Parsing Trends: Potter's Clay

Parsing Trends: Potter's Clay

Our journey through 2016's color trends continues today with "Potter's Clay" orange - aka "cognac," aka "rust," aka "warm brown."

Hue: Pantone calls this color "grounded," with "real substance and a strong foundation." In business, orange is associated with an adventurous spirit, risk-taking, affordability, and a warm social manner - but can also suggest cheapness, superficiality, and an overbearing presence. This color will also work similarly to brown, which is down-to-earth and reliable - but can also be seen as boring and unrefined. My real-world associations are fallen leaves, bark, rust, dried blood, hardwood floors, and wild horses. This color will work best near your face if you have warm undertones to your skin. 

Value: At 62%, this color is almost half infused with black, which makes it more serious and sophisticated than pure orange. This also means it is better for deep complexions.

Saturation: At 77% saturation, Potter's Clay presents a rich and strong image. It is better near the face if your hair and skin are bright and vibrant. It will be harder to wear near the face if your coloring is ashy or gray. 

As with any color, the fabric and placement of Potter's Clay will affect the way it is seen. Stiff, rugged, or distressed leathers will boost the color's adventurous side. Expensive silks and soft leathers, however, can help prevent the color from feeling unrefined. Shimmer and shine will double-down on the adventurous and sociable connotations, while classic shapes and plain matte fabric might enhance a cheaper feel. 

I personally love cognac for my casual leather boots, handbags, and belts. I also enjoy it paired with bright, shiny gold for a more upscale look, and it can help tone-down the brighter, more pure orange that flatters my skin tone but that can feel too obnoxious for my personality. 

How do you feel about Potter's Clay this Fall? Is it already in your closet? Will you be making it a signature color, or using it as an accent piece?

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