Every Pantone Color of the Year of the Past Decade, As Told By Cute Shoes and Bags

From 2011's Honeysuckle to 2020's Classic Blue.

Best Colors of Cute Shoes and Bags From Pantone Colors of the Year 2011-2020
PHOTO BY Pantone, American Tourister, Adidas, Dr. Martens, Longchamp ILLUSTRATION War Espejo

(SPOT.ph) In case you missed it, Pantone announced Illuminating and Ultimate Grey as the 2021 Colors of the Year. We were pretty surprised to see two seemingly opposing shades paired together, but perhaps after the bumpy roller-coaster ride that was 2020, it's only right to examine the year that follows with hues that seem to represent mixed feelings.

Considering how unpredictable this year was, you may find yourself nostalgic over the last few years of your life—back when going outside was still a thing. Below, we look back at the Pantone Colors of the Year from the past decade ranging from 2011 to 2020. Remembering the hues of Pantone past may lead you to reflect on what those years were like for you personally and what they were like for the world at large. You'd be surprised how much insight you get from thinking about these shades retrospectively. Plus, we round up cute shoes and bags to match each color. You can wear the ones that best suit your current life philosophy and New Year mindset—what better way to manifest a good 2021?


These were the Pantone Colors of Cute Shoes and Bags in the Year from 2011 to 2020:

2011: Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle Adilette Aqua Slides from Adidas
PHOTO BY Pantone, Adidas
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In 2011, Pantone chose the vibrant and quirky Honeysuckle as the Color of the Year. They described it as courageous, confident, and vital—"a brave new color for a brave new world." If you love the bright, eye-catching shade, you can rock it with these Adilette Aqua Slides from Adidas (P900), which feature the shade Signal Pink. They'll add an instant pop of color to any athleisure look.

Available online; see a list of Adidas stores.

2012: Tangerine Tango

Clementine flap purse from Charles & Keith
PHOTO BY Pantone, Charles & keith

Orange is an underrated color and 2012's Tangerine Tango shows the shade in all its loud, oversaturated glory. If you're looking to add personality to a plain T-shirt-and-jeans look, trust us when we say orange is a great pick. Just check out this flap purse from Charles & Keith (P1,495) in the shade Clementine—it'll look so chic with your casual outfits!

See a list of Charles & Keith stores.

2013: Emerald

Green Bean Crossbody Bag from Kate Spade
PHOTO BY Pantone, Kate Spade

Of all the shades of green out there from lime to  chartreuse, perhaps none is quite as soothing to look at as Emerald, 2013's Color of the Year. As radiant as it is relaxing, Emerald reminds us of both the vivid hues of nature and the opulence of the gemstone its named after. Pantone notes that the shade "inspir[es] insight" and "promot[es] balance and harmony." This Crossbody Bag from Kate Spade (P18,650) in the color Green Bean is a perfect representation with its mix of timeless elegance and eye-catching boldness.


Available online.

2014: Radiant Orchid

Purple Fog Birkenstock sandals
PHOTO BY Pantone, Birkenstock

We don't know what it is about purple, but people who love it really love it. If you're a diehard devotee of lilac and lavender, we bet you swooned over 2014's Radiant Orchid, which as its name suggests, brings to mind fresh blooms. According to Pantone, the shade's "rosy undertones radiate on the skin, producing a healthy glow when worn by both men and women." That means the tone would flatter anyone—we bet as soon as you try these Birkenstock sandals (P2,990) in Purple Fog, you'd agree.

Available online.

2015: Marsala

Cherry Red Dr. Martens combat boots
PHOTO BY Pantone, Dr. Martens

We'll admit that reactions to Marsala, the burnished red shade that was 2015's Color of the Year, were mixed—especially following the pastel dream that was Radiant Orchid. However, as these Cherry Red Dr. Martens combat boots (P8,990) show, the hue is more wearable and understated than a first glance might suggest. In fact, Pantone notes that the "sultry and subtle" shade "encourages color creativity and experimentation."

Available online.

2016: Rose Quartz and Serenity

Marc Jacobs' Kiss Lock Tote in Blue Mist and Bloom Pink shade
PHOTO BY Pantone, Marc Jacobs

The king of all Pantone's Colors of the Year (at least when it comes to being #aesthetic), Rose Quartz and Serenity was a favorite among Pantone followers. 2016 marked the first time the company chose two shades for their Color of the Year and the pair did not disappoint. Fittingly, we found a chic piece that comes in both colors, namely Marc Jacobs' Kiss Lock Tote (P23,500), which comes in the shades Blue Mist and Bloom Pink—you'll want to cop one of each!


Available online.

2017: Greenery

Lime Linex Spinner from American Tourister
PHOTO BY Pantone, American Tourister

As you might expect from its name, 2017's Greenery is all about our connection nature and is "symbolic of new beginnings." It seems only right to see the refreshing shade decked out all over a piece of luggage like this Linex Spinner from American Tourister (P31,050/set of three) in Lime. Nothing says "fresh start" like a far-off trip to clear the mind and revitalize the perspective—and after 2020, we could all use that.

Available online.

2018: Ultra Violet

Herschel backpack in Youth shade
PHOTO BY Pantone, Herschel

2018's Ultra Violet reminds us of many things like the rather suggestive eggplant emoji or Grimace the mascot. The unique shade is certainly open to intrepretation, so it's not surprise that Pantone describes it as "provocative and thoughtful." To match the adventurous color, we found this Herschel backpack (P3,490) in the shade Youth—because what else would you be carrying with you when you head out for daring explorations?

See a list of Herschel stores.

2019: Living Coral

JanSport Mono Superbreak Backpack in Crab Apple shade
PHOTO BY Pantone, JanSport

The warm and inviting Living Coral, 2019’s Color of the Year is meant to embrace social connections and intimacy—especially important in this social media age we live in. Perhaps its welcoming aura is why it works so well on any item that features it whether clothing, makeup, stationery finds, or life essentials like this JanSport Mono Superbreak Backpack (P2,490) in the shade Crab Apple.

Available online.


2020: Classic Blue

Longchamp's famous Le Pliage in Navy shade
PHOTO BY Pantone, Longchamp

For the classic blue shade that was 2020's Color of the Year, we found a classic bag: Longchamp's famous Le Pliage in the shade Navy (P7,700), which sports subtle red accents that serve to complement the understated blue color. Classic Blue was all about stability, dependability, and calmness—ironically, 2020 gave us anything but. Perhaps that's why we needed it the most. Like this timeless handbag, Classic Blue and the steadiness it represents, will never go out of style.

Available at Rustan's.

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