One is neutral, the other striking. One makes for a great base, the other perfect as a bold accent. It is the complementary characteristic of Pantone’s Color of the Year in 2021 that opens opportunity for no-fuss mixing and matching.
After going through what we have went through in 2020, trend forecaster Pantone Color Institute thought it best to have two contrasting yet complementary colors—the bright yellow Illuminating and the muted gray variant Ultimate Gray—to be this year’s hue. It is the second time the organization picked two colors for one year.
“The pairing,” it said, “highlights our innate need to be seen, to be visible, to be recognized, to have our voices heard.” It aims to convey the message of positivity (an overarching theme of the color yellow) supported by fortitude or stability (a characteristic of the neutral gray).
Following the announcement last year, fashion brands began releasing and highlighting pieces in either of the two colors, hoping to be part of everyone’s 2021 wardrobe. The two colors stand out in their own and also work well together.
According to fashion and merchandising expert Christine Benet of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, the demand for extreme colors are balanced with the light and bright palettes and accessories.
Scarves or shawls, footwear, purses, or layers in the full shades of Illuminating bring energy to a backdrop of the composed Ultimate Gray. The combination likewise creates a high visibility contrast that makes it ideal for outerwear and activewear.
“Given the general sentiment of consumers, the two colors reflect a strong feeling of yearning for stability during these trying times,” said Benet.
Ready to add an uplifting and stable vibe to your year? Here are pieces in Illuminating and Ultimate Gray: