We all know that 2022 is a unique year, as we’re coming out of a global pandemic. The Pantone Fashion Color Report for New York Fashion Week shows that consumers are interested in colors that both soothe and invigorate them, and the fashion world has taken note.
“The emotional quality of colors is really more impactful than anything else that’s happening in the world around us,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “I’m astounded that people are talking about their feelings about color more than they ever have before. The last year-and-a-half [especially] has brought about that thoughtfulness and pensiveness. We can all relate to that.”
We’ve picked out 12 of the top colors, from Hot Pink to Olive Oil to Very Peri, that we’re seeing on the runways, at retail and of course, in the wholesale apparel arena. Your clients and their employees (or whoever will wear their decorated apparel) tapped into the same desire to express themselves through color. Show off these shades, along with key apparel and accessories pieces, in your sales presentations so that they can invest in this year to boost their brands.
The 12 Colors to Watch
Get immersed in our top 12 favorite colors to show your clients, in a great mix of calming and uplifting shades.
1. Soft Lilac: This is a new, unisex take on purple, with a touch of a sleek, gray undertone and a pastel-like finish. We’re seeing this color in suitings and other garments from designers like Brandon Maxwell, Prabal Gurung, Thom Browne, Rodarte, Simone Rocha and Self-Portrait. Present this shade in unisex styles, like t-shirts, hoodies, crop hoodies and joggers, to add to its universal appeal.
2. Hot Pink: This amazing brilliant pink sits between a magenta and a fuschia. It’s a powerful statement shade with a touch of fun. You’ll see it head-to-toe in jumpsuits and dresses from Tory Burch, Fendi, Versace, Nicole Miller and Retrofête.
“Hot pink, yes, please! This is a great statement making color,” says Nichole Howard, owner and photographer at NicholeMCHPhotography. “I love the quote from Lilly Pulitzer that ‘anything is possible with a little sunshine and a little pink.’ Hot Pink gives off an aura of caring and passionate energy, which the world really needs a lot of right now. That’s why this color is having a moment!”
Howard says Hot Pink is great on a pullover sweater or hoodie over a dress (especially on a gray day), or as part of a pink polo or t-shirt and red pants combo. “I love to see this color on anyone who really wants to shine, and show up boldly in their business,” she says.
3. Salted Caramel: We love this new neutral, which is a little more “flashy”and upbeat than khaki, classic tan or even classic caramel. It’s a great shade to pair with purple, peach or brown. Designers like Michael Kors Collection, Ulla Johnson, Lacoste, Salvatore Ferragamo, Balmain and Miu Miu showcase this shade, from work pants to full suits. When you’re presenting looks with multiple pieces, a Salted Caramel basic is a good neutral color that everyone can add to their uniform or branded look.
4. Scarlet: This dynamic shade of red, with a touch of orange is bold and expressive. Proenza Schouler, Stella McCartney, Alejandra Alonso Rojas and Staud paraded this hue down the catwalks. Perfect for events, Greek organizations, gyms or brands that love being bold, you can show Scarlet in t-shirts, polos, hoodies, jackets, bags and more.
“Scarlet is the pop of red you want to wear to make a statement, and boost your mood,” says Mandy Scanlon, a hair and fashion stylist, confidence coach, and host of Confidence + Clothing on RVNTV. “This shade pairs best with beige or sand colors. If you want to be even bolder, pair it with a yellow hue.”
5. Canary Yellow: High-fashion houses like Chanel, Alexander McQueen and Chloé have embraced this bright shade, which has a lemon and chalky feel, which makes it more elevated than gold. This feel-good shade is a great candidate for events, Greek organizations, school clubs and more. It’s a happy shade that uplifts everyone’s mood.
6. Sky Blue: This blue for 2022 reminds us of the sky, which means that it flatters most people. Plus you can wear it as a polo shirt, a head-to-toe suit, or in a favorite hat or bag. Alexandre Vauthie, Sandy Liang, Bora Asku and La Double J.
Howard, who works with a lot of women business owners as a brand photographer, says that blues transcend seasons and trends, and are great for logoed apparel that stays around for the long term. “Blues are classic and a universally flattering color for most skin tones at any time of year,” she says. “This is why Sky Blue, and other natural shades, are having a moment, since they’re a soft play on a classic color palette. I love to see this color on yoga studio owners styled in bodysuits to silky blouses under blazers on sports analysts. This color is super dynamic, all around.”
7. Atlantic Blue: Another blue hue taking its cue from the natural world, this grounded and reassuring shade reads like the ocean and the indigo dyes from our favorite denim pieces. Both corporate and casual, this shade dresses up in a polo or suit, or goes playful in a t-shirt, hat or sunglasses.
“These blues are definitely spring colors that you don’t want to miss,” Scanlon says. “These natural blues have a calming effect, which calls me to wear it everyday. You can wear natural blues as a monochrome outfit, or pair it with cream or charcoal. You can wear these shades at any age, and they can even brighten your face when you’re wearing them.”
8. Olive Oil and Basil: You won’t be seeing as much electric green this season. Cue the more natural, rich olive oils and basils, which communicate health and wellness. We’re seeing these rich shades in head-to-toe jumpsuits, camisoles or tanks, and accessories, like go-with-everything bags and footwear. Gucci and Reese Cooper have gravitated to these shades, including in comfortable, upstyled joggers.
“As a photographer, I love creating evergreen looks,” Howard says. “These natural greens work really well on shoots because, while these shades are fashionable, they’re also neutral, so they’re not overly trendy. Neutrals are naturally dynamic and classic tones for any season. Olive Oil, in particular, gives off a grounding and earthy energy which is great for spring, summer and fall.”
Olive Oil and Basil also give a “military” vibe to almost any piece, from a structured dress, to a t-shirt and joggers. “These colors are great paired with delicate gold jewelry, like gold hoop earrings or a layering chain necklace,” Howard says. “I love this color for anyone, but especially those who work in a creative field or really love the earthy vibe.”
“These shades are between a brown and a green,” Scanlon says. “The green is used more in fashion trends, and for interiors too. It’s a great base to match with other colors. You can use Olive Oil and Basil for almost any type of clothing, from polos to sneakers to undergarments. These colors will be around for the longer haul.”
9. Butter: This shade has been a staple for a few seasons, and it’s here to stay for a while. In spring 2022, this yellowish-cream shade will expand into upscaled loungewear in super-soft fabrications. Explore your apparel catalogs to find unique pieces to present to your clients, like a cropped hoodie and lounge shorts in Butter.
10. Mango Sorbet: This spring, everyone wants to feel more optimistic, so this hue, a wonderful blend of orange and yellow, brings a happy energy to spring and summer outfits. You’ll see Mango Sorbet in activewear and swimwear, perfect for gyms, spas and resorts, which your clients will love.
11. Orchid Flower: This saturated magenta shade is intense, hyper-realistic and energizing, so it looks great IRL and in digital campaigns or social media. Plus, it works for all seasons, so you can wear it throughout 2022, promoting a sense of positivity and escapism. Head-turning Orchid Flower dresses up or down, so you’ll see it in swimwear and activewear, as well as dressed-up occasion wear.
12. Very Peri: Last, but certainly not least, this is a brand-new hue from Pantone, a bluish-periwinkle that encourages personal inventiveness and creativity. Pantone created the joyous and dynamic Very Peri to reflect the transformative global moment we’re in, as we emerge from a time of isolation and reflection. This shade transcends real life, to also reflect hyper-reality and the digital space where we’ve been interacting with each other. Both genders can wear this shade, head-to-toe or in a single item, like a polo shirt or a bag, so don’t hesitate to include it in your sales presentations.
“The Pantone Color of the Year reflects what is taking place in our global culture, expressing what people are looking for that color can hope to answer,” said Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute. “Creating a new color for the first time in the history of our Pantone Color of the Year educational color program reflects the global innovation and transformation taking place. As society continues to recognize color as a critical form of communication, and a way to express and affect ideas and emotions and engage and connect, the complexity of this new red violet infused blue hue highlights the expansive possibilities that lay before us.”
What to Do Today
As you’ve seen, this season’s color palette includes both quiet and exuberant colors. “The fashion industry has hit this right on the head. Half are in calming colors. Obviously, everyone wants to feel they’re in a safe haven,” Eiseman said. “On the other hand, there’s the very human proclivity of wanting to get out and be active again. That’s where the more energetic colors come in. Brighter colors lift your spirits and let you abandon the rules about color that you learned when you were older. They bring you back to being a kid again and teach you to celebrate something in your life that will give you pleasure.”
Once you’ve become familiar with this season’s popular colors, it’s time to find apparel and accessories in these hues that you can share with your excited clients. Here are some valuable tools you can use on the alphabroder website:
- Catalogs: See our latest e-apparel catalogs at a glance so you can see what’s trending. You can share our generic versions with your clients.
- SalesBuilder: Want the power of an entire graphic design department in the hands of your marketing team and sales reps? Whether you’re making a one-page custom flyer, apparel lookbooks or an entire presentation, you can use premade templates to create professional templates that showcase the season’s hottest colors.
- High Stock Inventory Filter: When you use this feature, you can quickly find in-stock products in various colors to present to your clients.
SHOP alphabroder USA, alphabroder CANADA and Prime Line BRANDS TO FIND PRODUCTS OF THE MOMENT.
Laurie is part of the marketing team for the leading supplier in the industry, alphabroder. During her free time, Laurie likes to ride horses, sail and spend time with her husband and her two children. Reach her at Lprestine@alphabroder.com