Pantone Problems



Way back in January, as I forced my dad to help me take a million blog photos before heading back to school, I got the idea to do a blog post about this year’s Pantone Colors of the Year—nothing special, since I’ve done posts on the annual colors in the past (see my Ultra Violet look here and Living Coral outfit here). But considering that I have very few yellow items in my closet, and none were quite the right shade, I wanted to get a lil’ creative with this yellow wall from my birthday photoshoot and use that as my outfit’s yellow. I finally got around to taking the photos last weekend, so without further ado, here are this year’s Pantone Colors of the Year: ‘Illuminating’ and ‘Ultimate Grey’!


This is what Pantone’s website has to say about this year’s color choices:

“Ultimate Gray + Illuminating, two independent colors that highlight how different elements come together to support one another, best express the mood for Pantone Color of the Year 2021. Practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, the union of Ultimate Gray + Illuminating is one of strength and positivity. It is a story of color that encapsulates deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the promise of something sunny and friendly.

A message of happiness supported by fortitude, the combination of Ultimate Gray + Illuminating is aspirational and gives us hope. We need to feel that everything is going to get brighter – this is essential to the human spirit.”

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I don’t know that I buy into all the deep, philosophical analysis of colors, but I can’t deny that yellow IS such a happy hue. I’ve found myself gravitating towards it so much lately—from the doodles in my Passion Planner to the outfits I save on Pinterest. Like I mentioned in Monday’s post, I actually just purchased a pair of yellow shorts that I think might be the exact Illuminating shade. Obviously it’s still too cold to wear them right now, but I look forward to reaching towards brighter pieces come spring and summer.

I admit, I used to be quite picky about yellow. I only liked the sunniest, brightest hues (as opposed to darker, more golden shades), which I think is why I have so little yellow in my closet. But now? I must be influenced by Pantone (or the psychology of wanting something ‘hopeful’?), but I have been gravitating towards ALL the yellow!

Yellow gets such a bad rap (one of my high school’s colors was ‘gold’—aka mustard—and girls hated it), but I shared a few tips for wearing the color in this blog post. Some people worry about how wearing yellow will make their teeth look, and I always respond to that by recommending Crest 3D White Strips. I’ve used them for years and always get such good results—can’t recommend them enough!

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Now onto grey—who doesn’t love grey? I have quite a bit of the color in my closet, with so many various shades, so I decided to go with a monochromatic look with this outfit. My cableknit sweater is a hand-me-down, and my dark grey mom jeans are an Express purchase from the fall—I wear them all the time and love the high waist! I thought this casual look was super cute and very fitting for college classes. I wanted to get a little more creative with these photos, but I had to stand on this ledge (the yellow ‘wall’ is actually a huge sculpture you can see from I-25 in Denver). The ledge was still slick with ice so I basically didn’t move the whole photoshoot out of fear of falling, ha!

Grey and yellow isn’t a combo I would usually think to pair together, but I actually love how modern and sophisticated it feels. Would you wear these two shades together??

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In other news, I’ve decided to give up on my College Creator Linkup. I know, I know, it was only around for a few weeks… but nobody is joining, even though I have reached out to all my college blogger friends and begged them to participate. So instead, I’ve decided to open the linkup to everyone! I’m still deciding on a new name, but feel free to share your most recent fashion and beauty-related blog posts. I just want to start a community, and since a college-themed one wasn’t working, I figure I’d just let it grow as it will. Happy linking, and I can’t wait to read your posts!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Let me know your thoughts on this year’s Pantone Colors of the Year in the comments. Do you love yellow or hate it? Have you already been seeing a lot of the color in stores?

Thanks for stopping by today, and I hope you have a great Thursday!


Miles of smiles,


Grey Cableknit Sweater: Hand-me-down, last worn here | Grey Jeans: Express, $19 | Black Boots: Clark’s via DSW, gift, last worn here | Aviator Sunglasses: Icing, $16, last worn here | Black Fringe Purse: Gift, $50, last worn here

25 comments on “Pantone Problems”

  1. Your photos are becoming better and better, Grace and some of them can easily be in a glossy fashion magazine! Love the post and bright yellow background! Aiva 🙂

  2. Your photos look great in this post as do you. I kind of think that the Pantone colors get a lot of hype but on the other hand, we’re all looking for inspirations so I guess it can simple be considered that. It can be frustrating to get a link-up going so hang in there.


    1. Thanks for the support Rena! I’m glad you were able to get your links shared – not sure what was going on but I didn’t have much luck while troubleshooting… Glad it is fixed now.

  3. Fyi link up worked for me but i did it on Saturday! Love love how you did the yellow and grey by finding that wall. As you saw I wore yellow and grey this past week and I just came up with another yellow and grey one for next week. I love the two colors together. I just found some cherry blossom trees in bloom (or some kind of pink blossom trees) to take pictures next week. Already told my son that we will stop for pics next week. Don’t give up on the link up! I will try to promote it in my posts so people take note!

    1. Thank you so much Mireille!! Now that I’ve opened up the linkup I think a lot more people will join… at least I hope, haha. And yes, I LOVED your yellow and grey outfit the other day! Excited to see the pink blooms… This is my favorite time of year to take photos as everything starts to bloom and become colorful again.

  4. Grace, I really love this monochromatic gray outfit and how brilliant to shoot it in front of a bright yellow background. It really stands out in the best possible way! My high school colors were black and gold and it has forever changed my opinion about yellow! While I do love the energizing effect of shades of yellow, I also don’t have much of it in my closet. I am actually kind of glad that you are opening your link party to all! It’s way better that way, I think, as you get all sorts of fun creators linking up! I will drop some posts in now!


  5. You are too cute! I love the creativity! Using the yellow wall against your grey sweater was a smart idea! I think of yellow as a happy, bright color and do have a bit more mustard than butter yellow in the closet. I do enjoy wearing ti too.
    thanks for linking!
    jess xx

  6. Lovely photos Grace, what a fun yellow wall to photograph against! I have the same problems with yellow too x

  7. Shades of yellow ALWAYS go so great with shades of grey. I happen to love yellow and think of it as such a happy color! Your monochromatic outfit is great. The sweater and little purse are so cute! =)

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