Every year, I look forward to the announcement of Pantone’s Color of the Year partly because it’s a nice distraction from the holidays and second, because I love color.  The announcement is just a fun event that gives us a small forecast for the coming year.  Pantone has been announcing their Colors of the Year since 1999 which makes this year’s color the 25th. Click this link to see a slideshow of all the colors of the past years.

Over 25 years, it’s expected that there will be some clunkers (I’m looking you Rose Quartz and Serenity.)  After all, color is subjective and what makes one person swoon will make another person wretch.  And there is reason and rationale behind each color choice Pantone makes. They don’t just blindly throw darts at putting a bunch of colors on a wall, they look at color trends as well as all aspects of society from fashion, arts, music, and entertainment trends to bigger issues like politics, global events, and what society needs or is craving.  


When a color of the year isn’t particularly good, it’s a bummer but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t make sense.  Take, for example, this year’s shade, Peach Fuzz.  When the color was revealed it made me more depressed than I already was about the state of things.  Perhaps I was hoping for a shade that made me feel more optimistic and excited for the future given that 2023 has been nothing short of an abysmal, hopeless mess with atrocities happening all over the globe, wars, price increases in just about everything…need I go on?  I wanted to feel excited about 2024, and while I am still hopeful things will eventually turn around, Peach Fuzz did little to lift my spirits.  

On the other hand, however, Pantone’s position is that a shade like Peach Fuzz is exactly what we need during these turbulent times which is a feeling of kindness and tenderness that communicates a message of caring and sharing, community and collaboration.  This shade, which Pantone says is “softly nestled between pink and orange,” is meant to be a comforting shade that nurtures the body, mind, and soul.  Peach fuzz, it seems, is also designed to bring a new modernity to technology with its gentle lightness.


If you look at Pantone’s graphic for Peach Fuzz, it’s this soft, fuzzy, glowy little dandelion that looks warm and appealing, like a giant hug you just want to fall into and let your troubles dissolve.  However, when you look at the actual Pantone color, it just sort of dies.  It’s flat, bland, and a little sad.   It also proves that context is important.  Peach fuzz in a fuzzy, soft, or shiny fabric looks lovely but in a flat cotton.  I don’t know, that’s a tough sell. At least that is how I see it.  Given the subjectivity of color and its appeal, this is purely my opinion. There is also the question of who can wear Peach Fuzz.  It’s more of a deep-skin-tone-friendly shade vs. for skin tones that naturally look like peach fuzz.  On me, the color would look like I forgot to get dressed.  


Upon the announcement of a new Pantone Color of the Year, I challenged myself to build looks using it.   I can’t say this was a challenge that I found easy.  It felt like the equivalent of being a chef who has been asked to create a gourmet meal using sawdust as the secret ingredient.  No matter how skilled I am, it’s a tough ask.  Plus with the announcement of this color fresh off the presses, I had to search far and wide to find enough pieces in this shade.  Take a look at how I did.


My first thought when Pantone released its color was that it was a shade that needed anchoring. It’s a lofty color that, on some people, can create a sickly appearance. Pairing navy with Peach Fuzz was the first combo that jumped to mind. I styled this silk shell tunic from Lafayette 148 with this easy mixed-media blazer from Capsule 121. For a spring look, I added these ivory pants from Elie Tahari and finished the outfit with soft blue slingback pumps from Inez and a long delicate silver necklace from Kendra Scott.


Nobody is saying you have to wear an entire outfit in solid Peach Fuzz. It may be more palatable as part of a print, like this top from TiMo. What’s helpful about prints that use Peach fuzz as one of the shades is that you can use it to get some ideas for colors you can try wearing with this Color of the Year. We call this Road Map Styling. Without a print like this, it can be hard to imagine Peach Fuzz with burgundy but, as you can see, it works. I styled the blouse with these burgundy faux leather pants from Commando and finished the look with burgundy patent booties from M.Gemi.


With Peach Fuzz, I also like hunter green or teal. Teal is one of those perfect shades that complement everything and hunter green is another deep, grounding, colored neutral shade, like burgundy.

You don’t have to add hunter or teal in a big way. An accent, like in this look, makes enough of an impact. I styled this Peach Fuzz sweater from J.Crew with straight-leg jeans from L’Agence, and deep hunter loafers from Coal Haan.


Earth tones are other shades that can work with Peach Fuzz and it will work with those who look particularly good in deep, warm shades. I styled this Peach Fuzz shirt from The Shirt by Rochelle Behrens with an olive a-line skirt from Jason Wu, Stuart Weitzman boots in Khaki and a lace bolt chain necklace from Frederica Tosi.


A color like grey meets the softness of Peach Fuzz where it’s at while also neutralizing the color a bit in a way that makes the color more wearable. I styled these palazzo corduroy pants from FRAME with a grey polo sweater from Massimo Dutti layered over a striped tank from Majestic Fillitures. The look is finished with grey Adidas sneakers and silver dome earrings from Merjuri.


Sometimes, when a new color is introduced, it takes a little while to adjust. Maybe it’s a no for you now but could be a yes in the future but, Just because a color is trendy, doesn’t mean it will ever see the inside of your closet. Take a look at these additional Peach Fuzz pieces and see if you’d be willing to give this color a go.