How to Wear Fall Colors

It’s a Warm Autumn!

Pumpkins, cornstalks, hayrides, and mulled cider (with donuts, please).  It’s the season for how to wear fall colors - leavescrisp days and the richness of autumnal color — in nature and in clothing.

When I was young, my mother would take me back-to-school shopping for new clothes that were inevitably heavy in the rust, brown, gold, burgundy, and olive color categories.  Not because they were my favorite colors, but because that’s what was on store racks in the fall.

In those days, clothing colors often reflected the hues of nature during their related season, or sometimes, hues that represented holidays or other events that took place during a particular shopping season.  For example: bright, cheery colors of the flowers in spring time; light, cooling colors for comfort during heat of the summer.

As time marched forward “fashion colors” became a thing, flooding the market with choices dictated by the trickle-down effect of high-end designers’ seasonal collections.  Instead of nature’s fall colors of the earth in autumn, soft mauve with charcoal grey might show up — or any number of other non-seasonal color combinations would be featured in a particular fall season if that’s what was on top designer runways.  And though there’d be exceptions, that’s the practice that prevailed for decades: fashion-season color trends.

Then came Pantone’s Color of the Year declarations.  Pantone, once a printing company that endeavored to create a universal system for color referencing and matching, evolved into a color trend forecaster.  In the year 2000, Pantone announced its first Color of the Year:  Cerulean.  Ever since, Pantone has ruled the direction of color in fashion, home décor, how to wear fall colors: Pantone 2020and other consumer goods.

This season, Pantone’s color direction includes a healthy number of classically-rich fall colors. But even more importantly, manufacturers and retailers took the cue in a big way this year. I’ve observed a collection of traditional autumn colors in a variety I haven’t seen available in ages. This will be music to your ears if you have a warm base to your innate coloring!

Warm-color-wearing tips:

  • If your undertones are warm and deep, opt for the darker, deeper versions of the warm tones, mixing them with lighter shades if you your skin/hair/eye combination is high contrast.
  • If warm and soft is your game, choose the hues that are more muted in quality.  This will be pretty easy as more autumn hues are muted, than they are clear.
  • If the warmth of your personal coloring comes in a lighter-value variety, wear the light-to-medium values of the hues to match your own contrast level.
  • If your warm coloring is clear, you’ll want to be extra careful in your selections.  Many of the autumn-inspired tones are soft in their intensity and may wash out the clarity of your skin and eyes.  Don’t click the “buy” button until you find the colors that have your best intensity at stake.

Wearing the colors that lift your appearance and earn compliments is your secret style weapon. You’ll gain more compliments than you’d ever imagine when you wield this tool.  If you found yourself scratching your head in wonder while reading the tips above, let’s connect so you can learn your own best color palette.  You deserve to know the colors that brighten your features, make your eyes sparkle, and take years off your appearance!  Learn more about my Virtual Color Solution here.

Meanwhile, here’s a visual tour of few current fall-color options (read below them to find a color test):

How to wear fall colors: Anthropologies tank

How to wear fall colors - Nordstrom dress

How to wear fall colors - J. Crew v-neck

How to wear fall colors - Target top

How to wear fall colors - jacket















How to wear fall colors: Banana Republic turtle neck












What’s your color IQ?
Just for kicks, visit this post for a fun color test to check how you “see” color.  (No grades involved!)

Want to learn more? Work with me.

Patty Buccellato is an image coach and founder of Refined Images. She brings extensive knowledge and expertise to her work with men and women individually, as well as with corporate employee groups.

Patty established Refined Images in 1994, and while her studio is based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, you’ll find her serving clients throughout North America in their homes, offices — and, yes, even in shopping malls! To get your FREE copy of Patty’s “How to Shop Like a Stylist,” visit or contact Patty.

Go here to claim your FREE eBook!

This entry was posted in Personal Color, Personal Image, Uncategorized, Women, Women's Image, Women's style & fashion. Bookmark the permalink.

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