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If I wasn’t wearing neutrals last year, I was probably in some garish tie-dye loungewear set. But no more! 2021’s color trends are far more chic than last year’s popular camp-inspired colorway, not to mention a little more exciting than the tans and creams every influencer on earth was posting. Say hello to a new year’s worth of tones, from dreamy sage green to bold wisteria.
Of course, you can and should wear whatever colors you like or think look best on you, but experimenting with the season’s top shades is a fun way to get out of your comfort zone and add some trend pieces into your wardrobe. This year, there’s truly something for everyone, from more muted hues to standout shades for summer.
The crème de la crème this season is sage green, but don’t be fooled—any and all shades of green are welcome, from deep emerald to rich olive to cool cucumber. The other toned-down color of the season is pale yellow, a more elevated take on everyone’s favorite sunshine hue. From there, we delve into brights like bold orange and wisteria, the latter of which is better known as “the most perfect shade of purple to ever exist.”
Oh, and in a plot twist I truly didn’t expect, brown has replaced black as the wear-with-everything color of the year. Sorry to goths everywhere! Channel your inner Willy Wonka, because chocolatey hues are trending in a very big way.
With that, read on for a closer look at 2021’s top color trends, plus ways to shop them all before everybody else.
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Out of all the colors you’ll see this year, sage green will be the most popular shade of all. And TBH, it makes sense! Last year was mainly about beige, tan and cream, and the year before saw the rise of dusty rose, so of course 2021 needed its own muted hue for neutrals fans to obsess over!
Sage green flatters literally every skin tone, so go head-to-toe in something like this Jonathan Simkhai utility jumpsuit or use the shade to accent your look with this chic Charles & Keith handbag. Wear this Reformation cardi buttoned up as a shirt with your favorite light wash denim, or unbuttoned over a silky slip dress when the weather warms up.
Another color for anyone who loved last year’s neutral vibes is chocolate brown. In 2021, consider it the new black—AKA, we’re pairing it with everything. Choose from milkier chocolate hues or rich, dark chocolate options, like this leggings and longline bra set from Girlfriend Collective.
Brown faux leather is also huge this season, so nix your black leather moto jacket and opt for a brown faux leather blazer like this PrettyLittleThing pick instead. Oh, and if you’re looking to accessorize, STAUD’s Beaded Tommy Bag now comes in this gorg brown giraffe print.
Of all the purples in all the palettes, this shade stands out from the rest. Wisteria is one of 2021’s most joyful, playful color trends, and it works for everything from swimwear to loungewear to accessories. I, for one, already have this PrettyLittleThing underwire bikini in my online shopping cart—but if summer still feels far away to you, you can always cozy up in this Boys Lie hoodie instead. Either way, you’ll definitely want the JW PEI Croissant Bag. Swoon.
If you told me last year that I’d soon be into the palest of yellows, I would’ve thought you were crazy. How could such a dull shade make such a lively statement? That said, sometimes you’ve got to make your own sunshine, and while plenty of yellows are just too…yellow…this one feels just right.
If you’re looking for stylish loungewear, swap your tie-dye set (RIP!) for either this fuzzy Eloquii top with matching shorts or these sporty-chic Champion sweats. If muted pastels just aren’t your thing, work them in via subtle accessories, like these sunnies from Urban or these Sam Edelman sandals with on-trend ruched detailing.
Behold, the most in-your-face color trend of the year. Skip calming sunset tones and go straight to bold, bright orange—not quite neon, but definitely on the verge. This color with a tan? Chef’s kiss, in my humble (and very pale) opinion.
You can rock this shade anywhere, but I think it’s especially great for a fashion-forward beach fit, so this Frankies Bikinis suit in Marmalade is high on my To-Buy list. Personally, I’d pair it with this FUNBOY vinyl tote (great for a pool day, errands, your laptop—whatever!) and these squishy Schutz slides.
Actually, ANY Shade Of Green
Remember earlier when I said sage green was all the rage? That’s still true, but vibrant Kelly green isn’t far behind, and neither are olive or cucumber lime! Any and all shades of green are welcome this season, especially paired all together for a coordinating tonal look.
The Reformation Noha Dress is definitely a wear-it-all-summer-long staple for me, but if you’re not into the silhouette, they actually carry this pattern (It’s called Samantha!) in a few other dresses, too. If you prefer a set, try this one-shoulder Callahan top with matching knit pants. Oh, and I shouldn’t even have to explain why I need this JW PEI bag in my wardrobe immediately. It’s the pearls for me!