Pantone’s Classic Blue in Apparel

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Classic Blue, the Pantone colour of the year is a versatile hue that elevates simple, sophisticated silhouettes into high fashion looking pieces.

Recently, Pantone announced that its 2020 Colour of the Year as Classic Blue, a shade reminiscent of the sky at dusk. Naturally then Classic Blue is expected to rule the trends in all the designing industries, especially apparel and fashion. The colour blue carries a rich history of scientific invention, global trade, and artistic workarounds. From the very first synthetic pigments created in Ancient Egypt to new hues discovered in the past decade, there are the highlights of the story of blue in every piece of art.


Style Notes

Being one of the most versatile shades, Classic Blue has lent a contemporary ease to clean, tailored pieces and makes a great choice for statement outerwear. Classic blue is ‘classic’ in true sense. One can team up this colour with every kind of outfit – checks, stripes, prints or solid colours. “Classic Blue is an eternal shade and has been worn by people of all genres. Be it any variation of garments, classic blue has made its way in everybody’s wardrobe. Classic Blue seems to be the perfect shade to match their undertone as well as the Indian personality,” says Anand Saraf, Designer, Verse. From versions of cooler cobalt blue via softer denim blue to warmer marine blue it is a super versatile colour to include in your wardrobe. Darker blues make us feel calm and are more solid, trustworthy and reliable. Vikash Pacheriwal, Co-Founder, Raisin adds, “2020’s shade of Classic Blue brings a sense of peace and tranquility to the human spirit, offering refuge. It is time to boost your design with vivid, warm and multi-coloured combinations that will create an optimistic, energetic but also familiar approach to your design ideas. The on-going red and blue colour combination is one of our all-time favourite looks.”

Blossoms Leggings
Blossoms Leggings

Choose Right

Classic Blue can be ideal for both day as well as evening occasions. Women can sport dresses with light jewellery and make up for a day look, while for evening, gowns or sarees and heavy accessories can complete the look along with a dark make up. By being a bold and versatile shade, solid and statement pieces are a must have. While pairing apparel, pick enhanced neutral shades like tan, almond and black to mute the overall look. “Look out for saturated hues like lime and red in accessories to give an extra edge to the ensemble. Opt for printed pieces in simple cuts and shapes for an elevated look. Refrain from over styling any piece of outfit in classic blue, especially when wearing prints in the colour,” says Rashi Menda – CEO, ISU & A monotone jumpsuit if worn in blue can be accessorised with pop colour or neutral/nude shades, as they look great when worn together. A textured tweed jacket in blue if paired with formal pants and a shirt looks great, as it gives a semi casual vibe. Meha Bhargava, Founder, advices, “do not overpower the outfit with too many colours as the blue is the main component. The contrast is always nice to work with. Either with the darker shade of the same colour or something like black.”


Indian Vibes

Considered as the colour of calm and relaxing undertones, the classic blue dress is a great choice. Moreover, this shade also blends well with Indian styles and patterns. For instance, a royal blue saree, with a simple zari border, works wonderfully with a white or black blouse. In fact, pairing it with a rani pink or a parrot green blouse will definitely make the outfit festive. “Another way of styling in an orange colour sharara, flared pants fitted at the waist are beautiful, with a turquoise blue cape draped top creates an aesthetic look to the attire. Moreover, pairing them with a bangle bracelet or tassel earrings will be a la mode. For a sassy look, go for a denim gown, or a casual blue net jacket over embroidery Kurti,” say Puneet Jain and Yatin Jain, Directors, ODHNI. “Blue georgette farsi Gharara embroidered with multi coloured thread work looks elegant and beautiful. Another trend which is catching up is mirror work as it gives a shimmery effect without being too over dominant and looks amazing against the classic blue. Silk Kurta’s with Zardosi embroidery or Banarasi sarees in the classic shade of blue, looks rich, elegant and classy too,” adds Anjali Bhaskar, Founder & Creative Director, Samatvam by Anjali Bhaskar.

Aqua Colorblock Long Sleeve Tshirt
Aqua Colorblock Long Sleeve Tshirt

Sustainability Cues

Being a GOTS certified organic kidswear brand, Greendigo uses only non-toxic dyes and colours in all their apparel. “We use Classic Blue in making everyday essentials for children, such as solid and printed leggings, solid and colour-blocked t-shirts, skater dresses, light jackets, baby blankets, etc., which are easy to pair and style. While announcing Classic Blue as the colour of the year, Pantone stated: “the reassuring qualities of Classic Blue offer the promise of protection; highlighting our desire for a dependable and stable foundation from which to build.”. This is perfectly in line with the brand’s ethos of making 100% certified organic and sustainable clothing for kids which is safe to wear and kinder to the environment,” explains Barkha Bhatnagar Das, Co-founder & Director, Greendigo Retail Private Limited.


Design Dialogues

To exude confidence, energy and determination, there are several ways one can wrap oneself in the classic blue. For instance, denim jacket on top of Kurti, or pairing a light tone Anarkali suit with navy-blue earrings or necklace can be chic. Blending traditional with modernity, go for plain colour saree with a wide blue waist belt, or a blue pottery lehenga paired with a white plain T-shirt. The calming, familiar hue is ringing in the new era with freshness, timeless and elegance in the wardrobe. “Particularly in the style sphere, the striking shade of classic blue is a majestic one which suits Indian skin tones brilliantly. From Prussian to indigo to cadet blue colour, the blue hue is accessible enough in various styles and design which can be seamlessly worn with the daily outfits, whether for the office or a party right after. To strike the classic blue colour in your outfit, try to coordinate it with a similar colour palette or choose the complete opposite. This way, the Pantone colour of the year will grab some attention,” says Nidhi Yadav, Creative Head and Founder, AKS Clothings.


Colour Coded

While combining light and dark blue shades works, one should opt for some bright colours such as lemon yellow or ivory white to create matching contrast on the outfit. Moreover, the classic blue itself stands out, so try to avoid pairing it with green. Prints and patterns can work with solid blue. “Using tone on tone pairing, using contrast colours, teaming up with white pants or black pants to give it a formal look or pairing the colour with print in a black/dark base to give a classy look is advised. Designers are taking it as a base and the print in contrast/ vibrant hues like yellow and white. They are also experimenting with different fabrics like brocade, silk, cotton, woolen to give texture to give it a different feel altogether,” avers Sarita Rawat Singh, Director Deebaco. Classic blue is a very refreshing tone of the colour and is a universal shade that would match with most other colours. “Not only is this colour something that would easily go with the usual denims and blacks, I think it would make for a great shade to colour block with. Indian outfits in this shade would also be great to experiment with, as opposed to the usual Indian hues of blue. The shade is really great on all the varied Indian skin tones. It is a great hue of blue to take from day to night and is a shade that can be used for traditional outfits as well as more western silhouettes,” says Designer Pooja Shroff. So are you set to give your wardrobe a blue makeover?

Styling Tips

  • Wear minimal jewelry with blue shades.
  • Choose black to create the perfect contrast.
  • Team up the classic blue dress with an ankle boot.
  • Wear a light pink coloured upper outfit if choosing the classic blue shade jacket.
  • Break the monotony by choosing prints with solid.
  • Do not pair blue shade with brown
  • Do not carry denim accessories over classic blue shade outfits.
  • Do not create a distraction by teaming up with multiple contrast colours.

This story first appeared in the Feb 2020 issue of Apparel Magazine here:

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