8 Effortlessly Stylish Ways to Rock the Colors of the Season Like a Pro
With Illuminating—a sunny, mood-lifting lemon yellow, and Ultimate Gray—the perfect medium gray that subtly tempers the brightness of its counterpart, the colors of the season follow suit in its representation of balance and harmony.
This time around, it’s all about the yin and yang. Striking and soothing colors coexist to create equal measures that perfectly encapsulate the sensibility of the year with a dash of hope. From warm neutrals to pastels and resplendent power surges, take a look at the shades to wear for Spring/Summer 2021 and all the chic ways to style them.
Make a Statement With Yellow
In its 20-year run, this is the second time Pantone has chosen two shades as Color of the Year. One of two being Illuminating—an uplifting yellow—is definitely a spotlight stealer, but it doesn’t have to mean going big all at once. For those who aren’t used to wearing brights, incorporate the color into your ensembles slowly. Start with strappy sandals or with your bag as a pop of color. When you’re ready to rock it in your main outfit, neutralize yellow’s intensity just a pinch by pairing it with light, medium, or dark wash denim.
Add a Drop of Fire
The wearability of red is the best thing about this universally-loved hue. Choose from an arresting scarlet to a vampy merlot. The lighter and brighter end is a great statement maker during the day as it can fully exhibit its strong pigment. While the darker end is perfect for evenings or as a complement to semi-formal ensembles. Try something new with a crimson power suit for meetings or an embellished cold-shoulder dress in burgundy for a dash of romance at your intimate parties.
Keep It Cool and Classic
Blue is a mainstay in everyone’s wardrobes for a reason. It looks amazing on anyone and is so versatile that it has a place in every outfit. Our favorite hack to ease prints in comfortably is by wearing them with denim—whether it be layered in a jacket or under a pair of high-rise jeans. The combination of texture and color is a great way to punch up a look. Take it up a notch further by choosing bolder patterns like paisley or tie-dye too. For dressy ladies, play with tones for certain occasions, such as aqua for your weekend getaways and a solid navy for workwear.
Create Your Palette with Neutrals
Head-to-toe brown is probably the most elegant color combination there is. It allows the wearer to play with shades without having to think of rules. Start by teaming up elegant brown leather with brighter colors, such as a bag or a pair of boots (we love multicolor prairie dresses with tall, tan boots!). Or take a page out of the runways and create a palette using multiple shades of brown accompanied by prints. A chic coffee-toned snakeskin dress would look beautiful topped with a camel trench coat and some strappy high heels. So forget the perception that beige equals boring because it’s a true foolproof styling trick any way you spin it.
Let Pastels Do the Talking
Lavender has to be our personal favorite among the season’s colors, so we’re ecstatic it’s getting the attention it deserves. This pastel shade makes for a great combo with primary colors and is an infallible trick to spruce up an outfit. Reimagine your work ensembles by wearing flared, high-rise light-wash jeans, a graphic blouse or tee, and a lavender blazer. You can even try color blocking by layering a sleeveless turtleneck under a wrap top. For date nights, reach for square-toed heels and a flowy floral dress that speaks for itself.
Explore the Utility of Natural Shades
Pantone took inspiration from natural elements for SS21, which includes the ever-flexible green. It’s one of our go-to hues to sport for basics such as knits, layers for workwear, and outerwear. Choose from an array of shades such as army, kelly, lime, and hunter, and try out a matching cold-shoulder top and textured bermuda shorts for a cool take to summer street style. For ladies who like to be more adventurous, try a layered ensemble with a kimono and a pleated midi. The fluid drapery is guaranteed to add extra flair.
Embrace Subtlety with Ultimate Gray
Gray has been a permanent staple in runways for as long as we can remember. The only reason it’s rarely acknowledged is because it’s simply an inconspicuous shade. But we’re letting go of any notions of drab this time as it takes the spotlight. Change up the way you neutralize your brights by opting for gray instead of black or white. One ensemble we love is a vibrant dress or two-piece outfit layered with an oversized blazer to make it pop even more. If you’re a minimalist, there’s nothing chicer than mixing different shades of gray in your layers.
Don’t Be Afraid of Color
There’s a simple method to easing into intimidating colors. Enter: color blocking. The rules are simple: when building a palette, stick to solids, and when playing with prints, don’t hesitate to go bold and pare back with another solid. You’d be surprised how amazing jewel tones or pastels would look on you once they’re combined. Or try balancing it out in the true spirit of Pantone’s sentiments by marrying brights with pastels. A pair of cherry red tailored trousers with a powder blue sweater just might be your newest companion to that important Zoom meeting.
Step Into New Territory
The way we see it, if there’s a better time to put the focus on yourself, it’s now. There is significant power in the mood-altering abilities of fashion, and the sunny and solid juxtaposition of Pantone’s 2021’s colors encourage positivity and balance amid adversity. It conveys that multiple things can co-exist, that the hard work we’ve put in and the self-care we deserve don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
So don’t hesitate to explore the unconventional and let your creativity shine through in the form of clothing any way you want. Go ahead and conquer 2021 in style.