STEM & the City: Pantone has announced the colours of 2021. Here’s how to wear them.

Gear up for a brighter year ahead

Pantone has marked a vibrant 2021.

It’s safe to say we don’t need to spend any more time reflecting on 2020—it was the worst. Thankfully, we’ve entered a new year, and with widespread dissemination of a vaccine on the horizon, the prevailing mood is gradually shifting to one of hope and—dare I say—optimism.

Each year, Pantone—the global authority on trend forecasting—announces a ‘Colour of the Year,’ an informed prediction of what the dominant shade will be in all domains of consumer goods. This declaration follows an extensive research process, wherein colour experts—yes, they exist—spend months synthesizing data from the fields of design, politics, economics, and beyond.

This year, Pantone revealed not one but two Colours of the Year: Ultimate Gray and Illuminating. In other words, grey and yellow are bound to be everywhere in 2021. It doesn’t take an advanced degree in colour theory to identify the clear messaging here: the time has come to move toward a brighter future.

Since extensive legwork has been done to determine that these colours are on-trend, wearing them will guarantee you style points. I’ll concede that it’s difficult to wear these colours together without looking like a banana suffocating under a piece of duct tape; if you’re willing to take fashion risks, however, the following combinations will serve you well.

Grey foundation with yellow accessories

This is by far the safest way to go when stepping into this trend. Muted grey pieces that fit well are timeless and polished, and a pop of yellow will add a fun, unexpected accent. This particular look capitalizes on the ‘high-low’ trend—combining professional pieces with casual basics—but there are so many other avenues to explore. For example, a silky grey dress with a delicate yellow hair clip would be very à la mode.

Yellow foundation with grey accessories

Maybe exuding more confidence was one of your New Year’s Resolutions. If that’s the case, enough with the procrastinating! The time has come to dive right in with a look so dazzling, people will need sunglasses just to look your way. It goes without saying that all eyes will be on you when you step out in this eye-popping hue.

A healthy dose of both colours

The key to making this look work is minimalist colour blocking. Chic accessories don’t hurt either.

After a difficult year that challenged all of our norms, people are starting to think more critically about their purchasing behaviours. Globally, many fashion tastemakers are trending toward simple pieces that will stand the test of time. A great way to start building an enduring wardrobe, even in your student years, is to buy one really great quality piece on occasion, such as a classic wool coat. Then, you can complement the garment with more seasonal, cost-effective add-ons like a neon yellow turtleneck—hypothetically speaking.

Try one of Pantone’s partnership products

Want to get on trend without overhauling your entire wardrobe? Place this minimalist-chic mug on your desk, wear this hoodie with sweats, or toss on this toque, and you are good to go.

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