Pantone: Spring 2018

Why do I always do a seasonal color discussion?

  • Because I believe in outfit planning and planning your shopping.
  • A quick glance over this season’s big colors tells you whether you should budget extra into your clothes this season or save up for next year.    You might find an amazing piece in that special, rare, “you” color – but you won’t if you’re not looking.
  • There is a difference between a “good” color and a “great” color.  Yes, blue-green is my best color, but some blue-greens make the angels cry and some of them are just nice.  When the greats become available, grab them.   Every year sees a slightly different interpretation of the fashionable colors.  And “fashionable” means “available”.


photo credit: Live-design.ru


Will every store have these colors?

  • No.  But the smaller the store, the more likely you are to see the on-trend colors.  Department stores won’t show as much allegiance to these colors as will chain boutique stores like Talbots or Loft.  White-House/Black-Market in particular works very strongly from a limited palette.
  • Note that all stores have buyers, and traditionally they choose the clothes that come in – that’s why most of us have favorite stores.  This means there will be some variance on items or colors available from one store to the next.
  • Designers don’t work just from the Pantone colors.  Pantone is a forecast service, not a limitation.  Some designers use certain shades regularly.  For instance, Springs can rely upon Ralph Lauren for the perfect shade of khaki – a much warmer shade than anyone else uses these days.



  • We continue to look at a variety of soft almost-neutral colors.  Dye lot and designer interpretation can carry these colors from one season to the other with a flick of the wrist – use swatches, match colors in daylight to your skin if at all possible.
    • Coconut Milk is a useful shade of off-white which, although it won’t work equally well on all seasons, should be wearable for everyone.   Likewise, Sailor Blue and Warm Sand are at least not-bad on everyone.
    • Nile Green, Ash Rose, and Almost Mauve are, on paper, warm-season colors, but are exactly the shades that flip if you sneeze too hard.  Redheads should be looking hard at doing some shopping in these shades.  Ash Rose, in particular, is one of those shades that reads as “pink” on women who can’t wear true pinks.
    • Rapture Rose and Pink Lavender are also changeable.  Will they work on a Summer or a Spring?  Only the dye lot can say for sure – check carefully!
    • Blooming Dahlia is nice on any light-warm-colored woman.  Harbor Mist is for the cool-season gals.
  • The other trend in color in the last few years has been brights.  Brights are always noticeable.  They also tend to be short-term favorites – so if a particular color sings to you, grab it.  You might well not see it again for a decade.   You can always put a special item away after the first year and bring it back when it’s not so obviously last-year’s-shade.
    • This is, after all, the Spring palette, so we have several colors that look good on Springs.  Cherry Tomato, Palace Blue, Arcadia, and Spring Crocus can certainly add a bounce to your step!
    • Meadowlark and Lime Punch are Winter shades, but are nearly unwearable for Caucasian women.  Women of color rock these shades.  (Lime Punch against dark skin is stunning).  If your skin can’t handle a whole garment of one of these colors and you’ve been waiting for a cold yellow or yellow-green, wear it in a print.
    • Ultraviolet is another good – albeit changeable – shade.  On paper this looks best on Winters and Summers, but a sneeze in the dyelot and you can see it on a Spring.
  • Most unusually, we’re still seeing some dark reds and browns persisting into the Spring Palette.  This is great news for Autumnal gals.
    • Emperador, Spiced Apple, and Chili Oil are the Autumn stand-outs.  Consider a floaty floral dress with a background of Coconut Milk or Warm Sand with any or all of these used as accents… there’s no reason why your best colors should prevent you from indulging in seasonal finery.

I’m pleased to note that Spring 2018 has something for everyone.   That’s not true of every season, or every year.

Happy Shopping!

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