6 unexpected fall color trends to brighten up your cold weather wardrobe

Pumpkin, sage, chocolate – these are the colors of fall (yes, they’re all edible too). As the leaves turn and the chill is in the air, it’s okay to pull back your bright summer briefs and tanks for heavier materials and richer fall hues. But not this year. The jewel tones and neutrals often associated with the fall weather aren’t going anywhere on their own, but an influx of energizing and unexpected color trends have become the perfect complement to the season’s usual fare. In 2022, wearing color is all about balancing and contrasting different hues together.

According to Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “Today we live in a world full of ambiguity,” she explains. “What we see in the fashion world is that there’s this kind of double thing going on. We want colors that are going to feed that need for rest and relaxation. But at the same time, we we are looking for the energy that will bring us out and express who we are.

This dichotomy of needs has prompted designers to think outside the box when it comes to creating a color palette for the season. Unexpected combinations of vibrant, soft hues have become the name of the game. “I really love bright colors for fall,” says Doria Santlofer, stylist and designer of Rosette. “They feel less summery when paired with neutral or darker tones – hot pink and beige, lime green and navy, bright red and burgundy.” Ahead, you’ll find six of the season’s top color trends for you to mix and match while exploring ways to incorporate more color into your cold-weather wardrobe.

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sun of samoa

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Eiseman uses words like “illuminate” and “illuminate” to describe the buttery, sunny yellow hue she’s seeing this fall. On the catwalks, it was a central theme, appearing in multiple looks at Giambatista Valli and adding touches of excitement at Coperni and Jil Sander. While yellow is a de facto choice for the warmer months, for fall she sees it as a warm hue to add some cheer to your wardrobe.

olive martini

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“You can get addicted to it once you find out how good it goes with so many things and how different it is,” Eiseman says of this brackish green. “Olive can really give [an outfit] a touch of freshness. If you’re looking to break away from your usual neutrals but don’t want to stray too far, consider this shade a must-have, as evidenced by its catwalk appearances at Hermès, Marine Serre and more.

orange tiger

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Pantone’s pick for fall is a rich mandarin orange called “Orange Tiger,” but Santlofer notes there’s a range of hues she likes for the season. She suggests “soft cantaloupe undertones to really bright tangerine.” The color has appeared on a number of catwalks this season, including Givenchy (via bold thigh-high boots) and Louis Vuitton, and is currently ubiquitous on the street style scene.

Caramel Coffee

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“You need to include some of your classic colors,” Eiseman says of this season’s color lineup. What she considers unique about the soft caramel hue this season is how you can expect it to look stylish. Fall is a season for neutrals, but this time around they’re the ultimate complement to bright pops of color. At Loewe it was styled with a bold yellow, while Off-White opted to add a splash of blue.

Violet Rose

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This bold pink hue was a favorite on the Santlofer slopes. “I loved Saks Potts for their magenta and olive green combinations,” she says. She adds that for her own Rosette line, she likes to pair the electric color with a dark chocolate hue as a study in contrasts. “A dark brown with a lime green or magenta accent feels very fresh to me and definitely not as intimidating as wearing a color look,” she says.

Bold Cobalt

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A wide range of blue tones – from navy blue to a clear sky color – have appeared on runways like Miu Miu and Stella McCartney, but electric cobalt is the hue that has established itself as the must-have of the season. Combined with sleek black, it’s invigorating without being too bold.

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