The Colors That Are Key to 2016 Spring Fashion

The holiday season may only have officially ended days ago, but if you’ve started back at work, it probably feels like it was a long, long time ago. While there may still be a couple of months of winter left, and plenty of opportunity to get more wear out of your favorite styles from the winter 2015 collections, now is a time when we tend to start looking forward to spring, and the fashions that will come with it.

Pantone’s Hints at Fashions to Come

Spring fashions are, of course, always previewed well ahead of the styles hitting the shops ready to wear when the days start getting warmer and longer. One good source of ideas in terms of what you’ll be wanting to wear for spring 2016 is the Pantone Color Institute’s spring 2016 color report. Pantone creates this report twice a year, for the spring and fall fashion seasons, and it is always a very good indicator of the colors you’ll be seeing around not only in clothing, accessories and footwear, but also in other types of design, including interiors and product design.

For each season, Pantone prescribes a collection of ten precise shades that they feel truly define the time. These usually include their ‘Color of the Year’, which in 2016, is actually for the first time two colors. Rather than opting for one block color to be their defining shade for 2016 as they have every other year, 2016’s color is a combination of a soft pink called Rose Quartz, and a light blue called Serenity. Designed to be used together by either coordinating garments of the two colors, or wearing prints featuring both, this is a new and interesting approach to giving the year its own color!

Spring 2016’s Pantone Prescribed Palette

Pantone’s spring 2016 palette has been named ‘A Transporting and Transformative Canvas’. If you read up on it, Pantone believe the palette is inspired by artists like Matisse and Picasso, and also by the way urban architecture looks alongside natural scenery. And also by Cuba. As always, there is quite a lot of arty talk around the colors, however if you distill this down to what most of us are interested in, it effectively means a cool, fun combination that features fun brights as well as calming, pretty tones.

Here are some of the colors you will be seeing plenty of in the spring collections, in addition to the Rose Quartz and Serenity blend mentioned already:


Fiesta is a bright red, reminiscent of hot chili peppers. Because it is more on the spicy side than a ‘primary color’ bright red, it has a sophisticated quality as well as being fun and bold. This means it can be worn happily without making you feel like a clown! It works well for simple, block color pieces, so look out for this shade in classic dresses and also everyday tops. It is also a nice color to use as an accent if you are dressing in more neutral shades from the palette, perhaps as a bag or shoes. It will be likely to make for a good lipstick shade for fans of red, too!

Buttercup Yellow

Another shade from the spring 2016 Pantone top 10 is also a ‘grown up’ version of a primary bright – buttercup yellow. This is a great, sunshine shade that is going to be really refreshing to wear and see around once winter finally loses its grip on us! It can look really cool mixed with the Fiesta Red shade to give bright, bold patterns, but can also be used as your accent color of choice. This kind of yellow looks great with black, as long as you manage to avoid looking like a wasp.

Many people shy away from yellow, feeling that it doesn’t work well with their skin tone – particularly paler people and blonds. However even if this isn’t a color you usually look to, adding in some splashes here and there or using cute Buttercup Yellow accessories can give you a fun, cheerful look.

Lilac Gray

Lilac Gray is one of the more neutral shades of the spring 2016 color collection, and is an easy to wear, sophisticated pale gray with an undertone of blue-ish purple. It is a graceful color for evening wear in wispy fabrics, but equally looks great on lightweight cardigans and sweaters perfect for spring’s cooler moments.

These are just a few of the colors that feature in Pantone’s spring palette, and give some exciting options for building your new spring wardrobe!

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