Style icons are usually pretty straightforward: James Dean, Marlon Brando, Ryan Gosling. But this season, there’s a new man in town, and his name is Kermit.
The Colour of the Year for 2017, as cooked up by the bods at Pantone, is a very distinctive shade of frog green that represents the relationship between money and nature. Both of those things we can usually get behind; but when it comes to working the bold hue to your wardrobe, taking this choice too literally could result in you looking like a bit of a Muppet.
That said, while we don’t see ‘Greenery’, as it’s called on the swatch, trending in the same way pink did in 2016, variations of the colour shouldn’t be discounted. Spend your own greens correctly and the payoff will be serious style credibility.
Pantone Colour Of The Year 2017
Hone Your Tone
Picking a shade of green to wear isn’t as simple as taking a quick spin of the colour wheel. Whether you’re bedsheet pale or the colour of strong coffee, it pays to know which category your complexion falls under and the tones that work with (as well as against) it.
- As a general rule of thumb, those that are pale or fair do well with darker hues that contrast with the skin, such as bottle green. Soft, pastel shades or bright colours like lime green should be avoided as these will only wash you out.
- Anyone with olive or medium skin can wear most colours. That said, shades which are too close to your skin tone, like olive green, should be avoided as these have a habit of blending in with the skin and making it look like you’re wearing a morph suit (or no clothes at all).
- Lastly, guys with a darker complexion can try their hand at pretty much any colour. Use this advantage to make the most of bold, bright colours like jade green, but steer clear of anything that has brown undertones or risk it bleeding into the skin.
Wearing a single colour from head to toe is a risky strategy when it’s not a neutral like black or navy. That said, green still provides ample opportunity to be adventurous if done right.
Save yourself (and others) a headache and opt for leafy hues that are a little more pared back. This year’s preferred shade might be a touch too vibrant for a full tonal look, but subtle greens balanced out with traditional colours like blue and brown can lift tailoring to new heights.
Deep greens, be it bottle, hunter or British racing (sorry Pantone fans, they’re all pretty similar really), work particularly well in the cooler months. Teamed with a crisp white shirt, dark brown or black leather accessories and a muted wool coat, this outfit will say a lot more about you than a standard suit at an occasion or office that allows for some personality.
If you fancy a spot of leafy tailoring but aren’t ready to take the plunge with a fully green look, trim the hedge to just one piece. A green blazer is an excellent separate to own because it pairs well with beige, grey and black trousers, so you won’t need to worry about investing in anything else to make it work.
The colour of the year is often an indication of what’s to come in everything from fashion to tech and homeware. We’re not quite sure last year’s duo of pink and blue (or Rose Quartz and Serenity to give them their official names) delivered on their promise of “reassurance and security” (did you see 2016!?) but what does the green crystal ball have in store for 2017?
According to Pantone Colour Institute executive director Leatrice Eiseman, it speaks to a lot of words beginning with ‘re’ – regenerate, revitalise, refresh, renew. So it makes sense to consider re-buying the staples already in your wardrobe in a fresh new tone.
Muddy, countryside greens are a more approachable way of nailing the botanic trend that Greenery has bloomed. Loden green, for example, is one of the most wearable shades of the lot. Named after the thick woollen material that hails from Austria, Loden was originally used on hunting cloaks, trousers and sweaters. So when we say it was made for classic pieces, we really mean it.
Created to work well with existing items in the wardrobe, this shade will team with basically everything you already own. However, borrow the colour and not the fabric: opt for a Loden-green fisherman jumper instead of the usual navy and wear with a pair of black straight-leg jeans and a white shirt for an easy weekend look; or swap out your trusty black trousers for a pair of neatly tailored chinos in Loden as a smart-but-gentle nod to the trend.
Most outerwear was developed for the front line, so it makes sense that these pieces would look right at home crafted in the military’s favourite palette. But don’t worry if you want to deploy toy solider tones without looking like an officer; from bomber jackets to crombie coats, shapes and shades have been updated so they can rank highly in any look.
Wool overcoats look fresh and classic in a mossy green hue, while puffers and bombers are given a more formal feel than when in enlisted in black or navy. Green suede in particular is a big hit, especially if the cut is kept simple and the tactile fabric allowed to do the talking.
Use a coat or jacket as an at-easy entry into green. If you’re not happy bunkmates with the shade, you can always send the layer AWOL once indoors.
What’s a great martini if not flanked by a single olive? Taking a break from applauding his very special set of skills in the tailoring department, this season look to 007’s go-to tipple when it comes to accessories.
Olive green’s position in the colour-wheel means that it pairs well with mainstays of the mid-winter wardrobe like deep reds, browns and camels, making olive accessories an easy way to update the pieces you already own.
Go for a ribbed scarf to throw over your camel coat or some suede desert boots to update your blue denim jeans. The trick here is to limit use to a single piece. You wouldn’t catch Bond with two olives now, would you?
For the Pantone purists out there, diluting Greenery’s vibrance is sacrilege. If you want the full effect but aren’t into looking like a children’s TV presenter, then sportswear is your bag.
The no-holds-barred version of the shade appeared (literally) up and down catwalks this season, with fashion’s man of the moment Alessandro Michele using it at Gucci, as well as Prada and Balenciaga including it in their own vivid shows.
It’s the colour’s vibrant appearance that makes it a no-brainer for athletic gear, so it’s unsurprising that some of the biggest sports brands and high street retailers have already hopped on it for their ranges. Grab a pair of go-faster Greenery trainers to update your existing running kit or slip on a bold base layer so no one misses your squat game in the gym. (Actual effect on your performance may vary.)