Looks nowadays depend on one’s mood and desire to dress up, and wearing the Colors of the Year—Illuminating, a cheerful yellow, and the neutral Ultimate Gray—can perhaps help set the vibe of one’s day.
Chosen by the Pantone Color Institute, the two “express a message of positivity supported by fortitude,” said executive director Leatrice Eiseman on its website. “Practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic.”
Separately, these are wearable colors, but how can one wear the combination? We asked fashion experts via email how to incorporate the colors in looks for virtual meetings, errands, working out and the occasional outings.
“They’re refreshing colors,” says fashion designer Francis Libiran (@francislibiran8 on Instagram), who launched a streetwear line called 8 by Francis Libiran last year. “Fashion is expected to glimmer this year with relaxed silhouettes and provocative styles.”
Celebrity stylist Sydney Yap (@sidney_yap on Instagram) says sticking to a “monochromatic gray or wearing gray with a bright hue as an accent color” is safe. “Many people are hesitant to wear yellow but with the right personality and right shade of yellow for your skin tone, it can really be flattering.”
Yellow scrunchie, masks
Those working from home should still wear the “most comfortable outfit—be it pajamas or jerseys,” says Libiran.
During virtual meetings, Yap suggests wearing the classic twin set, matching tank top and cardigan, in yellow. Millennial stylist Patrick Pleno (@patrickpleno on Instagram) says “knitted co-ords, cardigan and vest” can also work, and, if one can pull it off, a trendy cropped cardigan.
To combine the colors, Pleno says one can don a yellow cardigan with an inner gray tank top, while Yap suggests the reverse, “a yellow tank or camisole with a gray cardigan.”
For men, Pleno says a “gray knitted sweater or a yellow high-shine bomber jacket with a pair of jeans” can exude effortless confidence. Yap says a yellow and gray striped, plaid or floral collared shirt is good for guys as well.
“You can never go wrong with gray activewear for workouts,” says Libiran, but add a bright accent such as a yellow headband, scrunchies or sneakers.
The athleisure look is a staple, and for errands, “gray joggers with a light yellow top won’t just make you stand out but will also evoke a calm and optimistic vibe to help you take on the day,” Libiran adds.
Yap says pairing gray workout clothes with a yellow jacket is ok, too. “You can also wear a monochromatic gray outfit with yellow shoes or bag.” Add a pop of color to a gray outfit with yellow accessories—masks, sunglasses, caps and nail color, even cell phone cases and laptop sleeves.
This writer also found in a travel shop (urbanize.com.ph) the U Elements Shield 201, a nifty gray water-repellent crossbody with a built-in UV-C light sanitation pocket for on-the-go disinfection.
Activewear can be a “yellow sports bra with cutout details on the back or a ruched gray sports bra with leggings or biker shorts,” Pleno adds. “Or do a Princess Diana and throw an oversized gray sweater over biker shorts.”
No ‘naked’ gowns
Events are a special day to get out of jammies, so make them count.
Avoid strapless dresses that would make you look naked in virtual events. Instead, Yap suggests wearing a festive yellow and gray printed blouse with a nice neckline. Outdoors, “wear a nice yellow frock with yellow shoes or bag, or do the reverse and wear a gray outfit with yellow heels or bag.”
Younger women can wear “a yellow satin gigot-sleeve dress and silver bodycon sequin dress for evening events,” Pleno says. A more classic option is a yellow tweed co-ord or gray plaid oversized blazer.”
Depending on the formality of the event, Yap says men can opt for a “yellow T-shirt, collared shirt or pullover and layer it with a gray cardigan or jacket—whether a bomber, blazer or suit. Pair those with jeans, chinos or trousers, or a gray textured bottom, “maybe even a plaid for more detail.”
Pleno says a trendier get-up for men is a yellow utility jacket with larger pockets paired with wide gray trousers, or an ’80s-inspired oversized double-breasted suit, but make sure that the shoulders fit perfectly. He adds that dressing up in the pandemic should be practical but fun: “Don’t overthink it and put on something that will feel more put together, and always remember to wear your mask.”
Yap emphasizes on dressing comfortably: “Fabrication is important. Be more sustainable. Wear your existing clothes and buy only what you need to update your wardrobe.”
Use other colors as well, Libiran says.
“Illuminating Yellow will look good with neutrals such as khaki, lilac and sky blue. Ultimate Gray is best paired with bold colors like pink, orange and blue.” And, adds the designer, always remember to “never sacrifice comfort for style—you have to feel good about yourself when you wear your clothes, it’s never going to be the other way around.”