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The Colors of Spring 2013

The women's color palette for spring 2013 strikes a balance between bright and energetic colors and calm, neutral tones. From the top: Emerald, Grayed Jade, Dusk Blue, Tender Shoots, Lemon Zest, African Violet, Linen, Monaco Blue, Poppy Red, and Nectarine.

Pantone, a global color marketing and standards company, recently released its seasonal Fashion Color Report, featuring the top 10 colors that designers sent down their spring 2013 runways for women and men. For each spring and fall, Pantone surveys designers’ use of color and reports on the color trends.

The women’s and men’s color palettes for spring 2013 are all about balance, according to Pantone. There are no jarring contrasts among the colors featured. Calm, soothing neutrals harmonize with the palettes’ more vibrant hues. Shades of green make a strong showing in the women’s palette.

For women’s spring fashion, the top 10 colors are jewel-toned Emerald, quiet Grayed Jade, cheerful Tender Shoots, sunny Lemon Zest, mysterious African Violet, warm Linen, serene Dusk Blue, intense Monaco Blue, exuberant Poppy Red, and coral-infused Nectarine.

Men’s spring color palette also draws on Emerald, Grayed Jade, Dusk Blue, Linen, Monaco Blue, and Poppy Red, but substitutes more the masculine Sunflower and Vibrant Orange in place of Lemon Zest and Nectarine. Iron-gray Alloy and mist-infused Tidal Foam complete the men’s neutrals.

What do you think of spring 2013’s color palette? Will you be incorporating any of these colors into garments or other projects you’ll make for next spring? Do you find yourself drawn to on-trend hues every season, or do you stick to your own personal color palette in your sewing?


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  1. user-330795 | | #1

    I stick to my own colors. Just because something is "in fashion" does not mean it will look good on me. Lime green is a big mistake for me to wear and I know it. Anything pale or peachy in color makes me look sickly. Why are there "new" colors every year? You would think popular selling colors would dictate what is available, not just whims of designers who want to be noticed.

  2. LaurieDiane | | #2

    I love them! Thanks for posting this. Not realy looking forward to the cold gray weather coming so this will perk me up some!

  3. user-2010475 | | #3

    Actually, Pantone has been revealing the "newest" colors for years now. The Pantone colors are used in all levels of marketing whether it be interior design products, fabrics, kitchen and bath products and the list goes on. It isn't just a whim of designers wanting to be noticed. These may not be the best colors for you, which I totally understand, however, the science behind color choices is fascinating. Please check the web pages at Pantone for more information. Just a disclaimer, I am a seamstress/interior decorator and I have never worked for Pantone. :) I did study Color Design and Theory in college, though, and found it really interesting. I totally agree about the lime green and the peachy colors, LOL, and it sounds like perhaps you and I may have the same type coloring! :)


  4. user-2069715 | | #4

    I hope color on the shelves means we are coming out of the Big Recession. The clothes of the 1930's weren't very memorable. It was the great Depression. We replaced the utility 1930's drab cotton housedress with knit tops and jeans. I haven't seen fashion for at least 15 years.

  5. User avater
    button_girl | | #5

    I love these colours! All from my palette, reminds me of a gelato stand full of delicious colour. I hope it lasts more than one season. Happy sewing!

  6. Lise_the_hobbit | | #6

    me - I will leave the linen, grayed jade, and that yellow green very much alone - I can certainly have fun with the rest of it - I refuse to wear anything in the beige family if I can possibly avoid it, and if I do have to wear it, it's because I need khaki pants or skirts for some reason. I don't like grayed greens for the most part, and that yellow green looks horrible on me.

  7. Daylily1940 | | #7

    I agree with Lise there are some colors I just can't wear no matter how "in" they are. I need clear, bright colors so I don't look all washed out. I'll go with the red but no faded blues, yellow greens etc. Why can't the industry put out a broad spectrum of colors for us to choose from?

  8. User avater
    BarbaraHewitt | | #8

    I love the Spring 2013 colors. I have loved each seasons new colors and have found that I could wear almost any color depending on whether I warmed or made the color more cool.

  9. titaniumwoman | | #9

    Ugh. I can basically wear the purple...too bad. I love color, but I will rely on my tried and true palette of bright colors in pink, blue and purple. I'll look forward to 2014 instead.

  10. titaniumwoman | | #10

    Ugh. I can basically wear the purple...too bad. I love color, but I will rely on my tried and true palette of bright colors in pink, blue and purple. I'll look forward to 2014 instead.

  11. knittingirl | | #11

    They look like great colors to me. Nectarine looks close to Tangerine which was the last hot color for Spring. In fact, my daughter tells me that orange is the big color in LA.

  12. User avater
    MissPat | | #12

    It would be interesting to know who decided these colors. Personally, I will wear what looks good on me with my skin tone, not what someone else decides is this years "colors."

  13. Brabant | | #13

    Well, there's another marketing gimmick tossed onto the catwalk. Sigh. Seasonal colours work, lighter in summer and spring, darker in Winter and golden tomes in autumn but they only work if they are used in the colour palette that suits you. If you look sick and too fat in yellow - and let''s face it many people do- then it matters not what fashion or pantone dictates, you will still lokk terrible in yellow! Want a yellow tone? If red is your foundation colour, make the yellow blend into the red and you have orange, if pink is your thing you end up with peach. The wiseest thing anyone does is to check out the colour palette that works for them ans STICK TO IT!!!! Just make it lighter or darker to fit seasons. Believe me, I have no axe to grind, just an ex-wardrobe full of lovely clothes that made me look terrible! That wardrobe now sold on on E-bay!

  14. bijou900 | | #14

    Great colors I'll use them in a painting. As for me I'm glad I can sew, so I can pick and choose colors that work for me.

  15. User avater
    kershawgirl | | #15

    To answer Miss Pat's question, it is a board of people made of different areas of the creative fields who work with color that decide these colors. There is a professional organization that elects or appoints the panel. The panel meets and decides the colors which are passed on to every area of Design: furniture companies, laminate counter top companies, wallpaper, jewelry, etc. The companies can subscribe to the information, and will be sent swatches, paint chips, and it is all very scientific and specific. This is not a knee jerk response, and global issues like the Recession that we're in, technology, marketing all are considered. There is an entire science to making these colors look like "new", and making you want to buy that new and trendy shade. I've not been working in the design industry for a while and I forget the name of the organization, somebody help??

  16. User avater
    wicked_stitcher | | #16

    i must be ahead of the curve in this -- these are my faves! on some levels, many of the choices are but a subtle shift from last year's. and when i find i may be wearing something i'm happier w/than the season would dictate, i just use an accessory that resonates w/a particular color advocated and voila! i'm up to date.

  17. Jenerator | | #17

    I just wear purple all the time. My favourite is what I call "Cadbury" purple - a dark blue-ish royal tone. Don't like the plummy tones as much.
    I was told recently by someone that wearing purple indicates sexual frustration. Not True (in my case anyway!) I prefer to think of it as a colour that denotes royalty and it's a healing colour too!

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