Spring-Summer 2016 Colors
It’s Time to Shop!
Plus Free Shopping Planner

Spring-Summer 2016 Colors <br>It’s Time to Shop! <br>Plus Free Shopping Planner

Note: Check out the downloadable shopping planner and guide that you can take when you shop for these fun and fresh colors and plan how to integrate them into what you already have in your current wardrobe.


I don’t know about you, but by the time a new season emerges, I am very ready to wear some fresh colors. It’s summer! I’m ready for less black, gray, dark blue. Give me some color!

Introducing the Pantone top ten colors for Spring-Summer 2016:

Pantone Spring 2016 Color Report

I’ve always been curious about how each season’s color palette is selected – how the fashion “Powers that Be” decide what colors stores will feature each season. So, I did a little research.

It turns out that each season, Pantone releases the top 10 colors that will be seen in fashion during that particular season. (Pantone is a company considered the authority on color. Its Pantone Matching System, a standardized color reproduction system, is used across industries including fashion.)

Then I wondered who decides these “in” colors and what criteria do they use.

The colors are compiled by a group of color experts around the world (who the experts are is still a bit unclear) and are the result of color trends tracked globally and merged with the hues used by fashion designers in their seasonal collections. This season’s mix includes colors that are calming and peaceful as well as bold and playful.

Leatrice Eiseman Executive Director, Pantone Color Institute, explains:

“Influenced by the world of art, new global doors opening and the desire to disconnect from technology and unwind, designers this season have gravitated toward a palette that is first and foremost calming. Paying homage to the beauty of natural resources, colors emerging in the Spring collections serve as vehicles that transport wearers to more tranquil, mindful environs which encourage relaxation first, followed by curiosity and exploration.

“Designers were also inspired by the contrast of urban design and lush vegetation, leading to unexpected color combinations and collections reminiscent of architecture, travel and nostalgia….designers are playing with courageous color statements that aren’t afraid to be vibrant but at the same time are combined with quieting, classic and more natural tones.

“Colors this season transport us to a happier, sunnier place where we feel free to express a wittier version of our real selves. With our culture still surrounded by so much uncertainty, we are continuing to yearn for those softer shades that offer a sense of calm and relaxation.”

Well, I know that I’m ready to surround myself with things and colors that are calming and happy!

Since doing a little research to write this post, I’ve been noticing these colors everywhere – on the pages of magazines, in stores, in the clothing I see women wearing, and even in my own closet (like when you get a new car and suddenly notice those cars everywhere you go). It occurred to me that the colors aren’t necessarily new or never worn before, but maybe paired in new combinations or featured in different color intensities or shades. It’s fun to play with these new color combinations. Actually, even the names of these colors are playful and don’t you feel intrigued to try them just because of that!

I’m looking forward to integrating some of these spring colors into my wardrobe. Although I’m not typically super colorful in my dress, I’ve decided to add some of these on-trend and fresh colors this spring.

It’s not necessary to spend a lot of money, especially when you undoubtedly have things in your wardrobe already that fit into these color families. Take a look at what you have in your closet. They don’t have to be exact shades. I bet we can all start shopping in our own closets before adding new pieces to our spring and summer wardrobes.

I’m starting by pulling out things I already have in these Spring/Summer 2016 colors as well as basics or neutrals in my closet. Then I’ll figure out where I can add some fun spring color additions. For example, I have a lightweight Fiesta colored print scarf. I could add the scarf to a pair of blue jeans-style pants (they are a color similar to Snorkel Blue, but a little brighter) and stay with a neutral-colored top, maybe just white. I also have a maxi skirt that’s close to the Fiesta color. I’ve always worn it with a neutral colored top (white or gray), but I think I’m going to try something outside the box – maybe I could add a top in Limpet Shell (not sure how this color earned its name – I had to look up limpet and discovered that it’s an aquatic snail or dome shaped mollusk!). Back to my closet: I have a long, open-weave knit vest/short sleeve sweater that’s in the Iced Coffee color family that I haven’t worn in a while and pairing it with a t-shirt in Rose Quartz and a pair of skinny jeans and sandals sounds pretty.

You might find helpful the planner/guide I’ve created to get ready for the seasonal shopping trip – kind of a cheat sheet. You can download it here: Spring-Summer 2016 Colors Shopping Guide It’s printable but it’s helpful to save it to your phone so it’s always accessible if you happen to see something that would work in your wardrobe but can’t remember what you have that you might be able to pair with it.

To use the Spring/Summer 2016 Color Shopping Guide, go through your closet and jot down:

  • your bottoms and their colors (e.g., jeans and pants, shorts, maxi or regular skirts)
  • your tops and their colors (e.g., white t-shirt, beige/iced coffee tank top, denim button down shirt)
  • any accessories you already have that you like to wear with their colors (e.g., fiesta print scarf, gold/buttercup handbag)
  • shoes and sandals that you can wear during the season

Then decide where you can fill in with some pieces from the 2016 Spring/Summer colors, and write those items in the guide. This will allow you to shop for items you will really be able to use with what you already have.

Here’s a sample of how I would use the guide:

Chart for Spring Colors Blog

To add a little more fun to this whole spring/summer color thing, each color communicates certain traits or evokes emotions:

Rose Quartz: Compassion, composure, light-heartedness – Rose Quartz pairs well with Peach Echo, Serenity, Lilac Gray

Peach Echo: Warmth, accessibility, friendliness – Peach Echo pairs well with Rose Quartz, Serenity, Lilac Gray

Serenity: Comforting, calming, trusting, dependable – Serenity pairs well with Buttercup, Snorkel Blue, Peach Echo

Snorkel Blue: Relaxing, escapism – Snorkel Blue pairs well with Buttercup, Iced Coffee, Peach Echo

Buttercup: Happy, sunny – Buttercup pairs well with Snorkel Blue, Serenity, Lilac Gray

Limpet Shell: Clear, crisp, fresh, modern – Limpet Shell pairs well with Iced Coffee, Peach Echo, Rose Quarts

Lilac Gray: Neutral with a distinctive edge – Lilac Gray pairs well with Fiesta, Green Flash, Iced Coffee

Fiesta: Excitement, free-spirited – Fiesta pairs well with Snorkel Blue, Green Flash, Limpet Shell

Iced Coffee: Soft, stable, subtle – Iced Coffee pairs well with Rose Quartz, Serenity, Lilac Gray

Green Flash: Openness, unexpected, unique – Green Flash pairs well with Snorkel Blue, Serenity, Limpet Shell

(Color pairings by Pantone)

If you’d like to explore the Pantone Fashion Color Report for Spring/Summer 2016, click here (it’s kind of fun!).









1 Comment

  1. Leane
    June 8, 2016 / 5:05 pm

    Hey thanks! Now I know what color to call my soon-to-be-worn Mother-of-the-Groom dress: Lilac Grey!

Leave a Reply to Leane Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *