Fashion's Color Wheel For Fall

By Sharon Mosley

July 19, 2012 4 min read

Round and round we go; where will we land? Will it be a toasty French roasted brown? A honey of a gold? A fruity pink flambe? The ultramarine of green? An Olympian blue? A bright chartreuse? A steely titanium gray? A rhapsody in plum? Or a smoldering smoky rose? And then there's always that tangy tangerine tango!

Yes, the color wheel for fall fashion is spinning into an unexpected mix of darks and brights and all those fifty shades of gray in between. But then we all need a little color to brighten things up every now and then.

"By playing to consumers' practical side with versatile neutrals and boosting their confidence with bold, spirited hues, this skillfully balanced palette has something for everyone," says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, which comes up with these fashionable hues every season.

Pantone regularly surveys designers to see what their favorite colors and must-have fashion pieces are for the season. Take a few cues from these style pros, and put your own spin on the color wheel this fall:

--Tracy Reese: A printed pencil skirt. I am loving this skirt right now, and I want to wear colored and patterned bottoms.

--Carmen Marc Valvo: A beautiful camel coat. A classic for anyone's wardrobe.

--Peter Som: A stretch wool peplum dress in egret winter white.

--Nanette Lepore: Lots of shirts, a skirt with movement and a jacket with an elongated smoking shape.

--Nicole Miller: An alpaca vest, which comes in plum and pine.

--Lela Rose: A double-face wool knit jacket in navy and russet; this is the perfect daytime jacket that works with everything and always looks turned out.

--Herve Leger: Our new dress with a pleated A-line skirt and hardware details in Rio red and blue sapphire.

--Charlotte Ronson: The Oba print slip dress. It's influenced by geometric tribal patterns and features our most important color, deep emerald green, with highlights of cool gray, sandy camel and insignia blue.

--Betsey Johnson: Hot pink hot pants, of course!

--Tadashi Shoji: A sheath lace dress in seagrass.

--James Coviello: A '60s inspired wool swing coat in an unexpected color such as light rust.

--Hyden Yoo: Our lapis stone blue double-breasted suede cropped jacket matched with our mixed berry cashmere oversized turtleneck. I improvised the shapes of these classic styles to make them fresh and bold.

--Ella Moss by Pamella Protzel Scott: An Ella Moss dramatic high/low hem dress is a must have this fall. I love it in our crystal green chiffon print. It mixes shades of spruce and tones of jade, and it's so easily transitional from late summer into the fall months.

--Bill Blass by Jeffrey Monteiro: Jersey-back felt jacket in excalibur gray with the perfectly luxuriating mink trim.

Tommy Hilfiger: Military-inspired outerwear with a colorblocking treatment in zinfandel, midnight navy or Dijon.

Pamela Roland by Pamella DeVos: The midnight black structured quilted jacket is a chic outerwear option. The metallic fabric with a subtle jacquard pattern adds something special to your winter wardrobe.

Sharon Mosley's weekly column, "In Fashion," can be found at

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