How to Add Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2019 to Your Wardrobe

Make waves in coral

how to wear living coral fashion-magazine

Words by Nicole Thomsen
January 15th, 2019

Buoyant, vibrant and effervescent, coral has been named as the Pantone Colour of the Year for 2019, mirroring fashion’s predilection for marine shades this upcoming season.

Ironically named Living Coral, the shade was chosen not just because of its prominence in designers’ spring/summer ‘19 collections such as Rejina Pyo and Marc Jacobs but as a reminder to us all of the importance of coral reefs. According to a report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), if the world’s average temperature reaches 2° Celsius above pre-industrial levels, more than 99% of coral reefs will die. Coral reefs provide shelter to a diverse range of species and Living Coral is evocative of this.

As society becomes increasingly more aware of the damaging effects of climate change, Living Coral is the kind of eco-conscious reminder we need day to day to live more sustainably. And trust us— this shade will be everywhere come spring.



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But what exactly is Living Coral? Pantone 16-1546, to be precise, is a vibrant pink-orange shade with golden undertones that give it a touch of warmth. According to Pantone, the world authority on colour, “Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity” and “embodies our desire for playful expression”.

Though it’s more often perceived as a summer shade when it comes to fashion, that doesn’t mean you can’t make it work in the darker months of winter too and into spring. In fact, coral is exactly the playfully optimistic colour we need in the depths of January. It all depends on how you style it.

Take these vintage-inspired high-rise bootcut jeans by cult denim brand, Mother. The rich coral hue is easily adapted for winter when paired with a dark polo knit and topped off with a leather jacket for added cool — strappy sandals optional. The key here is to pick one coral piece to be the focus of your outfit while keeping the rest of the look clean with neutral colours such as black or beige and simple patterns.

Alternatively, embrace colour by teaming two of the biggest shades for spring/summer ‘19 in one colour-clashing combo. Mix Topshop’s silk coral midi skirt with a chunky sweater in the deepest shade of burnt orange for a wintertime look. Shop these pieces and more in the edit below.

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