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10 Pantone Fall Colors for Autumn 2015 / Winter 2016

read tips for wearing fall colors

by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)

Here I am, writing about wool coats and Pantone fashion colors for fall and winter 2015/2016, in the middle of a summer heatwave, with the air conditioning cranked up as high as it will go. So this feels a little weird to me. However, I love writing about clothes and I’m falling in love with the beautiful, muted, new earth-tone hues for fall.

see new fall colors - gorgeous

New Pantone Colors 2015


Yes, I realize these new fall colors are a continuation of the desert shades from spring. And, yes, I know that I once said I did not like the earth-tone fashion colors for spring ... because I’m usually more into jewel tones. But, I’ve matured in the last few months (haha)... and I’ve come to understand that these earthy, dirtied-down, understated, neutral hues are a perfect blend with my jewel-tone tops and dresses and coats and scarves. And, I’ll tell you why…

Pantone Fall Fashion Colors From the Desert:

My jewel-tone clothes are not TRUE jewel colors. They are always slightly muted. So, all of my favorite jewel-tone clothes look amazing against a background of these desert colors from 2015/2016. (Imagine jewel tones against denim. It's the same kind of feeling, but with different colors.)

I'm not sure if you've ever noticed it before, but the better brands of women's clothing seldom carry tops or dresses in eye-popping, hardcore shades of raspberry red, lemon yellow, or orange orange... you know... Crayola colors.

And, that's because most women over 30 look better in interestingly complex hues. Little kids can wear fire-engine red and bright, sunny yellow; but I’ll bet my Marc Jacobs purse that most of you look your best in grayed-down (less-true, less-bright, less-strong, less-intense) colors. Even when you think you ARE wearing intense colors... like turquoise or magenta or emerald... you're probably wearing subtly manipulated colors that have been engineered to make you look younger and hipper.

The best colors are not strong, true reds or blues or greens or yellows. Complex colors are much more flattering.

Neutral Clothing Colors for Fall 2015 / Winter 2016:

Anyway, all of the new colors from spring/summer 2015 and fall/winter 2015-16 make great backdrops for whatever colors you already have in your closet. I’m not saying that every color goes with every other color under the sun. You will need to try different combinations to find ensembles that are pleasing to the eye… but all of the neutral-ish, muted clothes from 2015 (and 2014) make great basics, like coats, blazers, pants, shoes, and handbags… the things that you’ll wear for years.

And, if you're not into classic-basic-tailored-traditional stuff... you can still find a lot of great boho threads in desert colors... thank God.

So, let's move on to the goodies... and the colors.

read about fall colors in the middle of a horrid heatwave... why not?

Dried Herb Khaki Green Pantone Color Fall 2015

1. Pantone Dried Herb Fashion Color - Drab Green:

I've never dried my own herbs (of any kind... wink, wink), so I don't know if Dried Herb is a wonderful name for this greenish color or not. I guess I would describe this hue as olive drab or khaki green... but it's sometimes a little softer and lighter than a true khaki green. Well, everyone thinks of a different color when you say the word khaki... but this muted, desert green would be one of the colors I would conjure up.

see all the new fall colors

Warmer Version of Dried Herb Color for Fall

Dried Herb is the color of my houseplants when I forget to water them for a few weeks. No, Dried Herb is probably closer to the color of Maui Wowie... if you left your stash outside for a while and the sun bleached it to a nice, mellow earth tone. (I don't smoke, but I'm a Libertarian, so knock yourself out.)

I'm hoping that the description above might help you remember this earth-tone green when you're shopping for a nice neutral to update the other colors in your wardrobe. Dried Herb is similar to one of my favorite colors from the 70s... back when we all wore earth tones.

As far as neutrals go (and I find most neutrals to be a boring, necessary evil to keep our outfits grounded), Dried Herb is a pretty good choice. This color will make everything you own pop.

Oh, by the way, some websites show a greener, more yellowish version of this new green hue. Look at the photo on the right, "Warmer Version of Dried Herb Color for Fall", for an example. If you're strong on jewel tones, this shade may be your best friend. (Can't you just imagine it with magenta or purple... so Carnaby Street.)

see all the new colors

Pantone Desert Sage Fall Winter 2015 2016

2. Pantone Desert Sage for Fall - Silvery Gray Green-Blue:

This is a glorious gray-green-silver-blue-turquoise-mixed-up sort of color. It seems to change depending on the light and the fabric.

What is this indescribable hue? Sometimes it seems gray... but not always. It's definitely a neutral. It's definitely something I would wear. (This beautiful grayish green is actually a pretty good color on me.... I have gray-green eyes. However, I have to mix colors like Desert Sage with a brighter color to add a dab of interest, something like purple or burgundy or lavender or pink or peach.)

Desert Sage goes really well with all the other colors from fall 2015 and spring 2015. I must tell you, once again, that these desert colors are growing on me now that I've moved to the (real) desert and I have a bit more color.

read about colors for fall 2015 / winter 2016

Pantone Stormy Weather is Stunning on Blondes & Older Women

3. Pantone Stormy Weather - Soft Gray Light Navy Blue:

This middle-to-dark blue, with the feel of dark teal, is the exact shade of the thunderclouds you see off in the distance right before a hailstorm or a cascading deluge... the kind of color that's eventually accompanied by a crack of lightning. Or... something like that.

Stormy Weather is a great color for women with blonde or silvery gray hair... oh heck... it's also good on redheads and probably everyone else... depending on how you wear it. My fair-haired mother had a pantsuit in this exact off-shade of medium blue in the 70s and it was stunning on her.

If there were a color called "dusty navy", this would probably be it.  And, this elegant blue is not harsh or punishing on older women... who have a few wrinkles.

Note: The only guidance I can give you on this color is to try to buy coordinates from within the same brand... or it might become a challenge to match a top with a bottom in this same hue. If buying from different brands, you might want to pair Stormy Weather with one of the other colors on this list (or the list from spring 2015)... unless you have a fair amount of time and a good eye.

read about desert colors for fall boomerinas.com

Pantone Oak Buff Camel is the Color of the Desert Sand

4. Pantone Oak Buff - Camel Color for Fall & Winter:

I don't care what "they" call this sandy brown color. It's called "camel" (or sometimes "caramel") in my part of the woods... and it's a beautiful classic color. It looks great on everyone in the world... except me.

I could only wear the camel coat in the photo (above) if I paired it with a purple or magenta or teal turtleneck... but that doesn't mean I don't like this color. I have "Oak Buff" all throughout my house. I love camel-colored throws over burgundy leather sofas (and things like that). I just can't put this color anywhere next to my face. But, most of you can... and should. Camel is as classic as you can get.

This color will never go out of style. Oak Buff goes with every color under the sun. I wish I could wear it! I might try experimenting with different color combos to see if I can make it work with my coloring. Camel looks especially good with dark or chestnut hair. (Both of my daughters look fab in this color.)

pantone marsala for fall - read about it

I Want All the Pantone Marsala for Fall I Can Find!

5. Pantone Marsala Burgundy - Color of the Year 2015:

I've written about Marsala, the Pantone color of the year, before. It's a gorg shade that I have really come to love. It seemed a little weird when they first anounced that burgundy was the main color for spring and summer... but if you drink a little sangria and start to think like a Spanish version of Sophia Lauren... it somehow works year-round.

Anyway, burgundy (or Marsala or wine or whatever you want to call this dark red color this year) has always been one of my absolute faves for fall and winter. I want a Marsala wrap coat. I want a pair of Marsala 70s boots. I want some Marsala leather gloves. I want a Marsala hat... no... I want two Marsala hats.

read about Pantone's Biscay Bay and other groovy colors for fall - see examples

Pantone Biscay Bay Teal Fashion Color for Fall

6. Pantone Biscay Bay - Teal Blue is a Fave for Fall & Winter:

Now... here's a color that almost every chick on the planet can wear. It's a lovely, deep blue-green shade with lots of nuance and polish. Biscay Bay is deep and subtle... but it's also vibrant enough to bring out the best in your personal coloring.

Sure, there must be one or two women on the planet who don't look good in Biscay Bay, but I've never met either of them.

read about fall fashions

Pantone Reflecting Pond Blue Color for Fall

7. Pantone Reflecting Pond - Beyond Navy Blue:

Reflecting Pond is almost as dark as you can get without going into the territory of off-black. This color is different than navy or midnight blue... a little flatter... possibly more gray or purple in some lighting. I guess I would call it dark indigo. It's intense but calming.

Reflecting Pond is perfect for a work pantsuit or a business dress because it will give you lots of banker-style credibility.

However, this dark blue is also perfect for evening outfits. It's slimming like black, but it's much more flattering than black. And, it will make you stand out... just a little bit... at the captain's reception (cocktail party) on a cruise ship... or anything similar... where all the chicks are invariably clad in black, black, black. I like this interesting color. You can use it in a zillion different ways... to make colors pop... with all kinds of outfits... in the daytime or nighttime. And, you can even pair it with black.

read about pantone cad orange color for fall and winter fashion

Pantone Cadmium Orange for Fall 2015

8. Pantone Cadmium Orange Color for Clothing 2015:

I have absolutely no idea why this slightly muted, burnt, sandy orange would be named Cadmium Orange. Every tube of Cad Orange paint (oil or acrylic) I've ever had has been a deep, dark red-orange hue (even more intense than the printed pants in the photo)... well... anyway... this pinky, peachy tint has somehow been named Cadmium Orange. I suggest we rename it "Arches National Park Utah Orange". (I've never been to Arches National Park, but I seem to recall that the rock formations in that desert are similar in feel to this orange Pantone color.)

Well, I must confess... this is a color I like... a color I can wear. It's not too brown. It's not too bright. It's not too harsh. It's not too hot. It's not too orange... it's almost the same color as my blush for my "orange" days when I wear peachy outfits... yippee... a color that most of us can wear.

Now, if we can only find great designer clothing in Cad Orange... on sale... in the right size... with a perfect fit. (I love this color with denim blue... or any blue.)

read about new fall color trends

Pantone Cashmere Rose New Fall Color

9. Pantone Cashmere Rose - New Dusty Pink Fashion Hue:

The Pantone Color Gods are really killin' it with this fabulous color.  Again, I can't understand why it's called Cashmere Rose. It sort of looks lavender on this monitor... but I guess it's more like dusty pink on my larger monitor... so I'll assume it's pink.  Anyway, I'll stop complaining about the strange color names if the Color Gods will give us more fashion shades like this. I mean, I understand that neutral colors are some type of necessity for most women... but not so much for me.

And, I know... you can't always get what you want (repeat, repeat)... but if you try sometimes... you might find... you get what you need. And, I NEED happy, colorful clothing that flatters my face. I don't care if it's a pink color or a lavender color. I can wear both. I NEED both.

I need HAPPY UPBEAT HUES just as much as I need practical clothing in "responsible", "grown-up" colors that will never go out of style. (Oh, I hope you designers know what I mean.)

read about trendy colors for fall & winter

Pantone Amethyst Orchid Jewel Tone for Fall

10. Pantone Amethyst Orchid Purple Fall Fashion Color:

Okay, we've saved the best for last. This is my favorite color. It's not quite true purple because it has a rosy glow. It's not quite dark enough to be royal purple. It's just... beautiful.
Amethyst Orchid is a good example of a jewel-tone that's not quite a true-jewel purple. It comes across as a little too pink or a little too muted to be a strong-willed jewel tone. This is MY color. And, as always, all of the Pantone colors are meant to be mixed with all of the other Pantone colors from the same season. So, just imagine Amethyst Orchid paired with Dried Herb or Reflecting Pond or Marsala... oh wow! Any of them.

Pantone Colors for Fall & Winter:
So, if you're bored with your daily wardrobe, you should start looking around for some of the colors on this list or any other desert colors (in summer-weight fabrics) that will blend with these beautiful fall hues. I'm totally looking forward to cooler weather... but I'm also on the hunt for end-of-summer layering pieces that will give me a head start on the upcoming fashion season. Pantone totally nailed it this fall.

More Articles for Chic Women Who Love Fashion:

How to Wear Chunky Block Heel Boots, Sandals, Shoes & All That

7 Fringe Fashion Trends for Summer 2015: Bags, Tops, Dresses, Shoes, More - It's the 70s Again!

9 Tips for 70s Style Retro Fashions for Women Over 40 50: Fall 2015 / Winter 2016

fall fashion color trends

Main Photo: New Fall Colors

Photo Credits: Prshots.com.

  • Main Photo: Hobbs.
  • New Pantone Colors 2015: Joe Browns.
  • Dried Herb Khaki Green Pantone Color Fall 2015: Asos, Joe Browns, M&Co.
  • Warmer Version of Dried Herb Color for Fall: Hobbs.
  • Pantone Desert Sage Fall Winter 2015 2016: Pretty Eccentric, Asos, M&S.
  • Pantone Stormy Weather is Stunning on Blondes & Older Women: House of Fraser, BHS (plus size, usually at Marisota or Simply Be), White Stuff.
  • Pantone Oak Buff Camel is the Color of the Desert Sand: Hobbs, M&Co, M&Co.
  • I Want All the Pantone Marsala for Fall I Can Find! Debenhams, Monsoon, Joe Browns.
  • Pantone Biscay Bay Teal Fashion Color for Fall: White Stuff, Joe Browns, JacquesVert.
  • Pantone Reflecting Pond Blue Color for Fall: House of Fraser, Debenhams, Debenhams.
  • Pantone Cadmium Orange for Fall 2015: Debenhams, M&Co, Monsoon.
  • Pantone Cashmere Rose New Fall Color: PeopleTree, Asos, Dorothy Perkins.
  • Pantone Amethyst Orchid Jewel Tone for Fall: White Stuff, Debenhams, Bonmarche.

What do you think of this article? Will you try any of these colors for fall? (I'm finally able to approve comments and answer questions again, but it will take a while to catch up.)

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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  1. Joanne

    Love your fashion sense.......loving the dress in the #5 bix in the middle. Can you tell me who makes it?

    • Tina-Boomerina


      Sorry for delay. I've been unpacking from the move. I think you're talking about the Marsala box... ? If so, the first dress is from Debenhams (it's a UK site but they ship to the US), the second photo is a top from Monsoon (UK, ships to US), and the third is from Joe Browns (the same). If you're looking for plus size, look for Joe Browns at Marisota or Simply Be.

      I like London fashion. Just check the sizes because they are slightly different.

      If you're talking about the middle dress in the teal (Biscay Bay) color, that's also Joe Browns. All of the photo credits are at the bottom of the article if you're looking for a different dress.


      • Joanne

        I was referring to the dried herb box, middle picture. I've checked out the 3 websites and I'm thinking its most likely from Joe Browns, but I'm not seeing it. But you've turned me on to some great sites!
        Thanks again, love your style.

  2. Pat

    I can;t find any of the Joe Browns dresses (tunics?) you credited, sadly. They are all awesome. What am I missing?

    • Tina-Boomerina


      Oh, sorry. Joe Browns is a London brand. When I type Joe Browns into my search engine it pops up. If you want the regular-sized clothing, you go to JoeBrowns.com or .co.uk... it will pop up. If you want the plus sizes, you go to Simply Be or Marisota. They all ship to the US and almost everywhere in the world. I have several things from Joe Browns and they seem to run large. Just make sure you read about English sizing if you go to the Joe Browns site. They also sell the brand at Debenhams I think.

      Just type the name into google. If you don't get it, also type in UK. As long as you know if you're ordering US or UK sizes - and you check the return policy - it's no big deal to order from another country.


  3. Linda

    TY for this article, I just learned that pantone colors set colors for the upcoming seasons. I've identified the color that I will be looking for to purchase in clothing. Have you identified certain plus size clothing manufacturers that actually design using the pantone colors? It would help to do more targeted searches and not have to spend so many hous online shopping.....without finding anything...

    • Tina-Boomerina


      I think most manufacturers use these colors, however they call the colors by different names... making it impossible to tell online exactly what they mean. For example Pantone Amethyst Orchid might be called Royal Purple or Deep Violet or Purple Sky or just about anything if you look on Nordstrom's or Macy's or Neiman's or whatever.

      I would love to find manufacturers and stores that actually use the Pantone names. I will look around when I have a chance and I'll write an article about it if I find a company that uses the right description. It would make things so much easier. I've tried to find things like that in the past, but I will give it another try.

      The problem is that almost every company has something in "Biscay Bay" but it might look a little different than some other company's Biscay Bay due to the fabric or the designer's inspiration or the manufacturing process. If you want something like a jacket and trousers that look exactly the same, you might want to get your separates from the same company. If you're buying prints to go with solids, it won't matter who makes the garment.

      I hope I can find what you're looking for, but it's not easy. Your best bet is to look around and stay with the brands that look best on YOU. And, if you're buying something expensive online, you have to order things with the option of returning them. If you're trying to match a solid piece with another solid, you have to take both pieces outside to see if they match... or look good together... or they blend without clashing. It's too bad they don't use standard color names.