Each season the Pantone Color Institute puts forward its projections for the most influential colors to expect in fashion.  Here is a peek at the newest collection …

Breaking with precedent, Pantone chose a duo for “Color of the Year” 2021. Ultimate Gray is practical and rock solid; Illuminating – an intense sunshine yellow – is friendly, warming and optimistic.  It’s easy to understand why those complementary messages would apply to this particular year.  So how might they translate into our wardrobes?

Gray can be  a very effective base neutral – especially for women with cool coloring who have stopped enhancing their hair color and opted for their natural unpigmented locks. Matching exactly to  Ultimate  Gray  is  less  important  than  blending  closely  with  your specific  hair  color:silver hair

Grays are already showing up in major retailers, like this collection from Chico’s:


Accents in Ultimate Gray (and it’s close cousins) can also pull traditional black and navy pieces more in line with the coloring of silver-haired gals, like this:

On its own, gray doesn’t even remotely flatter women with warmer coloring. But it can be warmed up easily enough with the addition of a warm-tone camel or caramel like this color block sweater from Chicos.

Cotton-Cashmere Blend Drawstring Cowl Sweater

Illuminating – on the other hand – is such an extremely warm and overpowering color that as an apparel choice it flatters almost no one.  If you love it’s happy, energetic message, find places to use it in home decor. gift wrap and floral bouquets.

If you love it’s happy, energetic message, find places to use it in home decor. gift wrap and floral bouquets. Next week we’ll take a look at other 2021 Pantone picks you could use instead for wardrobe accents.

About Nancy Nix Rice

I help other women feel confident about how they look every day - regardless of their age, budget, lifestyle or the size tag in their pants - so they put wardrobe concerns on the back burner and go share their gifts with the world.

1 Comment

  1. Nancy Bucklin on February 20, 2021 at 2:46 pm

    Very helpful. Looking forward to the alternatives to the bright yellow.

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