How to Dress in the Colors of Winter

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Wearing black, white, gray and dusty blue on a snowy gray day

In the Winter, the colors of the natural world we live in become cloudy, with stark black and brown branches covered in glistening silvery white snow. It’s not the most colorful season. That lack of color tends to cause melancholy (or the blues, which tinge the cold season in a wide range of hues). Blue tends to also a give us a calm and peaceful feeling, so it definitely has it’s upside. As the daylight shines through the clouds, there are other subtle colors of the rainbow that can shine through the ice, especially at dawn and dusk. So there is a lot of beauty in the colors of Winter.

We can copy the beauty of this icy season in our cold-weather outfits. Or, we can brighten our spirits with colors we love and spark our energy with sequins, crystals and gems. Age doesn’t matter. Just choose colors that make you feel and look good.

Another thing you might need in the Winter if you lose a tan and become pale is a color scheme that adds a glow to your skin. Maybe pinks look good on you, or reds, blues, purples. Wear what brings out your true colors. For instance, wear colors that match your eyes, such as blues or greens or golds.

If you like the ease of dressing in black and white yet need some color in your skin, you can always add a colorful scarf or statement necklace for a touch of glow.

In an article I posted early this Fall, I shared the Pantone color report for the season.  Now that it’s Winter, don’t drop interest in those colors; they still pertain to the entire cold season of Fall/Winter 2017-18. Take a look and review your color choices at “How to Create Colorful Outfits This Fall.”

Here are the Pantone Fall/Winter colors this season from New York:

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Pantone Fashion Color Report for Fall/Winter 2017 – New York

And here are the Pantone Fall/Winter colors this season from London:

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Pantone Fashion Color Report for Fall/Winter 2017 – London

Also for this Fall/Winter, Vogue Paris named color trends from the runways as:  silver, pink, Klein blue (ultramarine), red, yellow, navy, orange, khaki, turquoise, and beige.

 

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Color Trends for Fall/Winter 2017/2018 from Paris Vogue

So there you have it:  this year’s Fall/Winter color trends from around the globe.

Meanwhile, in a couple of weeks, Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2018 will hit the runways. That will help us to dream of Spring, but right now we’re in the middle of Winter. I, myself, like to live in the now. The good thing about the Spring styles coming to stores now is that it gives us new things to spice up what we already have.  All we have to do is layer the new with the old to stay warm until the Spring thaw.

Combining Winter Colors

Toughen up pale pastel hues by teaming them with dark, wintry shades.

You can mix and match the following Fall/Winter colors to good effect:  purple, rust, pumpkin, navy, teal, camel, moss green.

The Pantone colors Autumn Maple, Butterum and Tawny Port are warm colors that can be used as neutrals. These are great colors to own in suede. Feel free to wear sweaters in these colors with black skinny jeans, a leather pencil skirt or boyfriend jeans.

The following lists the basic colors, in which you may choose any shade.

Black and White

  • Let’s start with basic black and white. Angie Cox of You Look Fab started by combining black and white with cobalt. She named a combination of black and white with poppy red and light blue the “Superhero Effect.” Lol! Maybe that would be a good combo for those days when you want to really apply your energy to accomplishing something big!
  • Take white or ivory and combine with touches of gray and chocolate brown (i.e., an undershirt beneath a sweater under a vest with a jacket on top).
  • You know black and white go with anything!  😀

Gray

  • Enhance grays with rich reddish browns and coppery neutrals
  • Gray + pink; you might also like to add some black
  • Gray + coral (a pinkish orange)
  • Gray + wine (or tawny port, burgundy, aubergine)
  • Gray + red
  • Gray + navy
  • Gray + cobalt
  • Gray + light blue; you might want to add green
  • Gray + lavender
  • Gray + black, white, ivory or taupe (any neutral)
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Beth of Style at a Certain Age in “The Gray Zone”

Red

This attention-grabbing hue calls fro textural contrast, so vary your materials — try slick patent leather with wool, or add shine to crepe with silk satin. If that’s too much color for you, just use red as an accent.  Neutrals like black and gray underscore red’s vibrancy and lit it take center stage as the star of your outfit.

  • Red + black
  • Red + gray
  • Red + white
  • Red + plum
  • Red + gold (adds a luxurious feel)
  • Red + cobalt ups the wattage with bold contrast
  • Red + navy

Yellow

  • Yellow + white
  • Yellow + khaki
  • Yellow + gray
  • Yellow + navy
  • Yellow + brown

Blue

  • Blue + gray
  • Blue + white for an icy, Snow Queen feeling
  • Blue + burgundy
  • Blue + silver
  • Pantone’s Marina Blue + Autumn Maple

Navy

Pantene’s Navy Peony is a bold and playful alternative to black.

  • Navy Peony + Golden Lime
  • Navy Peony + Marina blue
  • Navy + cream

Purple

With its blend of warm (red) and cool (blue) hues, purple complements the undertones in every complexion. It’s beautiful on its own. You could also substitute it for a neutral, where you would normally select a dark tone such as brown or charcoal.

  • Purple + red
  • Purple + teal
  • Purple + ivory or winter white
  • Purple + yellow
  • Purple + navy

Tawny Port or Aubergine

This hue of deep purple should flatter every skin tone.  Like navy, it’s subtle enough to serve as a neutral. Consider it for a coat. It that’s too much of a commitment, swap a little black dress for an aubergine cocktail dress. When wearing aubergine, use a purple shade of eye shadow.

  • Tawny Port + Ballet Slipper pink
  • Tawny Port + Marina blue
  • Tawny Port + Autumn Maple
  • Tawny Port + Grenadine
  • Aubergine + orange pack an extra punch when worn together
  • Aubergine + navy
  • Aubergine + blush in a streamlined silhouette because it’s a girlie combo
  • Aubergine + cobalt

Pink

  • Pink + taupe
  • Pink + red
  • Pink + white
  • Pink + deep green (such as Pantone’s Shaded Spruce)

Khaki

  • Khaki clothes + pastels (i.e., lavender top + khaki pants)
  • Khaki clothes + exotic-looking prints, including accessories (i.e., blue snakeskin bangle, black snakeskin leggings, leopard-print, zebra-print, etc.)
  • Khaki clothes + lace of any color

Orange

  • Orange + tan
  • Orange + olive
  • Orange + brown
  • Orange + navy
  • Orange + purple

Turquoise

  • Turquoise + navy
  • Turquoise + brown
  • Turquoise + white
  • Turquoise + gray
  • Turquoise + beige

Shaded Spruce

Shaded Spruce, a jewel-toned deep blue green, is a strong base color for both work-appropriate and weekend outfits. A dress or sweater in this shade goes well with neutrals, as well as other jewel tones.

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Jade + Spruce from “4 Ways to Wear Jade” at InStyle
  • Shaded Spruce + jade green
  • Shaded Spruce + Pantone’s Golden Lime
  • Shaded Spruce + Ballet Slipper
  • Shaded Spruce + Marina,
  • Shaded Spruce + Neutral Grey
  • Shaded Spruce + Butterum

Camel (Pantone’s Butterum)

Camel is good for Winter, as in the classic “camel coat.” 😉  Here’s the beauty of camel:  it makes everything look expensive, and any color can be worn with it. Camel is a neutral and, like black, can be worn with any shade. And it can be worn with black, too. If you are looking to warm up all that black in your wardrobe, camel is a great shade to add. What doesn’t go with camel? Below are a few of the myriad colors that go well with it.

camel sweater
The Cashmere Crew from Everlane
  • Camel + black
  • Camel + blues (especially navy, royal blue and cobalt)
  • Camel + navy
  • Camel + red
  • Camel + purple
  • Camel + coral
  • Camel + burgundy
  • Camel + gray
  • Camel + cream or white
  • Camel + green
  • Camel + Orange
  • Camel + Pinks
  • Camel + Turquoise
  • Camel + Leopard

You might also want to read: 

How to Create Colorful Outfits This Fall

 — How to Make All Black or All White Look Special

How to Easily Chart Out Colorful Outfits

Pulling the Shades:  Color Chart

Was this helpful? Let us know in the comments below!

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