Every December, Pantone announces its colour for the upcoming new year. For 2021 however, Pantone chose two colours to highlight how different elements can come together to support one another. Ultimate Gray symbolises practicality and solidity, while Illuminating represents warmth and optimism. Together they juxtapose introspection and security with optimism and vitality.
Ultimate Gray is emblematic of solid, everlasting, dependable elements like stones or pebbles. Things which are secure, and which provide a firm foundation. Illuminating is a vibrant, warm and energetic shade of yellow. Cheerful and optimistic, it conjures up images of sunny days. It gives us hope, and my goodness do we need hope right now. We need to believe that things will get better. It’s human nature to need something to look forward to, something to work towards like a party, or a holiday, and, for me, our wedding in August.
Here, I’m trying some grey and some yellow eyewear from STEPPER to show how easy it is to inject a little bit of both Pantone 2021 colours.
Yellow eyewear and how to find a yellow to suit
I love yellow- I used to have a yellow car in fact- but it can be a tricky colour to wear, especially for those of us who are fair-skinned. But I believe that everybody can wear every colour, the trick is to find the right shade. Every skin colour has different undertones. Warm undertones tend to lean towards peachy, yellow or golden tones; cool undertones mean the skin has hints of pink, red or blue. One way to tell is to look at the veins on the inside of the wrist. If they appear blueish, the skin is cool-toned, if they appear greenish, it’s warm-toned. Another useful guide is to try both gold and silver jewellery. If gold looks better, the skin is warm-toned, if silver looks better, it’s cool-toned.
I have naturally strawberry-blonde hair and a warm, (yet still fair), skin tone. I suit warmer shades of yellow; those with blue undertones, such as mustard yellow are a no-no. Instead, I choose lemon sherbet-y shades which have warmer undertones as you can see from these photos from this blog post a few years ago. (‘Scuse the windswept hair).
Look how the yellow tinted lenses of this eyewear, the STS-91001 cast a warm, flattering glow on even the most pallid of winter faces. After a wedding, there follows a honeymoon, and I’ve already decided that this sun style will join us.
And now grey eyewear
Grey might seem a more universally-flattering colour than yellow, but in the same vein, it too comes in a myriad of different shades, broadly categorised as warm or cool. It’s not always easy to tell what will suit at first glance. I try clothing and eyewear on and give myself an honest appraisal in a mirror in natural light. And my rule of thumb? No matter how much I love the colour it will not get a place in my wardrobe unless it loves me back. However, jewellery, handbags, shoes and other accessories are an excellent way to embrace every colour and trend.
Below I’m wearing SI-30148 in colour F150 with matt grey sequins. Wearing sparkle on one’s top half will reflect light up onto the face for guaranteed glow. I love that the finish on this eyewear looks almost marbled.
Next is the STS-30012. This is one of my favourite STEPPER designs. It’s preppy and super-lightweight and perfect for those easy-dressing days, yet smart enough to wear to the office Zoom call. It has the additional benefit of being translucent, so it highlights the undereye area which helps disguise those pesky dark circles.
I have this frame in a pinky-nude shade. I like it so much that I had an anti-fog varifocal put in so I can wear it for work (in optometric practice) for my three consecutive 11-hour shifts per week. It has never, ever given me even a second of discomfort. I love it.
The combination of matt and polished stainless steel adds subtle detail and a visual lightness to the next style, the STS-40138, which is a thoroughly modern take on the classic aviator. This is the first aviator style, (and indeed the first with a double bridge), that suits me, so proving that it is always worth stepping out of the comfort zone.
Here’s to a happier and “illuminating” new year for us all.
A version of this article first appeared on the STEPPER website, to which I contribute regularly; this is part of that paid partnership.