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Pantone Fall Winter 2014-15 Clothing Colors

how to wear fall colors

by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)

I have to be honest with you. The Pantone fall 2014 clothing colors are not my favorites. The first thing I said to myself when I saw this palette was, “What is this stuff? These are not my colors,” but then I looked at these hues again with an artist’s eye and I knew I could work with them… most of them.

Thank God for the color of the year, Radiant Orchid, which has been around since the beginning of 2014. This beautiful violet color is the saving grace of the entire collection. I absolutely love this quirky, complex, brilliant purple. Well, I also love Royal Blue, Aurora Red, and Sangria; and I'm fairly happy with Mauve Mist, Cognac, Bright Cobalt, and Cypress. Of course, I must admit that I'm biased in favor of colors that flatter my complexion. (You may look good in different colors. For all I know, you'll love the colors I hate... like Misted Yellow.)

Pantone AW14 Clothing Goes with Your Wardrobe

Fortunately, the Autumn/Winter 2014-2015 colors are the types of hues that can be worn with most of the colors from the last few seasons; so they'll blend well with the clothes you already have in your closet. And, all the AW14 colors look fabulous with black.

fall pantone colors not my favorite

Radiant Orchid, Royal Blue, Aluminum, Aurora Red, Misted Yellow Clothing

I had a hard time writing this article. And, I debated whether or not to tell you my true opinion of this season’s color palette. I mean… the colors are not terrible. It’s just that this palette seems too dark and muted and faded and dull and almost Goth to me.

It's like the Pantone people forgot to include a few colors... or they should have given us more variety... or something. Too many of the Pantone shades come across as fairly similar on my monitor. (For example, I have a hard time distinguishing Royal Blue from Bright Cobalt - or Radiant Orchid from Sangria - in several photos that I've seen online. And, yes, I know that all colors vary due to fabric and lighting, so these outfits may look very different in person.)

Blue Colors for Fall Clothing

If you look good in rich, blue-based jewel tones like I do, you might be able to wear about half of the colors next to your face: Radiant Orchid, Royal Blue, Bright Cobalt, Aurora Red (if it’s not too harsh), Sangria (if it’s not too muted), Mauve Mist (if it’s not too pale), and Cypress green (if you pair it with one of the previous colors).

If You’re an Irish Redhead You’re in Luck

If you’re a natural redhead (possibly of Irish descent) and you like “autumn” colors, you’re going to be in heaven this fall. I happen to know that you’ll look fabulous in the mustardy Misted Yellow, the Loden-ish Cypress green, the reddish Cognac brown, the two lively blues, and… well… you’re going to look good in every one of the Pantone colors for 2014. So stock up, baby.

What to Wear If Your Coloring is Fair

If you have delicate coloring and/or you’re going gray, you’ll probably look best in Mauve Mist (the closest thing there is to a pink), Bright Cobalt, and maybe Aluminum.

As far as I know, almost everyone on earth can wear Radiant Orchid. Hey... I’m sure there are a few women somewhere who don’t look good in violet, but it’s a fabulous color on most people. My next favorite color on the Pantone list is Royal Blue… that brilliant Kate-Middleton color that everyone loves. I wear Royal Blue as a neutral. My daughter and I both have the same Royal Blue handbag, and we were both wearing our blue bags with very different outfits yesterday. (My daughter talked me into buying a blue Marc Jacobs purse for myself. Then, I gave it to her because it looked so cute.... and then, I decided I really did need one for myself afterall.)

my favorite colors fall 2014

Pantone Sangria, Mauve Mist, Cognac, Bright Cobalt, Cypress

Purple Clothing and Scarves

To be fair to the Pantone people, there are lots of flattering purple hues in this fall/winter palette. Even the Royal Blue leans to the pinkish side of the spectrum. So, many of these fall colors aren't too bad for people with my type of complexion.

Hey… is it just me or are some of you looking at Aluminum and Misted Yellow and feeling queasy? I'm soooo not in love with either of those two colors. I mean… if I wore Aluminum or Misted Yellow next to my face, the undertaker would follow me around waiting for me to croak.

These Colors Take Radiant Orchid into Fall

The best thing about this palette is that those musty Pantone colors will take Radiant Orchid down a notch, making Radiant Orchid very wearable during the cooler months of fall and winter. Those drab hues make perfect background colors for showing off our favorites like Radiant Orchid, Bright Cobalt, and Mauve Mist. Is that what the Pantone people were thinking?

And, another thing I've discovered is that these fall colors look way better when they are mixed together in a print or worn as a mosaic of separates... like a Royal Blue top paired with Cypress trousers or a Mauve Mist blouse worn with an Aluminum-grey pantsuit. (See the prints in the photos for more examples of how to wear these trendy fashion colors together.)

Try Adding a Pop of Color

If you're like me and you're not sure if you can wear some of these new fall colors, you’ll just have to try them and play around with different color combinations. To give a bit of a pop to some of the darker, duller shades, try adding a teal scarf or a turquoise necklace or a cheerful orange top. (If I were Queen of the World, I would have chosen a beautiful teal instead of that cobalt and I would have added more orange to that greenish-tinged yellow.)

Fortunately, these 10 colors are not the only hues you’ll find in stores this fall and winter. I’ve been looking around online and quite a few designers have rebelled… as usual… and they’ve gone with their own colors. I see a lot of fall clothes in cleaner reds, deeper purples, and truer greens.

example pantone 2014 colors

How to wear Fall Pantone Colors

Clothing in Pantone Colors Look Good Mixed Together

As I've mentioned, these fall Pantone colors look lively and elegant when put together in a duo or a trio. For example, you can find patterns (and outfits) using wonderful combinations like these:

  • Aurora Red, Cognac, Radiant Orchid
  • Royal Blue, Cypress green
  • Radiant Orchid, Aurora Red, black

I’ve also seen a lot of outfits where Misty Mauve or Aluminum is paired with black, for a stunning effect.

Hey, I'm a colorist. The more I play with the fall clothing colors, the more I understand how to work with them. And, as the saying goes, “There are no bad colors… only bad color combinations.”

Try Your Own Clothing Combinations

I am really torn about whether I should publish this article. I don’t want you to avoid the fall/winter 2014/2015 colors just because I'm not crazy about the way they look together. And, these colors might look absolutely fabulous on you. Also, there’s nothing worse than wearing the SameOldSameOld year after year... with nothing fun to update your wardrobe. However, I’ve always been honest in my writing, so I feel I have to tell it like it is… from my perspective. I love some of the colors, but not all of them.

So, when I look for cute, new wardrobe updates for fall, I’m going to try some of these colors… but I’m going to mix them with the clothes I already have. Hey, I'm very good at creating unique, colorful clothing combinations. And, that’s an art form that every woman should develop in order to stretch her clothing budget... because wearing black from head to toe is boring... and aging.

More Articles for Baby Boomer Women Over 40, 50, 60:

Tartan Plaid Clothing for Women: Is it Hip to be Square?

Best Sites for Women's Travel Wear: Wrinkle Free Clothing

Plus Size Boho Chic: 16 Essentials for Hippie Women of All Ages

Seasonless Clothing for Snowbirds and Rainbirds


read about Pantone

Main Photo - Fall Colors for Clothing

Photo Resources: All photos are from prshots.com.

  • Main Photo: Cypress green coat from Hobbs.
  • Second Photo: Radiant Orchid dress from Betty Barclay. Royal Blue dress from Asos. Aluminum and black jacket from Deben hams. Aurora Red dress and coat from M&S. Misted Yellow coat from Deben hams.
  • Third Photo: Sangria parka from M&S. Mauve Mist plaid coat from Hobbs. Cognac abstract print dress from Phase Eight. Bright Cobalt coat from Topshop. Cypress dress from Asos.
  • How to Wear Fall Pantone Colors: Plaid jacket and bag from House uf Fraser. Patterned scarf and dress from M&S. Cape outfit (probably dark Sangria) from House uf Fraser. Note: These are good examples of how to wear AW14 colors the right way.

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Tina Boomerina (AKA Christina Gregoire) is a Baby Boomer born at the end of 1952. Her mission is to make the internet a kinder and gentler place for Baby Boomer women around the world. Tina's specialty is fashion for women over 50.

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