I love the announcement of Pantone’s colors of the year every year. I don’t dislike the holiday season, but as a stylist and someone who blogs about fashion, this announcement breaks up the obligatory monotony I feel about writing and talking about holiday fashion and gifts. I also enjoy it because I love color, all aspects of it, from color theory, to color psychology, working with color, and so on. If I had to pick a dream job beyond what I do, I’d probably want to go work for the Pantone Institute. How they come up with their colors each year — a practice they have been doing since 2000 — is incredibly researched and studied.
Why Did Pantone Create a Whole New Color for 2022?
This is the first time in the history of choosing a color of the year that Pantone actually created a new color instead of picking one from their vast library of colors. Very Peri is a dynamic periwinkle with a violet-red undertone designed to mimic the glowing touchscreens of our digital world.
Pantone said that creating a new color was symbolic of all the change taking place in the world right now after living in a long period of isolation and uncertainty. Very Peri symbolizes our desire to overcome COVID-19, environmental concerns, larger reckoning with injustice, and flaws in our current social structures. To capture these influences, Pantone combined a faithful and constant color like blue with a hint of an energetic and exciting red to create this warm blue hue that communicates innovation and a fresh start. While blue isn’t often seen as a happy color, the addition to red energized the shade and created that feeling of newness we’re all experiencing at the moment.
Very Peri was Influenced by the Digital Space We All Live In
Very Peri also moves seamlessly between the digital and physical space, “When we select the Pantone color of the year, it must be emblematic of what’s taking place at a moment in time. We were looking at a color that seamlessly moves between digital and physical,” said Laurie Pressman, vice president of the institute.
Very Peri represents innovation and technology. Blue light is most often associated with technology and futurism, and science fiction, plus our daily interactions with smartphones, tablets, and computers. With every passing year, our lives get more and more comingled with technology and we are now a society that has long evolved past the newness of social sites, like Facebook and other types of vapid tech.
Wearing Very Peri
The color for 2022 represents a fresh start, dismantling old systems that no longer work so we can move forward and imagine our future in a different way and Very Peri captures that newness, but at the end of the day, the question most of us really be asking ourselves is, is this a color I want to wear? And let’s be honest, purple, which Very Peri is, isn’t a color that is at the top of most people’s favorite color list unless they are an eight-year-old girl. The last time purple was my favorite color, I was in the third grade and I had a purple bedroom that I decorated with stuffed unicorns and glittery doodads. Purple is also commonly associated with old ladies after the 1961 poem by Jenny Joseph about aging ungracefully that also went on to inspire the Red Hat Society When I Am An Old Lady, I Shall Wear Purple, and as a designer, we used to call sickly-looking purple shades “menopausal purple” to imply we found the color old lady in appearance. I now laugh at that because I am menopausal and hardly an old lady.
Basically, very few people consider purple to be their favorite color and when they do, I find they tend to really wear purple, if you catch my drift. The shade is a lot like cilantro, either you love it or you hate it, there is no in-between. Yet, I think purple often gets a bad rap. It can be a beautiful and beautiful shade to work with in your wardrobe if used well. I love it as an accent and have found it to work well against lots of different neutrals. Plus, periwinkle is on the list of what is considered to be universal colors which means that it is universally flattering on most skin tones. While I’m not one to normally argue with The Color Mothership (a.k.a. Pantone), I think considering Very Peri to be a periwinkle shade is a bit of a stretch, I still do find this color to be quite universally flattering.
Outfits Styled with Very Peri
You are all going to have to give me some wiggle room here as Very Peri was announced as the color of the year last week and fashion certainly hasn’t had time to react to this new shade yet, but I did my best to find shades of purple as close as I could to this color of the year as I could to give you some examples of how to wear this color in the coming year. I think you will get the gist regardless. At the end of this post, shop for more Very Peri or Very Peri-adjacent pieces as well.
Purple and grey combined can be quite beautiful. They grey grounds and adds a level of seriousness and sophistication to a color that is often seen as juvenile or frivolous. The coolness also harmonizes nicely and instead of being very stark when paired with black, grey is a softer look. I styled this Ralph Lauren turtleneck sweater with a pair of Theory wide-leg trousers and finished the look with light grey Marc Fisher block-heel pumps, a grey belt from Torino, and textured interlocking drop earrings from Sterling Forever.
As an accent, a shade like Very Peri can be great for a bold pop and not just against neutrals. I love it up against all green shades, including this teal green cardigan from Madewell which I styled with a Very Peri camisole from J.Crew and a pair of navy pants from Vince. I finished the look with navy booties from Aquatalia, a purple ombré infinity scarf, and pearl drop earrings from Akola.
Another favorite color combination of mine is olive and purple. Back when wearing more colorful sweaters felt more like my style, I used to love wearing a lavender sweater with a pair of olive pants. In this look, I popped this understated, elegant look of an ivory cashmere sweater from Everlane and olive pants from M.M. Lafleur with a pair of Very Peri flats from Ann Taylor. I finished the look with simple hoops from David Yurman.
This tonal Very Peri look isn’t for everyone. It’s for the people who wear purple, as I said earlier. It’s not a bad look, but clearly, you have to love the color if you are going to wear it. Working with purple tonally vs. wearing one shade definitely removes any chance of looking like Grimace, that’s for sure. I styled these Very Peri pants from River Island with a lavender bow blouse from Nordstrom. I finished the look with plum pumps from Karl Lagerfeld and freshwater pearl drop earrings.
The perfect place to add a bold color, like Very Peri, is in a blazer. You can use a blazer like this to create a less formal suited separate look, can wear it casually with jeans, over sheath dresses, and more. In the look above, I created a casual look using this versatile L’Agence blazer over a white v-neck t-shirt with straight leg jeans from FRAME, and grey booties from J.Crew. I finished the look tonally with a lavender recycled cashmere scarf from Nordstrom.
Shop for Very Peri
Whether you plan on wearing Very Peri a lot or a little, here are some more Very Peri items to shop for.