Fall 2016: top 10 Pantone colors

Posted on February 22, 2016

After they announced the new era of rose quartz and serenity blue, Pantone makes us happy with a new palette for Fall 2016: here’s the top 10 colors that are being used by designers and are going to inspire us in the next few months. It’s one of the best color palettes of the last few years.

For this article, I took a lot of information from the Pantone website and also from WWD – they looked closely at the collections for Fall 2016 and estimated the percentage of designers who used a particular color in their collections. I think it’s only fair that I should credit their work. And it’s art but it’s also a business so there’s a lot of mathematics and statistics involved.


The desire for tranquility, strength, and optimism have inspired a Fall 2016 color palette that is led by the Blue family.
Along with anchoring earth tones, exuberant pops of vibrant colors also appear throughout the collections. Transcending gender, these unexpectedly vivacious colors in our Fall 2016 palette act as playful but structured departures from your more typical fall shades.

Blue skies represent constancy as they are always above us. Grays give a feeling of stability, Red tones invite confidence and warmth, while the hot Pinkish Purples and Spicy Mustard Yellows suggest a touch of the exotic. – said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute.

Airy Blue (fall 2016)

Airy Blue (14-4122) Percentage of designers who used this color: 19.38

It’s the response to the economic and political changes. It’s the calm that we all need inside as we feel  that the media makes us feel like the whole world is in chaos. It’s versatile, it brings a lightness and calmness. And gives us a bit of confidence and stability. It’s by far the best color of the palette and the idea of wearing a full outfit in Airy Blue is just very exciting, it lets your personality shine with a relaxed touch.


Warm Taupe (fall 2016)

Warm Taupe (16-318) Percentage of designers who used this color: 9.86

It’s one of the most organic colors in this palette and I believe it leads the trend for 2017. It feels like designers reinvented the nudes and mute colors in the last few months. And there’s more than Kanye West’s collections and the Kardashians obsessively wearing it. It is timeless. It is very practical and it brings a sense of trust and stability. I think young people in particular are sick of looking at photos of themselves from a few months or years ago and going ‘what the hell was I wearing?’ so we’re creating a style that could look as good in a few years. This warm taupe will stand the test of time.



Riverside (fall 2016)

Riverside (17-4028) Percentage of designers who used this color: 22.55

It brings strength, it brings calmness but it’s also a bit more sophisticated, more royal than the other blue. It’s a bit more mature and more masculine. It’s also a good idea for denim lovers  – especially since this year is not so big on denim pieces. It feels like a deep ocean, the quiet deep ocean. Or the quiet night sky. Or a piece of bright blue that’s been around for many years.


Sharkskin (fall 2016)

Sharkskin (17-3914) Percentage of designers who used this color: 17.47

This could be the base shade for any outfit and use any of the other colors to make it more vibrant. Somehow it’s neutral but if you find the right combination, it can be quite moody. It’s very practical. And brings out earth tones.



Aurora Red (fall 2016)

Aurora Red (18-1550) Percentage of designers who used this color: 16.96

From Rihanna’s ANTI album cover to Lady Gaga’s pantsuit & make-up at the SuperBowl, it’s the new shade of red. I guess this never goes out of style and some women will always feel the need to express their inner self with some passion, sensuality and warmth – it is somehow very Christmassy, very shades of Coca-Cola. Also, it brings a lot of confidence and it starts the action for any outfit.



Dusty Cedar (fall 2016)

Dusty Cedar (18-1630) Percentage of designers who used this color: 8.21


It’s a more subtle way of saying “hi” – it was the first thought I had when I saw this color. It’s a close relative to the color of the year – rose quartz – and it brings the theme for fall 2016 – dusty colors, muted, it keeps us more in tone with fall and winter.

Lush Meadow (fall 2016)

 Lush Meadow (18-5845) Percentage of designers who used this color: 7.92


A very organic, natural, botanical and healthy green. It looks like the detox juices that everyone tries at the end of the summer, after too many late night parties.

What I love about most of these colors is that they all look like “the royal shade” of their essence. A royal red, a royal rose-brown, a royal-emerald green city. In the same time, they’re all inspired by nature and brings us closer to the basic colors that we see every autumn when we get our heads up from our phones.

Spicy Mustard

Spicy Mustard (14-0952) Percentage of designers using this color: 7.67


Found myself loving this mustard yellow more and more in the last few months and I’ve been using it in my styling jobs because it brings out a strong 70s vibes. But when I looked back, this kind of yellow was always in the color palette, it’s always been “in trend”, whether it was a more vibrant one or this mute spicy mustard tone. It is beautiful though and it completes the fall 2016, it brings a great accent for accesories.

Potter’s Clay (fall 2016)

Potter’s Clay (18-1340) Percentage of designers using this color: 6.92


It’s muted, it’s sophisticated, it’s very earthy, it’s very ’70s and it’s a good base but it doesn’t look like a popular color to wear even for fall.

Bodacious (fall 2016)

Bodacious (17-3240) Percentage of designers using this color: 6.45


This is the surprise statement color for fall and winter 2016. It brings out a feminine vibe yet colorful and elegant. It’s young, flirty but it brings that mute, dusty vibe. And of course, it’s another sister from the Rose family.