Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Fall/Winter 2013/14 Color and Trend Overview

General Overview

Designers are still erring on the side of caution. Overall looks are a blend of country and city looks with a touch of vintage executed in modern ways. American sportswear has a casual richness this season. Layering is important, making knits, sweaters, and outerwear key categories. For both Men and Women, outerwear is being shown with everything and is the must have item of the season regardless of fabric or weight.  Familiar silhouettes are made modern through fabric, color, and use of texture. Athletic details and styles mix into casual fall styles.  Military influences continue.  The preppy look continues as well but it is subtle because it is mixed with the other trends so it does not stand out.


Fabric Matters This Season

Fabrication is being emphasized this season. It is being used as a tool to create or enhance a trend.  Boucle, Tweed, sponge-like fabrics, wools, and shabby fabrics create a vintage, retro look. Corduroy returns in a 8,12, and 14 wale as well as un-cut corduroy.  Strenuous washes create a vintage look. Leather and Suede are key looks as well as PVC and mirco-fiber, for a faux look.  Suede like finishes emerge on shirts, slacks, and jackets.  Brushed surfaces also appear creating a warm cozy look.  Texture is featured in the both knit and sweater category.  Trends that feature outdoor, rugged wear, or vintage aspects tend to feature more texture. Cables, larger gauges in sweaters and ribs are key for sweaters.  In Knits, thermal, waffle, heather yarns, drop needle, flat back ribs, and rib textures are key. Quilted fabrics are featured in outerwear and in bottoms. Hairy yarns and eyelash fabrics emerge in Woman’s. Velvet and metallic fabrics bring the holiday glitz look.  Heavy ornamentation and decoration emerges.  Iridescent, Jacquards, and black fill fabrics are key.
This season fabric mixing is very important especially for outerwear, shirts, and rugged outdoor bottoms.  Color blocking continues from Spring/Summer into Fall/Winter, and can be done by colors or through fabrication.  Borders appear again this season and are featured on knit tops, sweaters, and outerwear.

Color Direction

Color creates newness in fabrications and in silhouettes. There are eight key color groups:

  1. Technicolor Fall- Bright shades of Natural Neon colors. Used to update classic patterns, or classic fabrics. Perfect for accessories, outerwear, and sweaters.
2. Shabby Shades- Vintage or antiques shades featuring off white, taupe, soft grays against chalk like pastels.
3. Natural Tones- Earthy Browns featuring khaki, camel, brown, and red cast browns.
4. Blue Gems- Gem inspired blues, sapphire blue, royal, purple cast blues and navy.
5. Organic Fall- Natural greens, such as hunter, forest, olive, and yellow cast greens mix with teal and peacock blue.
6. Autumn Hues- Traditional fall color palette featuring spice and pumpkin oranges, rust and copper, brick red and mustard gold.
7. Berry Crush- Berry and Purple blend. Vintage purples, oxblood, wine, and berry pinks.
8. Metallic Status- Metallic shades will be key, traditional Gold, Copper, and Silver. Pink, Aqua, Blue, Purple and multi color metallic colors are important.


There are five key trends this season.
1. Man Power
2. Downton Abbey
3. Urban Explorers
4. Armed Forces
5. Renaissance Revival\


Man Power

The alpha male returns as well as the professional woman.  Richness and polished looks that have been missing in apparel appears for Fall 2013.  There is a gentle restraint in the silhouettes along with an attitude of getting down to business mood returns along with the power suit and career separates.  Menswear patterns and geometrics are key. Key base colors are Black, Navy, Gray, Blues, Oxblood and use of tonal colors. For pop add bright colors against the Gray and Black







Downton Abbey

The Down Town Abbey trend plays strongly on English Heritage with inspiration on the Highland Countryside.  In Women’s it takes on a bit more country vintage appearance. In Men’s it features a vintage, English countryside look, with a touch of preppy details.  The focus is on shabby fabrics, wool, boucle, tweed, Shetland wools, and cashmere.  Patterns emphasize the old world feel of Tartan plaids, natty patterns, and English patterns.  Heather yarns return to knits and woven fabrics.  Flannel finishes, brushed surfaces are key.  Vintage washes help to create a shabby look to the fabrics.  Vintage is a recurring theme.  The overall color palette features Browns and Neutrals along with a traditional palette of Hunter Green, Red, Navy, and Mustard.  Key patterns are plaids, tartan plaids, window pane plaids and argyles.  Crests are used for embroideries and screen prints.




Urban Explorer

Urban Explorer is a rugged, casual trend for apparel. It features artic winter looks as well as rugged outdoor looks.  The artic winter theme features silhouettes inspired by ski apparel in the 1930’s, Fair Isle patterns, quilted fabrics, and puffer coats are key issues. Fabrics are warm and cozy to protect from the elements. Rugged outdoor apparel features hunting inspired plaids, flannel fabrics, vintage washes, corduroy, and denim are key. Thermal textures and ribs are key in knitwear.  Heavy gauges are used in sweaters as well as cables.  Suede and suede like fabrics emerge as well as suede finishes on knits and woven fabrics.  Key colors for this trend features an autumn palette of Brick Reds, Rusts, Orange, Mustard, and Olive mixing with Earthy Browns, for an outdoor, rugged look. The color palette for the artic winter look is Winter White, Gray, Earthy Browns, teamed with icy or vintage soft tones



Armed Forces

Military and Work Wear influences continue this year, looks include epaulets, utility pockets, metal buttons, and color blocking.  Utility details feature enlarged pockets, work wear inspired fabrics like Cavalry Twills, Wools, and Canvas.  Tougher looks also emerge featuring leather as a key fabrication.  The biker jacket returns and padded or quilted motorcycle pants are key.  Fabric mixing is key, in women’s with delicate fabrics mixing with leather create a pretty yet powerful look.  The key colors for this trend are Army Green, Work Wear Blues, Navy, Khaki, Camel, and Gray.  Denim is also a key fabrication.







Renaissance Revival

Renaissance Revival features a revisit to Baroque decorations, and elaborate ornamentation and rich fabrics.  This is an ideal look for holiday.  Key fabrics are Velvet, Velour, Lace, Tapestry, Metallic Fabrics, Iridescent, Black Fill fabrics, and Satin or shine fabrics.  Colors are dark and rich working back to black. Tapestry, Stain Glass Window prints, Paisley, Jacquard patterns are key.

Presented by Carol Meek of  Color Portfolio


  1. Nice post on winter color trends!its really looking nice to wear best quality material winter outerwear in awesome colors!

  2. Nice winter trends! this winter you can add a great variety of colorful winter outerwear in awesome colors and styles as well!