How to Wear Radiant Orchid

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radiant orchid how to wear pantone

Every year Pantone comes out with a color of the year and the whole fashion world gets all riled up. Sometimes it’s a color that’s fun and flattering and easy to incorporate, sometimes it’s a big WTF and everyone rants on their blogs and Twitter about how the color SUCKS and they will BOYCOTT it and Pantone is CLUELESS and…

…here’s the thing. No one is putting a gun to your head and telling you to listen to Pantone. If you went through 2013 without a single bit of Emerald in your wardrobe, you’re not alone. Style comes from knowing yourself and expressing it, not from jumping on every trend bandwagon. And if you look like death warmed over in a pinky-purple sort of hue, then please PLEASE do not buy any Radiant Orchid. While I do own some pieces in this color (such as this sleeveless ponte dress from Dobbin Clothing), I doubt I will run out and buy a bunch more in this shade. It’s just not me. Emerald however, though it is passé by Pantone standards, will still be one of my favorite colors and will always have a place in my heart and closet.

Was my title something catchy that would increase pageviews and get me some SEO from Google searches? Eh maybe, though the title was written after the first two paragraphs of this post and I still didn't have a decent title. And really, I wrote this post because… the way to wear Radiant Orchid is to wear it ONLY IF YOU LIKE IT. If you don’t like it, if it doesn’t flatter you, you don’t need to pair a scarf in its color with a mustard sweater (though I believe that combination would be gaw-geous), or wear it in a skirt with a navy blouse (another pretty pairing), or as a shell under an espresso brown pantsuit (fab), or as shoes with a pumpkin wool dress (how amazing would that pairing be?). Just don’t wear it, don’t buy it, and you can still (I PROMISE) be an incredibly chic and current and stylish human being.

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  1. Completely agreed. I would never wear any color just because someone named it the color of the year. In fact, I had never heard of Pantone until a couple years ago, and I’m guessing most people still haven’t and never will (I know…gasp…the horror ;-))

    It’s a pretty color, not one of my favorites, but pretty. I have a pair of pants in this color, and I’ll definitely be wearing them to show off this trendy color, but only because I already had them anyway. Like you, I won’t be running out to buy more of this color. Emerald on the other hand…..


  2. You actually clarified the color for me… i thought it was like a purplish lavender… with these fancy color names sometimes i am a bit lost. I’ll call it fuchsia.

  3. My winter coat (J Crew maybe 6 years ago) is this exact shade! I have a cobalt blue set (hat, gloves, scarf) that I love to pair it with, as well as a deep fig purple set. While I love orange and mustard green, neither is especially flattering on me. This pink, on the other hand is great. So all that really means is that there will be a ton of choices for me over the next 12 months and that a flattering color (which I also find super fun) will be easy to find. Years where that wasn’t the case, I skipped it (though that was tough with orange, as I love it, but it doesn’t love me).

  4. Hee! Great post. Glad to know the real name of something I always referred to as “purply-pink” — turns out I have a couple of things in this color already (the blue undertones work well with my fair skin, unlike a lot of other pinks) so I appreciate the suggestions you snuck in at the end there! Also realized my tendency to pair it with black is probably limiting and a bit too 80s. Thanks as always for your advice — on many levels!

  5. Two weeks ago while thrift shopping, I found a vneck merino in exactly this color. I bought it because a) it was $4, and b) because I need sweaters like woah. So I feel like I hit the color lotto with this stuff. This is literally the only year I have paid attention to Pantone but this year I am on it because I feel like The Queen O’Color!

  6. What I don’t understand is…what is Pantone, why do they have a colour of the year and why should people care?

    Not criticism of your post Allie, which I obviously agree with – I just genuinelly don’t understand this phenomenon. Loved that emerald was popular this year thanks to them though.

  7. What a tease…I was all geeked up like, “Oooh, some juicy tips on how to pull this off!” *lol* Great post, babe!

  8. Everyone should know what colors look good with their own coloring and wear flattering shades to look best on THEMSELVES.

  9. Your advice is on the money once again Allie. Personally I think this colour WILL be awesome for me but I plan to try it out in something simple such as a scarf, nail polish or pair of earrings rather than a large piece. I’m sticking to a budget and a plan with my wardrobe and incorporating bright colour in smaller items. Hot pink/fuschia is one of my ongoing pops of colour however, so I think Radiant Orchid will be worth a go for me. (And yes, I did try emerald this year in the guise of a cardigan and it was fab.)

  10. So interesting – I never even heard of Pantone til I started reading fashion blogs a couple years ago. I remember now that emerald green was popular this year – I wanted a pair of capris in that color – eventually got some that are…the new pink color – haha! This is a great color for me;
    Interesting shopping tips in the comments. I’ll have to keep that in mind and stock up this year.

  11. All the Pantone color tells me is how easy it will be for me to shop. Emerald green is my favorite color and super flattering on me, so I knew to stock up on items this year so I can continue to wear them after they are no longer trending and available in stores. Radiant orchid and I are not friends so I know that this year I am better off shopping at thrift stores for emerald, Tangerine Tango, and that lovely turquoise shade that has been so popular.
    My daughter will look great in Radiant Ochid, though, so this should be a good shopping year for her.

  12. Pantone has a different meaning to me than most folks. As a former commercial printer, Pantone will always mean printing ink to me.

    That being said, I don’t care for this color, at all, for clothing. Flowers, sunsets yes, but no garments. I love emerald. It is the second best color on me, the first being teal. So I don’t care if emerald was “last year’s color” or not.

    When did Pantone get involved in fashion? Any idea of the year?


    1. Agreed, I work in web communications so Pantone to us is choosing the right red for a client. From their site they only go back to 2009 for fashion reports, but in the past couple of years have received the support of many popular brands and designers to figure out the color and share the message.

    1. I loved Tangerine Tango too…. But it totally ruined Red in the stores. All red seems to be red/orange these days!

  13. Ha! Do people really feel they have to wear the “color of the year?” Its never even occurred to me to consider it a directive…just one of those things that are done so that people spend more money to buy the same sweater in the “newer” color.
    But…I adore that color and it looks great on me, and I would’ve never considered pairing it with mustard…so thanks!

  14. You are so right. . .”no one is putting a gun to your head and telling you to wear Orchid”! Wear what makes you confident and chic. Thanks Allie. . . Happy Holidays!

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