Designers recently showcased their new collections for Spring and Summer, and it inspired me to elevate my fashion sense for the coming months. While runway trends are challenging to wear in real life, the color trends let our wardrobes primed for the new season. Pantone’s Color Institute described these seasonal hues “energizing and optimistic”.
We rounded up the 6 key colors that are inspiring our warm-weather wardrobes, along with some color analysis tips to make them work for you.
Spring and Summer Color Trends
1. Sky Blue
OSCAR DE LA RENTA SPRING/SUMMER 2020 via Tagwalk
Classic Blue might be the Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2020, but designers recently showcased its softer variation that looks lighter and dreamier. From Bottega Veneta to Marc Jacobs and Oscar de la Renta, sky blue proved to look chic in monochromatic dressing.
2. Margarine Yellow
NINA RICCI SPRING/SUMMER 2020 via Tagwalk
Forget the blinding hues as this season is all about a soft buttery shade of yellow. Margarine yellow made major appearances on Jacquemus and Nina Ricci’s collections, showing it’s versatile enough to be worn with any hues including brights and crisp neutrals.
3. Pistachio Green
MISSONI SPRING/SUMMER 2020 via Tagwalk
If you’re looking for a refreshing and calming shade, go for light green. From Giambattista Valli to Fendi and Missoni, pistachio green looked stylish whether on dreamy ruffles, monochromatic ensembles, or tropical prints.
4. Coral Pink
ALEXANDER MCQUEEN SPRING/SUMMER 2020 via Tagwalk
A little romance never hurt anyone, and the shade is chic to wear both day and night. In fact, Alexander McQueen even featured the hue on his dramatic aesthetic inspired by nature. Whether you’re a fan of gingham prints, flowy dresses, or matching suits, coral pink is a must in your wardrobe.
5. Poppy Red
BRANDON MAXWELL SPRING/SUMMER 2020 via Tagwalk
If you want to turn heads this summer season, resort to a striking color. Inspired by poppy flowers, the hue makes the perfect choice for warm weather. From Balenciaga to Alberta Ferretti, poppy red is proven to look stylish and versatile in formal and casual settings.
DOLCE & GABBANA SPRING/SUMMER 2020 via Tagwalk
One of the juiciest and punchiest summer colors, orange can make your style playful and fresh. From Louis Vuitton to Isabel Marant and Dolce & Gabbana, the shade gives you the instant summer vacation vibe that you need.
Color Analysis: How to Make These Color Trends Work for You?
These key colors will surely make your style more fashionable, but you should not feel restricted to certain hues. Instead, go for shades that will work on you—ones that flatter your complexion and resonate with your personal style.
In Carole Jackson’s “Color Me Beautiful” book, she proved that the right choice of colors can make a difference. You can still wear the key colors of Spring and Summer 2020, but choose the right shade for you. She categorizes people into 4 seasons—Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter—based on skin tone, eye, and hair color.
The color trends I mentioned above refer to the dominant hues spotted on runway trends. To make these trendy colors work, you have to choose the right shade for you with the help of color analysis.
If you’re a Spring…
Characteristics: Do you know many Springs are blonde in childhood but eventually get darker hair with a golden cast? If you’re one of them, you likely have green, blue, amber, or hazel eyes with golden tones.
Best Colors: According to Jackson, you’ll look best in clear, warm colors as well as delicate bright colors with yellow undertones. If you like to rock those runway colors, here are your best shades based on Spring color palette:
- Sky Blue – “light periwinkle blue” or “dark periwinkle blue”
- Margarine Yellow – “buff”
- Pistachio Green – “pastel yellow-green,” “medium yellow-green,” or “bright yellow-green”
- Coral Pink – “light orange,” “orange-red,” or “clear salmon”
- Orange – “light clear gold” or “honey”
Worst Colors: Unfortunately, bold shades of red are not for you, so avoid the “Poppy Red” color trend.
If you’re a Summer…
Characteristics: If you’re a Summer, you likely have dark ash brown, light brunette, or blonde hair. Do you know you can successfully frost your hair since silver tones complement your complexion? Your eyes can be rose brown, green, or hazel.
Best Colors: According to Jackson, soft hues with a blue undertone look great on you. If you want to wear the key colors of the year, here are the shades that will flatter your complexion based on the Summer palette.
- Sky Blue – “powder blue,” “gray blue,” or “periwinkle blue”
- Margarine Yellow – “light lemon yellow”
- Pistachio Green – “pastel blue-green” or “medium blue-green”
- Coral Pink – “watermelon” or “blue-red”
Worst Colors: Unfortunately, the striking shades of red are not for you, so skip the “Poppy Red,” and resort to softer, lighter hues. Also, “Orange” isn’t flattering for your complexion.
If you’re an Autumn…
Characteristics: Whether you’re a blonde, brunette, or redhead, you likely have gold or red highlights. Your eyes can be in the shades of brown, hazel, or green—but redheads can sometimes have bright turquoise eyes.
Best Colors: According to Jackson, you’ll look best in warm colors with golden undertones. If you want to wear the trendy runway hues, opt for these shades that are based on Autumn palette.
- Sky Blue – “deep periwinkle blue”
- Pistachio Green – “lime green,” “chartreuse,” or “bright yellow-green”
- Coral Pink – “salmon” or “deep peach”
- Poppy Red – “dark tomato red” or “bittersweet red”
- Orange – “pumpkin,” “mustard,” or “yellow gold”
Worst Colors: Unfortunately, there is no pure shade of yellow that will look great on you, so better skip the “Margarine Yellow” trend.
If you’re a Winter…
Characteristics: Most Winters have light brown hair though it usually darkens with age. But do you know you’ll still look attractive in gray hair? You may have brown or hazel eyes with a gray tone. Some Winters can also have blue or gray-green eyes.
Best Colors: According to Jackson, you’ll look best in cool, icy colors with blue undertones. If you want to wear the trendy runway colors, opt for these shades that are based on Winter palette.
- Sky Blue – “true blue” or “navy blue”
- Margarine Yellow – “icy yellow” or “lemon yellow”
- Pistachio Green – “icy green” or “light true green”
- Coral Pink – “blue-red”
Worst Colors: Unfortunately, the shades of red and orange are not for you, so better skip the “Poppy Red.” In fact, most Winters look sallow in warm colors.
As you have seen in the seasonal color analysis, you can wear almost any color, but it’s the shade and intensity that count. The key lies in knowing and understanding your coloring whether it’s your hair, eyes, or complexion—and knowing which season you belong. If you want to wear a certain color trend, stick to colors on your own seasonal palette.
While Springs look great in clear, bright hues with yellow undertones, Autumns will look more flattering in colors with gold and orange undertones. On the other hand, Summers must resort to cool and soft colors with blue undertones. Lastly, Winters are best for clear, icy hues with blue undertones.
To give you more possibilities on your fashion choices, the color theory was even expanded into 12 Seasons Color Analysis. Instead of being just Summer or Spring, there are Clear Spring, Warm Spring, and Light Spring, as well as Light Summer, Cool Summer, and Soft Summer.
You can want to check my guide for a more accurate approach to describing your seasonal color here.
Fashion Tips on Wearing Spring/Summer 2020 Color Trends
Start with your accessories.
Summer colors might be fun and bright, but if you’re still on doubt, start with accessories as the accent of your outfit. If Margarine Yellow sounds intimidating, a pair of topaz or citrine earrings can make everything elegant. A red summer dress might look overkill for the season, but a pair of Poppy Red stilettos looks chic and sophisticated.
Go for monochromatic dressing.
If you’re already confident with the spring colors, you may start wearing them head-to-toe. A great thing, some of them are office-appropriate. A Coral Pink blazer worn with matching trousers not only looks chic but also professional for a board meeting. On the other hand, an orange sundress paired with a matching handbag looks quirky and playful and is best reserved for the weekends.
Think of unexpected color combinations.
Fashion is all about experimentation and having fun, so why not play with summer colors? Whether you want to give color blocking a try, or rock two contrasting hues, spring colors will surely give you a statement look.
Wearing pink and red together was considered a fashion faux pas, but they are now hip and trendy. If you want to turn heads, think of “Coral Pink” and “Poppy Red” on your next weekend outfit. If that sounds too intimidating to wear, start with a coral pink dress and match it with a poppy red handbag, shoes, and earrings.
How will you rock the key colors of the season in the most flattering and stylish way?