Until I was a full-time stylist, I never truly knew the influence of the Pantone Institute’s Color of the Year on the current fashion trends. If you don’t work in the print or textile design fields, Pantone is probably not a name you hear frequently. It’s most closely associated with a matching system for standardizing colors by number across users. Think branding professionals or graphic designers. Every December since 1999, Pantone’s affiliate institute announces a Color of the Year for the upcoming year. Thus, forecasting a color that captures the spirit of the times, and like clockwork, visual industries latch onto this color for dear life.
This year, the Color of the Year is ultra violet, a blue-based purple that is said to represent inventiveness, imagination, creative expression, and forward-thinking. We’re seeing shades of the ultra violet color family, from indigo and royal blue to periwinkle and lavender. The different shades are everywhere in couture fashion–for example, (above, left to right) Self-Portrait‘s orchid-shade ruffle top and blue satin trousers, Tibi‘s lavender blazer and pants, and Stella McCartney‘s blue fold-over tote. The Color of the Year is meant to grow a following. But I have to admit, all peer pressure aside, I’m pretty partial to this one.
We recently touched on Ultra Violet in our Spring Fashion Trends blog post, but wanted to circle back with a more thoughtful and focused look at the color, because we think it’s here to stay past this spring. With both intense and quiet tones to choose from, you really can incorporate this confident and serene color family into your weekly wardrobe.
THE SCALED UP
Suiting, evening, and special occasion
The Italian Wool Blend Blazer and Straight-Leg Pant in Lilac by Banana Republic is a high-end monochromatic look on a real Jane’s workwear budget. I love how they’ve styled it casual with white sneakers and a black t-shirt. You could also easily scale this up with heels and a silky tank top. Shades of ultra violet are so elegant in solid form, bringing a cool and calming vibe to evening or cocktail wear, such as the ruffly Romeo Heels in Lavender by Miista or the One Shoulder Sheath Dress in Surf Blue by Express.
THE SCALED DOWN
Everyday, leisure, and weekend
Leave it to Eileen Fisher to nail sophisticated comfort. Her Tencel® & Merino Wool Shaped Cardigan in Ultraviolet is great for everyday to throw on over a white button-down or your favorites soft tee. The Just Because Jumpsuit in Blue Violet by Free People could not say “tgif” any louder. I can see this on a Saturday morning with Adidas Superstars or at a mid-afternoon coffee date with leather slides. Speaking of slides…the Classic Lace-Up Slide Sneakers in Lavender by Superga are equally weekend worthy, and would complement a medium-wash denim pant and a light-colored or pastel top.
Load-bearing, neutral, and weatherproof
The “Business Bag” says it all. This catch-all tote in Blueberry from Mlouye (center) holds all the essentials–a 13-inch laptop, notepad, sunglasses, wallet, phone, and more. The translucent quality of the Issoria Drop Earrings in Blue by Anthropologie removes the vibrance of the ultra violet color and makes them a more versatile neutral that goes with everything. And the Block Printed Wool-blend Scarf in Pale Orchid by J. Crew is the perfect spring layer to carry in your tote and wrap around your shoulders when it gets chilly.
Understated, muted, and sheer
A little ultra violet flair peeking through a cut-out bootie is just the right touch. The color-blocking on these Jill Ankle Socks in Blue by Happy Socks combines three colors, de-intensifying the ultra violet shade. This Sugar Mountain Maxi Kimono in Mauve Combo by Free People is still in the ultra violet family, but is so muted that it almost passes for a nude. The grid pattern and braided belt is really stunning. The Tiered Ruffle Blouse in Lilac by Bishop + Young is so sheer that, again, it’s closer to white than ultra violet. These are all great options if you’re feeling a little apprehensive about the boldness of ultra violet in your wardrobe.
Shiny, polished, and textured
Geez–the Silk Blouse in Light Purple by H&M is easy on the eyes. Their new Premium Quality line is raising the bar for fast fashion. The sheen on this blouse when it’s hit by light is nothing short of celestial. While a manicure may seem like a simple grooming step, put Pantone 2018 Color of the Year Nail Lacquer in Ice Lavender by Butter London on your fingertips and you’ll pop for sure. And last but not least–texture! No one will miss a dangly tassel earring in a fabulous color, such as this Taylor style in Light Purple by Baublebar, near your beautiful face, and a fun and fuzzy accessory, such as the Faux Fur Purse-Handbag in Lavender by Zara, draws attention in the best way possible.