Color Trends Spring 2012

February 3, 2012 § 2 Comments

For Christmas this year my mother-in-law received the gift of a closet clean out. Shirt by shirt, pant by pant, her daughter and I gave the thumbs up or thumbs down, and when all was said and done, I think she had about five outfits left, and this was out of a very full walk-in closet. The main culprits? Clothes that were too large, ill proportioned, or the wrong color for her skin tone. Now, with all that real estate to fill, she is eager to shop the new spring collections.

Shocking red, pumpkin, apricot, pink and vivid yellow, combined with english greens, turquoise and sandy nudes. Image from

If you are in the fashion or retailing world, you probably have been thinking about Spring 2012 color and fashion trends for several years already. If you are a trend analyst, you are traveling the world now in search of new trends to create innovative forecasts for Spring 2014. If you are my mother-in-law (the average consumer), color trends might fall into the same category as “what should we have for dinner?” You are living in the moment!

Navy blue, teal, blend of browns, creamy beige's, leather, suede and polar white, with accents of blue. Image from

Trend forecasts are created anywhere from 18 to 24 months ahead of the selling season. The forecasting is approximately a six month process involving extensive travel to seek out samples of new and innovative fabrics and materials, to take pictures of trendsetting locals on ‘the street’ and their organic fashion silhouettes, and to be immersed in culture, politics and the global environment – all of which can impact fashion trends. The goal is to paint a comprehensive picture of where consumer taste, style, and sensibility is headed. For the fashionably curious, trend research and reports are available online from many sources. Pantone, Peclers Paris, (you can find Peclers Paris colour trends HERE.) and mudpie and mudpie trends (you can find examples HERE) all have great reports that include color, silhouette and style information.

Different seasons have different and reoccurring color trends, and for spring you typically see bright warm colors in vibrant tones. For 2012 there are classic reds, elegant corals, saturated yellows and soft pastels, along side cool neutrals like gray and navy, as well as metallic and cream.

Pantone Spring 2012 Warm Color Trends - Perfect for Warm Skin Tones

While trends are great for adding fresh air to your wardrobe, another important factor is your personal coloring and what colors will make your features shine. Which colors you select to wear is very important, because the right colors can add clearness or glow to your skin and enhance the color of your hair and eyes. Take time to determine your best colors based on your skin, your eyes and your hair. What is the underlying color in your complexion? Is it warm or cool? Once you have determined your skin coloring, you can select the fashion and makeup colors that are most flattering to you. Warm complexions have yellow, peach or red undertones and look better in warm tones. Cool complexions have pink, violet or blue undertones and look better in cool tones. A stylist once told me that your face should be the center of interest, not the color or colors being worn. If you have light hair and delicate colored skin, avoid intense colors. If you have strong value contrasts in hair and skin you can wear strong contrasts such as black with white.

Pantone Spring 2012 Cool Color Trends - Perfect for Cool Skin Tones

Knowing your best colors will help you feel more confident about your wardrobe selections so that you can look and feel beautiful, always. You may find, however, that some seasons none of the trend colors look good on you, or you might feel that your wardrobe lacks interest because the pallet of colors is limited. Accessories are great way to add accent and update – a bright colored belt or handbag is an elegantly simple way to stay current. Just remember to wear your most flattering colors around your face. And have fun with it! We could never have cleaned out that closet without a sense of humor.


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§ 2 Responses to Color Trends Spring 2012

  • Solipsism Dreams says:

    i love all of these colours!

    Loretta xx

  • Andreas Braunlich says:

    Tangerine Tango has completely overwhelmed the graphic design program at my little north Idaho school. When people heard it was the Pantone color of the year everyone started using it. It was nice at first but now I just cannot look at it any more. Please make it go away!

    You wrote an interesting article. I’m not into fashion but I did enjoy your discussion of color and learned a few things I can apply at school. Thanks!

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