Your Guide to Summer 2023's Color Trends

From the neutrals of quiet luxury to highly-saturated statements.

models wearing summer 2023 color trends
(Image credit: Future)

When rounded up into a well-curated list, as Marie Claire's Style Director Sara Holzman has done, the front-running fashion trends of summer 2023 feel almost contradictory. Classic sartorial codes like high-waisted trousers and oversized blazers are gaining momentum, but so, too, are more experimental styles—summery leather and jungle-fever-inducing animal prints, for instance. A cohesive thread throughout is hard to find, but the sundry lineup signals that the season ahead offers fashion a range of folks will resonate with. Likewise, summer 2023's color trends offer a varied mix: oscillating between the neutrals of quiet luxury and highly-saturated statements, the season's defining hues cater to an assortment of aesthetics.

After combing through the Pre-Fall 2023 collections and sourcing insight from Urangoo Samba, the Head of Color at the industry-leading trend forecasting agency WGSN, we curated the shades that will define the upcoming season. Minimalists, maximalists, and those who fall somewhere in the middle of the style spectrum—rejoice! The color trends of summer 2023 have options for everyone.

luscious red on a title card next to models wearing red clothing

(Image credit: Future)

"Luscious Red is WGSN’s key color for summer '23," describes Samba. "This particular shade has a lightness and transiency which feels hyper-real, immersive, and sensory. It is a familiar and commercial bright for the season [that] signals the return of powerful and emotionally engaging brights. We have seen this commercial shade as a response to consumers craving impactful looks, which is key for occasion-led looks. This shade was prevalent [in summer 2023 showings from] brands such as Victoria Beckham and Valentino, fully embracing head-to-toe looks and accessories [in Luscious Red]," the color expert analysis.

digital lavender on a title card next to models wearing lavender

(Image credit: Future)

"The sensorial shade of Digital Lavender, WGSN’s Colour of the Year 2023, has become a popular choice within the youth sector, and brands continue to embrace this shade for its gender-inclusive appeal," explains Samba. "The powerful pastel aligns with a renewed sense of optimism, hope, and balance. WGSN’s catwalk analytics data also shows this color [gained] traction on the Spring/Summer 2022 catwalk shows, with pastel purple making up 57.2 percent of the mix (up 8.2ppt YoY), and this rose to 61.6 percent (up 4.3ppt YoY) for the Spring/Summer 2023 collections."

models wearing key lime colors next to title card reading key lime

(Image credit: Future)

Evidenced by Valentino's lime floral brocade, Dior's verdant satin, and Prabal Gurung's electric sheaths, bright green is an eye-popping shade you'll see a lot of this summer. It's a color that inspires risk and is a guaranteed head-turner, making it a match made in heaven for statement dressers. Oh, and for those who traditionally stick to subdued hues and minimal aesthetics, make summer 2023 the season you leave your comfort zone by opting for a key lime accessory. Doesn't it feel refreshing?

enhanced neutrals on a title card next to models wearing neutrals

(Image credit: Future)

"As consumers continue to make considered purchases, colors with practicality, versatility, and long-term appeal come to the fore," illustrates Samba. "Timeless and investment shades [drive] color direction, and neutrals gain momentum due to their commerciality; shades of Oat Milk and Parchment draw on elegant comfort and low-key luxury trends. We have tracked that neutrals rise due to their trans-seasonal appeal as longevity continues to drive conscious consumers."

traffic-stopping orange on a title card next to models wearing bright orange clothing

(Image credit: Future)

Here's another highly-saturated shade for summer, one so vibrant and striking it might even stop traffic, so buyer beware. Seen in the Pre-Fall 2023 collections from Jil Sander, Etro, and LAPOINTE, vivid orange is an easy, one-and-done statement with a touch of whimsicality. Also of note: with its attention-grabbing and playful effect, the bold shade feels inherently summery, making it a no-brainer color to integrate into your seasonal style.

Meet the Fashion Expert

Urangoo Samba
Urangoo Samba

Urangoo Samba is the Head of Color at WGSN. She leads WGSN Color team to create world-class insight and analysis across interiors, beauty, fashion and consumer tech industries to ensure success across all market levels.

Emma Childs
Fashion Features Editor

Emma is the fashion features editor at Marie Claire, where she writes deep-dive trend reports, zeitgeisty fashion featurettes on what style tastemakers are wearing, long-form profiles on emerging designers and the names to know, and human interest vignette-style round-ups. Previously, she was Marie Claire's style editor, where she wrote shopping e-commerce guides and seasonal trend reports, assisted with the market for fashion photo shoots, and assigned and edited fashion celebrity news.

Emma also wrote for The Zoe Report, Editorialist, Elite Daily, Bustle, and Mission Magazine. She studied Fashion Studies and New Media at Fordham University Lincoln Center and launched her own magazine, Childs Play Magazine, in 2015 as a creative pastime. When she's not waxing poetic about niche fashion topics, you'll find her stalking eBay for designer vintage, reading literary fiction on her Kindle, and baking banana bread in her tiny NYC kitchen.