How to wear Pantone’s Classic Blue in your work wardrobe

There’s going to be a lot of blue around the office next year.

After Pantone announced earlier this month that Classic Blue is its 2020 Color of the Year, it’s time to start thinking about readjusting your wardrobe to incorporate the subtle, yet powerful everyday blue into your office outfit in 2020.

Classic Blue was selected for its “timeless and enduring hue elegant in its simplicity,” according to Pantone. It’s similar to the sky at dusk with qualities that make it versatile, yet thought-provoking as well.

“We are living in a time that requires trust and faith. It is this kind of constancy and confidence that is expressed by PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue, a solid and dependable blue hue we can always rely on,” Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, said in a press statement. “Imbued with a deep resonance, PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue provides an anchoring foundation. A boundless blue evocative of the vast and infinite evening sky, PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue encourages us to look beyond the obvious to expand our thinking; challenging us to think more deeply, increase our perspective and open the flow of communication.”

While some have criticized Pantone over picking a boring yet safe color, what Classic Blue offers is a ton of options in the clothing department. It’s not nearly as flashy as Living Coral, Pantone’s pick for 2019, or Ultra Violet in 2018, but Classic Blue is an interesting pick for many reasons, according to Stitch Fix color expert Ryen Anderson.

“There’s no denying the chaos of politics today, so it’s fitting that people are looking for hues that bring a sense of calm to their lives,” Anderson told Ladders recently. “Because this color is associated with a feeling of stability, I expect we’ll see it incorporated heavily into the wellness industry.”

How men can wear Classic Blue

According to Anderson, Classic Blue is already a prominent staple in men’s closets, specifically with casual wear.

“The color lends itself really well to activewear since synthetic fibers take dye so intensely, so expect to see this bright blue showing up in men’s gym wardrobes more often,” he said.

At Stitch Fix, he said he’s seen a huge trend with striped t-shirts featuring Classic Blue and it can also feature greatly in bold prints, such as summer outfits like a Hawaiian shirt or printed shirts. He suggests pairing these items with something neutral, like a white t-shirt or shite shirts, in order to balance out the boldness.

As for around the office, you can’t go wrong mixing white and blue together.

“The quintessential white and blue color combo is a timeless staple that can be updated by wearing it in an unexpected fabric, like a slub knit, to give a bit of texture to the look,” he said. “A style like this will pair well with black or khaki trousers for a dressed-up look or some washed denim if you’re going for a more casual vibe.”

How women can wear Classic Blue

In an interview with Architectural Digest, Eiseman said blue has a “certain amount of calm and dependability.”

“It’s a color that you can rely on,” she said.

Anderson agrees. He said for women trying to work in Classic Blue, it’ll be best in workwear and going out attire. He suggested looking into fibers like rayon and silk which brings out the vibrancy of the color.

“This color might be called classic, but women wearing this hue are guaranteed to make a statement (without looking like they are chasing fashion trends),” Anderson said. “Women can pair this shade with black or white bottoms, letting the Classic Blue speak for itself.”

He also suggested investing in accessories like sapphire earrings or even splurging on a statement leather bag in Classic Blue.

“They’ll both be eye-catching,” he said. “That old adage “never wear black with blue” is not true anymore.”