When you think of perfect fall colored clothing, you may immediately think of autumn foliage. The colors of changing leaves make up the classic fall color palette. Think of creamy yellows, nutty browns, burnt oranges, and deep burgundies.
But if all of those fall colors just don’t sound right for you and your wardrobe, don’t worry. This year’s fall color trends are more varied than ever. They also incorporate sage greens, grayish blues, and purples of all shades.
Once you know what colors you look good in and – most importantly – feel good in, you can begin to build the perfect fall wardrobe.
The Basics Of Color Theory And Fashion
Do you remember learning about the color wheel in school? Here’s a quick refresher:
- Red, blue, and yellow are primary colors.
- Orange, violet, and green are known as secondary colors. When you combine two primary colors, you get these secondary colors.
- Colors like blue-violet, yellow-orange, orange-red, yellow-green, and blue-green are known as tertiary colors. You get these when you mix a primary color with a secondary color.
In the color wheel, there’s an important separation you should be aware of: warm and cool colors. Warm colors range from yellow-green to red on the color wheel. They are thought to convey energy, warmth, and joy. Cool colors range from green to red-violet and they exhibit calmness and peace.1
If you want a color to pop, wear it with the color opposite on the wheel. If you want to create a pleasing, complementary color palette, play with colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. These are called analogous hues.2
Picking Colors That Go With Your Skin Tone
1. Find Your Skin Undertone
Your skin may have a warm, neutral, or cool undertone. Warm-toned skin has a peach, yellow, or gold tint. Cool-toned skin has a pink, red, or blue tint. Can’t tell which one you are? One trick is to look at your wrist and examine the shade of your veins. If they look green, you’re warm. If they look purple or blue, you’re cool. If you’re in the middle, you’re neutral.
2. Pick Clothes In Colors That Match Your Unique Coloring
- Warm skin tones tend to look better in warm colors like red, orange, and yellow.
- Cool skin tones tend to look better in cooler colors like blue, green, and purple.
Pay attention to undertones. If you’re cool-toned, you may want to pick a red with a blue-ish base
- color. If you’re warm-toned, you may want to go for a dark, brick red with warm undertones.3
3. Now That You Know The Rules, Feel Free To Break Them
While it’s great to have a basic understanding of colors that flatter you, rules are made to be broken. In the end, you’ll look good in what you feel good in. Mix and match cool, warm, and neutrals as you like.
Color Combinations That Go With Each Season
Seasonal color palettes mirror the natural hues seen in nature. Dressing in these colors is a great way to change up your look and welcome the new season. Let’s touch on each season and then dive in to fall more in-depth.
Spring colors are much like the season itself. They are bright, airy, and playful. Pastels in various hues are popular for spring.
- Warm peach
- Blush pink
- Mint green
- Pastel blue
- Pale yellow
In summer, many people love to experiment with vibrant, rich, and bold colors. Fashion takes inspiration from images of sunshine, the ocean, and the great outdoors. Tank tops and fluttering dresses may be in colors such as:
- Bright pink or fuschia
- Royal blue
- Bright red
In the cooler weather of winter, people tend to dress in a way that acknowledges the absence of color. Neutrals are popular. Deep jewel tones reflect the festive spirit of the holidays. Traditional winter patterns like plaid are also popular.
- Dark gray
- Ruby red
- Emerald green
- Royal blue4
What Colors Should You Wear In Fall?
Fall colors follow the trend of matching what you’d see in nature. Fall is all about autumnal foliage, earth tones, and warm neutrals.
If you pay attention to trends, you may also want to check out the Pantone Fall shades of the year.5 While classic fall shades remain consistent, trendy fall shades may change every year.
Neutral Colors For Fall
A warm shade of white or cream can lay the perfect foundation for a fall outfit. Pick up a few cream sweaters or tops and get ready to layer.
Camel is a classic fall shade. You can wear camel in any item of clothing – from pants, long sleeves, to boots. Camel, or light tan, goes well with other neutrals like black or white.
Taupe is a color between gray and dark brown. It provides a great backdrop to complement and offset bright colors.6
Classic Fall Colors
Deep red tones like burgundy and Marsala are perfect for fall. Burgundy pairs beautifully with other fall colors like camel, dusty rose pink, and cream.7 So you can happily invest in that burgundy jacket you’ve been eyeing and know that you’ll have plenty of outfits to wear it with.
Mustard yellow seems to be everywhere these days. It’s a warm shade that seems to bring energy and a little whimsy. Bring in mustard with a chunky turtleneck sweater or a warm knit scarf around your neckline.
Olive green is another versatile fall color. Work some into your wardrobe with olive green pants, boots, leggings, or a cargo jacket.
Orange is another classic autumn color that has become more trendy in recent years. If you have a bold, fearless style, try this season’s bright orange in a loud dress or jacket. If you prefer more muted colors, you can’t go wrong with a darker burnt orange shade.
Wear orange in your autumn foliage selfies to fit right in with the leaves.
Cool-toned people, this is the color for you. Deep blues – cerulean, azure, and gray-ish tones – are great for the fall. Blue is opposite red, orange, and mustard on the color wheel, so it complements fall colors well.8 You can incorporate this shade with skinny jeans, blazers, or even a pair of boots.
Fall Color Fashion Trends
Shades of mint and seafoam green are typically popular for spring and summer. This year, though, sage is everywhere for fall. This light, pale green shade feels modern, and it reflects the earth tones of the season. Try wearing a sage green sweater or t-shirt for layering.9
Shades of Purple
This year, many designers debuted lavender and orchid purple outfits in their fall look. Try a deep violet skirt, a royal purple jacket, or lavender sweater for a softer look.10
Dusty Rose Pink
Ever since “millennial pink” became a go-to color trend, designers have been trying to find the newish shade of pink. Dusty rose pink is a muted rosy peach tone that loses some of the sugary sweetness of millennial pink. It pairs beautifully with deep reds and burgundy.11
When building your wardrobe, pay attention to the colors you naturally gravitate toward. Odds are, these are probably the colors that work best on you.
Items in classic fall colors like burgundy, olive green, and cream are smart investments. If you want to try one of this season’s trendy colors, try picking up an accent piece – like a purse, skirt, or scarf – to try it on for size. Have fun and happy fall shopping.
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