brighter hues as an accent, or opt for a scarf or purse to make a statement.

Avoid overkill. Yes, you can have too much of a good thing — like when your Ultramarine Green dress is paired with matching eye shadow. Designers note that smokey eyes will be the cosmetics trend to watch this season if you’re donning strong hues.


Keep flattering colours close to your face. Love a suit in French Roast or Titanium but it doesn’t suit your colouring? Try a scarf, necklace or shirt in a flattering hue to keep colour close to your face. If there’s a colour you love that doesn’t look as good next to your skin, keep it to accessories like a purse or shoes.

Of course, these top colour picks are suited to everyone’s style and colouring so it pays to be choosy or put your own spin on a trend. Remember, it doesn’t matter how trendy a hue is — if it doesn’t make you look and feel good, leave it on the shelf.

Will be you try and any of these new hues this season? Which ones are your favourite — and will ones will you give a pass? Share with us in the comments.

Photo © teekid

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