Ultra-violet 18-3838. It’s what’s in!

Every year Pantone researches which colors appear to be most influential across the globe and various industries – fashion, home interior, food, pop culture, entertainment and yes, even politics! Each season, they predict color trends and choose a palette of colors they believe will influence industries along with one “color of the year”. They have a proven track record supporting their many followers and peaking my interest. Can you think of something other than color that impacts our daily lives and choices so openly? It’s all about color.

So which color in Pantone’s 2018 lineup was selected as THE color of the year? Drum roll…Ultra-violet 18-3838!

Think creative (Prince). Think politics (what color does red and blue make?). Think royalty (Prince Harry & Meghan Markle). Think fun (this is purple, after all!). Think of one of my branding colors for iQ Image Consulting (purple has been my favorite color since forever, but how lovely to have it selected the year I open my business! Karma!)

When it comes to wearing color, I am often asked by clients how to wear it. Color is a huge expression and quite personal when it’s on your body. Color tells a story to everyone else before you open your mouth. Go subtle with a splash of color via a belt or scarf? Or go big with a coat or pants?

The trick is to wearing any color well is to stick with the version that suits you, your lifestyle and your personality.

Pantone’s ultra-violet 18-3838 is a very specific shade of ultra-violet and through their formula, it maintains its appearance consistently no matter the material or application. That’s the genius behind Pantone. They formulate colors so precisely, that if you work with their color formulas, whether it’s a textile, a paint or plastic, the color will look the same.

However, you’ll see that in the fashion world, many liberties are taken. Although Pantone’s 18-3838 is the officially declared color of the year, different spins on ultra-violet will pop up across brands. Not all ultra-violets are created equal and not all will support you, your lifestyle or your personality.

Colors have either a warm, cool or neutral undertone. Based on your personal coloring, one of these undertones suits you best. Wearing colors with your undertone makes you look in harmony. Your complexion looks healthy, your teeth whiter and your eyes brighter. Basically, you look great.

For example, my home season is Summer, a cool palette with some amount of gray within all colors associated. The overall effect is soft and muted. For me, the ideal ultraviolet needs some gray and looks toned down. It supports my natural coloring, et voila, I look (and feel!) fabulous and you notice me, not just the color I’m wearing.

Lucky for all the Summers out there, Pantone 18-3838 has some gray in it and suits our palette perfectly. Our lucky year!

Conversely, put me in a bright, intense ultra-violet or one with a warm undertone (yellow added) and I look either overpowered or sallow. When I am not in harmony with my coloring, I appear disjointed from my body and it’s distracting. At best, I might earn compliments for the article of clothing, but certainly not for the person wearing it!

Take a look at an article People magazine published about Pantone’s choice of ultra-violet and you’ll quickly see, not every article shown is the exact same shade of ultra-violet. Use this to your advantage! Find that perfect ultra-violet that is true to your undertone.

It’s also important to play with color in a way that suits your lifestyle. If you spend the majority of your time in a conservative professional environment or maybe one with a uniform, no worries! Who’s to know if you are wearing lovely ultra-violet underneath it all? If you are always going or coming from yoga or the gym, then go for the beautiful ultra-violet work out top or yoga pants. Invest and experiment wisely to get the best cost per wear ratio possible. If you can envision yourself wearing the item in your daily life, you’re headed in the right direction.

Lastly, let your personality help guide how you wear ultra-violet. You will gravitate towards what you naturally feel comfortable wearing and in what form. Remember, you do not have to cloak yourself in it to be a part of it all! The continuum of possibilities holds your sweet spot – jacket, jumpsuit, denim, cardigan, scarf, bag or jewelry – all great ways to dip your toe in the ultra-violet waters and express yourself!

Keep me posted as you dive into some ultra-violet, whether Pantone’s 18-3838 or beyond! Stay true to your natural palette, what works for your lifestyle and what suits your personality. Enjoy being a part of the ultraviolet movement for 2018!

Let’s do this!

Cheerio, Kristin