Orth Cleaners | Pantone Has Spoken: Marsala is Color of the Year
Pantone Has Spoken: Marsala is Color of the Year
By Alan Venable
Marsala is Color of the Year

In fashion, color is no joke. Recall Meryl Streep's grenade of a monologue defending the color of a sweater in "The Devil Wears Prada". When an inept fashion intern, played by Anne Hathaway, makes the fatal mistake of remarking on the indistinguishableness of two colors, insurrection ensues. "What you don't know is that sweater's not just blue, it's not turquoise, it's not lapis. It's actually cerulean," Streep's character responded.

Pantone Color Institute Vice President Laurie Pressman explains the significance of color:

"Color plays a critical role in consumer purchasing decisions. It's the first thing the consumer sees – the thing that will determine whether or not they go one step further to try something on or pick up the product to take a better look."

Photo credit: Eonline
The Pantone Color Institute, notorious for predicting and influencing the consumer hue palette, has named Marsala the 2015 color of the year. The earthy red-brown shades of Marsala are expected to dominate this year's consumer products. In their highly anticipated press release, Pantone said, "Sensual and appealing, Marsala is a compelling and cordial tone that nurtures; exuding confidence and stability while feeding the body, mind and soul." The Pantone website boasts that their 2015 choice is incredibly versatile, "equally appealing to men and women," that "encourages color experimentation and creativity."

"We felt that it was time for something that spoke to people's real needs; the need for nurturing; the need for something that was more robust, that had a life-force that was intrinsic to it," Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of Pantone, said of Marsala's selection. "Because of the strong undertones of brown, and yet essentially it's a wine red, you have all kind of variation going on within the color to begin with. So when you think of that in terms of texture, I think it will play wonderful tricks on the eye." Since Eiseman advises that Marsala works best when paired with neutral colors like tan, gray, navy blue, black, and white, the color is incredibly easy to wear.

Women looking to don Marsala are in luck: the color already permeates the fashion industry. Marsala silk dresses and high-wasted skirts can be picked up from many major department stores. The more casual choice of Marsala dress is certainly a stylish pair of corduroys that can be found in stores like PacSun or Charlotte Russe. If a quick accessory will do, women can outfit a pair of Marsala leggings or a similarly shaded scarf for cooler weather. Since the burgundies and browns now reign supreme, leather handbags and accessories from designer stores such as Michael Kors and Fossil are once again in the spotlight.

Marsala is as wearable for men as it is for women. Marsala accessories like socks and ties (patterned or not) can be purchased from retailers like Van Heusen and Macy's. The same rule of burgundy leather applies to men: shoes, belts and bags are already abundant in the color. Marsala dress shirts for the businessman and plaid shirts for the casual are go-to methods for incorporating the hue into everyday looks.

Whether or not you believe in the power of Marsala to influence all areas of consumerism in 2015, trust that the most trendy and fashionably adept will sport its earthy shades throughout the year. "It has a richness that lends sophistication," Eiseman says. "When you wear it it's a self-fulfilling prophecy—you'll find you get positive reactions form others and it builds up your confidence."

Long Live Leather Jackets
Long Live Leather Jackets

Leather has a few dangerous nemeses you should be aware of: water, extreme heat, and salt. You may want to apply Scotch Guard or Nikwax to your leather jacket before wearing it to prevent water (and other unwelcome) stains. If you do need to clean your leather, use a damp cloth and avoid heavy saturation. Never use a hair dryer to dry your leather. Intense heats parch the material and often cause irreversible cracks and blemishes. Salt tends to leave similar damages: cracking, scratching, and staining. Use Fiebing Salt Stain Remover if things go south. Adopt these practices and you'll enjoy that leather jacket for many years to come.