Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Pantone 2016 Colors, and an Accessory Refresh

This horridly cold weather in Chicago reminds me of the best aspect of writing The Vivienne Files - I don't have to leave the building. (seriously - grocery story, gym, pool, dry cleaner etc. all in the building!) But I begin to crave a change of colors, and something to brighten up my winter clothes, which begin to all look the same.

While we all understand pretty clearly that Pantone colors don't actually rule the world, nor do they actually find "new" colors, they can still be a useful guide to looking at some accessories in colors that we might not otherwise consider.

What could be more fun than a new bottle of nail polish, and maybe an inexpensive ring, to cheer up the end (?!?) of winter? I think things on your hand and wrist give you more "pleasure mileage" than almost any other purchase, because they're in your line of sight continually...

And if you've been considering indulging in an Hermes scarf forever, falling in love with a new color could be a great reason to finally make the move!

Rose Quartz

Interesting to note that the color presented by Pantone isn't quite the same color as the rose quartz stones. Close enough for human adornment, though, I'd say!

Drop earrings – Latelita London; gold bracelet – Emma Chapman Jewels
flower bracelet – Sheeva; “Sheer Bliss” nail polish – Essie; rectangle scarf – 
Tory Burch; square scarf – Hermes La Danse du Cheval Marwari; 
 opal ring – Sandra and Lily


If I had blue eyes, I'd have a pair of these earrings in a heartbeat! And don't lose sight of how well this color works with brown and warm tones...

you must look closely at the setting of the ring - there's a SWAN in there... 

Vintage blue topaz earrings – TrueFacet; square stud earrings – Trina Turk
“Kip” nail polish – Butter London; beaded bracelet – Chan Luu; rectangle 
scarf – Nordstrom; square scarf – Hermes Metamorphoses par Hermes-Paris; 
 swan ring – Kadek Hendra


Here's where a bracelet or nail polish might make a ton of sense - this color would be difficult for me to wear near my face, but on my hands, it might make me smile 10 times a day...

Teardrop earrings – Latelita London; flower earrings – Dolce & Gabbana
“Pimms” nail polish – Butter London; cuff bracelet – French Connection;
 rectangle scarf – Johanna Howard; square scarf – Hermes la Maison des Carres;
 yellow onyx ring - Mahavir

Lilac Gray

This is a color I wouldn't recommend trying to wear with gray unless you're really confident that your grays match - this could get weird, if they clash! But I think these with navy would be beautifully subtle and rich.

I'm surprised that they didn't find a more poetic name for this color...

Kite earrings – Kendra Scott; crystal-trimmed earrings – Marcia Moran
bead bracelet – Charming Charlie; “Petal Pushers” nail polish – Essie; ring – 
Panacea; HUGE square chiffon scarf – Hermes Sunrise; 
paisley scarf – Mattabisch

Iced Coffee

This was a surprisingly difficult color to find, which is really too bad - I think it's wonderful. Wouldn't it warm up navy or gray really nicely? Most impossible for me to comprehend is how Alexis Bittar calls the color of this ring "warm grey." sigh...

Bracelet – Banana Republic; stud earrings – Latelita London; drop earrings – 
 Latelita London; “Good as Gold” nail polish – Essie; rectangle scarf – 
Roberta Scarpa; square scarf – Hermes Le Voyage de Pytheas;  
ridged dome ring – Alexis Bittar

Peach Echo

This is an almost universally flattering color, so long as you don't veer off too far into a yellowish version of peach.  

This Hermes scarf is only 22 inches square! They call them bandannas, but I'd never treat one of these the way a "normal" bandanna gets treated...

3-stone earrings – Monet; flower earrings – EK Thongprasert; bracelet –  
Ted Baker London; “Orange Spice” nail polish – Boots No7, chiffon stole – 
 PatriziaPepe; square scarf – Hermes Fleurs et Papillons de Tissus;
 ring – Chico’s

Snorkel Blue

This was eye-crushingly elusive - not quite navy, and not very easy to find! So I sort of looked for things that were a softer blue - closer to petrol? And the ring, I admit, I mostly included because it's really cool...

Stud earrings – Pilgrim; seaglass earrings – Jewelry by Wendy; bracelet
 – Hipchik Couture; “Distortion” nail polish – Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics;
 Square scarf – Hermes L’Arbre du Vent; rectangle scarf – J. Crew;
 shell ring – Kendra Scott

Limpet Shell

Yes, I love this scarf... 

A bit of advice - if you want to find other things like clothes in this color, just look for TURQUOISE. Poetry notwithstanding, nobody's calling it Limpet Shell except Pantone. And you can look at pictures of limpets for a week and not see this color...

Blue chalcedony earrings – Alexandra Alberta; “Wheel and Teal” nail polish
 – Bliss; bracelet – Linda Levinson; stud earrings – Panacea; square scarf –  
Hermes Under the Waves; rectangle scarf – Echo
 ring – Louise et Cie


This is another Hermes "bandanna".... ahem....

A couple of pretty things in this color would be a great gift for someone who needs a bit of cheer - it's a color that can be worn in small doses, like nail polish, by most people, and there's a world full of nice things available that would make a thoughtful present to bring some love. Plus, it's very Valentine's Day-ish!

Stingray bracelet – Latelita London; oval earrings – Kendra Scott; flower 
earrings – Oscar de la Renta; rectangle scarf – Halogen; “Cake Hole” nail 
polish –Butter London; square scarf – Hermes Ecuries Parisiennes;  
open 2-stone ring – Piece a Conviction

Green Flash

The Hermes scarf with the canes is an old design, reissued in a 28 inch square (standard scarves are closer to a meter square). For many people, this is a much easier size to wrangle!

Emerald bracelet – Aenea; set of 3 bracelets – Robert Aidoo-Taylor; earrings
 – Pandora; rectangle scarf – La Fiorentina;  “New Money” nail polish –  
L’Oreal; square scarf – Hermes Cannes et Pommeaux;
 ring – Neeru Goel

I think tomorrow's going to be another "bird" day... nature always is full of good ideas!


PS - You can find the latest Pantone Color Planner and other documents in the Planning Documents section of the website.



  1. I've had a look at the Pantone colour charts and felt a bit ho-hum about the colours. However, your examples above help bring the possibilities to life. Thanks

  2. So many lovely colours......really like the peach echo and iced coffee. Could the peach echo also be described as Coral?

    1. Yep, Peach Echo is just their very lovely way of saying coral! That's why I'm so surprised that they couldn't come up with something more poetic than Lilac Gray...

  3. From Margie in Toronto - Love them all - mostly as its pretty much a sea of black and grey here in Toronto at the moment. I love these accessory groupings - I'm going to take some time before purchasing new Spring/Summer clothes to really go through what accessories I have and what I actually need to make up sets like this - such useful information!

  4. I still like the snorkel blue, iced coffee, fiesta and grey the best. I just struggle with pastels and love a more saturated blue. I am already tired of the light pink and blue on the racks...and they just got there.

  5. What a great read on this windy, cold morning - it was 22 when I took the dog out for a walk at 6:30 and so windy that trash cans waiting for pick up were strewn about the streets.

    All the colors are gorgeous and I have to admire Hermes for designing scarves in just about every color - and admire you for finding just the right accessories.

    I do have a pet peeve - I honestly think the name of the color should somehow reflect what the color is - snorkel blue! limpet shell! Give me a break. Honestly we're not talking about OPI nail polish where the clever names make me smile.

    1. Nail polish names are HYSTERICAL - OPI was the first to really make an effort with their names, and now a lot of other brands have followed suit. They might be the most entertaining things I look at in my Vivienne Files work!

  6. For me it's earrings that always make me happy. I like to feel them in my ears, and I find that the delicate styles I like are easier to find in earrings. Maybe because they're smaller, so there's less need to chunk them up to give them volume...
    - Kaci

  7. LOVE this post, colours gorgeous especially the snorkel blue and iced coffee. Thats my spring accessory wish list taken care of!

  8. I will try some of these accessories to uplift my winter wardrobe when Spring comes... still not for a few months here.

  9. Snorkel blue ... I was thinking earlier today that my best neutral would be that color between navy and petrol/teal, but didn't realize it had a name. I love that whole accessory set, but the Hermes scarf tops any other!

  10. Wouldn't you love to be the person with a six-figure salary whose job is to make up the names of Pantone and OPI colors? But how lovely, thoughtfully-considered, and inspiring all these accessories are!

  11. Beautiful colors!! Iced coffee would be my chosen neutral.

  12. Very nice and inspiring examples of the new Spring colours. Helps to brighten the dull London weather.

  13. I'm loving your accessory family concept. It's such a fresh take on making sure that your accessories get as much mileage as a good wardrobe!

  14. Hi, I am typing this wearing my copper penny nailpolish much like the good as gold you mention and admiring the fiesta stingray bracelet. We are in the midst of the Vancouver rain so colour is very important. I think fun umbrellas are the best way to light a dark grey wet world.
    Deb from Vancouver

  15. I have a pair of "buttercup " loafers. They make me smile.

  16. I love all these colors and have them all in my wardrobe. Wore Iced Coffee today with periwinkle blue earrings with gold trim

  17. I like Lilac Grey and Serenity - but the one I love is Snorkel Blue. I love what you have or together as an outfit for that, too. Thank you

  18. My favorites are the Iced Coffee, peach and turquoise. My favorite OPI polish name was "Not Really a Waitress"! So funny!


  19. Love the Hermes scarves, but my wallet doesn't. Can you show some low budget alternatives?