It’s always fun to explore the new color trends for spring as we transition from winter dark to a lighter season and warmer weather. Fashion takes its cues from color experts when it comes to a season’s color trends, resulting in an array of colors we see in retail land, festively introducing us to the spring color trends. (Color trends we see for spring carry over into summer as well.)
What inspires fashion color trends and who the heck are those who determine/dictate what each season’s color trends are?
Trend forecasters in a variety of industries, but particularly companies whose business is color, like Pantone, are those who fashion designers and interior decorators look to for color trends. Color forecasters, who inform each season’s trends in colors (apparently in a committee-like manner), take cues from aspects of life: mood, social and cultural behaviors, nature. Trend forecasters use a mixture of intuition, research, and data to create color scenarios.
And all of us who shop for the new season’s styles, are “guided” to buy the latest colors for the season.
Of course, there are always the classics that never go out of style. Classic colors or neutrals are the foundation of any season’s wardrobe. The color trends are the fun pops of color to add in.
That’s enough intro! Let’s jump into the 2022 spring color trends and the colors I’ve spotted over the past couple of weeks as I’ve cruised some of my go-to retailers.
Pantone Spring/Summer Color Palette
Each year Pantone puts out the new season’s color palette or color trends. The color trends are unveiled during Fashion Week in various cities. The colors below were shown at New York Fashion Week for spring/summer 2022.
“According to Pantone Color Institute experts, colors for Spring/Summer 2022 New York reflect our aspiration for balance as we move through a changing landscape. Colors that evince our need for comfort, clarity, and security satisfy our urge to stay with the familiar. At the same time, free-spirited optimism, and a feeling of new liberation, are unleashed in dynamic, stand-out shades, quenching our desire for spontaneity, uplift, and joy.
‘Colors for Spring 2022 bring together our competing desires for comforting familiarity and joyful adventure through a range of soothing and timeless colors, along with joyous hues that celebrate playfulness. As we enter this new landscape, one where fashion rules no longer apply, hues for Spring 2022 allow us to mix and marry as we please, encouraging the exploration of new chromatic realities, opening the door for personalized style and spontaneous color statements,’ said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute.” (credit: Pantone Fashion Color Trend Report)
Here Are the Color Trends for Spring 2022
To dive a little deeper into the inspiration for the spring color trends, check out this Fashion Color Trend Report, which curates a collection of images that reflect the palette of top ten fashion colors as well as four core shades.
Spring Color Trend Evocations
I usually don’t use external sources’ verbatim content, but this interpretation and descriptors of the 2022 spring colors excerpted from a WWD article is so good, I think it’s worth sharing and fun to read. The description of each color is poetic!
This whisper of a blue epitomizes the quiet feeling that a pastel relays, according to Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “You can really take a deep breath,” she said. Traces of Spun Sugar can be found in Azede Jean-Pierre’s new collaborative Azede Powered by Gucci knitwear. More accessible brands like H&M and Levi’s favor Spun Sugar, too. Designer Cynthia Rowley and Molly-Mae Hague of “Love Island” are also fans of this soft blue.
More sophisticated than a childlike pink, this shade is a genderless favorite. It carries a certain reassurance “like a nice pat on the back that everything is going to be OK,” Eiseman said. Christian Cowan has worked it into his designs. BTS members have favored this color. Camila Cabello dances in a ballgown in this hue in “Cinderella.” This soft pink can also be found interiors in Galeries Lafayette’ (Re)Store, a new circular fashion space, and in the updated Victoria’s Secret stores.
The most energetic color in the palette, Innuendo is a fashion favorite that offers a “wonderful jolt of energy,” Eiseman said. Lil Nas X got a jumpstart on this trend wearing a Versace ensemble in Innuendo to the 2020 Grammys. Nick Wooster uses this bold pink in his new collaboration with Kuon.
Sure, sure, blue is tranquilizing and serene and all the rest, but this one has a brightness that gives it a new persona. LaQuan Smith, Louis Vuitton, Tommy Hilfiger and American Eagle are all on board with this highly visible blue. Salma Hayek sported a bathing suit in this shade recently for a birthday selfie.
Interest in this sunlit shade is due partially to the ongoing gardening trend. Tending flowers was one of the home-friendly trends borne out of the pandemic. This year, 86 percent of homeowners indicated they plan to continue gardening, according to a survey by Axiom Marketing. Labrum London featured this color of hope in its fall collection. Interest in this yellow shows how people are seeking clarity, Eiseman said. Even the cover of Sally Rooney’s buzzy new book “Beautiful World, Where Are You?” features this Daffodil.
Calming and cooling, this faint blue conjures visions of arctic or mountainous travel. After months of many asking, “Should I cancel my trip?” and some doing so due to the Delta variant, just the words Glacier Lake are appealing.
Another transportive blue, Harbor Blue reflects our longing for a safe space, according to Eiseman. Tory Burch and Ralph Lauren have infused their sportswear collections with Harbor Blue.
This warming color has a similar effect to that of a mug of coffee or cocoa, Eiseman said. Stella McCartney has created vegan leather in Coca Mocha in seasons past. Brands like Max Mara, Fendi, Banana Republic, Markarian and Alberta Ferretti have featured this tawny color, too.
A daring, dynamic purple that brings a lot of drama to the color palette, Dahlia also hints at “wanting to get away to a more exciting place,” Eiseman said. Poet Amanda Gorman, whose reading at President Joe Biden’s inauguration made her a star, is also a fan of this purple. Recent promotional material of Gorman’s new partnership with Estée Lauder features a photo of her wearing a Dahlia-colored gown.
This heated red packs a punch and inspires travel at the same time, Eiseman said. The prospect of not only getting out in the real world, but also getting away in the real world is gaining ground with every day. Olivia Rodrigo sports a Poinciana vest and coordinating beret in her “Brutal” video that Petra Collins shot. EgonLab, Threeasfour and the aforementioned Smith are also using this spirited red.
Spring 2022 Core Classic Colors
These seasonless shades have versatility and longevity. They also serve as anchoring colors for tranquil or vibrant hues alike.
This soft white isn’t rooted in the nearly 2.8 million weddings that are expected to take place this year! The quest for cleanliness and an escape from germs has been a priority during the pandemic. Snow White seems to capture that sentiment, according to Eiseman, who noted that white is also a sign of uninterrupted inner peace and hints at the dove of peace. This soft white can be found in Sanctuary Spa’s new campaign and Express sportswear.
Earlier this summer, Biden caught a lot of media attention for wearing a summery linen suit in this light tan, as his predecessor Barack Obama had. But this color is reminiscent of walking on a warm, inviting beach, according to Eiseman. Indicative of the color’s universal appeal, Jacquemus slouchy separates, Brooks Brother khakis, a Dior skirt incorporate Perfectly Pale.
Another indicator of the health and wellness trend is the preponderance of basil, the fragrant herb that is said to relive oxidative stress. Peter Som and Paris Hilton have used Basil for their culinary venture, while designers like Gucci’s Alessandro Michele have put it to good use.
This barely there gray is another sampling of quietude, according to Eiseman. Ganni and Vestiaire Collective are early adopters of this always-in-fashion color choice.
This deep gray is a timeless favorite with designers like Thom Browne. It can also be found in the steely exterior of The Shed in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards, where Browne will welcome 250 guests during New York Fashion Week. Workout enthusiasts can find Poppy options by Under Armour.
Credit: Women’s Wear Daily
Women’s Wear Daily is a fashion-industry trade journal often referred to as the “Bible of fashion”. It provides information and intelligence on changing trends and breaking news in the men and women’s fashion, beauty and retail industries.
Spring Color Trends in the Wild!
I wondered (to myself) if the spring color trends delivered from the fashion powers that be actually translated to real clothes for real people. So I took myself out shopping.
I was surprised to see so much vibrant color in the stores! It does support the theme of people being ready to get out there.
These bold colors interpret our mood of being ready to emerge from our isolated cocoons that have dictated our lives for the past two years. At the same time, there’s a balance of quieter colors this spring that communicate the thoughtfulness that has been so important in how we’ve gone about our lives during the pandemic. I’ve read that the light shades of blue are representative of the blue surgical masks that we’ve seen so much.
Come on! Let’s go (window) shopping.
Spring Color Trends Seen at Nordstrom
Always Colorful Anthropologie
Gap’s Version of Spring Color Trends
Banana Republic Interprets Spring Color Trends
Shop for Spring Colors
You may be surprised to find some of 2022’s spring colors in your closet (I did!). Give new life to something that’s now a fresh spring look.
Or shop some of the new colors below.
It doesn’t take buying a whole new wardrobe to feel like you’re ready for spring. Try some new color combinations. Pull out some colors that you haven’t worn for a while. And shop the color trends when they are on sale (there are spring sales now).