There are few things more inviting than the scent of freshly baked bread coming out of a brick oven, paired with a full bodied glass of wine. This mix of warmth, comfort and richness of flavor serves as the foundation for this season’s most coveted autumnal colors. Calm, hearty colors (as practical as potatoes) are what we’re craving this season — grays, beiges and browns — as well as subtly rich hues, like wine and navy.
In the words of Louise Camuto, creative director of Vince Camuto, “As temperatures cool, I have my eye on rich-colored layers and cozy textures.”
We listed some of her favorite shades below, with some insight into the psychology behind the color itself, in addition to tips on how to best style each color for fall.
The embodiment of elegance, unity and stability, moonstone is a shade of grey that creates of a sense of calm and relief from a chaotic world. It carries a white color energy, mimicking the natural powers of light reflected by the moon. Calming and encouraging, moonstone is an incredibly practical, yet mature, color. It is controlled — with a steadying effect on any other color it comes into contact with, toning down those that are stronger and brighter, while illuminating ones that are softer.
Liven up a black outfit with a cozy oversized turtleneck in this color, or pair it with white culottes and matching heels for a work-appropriate look. Pair long, felt coats with soft, muted pastels or other neutrals. You can also mix it up with other shades and materials of the same color family. For a casual yet hip look, try layering a wide-neck sweatshirt over a collared denim shirt and ripped skinny jeans. Moonstone is perfect for a regular day running errands under the rain or clouds — or simply spending time with friends and family.
Earth tones like camel are warm, friendly and approachable, becoming crisper and cooler the lighter it goes. The color of classic Burberry trench coats, camel is neutral, calm and relaxing. It’s very natural and unpretentious — a reminder of the simple things.
Best worn in trench or coat form (or some variation of it), you can pair it with denim, lighter shades of blue or poppy neutrals like black and white. Camel and other beige colors serve as a middle ground for extremities, toning down the contrast. Spice it up with some animal print accessories or try it out with skirts and blazers for a clean, professional look. Wearing it as a faux leather shift dress can also add a little edge to the color!
Russet is a dark brown color with a subdued reddish-orange tinge, originally a color used to dye a coarse cloth made of wool. It’s also the color of autumn — and somewhat romantic — often referred to by Shakespeare, Oliver Cromwell and other authors in their writings. Representing the utmost quality and loyalty, this approachable color often represents authenticity, reliability and wholesomeness (think of those Russet-colored boots that have stood the test of time, lasting through multiple style cycles and seasons). It’s rustic and warm, with the tinge of red adding just the right amount of sensuality and kick.
The color is most common in boots — of course — but also accessories, like belts, shoes, hats, purses and more. We’ve been seeing it on suede skirts and shorts lately, which are best paired with fun prints and patterns like stripes, camo and animal print. It also works great as part of a 70’s or boho look, matching some Russet-colored flares or satchel with a peasant blouse and a fur vest. With its industrial roots, this color is best suited for that adventurous, outdoorsy look.
It’s not a coincidence that the color Cabernet is a favorite of wine enthusiasts and all connoisseurs of fine living. Though some see it as a bit hoity-toity, few can resist the rich, indulgent feeling it evokes — particularly during the season of autumn and the harvest it is most associated with. Cabernet brings connotations of luxury and all things rich and refined.
As with anything possessing such qualities, this color is best taken in small doses. Like sipping a glass of wine, thoughtful and careful appreciation will only make it more enjoyable — whether it’s a taste in the form of a short miniskirt, a compact accessory or a thin, delicate blazer. Add a soft touch with neutrals, like blacks, grays and ivory, or pair it with other luxurious materials, like cashmere sweaters, quilted Chanel bags and patent leather. Integrate with flannel if you prefer something a little bit more hip, casual or youthful.
The darkest shade of blue, Navy, was originally worn by officers of the British Royal Navy. The uniform of English sailors, the color is seen as preppy, nautical and refined, while the color family it comes from evokes characteristics of serenity, tranquility, nostalgia, expression and idealism.
Navy is coming in various shades, materials and patterns (flannel, for one) this season, and is often paired with close cousin black. Often worn as an alternative to the color black, it tends to encompass the majority color in a look. Dark denim jackets, blazers, coats, bombers and one-piece jumpers work well with Navy, as well as the occasional blouse or chambray dress-shirt.
The signature color of sophistication and formality, black dominates the high-end of the spectrum (hello — little black dress or black tie event!). One one hand, it exudes affluence, success and confidence. On the other, an air of mystery — the secretive and the unknown. Psychologically, it serves as armor, a barrier between itself and the outside world, communicating power, control and authority. It implies discipline, independence and strong will.
Black is a dignified color and one of the most versatile. It can be worn all over, but this season, its most popular form is leather — jackets, clutches, boots and other accessories. You can also tap into some of the color’s more submissive and seductive properties by softening it with a sheer blouse or ruffly maxi dress. Sparkles help dress it up, while baggy layers take it to back to the streets.