Like all fashion trends, (opens in new tab)from handbags to shoes to jewelry, color trends come and go. But color theory, a.k.a. the way certain hues make us feel, will always play a part in our routines. And fashion designers have long championed the power of colors on their catwalks: They can spark an entire fad by sending a drove of bold pink looks down the runway (we're looking at you, Barbiecore).
"Color plays an essential role in our day-to-day lives," says Shakaila Forbes-Bell, a fashion psychologist and the author of Big Dress Energy: How Fashion Psychology Can Transform Your Wardrobe and Your Confidence (opens in new tab). She adds that "experimenting with color is a risk worth taking" because, like most things, color doesn't have a one-size fits all approach. "Color-related emotions are incredibly dependent on personal preferences and people's past experiences with color," Forbes-Bell explains.
Whether you gravitate towards an optimistic yellow shade or prefer to stay out of the spotlight in neutral tones like camel or black, these are the fall 2022 color trends that can match any attitude.
Pops of Purple
"Purple can dramatically influence our parasympathetic nervous system and has a prominent calming effect," says Forbes-Bell. On the fall runway, designers celebrated the dramatic hue in every tone of purple—from deep plums to lavenders running the gamut from dressy to casual wear. Tory Burch had smartly tailored purple button-downs, while Carolina Herrera sent regal purple ball gowns down her runways.
While a purple ball gown is sure to wow, studies also suggest that purple can lower blood pressure and heart rates, making it the perfect color to wear when practicing mindfulness. Often associated with royalty, luxury, and power, once reserved only for the aristocracy due to the scarce supply of purple dye, the color can also help you embrace feelings of comfort, security, and peace.
Often linked to feelings of joy, a punchy yellow or marigold color helps evoke optimism and cheer. "It can often be easier to wear a conversation-starter rather than trying to start one yourself," says Forbes-Bell. "When wearing a warm yellow color, it may not only attract others but help you step out of your comfort zone," she explains.
Designers leaned into the color for Fall/Winter 2022. Victor Glemaud's slinky dress styles took on a bright yellow hue, while you'd be hard-pressed to miss the brightly colored power suits on the Michael Kors Collection catwalk.
Another thing to consider: Overexposure to the color can completely envelop you and may even lead to a lost sense of time!
"Women aren't inherently attracted to pink as you might think," says Forbes-Bell. The deliberate use of color by marketing whizzes in the 1940s actually led to pink's association with femininity.
Today, and on the Fall/Winter 2022 runways, the color has also become synonymous with independence and power. Valentino inspired his entire collection around bright pink, sending a parade of bright bubblegum looks down the runway. Burberry and Chanel used the color in a lighter, pale pink tone, incorporating the pastel into mini dresses and tweed jackets. Forbes-Bell suggests wearing a poppy pink when you feel playful, feminine, or crave a sense of security.
Forbes-Bell says that people gravitate towards black because it's less individualizing. While the nondescript color offers a sense of security and draws less attention, fall's shimmering black pieces are anything but boring—from glittering strapless midi dresses at Givenchy to paillette sequined outerwear at Altuzarra.
Forbes-Bell suggests wearing the shade when you want to test your powers of persuasion, want to appear authoritative, or when you're attending a fancy event. "The color can ooze sophistication, glamour, and stateliness while making you feel luxurious," she says.
Crazy for Camel
A light brown camel color, which was very popular on the fall 2022 runways— especially amongst the outerwear pieces at Tory Burch, Chanel, and Fendi— is the ideal transitional shade to segway into autumn when deeper hues take the reigns. "An earthy brown color is often related to notions of support and reliability," explains Forbes-Bell. "When paired with blues and greens—which signify earth and water—a brown hue can help you stay grounded."
Wild Blue Yonder
Blue is undoubtedly one of fashion's favorite hues from seasons past and remains a staple on the runways for Fall/Winter. Blues from cobalt to royal blues were saturation on leathers, ombre on cozy knits, and statement-making on puffer jackets and coats. "A clear sky and a sprawling ocean are enough to quiet the mind," explains Forbes-Bell, adding that blue is often the go-to color for relaxation. "Blue is also linked to positive beliefs, like communication, trust, and security, while it can place us in deep concentration," she says. A saturated blue color can also make you more efficient. "It positively supports cognitive performance," Bell explains. If you're on the job hunt, consider wearing one of these blue pieces to your next meeting—hiring managers consider it the best color to wear to an interview.
Sara Holzman is the Style Director at Marie Claire, covering runway trends and tracking down the latest finds to buy and wear. When she’s not writing about fashion, she pens about the best places to jet-off to. Over her six years with Marie Claire, Sara has reported on the ever-evolving world of fashion— covering both established and emerging designers within the industry. Sara has held fashion positions at Lucky and SELF Magazine and was a regular contributor to Equinox’s Furthermore website, where she wrote across their style, wellness, and travel verticals. She holds a degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri, Columbia, and currently resides in Manhattan. Follow her along at @sarajonewyork.
I’m a Shopping Editor—My All-Time Favorite Going Out Top Is On Sale at J.Crew
*So* many great things are 40% off right now
By Julia Marzovilla
Beauty Around The Clock: Becky G
The Latin music sensation and beauty guru talks positivity, finding balance, and why mental health is so important for women of color.
By Gabrielle Ulubay
How My Journey of Self-Discovery Unlocked Advocacy for Black Women
My relationship with wellness is my own. And given America’s history of medical racism against bodies like mine, it is ever more precious.
By Beatrice Dixon