The Trending Colors That Are Going To Rule Fashion This Winter

Contradiction is the vibe the end of 2022 is throwing. Just look at the headlines: heartbreak is followed by empowerment and revolution. Things that were normal before the Covid-19 pandemic are starting to come back again, even if we're not ready to stop working from home. One thing that has remained constant in all of this chaos is that fashion, for better or worse, is a reflection of society's mood (via Vogue).

It might be why for fall and winter 2022, Vogue UK reports designers embraced "gender fluidity, sex appeal, [and] body positivity." The fashion magazine reports fall and winter fashion have made a return to a timelessness that doesn't require two separate closets for daytime and nighttime; your favorite white tank top or t-shirt under a hot pink flight jacket or vividly-colored blazer can get you through your work day and dinner with your friends just fine.

Contradiction is reflected in color as much as it is in design and there's no denying the power color can have on the fashion world. Marie Clarie points to Gen Z's Barbiecore trend, built entirely on hot pink. The way Leatrice Eiseman, Execute Director of the Pantone Color Institute, sees it, is that we as a society are at war with our "competing desires for calm and comfort with energy-boosting vitality" and the battles are being fought through "a range of restful and restorative colors, in tandem with exuberant tones."

Swap navy out for cobalt in your wardrobe

We can't be the only ones who had Halsey's "Colors" running through our heads lately because, as she sings in the song, everything is blue for winter 2022/2023. Instead of a deep, dark navy blue that you usually expect to see for winter's short days, Marie Claire reports the fashion world has pivoted to light, brighter colors that are sure to turn heads and help boost moods.

For Simon Spurr, a designer, it signals a "return to more optimistic times ahead" (via InStyle). Shakaila Forbes-Bell, a fashion psychologist, explains that blue is not only supposed to help promote positive vibes, concentration, and relaxation, she told Marie Clarie that it's a color associated with "communication, trust, and security." She adds that if you're job hunting in 2023, make sure blue is a prominent color in your interview outfit.

Thanks to designers embracing what Vogue calls "elevated silhouettes" cobalt or ocean blue look as chic as navy blue, like the Mango's "asymmetric long jumpsuit" or "The Bubble Top" from Everlane. If you want to liven up your cold weather outerwear, try embracing multiple trends with L.L. Bean's "Women's Mountain Classic Puffer Jacket, Colorblock" in Marine Blue/Natural. For a more dressy look, we're eyeing up J.Crew's "Mirabelle topcoat in Italian wool-cashmere" in Mountain Blue.

Brown is the new black

A field of vivid flowers can't grow without ground underneath and for winter 2022, brown is the go-to base color plant vibrant accessories on. Marie Clarie saw Fashion Week's runways full of full and winter wear in shades of brown from light camel to dark chocolate, with major labels like Tory Burch, Chanel, and Fendi sporting brown outerwear in their fall 2022 and winter 2023 collections.

Color expert Kate Smith, Chief Color Maven at Sensational Color Consultancy, explained to Refinery 29 that there's a scientific reason brown might be having a moment: it actually helps increase tryptophan and serotonin, genuinely creating feelings of warm and comfort when we're around brown. Smith adds that for her, "brown feels more indulgent than black, and there is a shade to flatter every skin tone, from Dark Chocolate to Adobe," because of how easy the color is to manipulate.

Smith adds that since brown is equal measures luscious and earthy, it's the perfect canvas for winter's more vibrant colors to stand out against. Elle Canada recommends adding a pair of "Slim Carrie Mid-Rise Jeans" by Buffalo Jeans to your wardrobe ASAP since they make a perfect base to build an outfit off of. Just add a chunky knit sweater or, if you're looking for a dressier look, a button down and blazer is always a classic preppy look that'll have you fitting in with gen z's light academia trend.

Hot weather is over, but hot pink isn't going anywhere

Temperatures are dropping and snow is piling up, but the fashion world's obsession with hot pink doesn't seem to be cooling off anytime soon. As the Editorialist notes, streetstyle and runways were full of Barbiecore's iconic hot pink for Fashion Week 2022 – like Valentino, whose entire Fall/Winter 2022 collection was focused on fuscia.

In 1952's "Moulin Rouge," Zsa Zsa Gabor's dressed and accessorized in what Refinery 29 explains was then called "Shocking de Schiparelli" after Elsa Schiaparelli, the Italian designer working with Gabor for the film. In the eras since, the decades have had their own take on this bright pink: see the neon of the 80s and Lisa Frank in the 90s. Today, hot pink is a protest statement, whether its in the form of pink pussy hats or the controversial hot pink sheer gown Florence Pugh wore to Valentino's A/W Haute Caouture Fashion Week show (via Cosmopolitan UK).

If you're cautiously dipping your toes into the trend or just want to add a splash of color to a neutral outfit, Town & Country Magazine recommends the "cult favorite" Deborah Pagani "Large DP Pin" in Fuchsia or a pair of cat-eye sunglasses for sunny winter days, like Betsey Johnson's "Cosmic Confetti Sunglasses." If you're ready to go all-in on hot pink, Town and Country recommends a statement blazer, like the "Lido Sculpted Wool Blazer" from Banana Republic.

Metallic silver adds 'flapper opulence' to winter fashion

Designers gave gray a Taylor Swift-worthy glow-up at the 2022 fall and winter fashion. No muted matte gray for 2022; you can make the whole place shimmer when you start adding metallic silver to wardrobe. This era of metallic is all about timeless glamour, according to Town & Country Magazine, making it easy to add elements of dopamine dressing to the most depressing situations.

Dopamine dressing took off early in 2022, with Tatler reporting even royals like the late Queen Elizabeth II sporting colors that inspired positive vibes. According to Free People, silver's mood-boosting effects are more mood stabilizing and reflective; silver's connections to the moon invoke a pensive sensitivity for the brand compared to a more masculine, authoritative gold. Canva adds silver has a long history of being associated with modernity and sophistication and is thought to be associated with communication; there's a reason Apple embraced silver as a brand color.

But you don't have to go head-to-toe monochrome in order to follow the metallic silver fashion trend. To brighten up an all-black or blue-heavy outfit, Town & Country Magazine recommends the "Admiral Metallic Ankle Boot" from Khaite or Margaux's "Demi," a ballet flat. To lean into what Refinery 29 calls "flapper-era opulence," grab H&M's "Short Sequin Dress" or the "Double Crazy Contrast Sequin Cami Jumpsuit" from Shein.

Purple is winter's comfort color

When Pantone announced "Veri Peri" would be the 2022 Color of the Year, the company explained the choice was a hopeful one. Pantone Color Institute vice president Laurie Pressman explained at the time was supposed to symbolize optimism after, as Vogue puts it, the "many years of uncertainties of 2020 and 2021." According to Shakaila Forbes-Bell, a fashion psychologist, studies have shown shades of purple can actually help calm our parasympathetic nervous system (via Marie Clarie).

This might be why purple was seen in a variety of shades not just at New York Fashion Week earlier this year, but also in London, Milan, and Paris, on everything from t-shirts to handbags (via InStyle). PatBO picked a warm jewel tone for their "Velvet Blazer Mini Dress With Cut-Outs" while Coach used a variety of shades in their cool, casual fall 2022 runway collection.

If you don't already have purple in your wardrobe, StyleCaster recommends using deep purple as an accent with neutral colors, like Tory Burch did in their fall 2022 runway show, where they paired their "Iridescent Taffeta Wrap Shirt" in a rich royal purple with their "Linen Shantung Ballet Skirt" in Copper Brown. If you want to go with a more muted showing of purple, accessorize, like wearing purple tights –- try Ann Taylor's "Opaque Tights" in Plum Rose –- with a neutral sweater dress, like the "Tea Reader Camel Sweater Dress" from Lulus.