August 13, 2018
I think most of us wear the same accent colors for years at a stretch – I know that I’ve been wearing red and French blue since the 1980’s…
But it’s not that difficult to “test-drive” a new color for a season or 2 – you don’t need to buy dozens of pieces to effectively incorporate a new color into your wardrobe; literally 3 to 5 items will do the trick!
So lets look at the “new” colors that Pantone has chosen for Autumn 2018, and see what we could do with them…
(yes, the idea of new colors is absurd – but I always like to take a look at what Pantone has chosen because it might give us some new ideas… and please note that a LOT of these pieces are VERY expensive – they’re ideas, not necessarily a shopping list!)
First up, this dark red holds a LOT of appeal for me – I just bought a new rain coat in pretty much exactly this color!
And I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I would like everything in this bright red – it’s been a favorite color of mine since I was in college:
This bright blue looks great with virtually any neutral, and is flattering on lots of women. The blue is a good contrast to the natural red of our blood, which plays a large part in the coloring of many of our complexions:
If you can wear yellow, DO IT! Many of us don’t look great in it, and that’s unfortunate because it’s a great option… (and who wouldn’t want a cardigan from a company named “I Love Mr. Mittens?”)
Olive is so hard to find, and if your neutral is navy, brown, or camel, this is a really excellent choice for a new accent:
Okay, this is an unusual choice of garments to add to your wardrobe, but I couldn’t resist the idea of a great orange dress and jacket! And no, this is NOT what most of us would describe as russet…
I already have an ultraviolet sweater… If I’m going to buy anything much for the coming cold weather, it might be this…
If the purple seems too intense, this color might suit you better. I could look for a good excuse to buy this snazzy handbag!
If you can wear this shade of yellow, go for it. You will never blend into a crowd… With grey or navy, this could be lovely…
This dark emerald is tempting too… anybody wearing lots of navy might take a 2nd look at these possibilities:
For those among us who prefer more variety in their wardrobe, these possibilities are worth considering…
What is your favorite accent color? Who else is permanently fond of all shades of red?
I was famous around the office for my love of red down to my Franklin-Covey planner and my coffee mug; at my retirement get-together, everyone wore red. As much as I love red and have since my mother, as soon as it was determined I was going to be a brunette baby, dressed me in red and black, the dark red is my favorite color to wear. I’m delighted to see it coming around again this fall.
nina t says
Same here! Everything work is red, red, red. Red ink, red books, red bags, water bottle, coffee mug, etc..
You are one of my people?.
When I was young and living and working in London in the 1980’s, I used to have a long leather mac, a wool v-neck jumper, a wool pencil skirt and pointy leather court shoes in the dark wine colour (I obviously liked it then), a cotton shirt dress in the bright red (how brazen!) and a corduroy coat in saffron yellow (what was I thinking!). Nowadays, my colour preferences are more for bright blues, jade greens and pinky berry reds like raspberries, strawberries and cranberries. So my favourite Pantone colour here is Nebulas Blue.
Got flooded in Hurricane Sandy and lost most of my wardrobe so I replaced with black, red, and cobalt blue, also adding some dark bottle green as an accent. I chose black as my neutral because I had to chose between black and navy – I couldn’t tell them apart in a dark bedroom in the morning – and navy does come in all different shades. It’s been almost six years since the storm and i am still so happy with my clothes. Makes getting dressed and looking pulled together a no brainer.
Thank you for these posts, they are most appreciated
Margie from Toronto says
Red will always be my favourite Winter accent colour and I do love that bright, Poppy red. You have come up with some lovely possibilities and I’m hoping that more of them show up in the shops here soon. A friend and I were out last Friday, just having a wander and doing a bit of window shopping and we were lamenting the very dull and drab colours that seem to be the Autumn palette – not inspiring at all. I really hope some of those yellows, the blue, purple and the green show up soon. I don’t plan on buying much this year but I wouldn’t mind a new sweater or shirt in one of the brighter hues.
Cheryl Klassa says
Finally! Yellows that I like. Now to wait for them to trickle down to the stores where I shop. :-) Yellows lately have been much to mustard for my taste. I like the clear and bright yellows much better.
For the first time..I love all these colors! I am particularly happy with the Red Pear! Would it be wrong to try them all?? Thank you for showing us this deliciousness!
It wouldn’t be WRONG, but it could be expensive!!!
What a great post! My base color is black with mainly red and cobalt blue accent colors. I’m so old now that I have pieces in violet, yellow and burgundy, which is close to the red pear above. Last month I bought a pair of EF pants in Serrano, which is very similar to Autumn. I can’t wear this color near my face but I thought for pants it would be great with a black or white top and a scarf to pull it all together. For once I was slightly ahead of the trend!
So happy orange is back! One daughter looks great in orange.
Sara K. says
Favorite accent color? Baby pink is definitely a big and long-standing favorite in my wardrobe that otherwise leans heavily into neutrals and near-neutrals (like light blue and dark olive). It works well almost year round…except early to mid fall when I feel it clashes with feel of the season. Fall used to be the most difficult time of the year for me to dress, but during the past couple of years a handful of burgundy/plum items have found their way into my wardrobe and seem to work quite well, too. I usually wear just one accent colored item per outfit, so I’m quite well off owning a pair of burgundy waxed jeans, two plum jersey tops and a nice pair of burgundy ankle boots.
Dark olive is much harder to find and currently my only dark olive item is a nice quilted coat. Olive is very easily too muddy shade for me, but I’m hoping that eventually I will find one or two items in a perfect shade.
Isn’t it strange how you just can’t “feel” pink in the autumn? I agree with that completely… And plum is just lovely all the time!
Jan Witthuhn says
I love the martini olive and the russet orange. I tend to wear a lot of olive, in all shades. I tend to count it as a neutral. Wishful thinking??
Heck no! Olive is definitely a neutral! Not the easiest one to find, but if you’re patient, you’ll see Eileen Fisher does lots of shades of green, Uniqlo frequently carries their best pieces in olive, and L.L.bean at least will have pants, shorts and skirts in olive. Absolutely neutral!
Lynne Aldridge says
Three of those shades are already good friends to me.
Olive is my second neutral too (along with brown in Winter & beige in Summer). From October to April, I tend to live in my olive reefer jacket, jeans or cords (or if I have to be smart, brown toned dogtooth check suit trousers), plus one from my earth toned collection of skinny ribbed turtle necks.
My chosen accents are lime, orange & ochre yellow, plus turquoise with dark brown. Suits my freckled celtic complexion.
At the moment shops here seem to be stocking jewel tones like the royal blue – too harsh for my hair/skin combo, but I’ll pounce on the right things when they come in. Marks & Spencers have a gorgeous tobacco brown cord jacket & cropped trouser outfit with my name on it online, but it keeps selling out.
I love it that except for the dress, the French 5 capsules all have the same five items in them: a sweater, scarf, jewelry, purse and shirt. Something easy to do
I’m scared of red! But burgundy and plum are on the radar. Since I went grey (stopped dyeing two years ago) I’m also low contrast (fair skin, green eyes), so prefer that in my clothes too. Just looking at my wardrobe now and the accents are all pale: light blue, light grey, dusty teal. Having said that, all my pants are black, navy or dark denim. What did I say about low contrast!? My favourite in the “new” colours here is the burgundy. Thanks for a thought provoking post – I could branch out with this inspiration.
Oh, I just love the Vivienne Files! Each time a post arrives in my mailbox, I can’t wait to take a peek.
Recently out of the workforce, my main neutral has become navy. I’m always looking for accents with a bit of punch and orange keeps making appearances. It might be my new favorite color. Orange is just, well…happy.
Thank you for all the work you do to bring us The Vivienne Files!
So timely – Yesterday I had a hankering for fall shopping and no time -so I started with the Pantone color predictions!
Love the red pear. I am fair skinned with dark hair and eyes amd my go to accents are fuchsia and turquoise which are tough in fall and winter. I think I can pull off red pear with m6 black and navy. I thought the quetzal green had more blue/teal tone, so willhave to see if I can find that.
I love the poppy red, emerald green, and both shades of purple. I love anything purple but it’s hard to find a shade of purple that I love on ME. Fingers crossed this means there will be an abundance of purple to choose from!
My main neutral is navy (or denim) and my accent colors are cool greens and any shade of purple really. I love the dark green here and of course both purples. I’m very happy there’s lots of both in stores right now!
Red Pear and Martini Olive for me please, toned down colors to go with my fair warm coloring. Thanks for showing what is hopefully on the market this season !
Red accents are so useful, especially when black is your neutral. It gives people something to focus on (so if it’s a bad day and you don’t want to play or you are coming down with something, a red blouse makes it look like you made an effort), it reads as “happy,” even if you or your wardrobe are naturally kind of severe, introverted, or morose, and, if you’re dating, it pulls prospectives from all the way across the bar/restaurant/party/bank, especially if it’s shoes. (I think it gives people an opening…) Oh, and red glasses on a black tabletop never disappear, no matter how nearsighted you are…
My accent color is dark red. And pink. Also, blue, turquoise, olive green, aubergine… Well, that’s today. Who knows about tomorrow?
Interesting to see how “basic” so many of these colors are – you’ve got the crayola versions of the three primaries and two of the three secondary colors. I wonder what cultural currents Pantone used in determining them – a longing for some “simple TRUTH” perhaps?
Something for everyone! Great post. I used to wear red when I had very dark hair. Now my hair is white, I tend to go for pink or blue to accent my eyes.
This summer I’ve been all about adding dusty pinks and muted greens to my navy and beige separates. Headed into fall I’m feeling dark red and dark green. I bought a dress and long cardigan combo in “red tannin” from the Nordstrom sale and am looking forward to wearing them.
Purple is a forever color for me. I like anything along the lines of orchid shades. (Pinkish purple)
This is all very shocking to this all black wearing person of just a few years ago.
Change is the only thing you can count on in life!
Linda in Arkansas says
Excellent idea of the 5 pieces! I have always worn shades of red as well. I do not have dark hair or eyes either! I am a bottle blond with blue eyes and I do wear shades of blue too. Black has always been a mainstay for me but I am leaning towards navy more and more. I love purple but do not wear it very much. Maybe a test drive is in order! Thank you Janice for all your hard work!
Carol S says
I saw a lady today who had boots, straight denim skirt and I think black long sleeved t-shirt. She also had an ultraviolet cardigan and purple tights. It was soo good. I remember a comment from a long time ago also saying that tights could also be part of the French 5-piece wardrobe – if skirt/dresses/shorts were your thing. Thanks for enabling me to use my brain! Hugs from cool Down Under.
And what with this?
imho hangs quite well with these ‘new’ accent colours, moreover, last week my son sent me a pair of Dr. Martens made under licence from the National Gallery of Art Washington D.C. USA with Saint George and the Dragon by Rogier van der Weyden, i’ll be grateful for any of your brilliant ideas.
ps. your art projects are just awsome!