Pantone 2021 - How To Wear the Colors of the Year

We’ve never been as excited for a new year as we have been for 2021! 

In 2020, we learned serenity and resilience with the help of Classic Blue, but the new 2021 colors released by the Pantone Color Institute inspire us in a brand new way.

If you’re not familiar, every new year, Pantone selects a color that will set the tone for the coming 12 months. This year, they chose to inspire us with two colors instead of one.

The colors of the year are…

(drum roll, please)

Ultimate Gray and Illuminating Yellow!

Pantone colors of the year are ultimate gray and illuminating yellow

On the one hand, we have an elegant, serious gray, and on the other, we have cheerful, lively yellow. What could that possibly mean?

Leatrice Eiseman, Pantone’s Executive Director, explains that these colors were selected as “a message of happiness supported by fortitude.”

In other words, their combination was intentional. Ultimate Gray is as solid and dependable as a rock. It’s a true neutral shade that is as calm and steady as it is strong and resilient. On the other hand, Illuminating is vibrant and joyful, imbued with solar power.

Where Ultimate Gray is slow and calm, Illuminating is energetic and warm. Together, they balance each other out and send an optimistic message.

We can’t wait to wear them this year!

How to Wear Ultimate Gray

Since the first Pantone 2021 color is neutral, chances are you already have some Ultimate Gray items sitting in your closet. It’s the kind of shade that anchors a wardrobe and truly pairs with everything.

Ultimate gray blazer or full suit is a timeless classic

If you work in a professional setting, it’s a wonderful shade for the office. An Ultimate Gray blazer or even a full suit is a timeless classic that will make you look fearless and determined.

On the other hand, if your wardrobe is very colorful, accessories in Ultimate Gray add a mature, sophisticated touch. Our Parker Deluxe Wristlet in gray instantly elevates any outfit and fits in no matter the color story.

Parker wristlet wallet in ultimate gray elevates any outfit

If you prefer a monochromatic palette, the calm, nearly-cool undertone of Ultimate Gray pairs especially well with blue-based outfits, much in the same way that browns pair well with warm tones. Embrace last year’s serenity and combine a blue outfit with the solidity of our M Mini Bag in gray, for the chillest look.

A blue outfit with the solidity of ultimate gray is a chill look

How to Wear Illuminating

Illuminating is soft yet dynamic, so we’re totally enamored with it for the warmer seasons. It’s the kind of eye-catching shade that deserves a central place when it’s added to an outfit.

It’s a totally dreamy choice of color for a sundress, for instance. It pairs with other summer-y tones like straw beige quite naturally, so wear it along with your favorite woven sun hat!

Illuminating yellow is a dreamy choice for a sundress

Illuminating also shines as a pop of color, especially when decorating a neutral outfit. As a scarf, a jewelry item, or as, of course, a bag, it immediately transforms every look into something a little more vibrant.

Illuminating yellow makes a great pop of color with a neutral outfit

Be on the lookout for our upcoming bags in vibrant yellow, so you can add a bright touch of Illuminating to every one of your outfits!

How to Combine Both Pantone 2021 Colors

The combination of Ultimate Gray and Illuminating Yellow is unexpected, but that’s exactly what makes it so chic. The two Pantone 2021 colors are easy to pair, since one is neutral and the other is vibrant, and yet, seeing them together feels incredibly fresh and unique.

There are no wrong ways to pair the two, only fascinating combinations that will surely inspire.

Ultimate gray and illuminating yellow combine in a fascinating, fresh, unique outfit

If you want to go all out, especially with your streetwear, try to display a balanced amount of each shade, by combining gray trousers with a yellow blouse, or a yellow skirt with a gray coat.

You can stick to accessories in one of the two shades, but if you’re feeling brave, break the pattern with more colorful items.

If you’re in a lively mood, let Illuminating yellow shine! Opt for a matching trouser and blouse set or a slinky dress in the bright shade. Then, interject Ultimate Gray accessories into your look in the form of a pair of booties or a chic little purse like our Staney Crossbody.

This lively outfit has pantone illuminating yellow as the star with ultimate gray accessories

That’s our take on Illuminating and Ultimate Gray. What do you think -- Will you wear the Pantone 2021 colors this year? How will you style them? Let us know by tagging @sapahn on Instagram!