The moment marketing consultant Mia Colona walked into a recent women’s networking dinner in a tailored, canary yellow pantsuit from British fast fashion chain Topshop, she felt all the eyes — attached to bodies clothed in black and dark gray — follow her to her seat.
“I was so glad I went with yellow that night,” said Colona, 31, who lives in Philadelphia. “I felt strong. Sure, it’s loud. But this yellow: It’s powerful.”
Bright yellow — whether we’re talking canary, daffodil, sunflower, or saffron — is shaping into the go-to hue for influential women who want to be seen on these gray days of winter.
In the world of politics, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi turned to a glowing mustard sheath for her November appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and First Lady Melania Trump stunned in Valentino in the same shade when she visited Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace last November. To say nothing of Secretary of the Majority Laura Dove’s lemony yellow Chanel-esque blazer that popped like a Post-it in the dark clad Senate Tuesday on the opening day of President Trump’s impeachment hearings.
And then there are the sunny wardrobes of prominent morning newscasters including Today’s Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie — who just this week rocked a pretty yellow blazer over a sheer polka-dot blouse. CBS This Morning’s Gayle King favors a yellow sheath, and Tamron Hall wears a lot of yellow on her talk show. On Tuesday, Fox 29′s Good Day Philadelphia’s Alex Holley wore a long-sleeved yellow sheath from A.L.C. on one of the coldest mornings so far this winter.
“Sometimes you just have to provide your own sunshine,” Holley said.
Black is overdone. Red is fiery. Blue is serious. But yellow, said director of the Pantone Color Institute Leatrice Eiseman, isn’t just sunny; it’s assertive, too.
“Yellow is a power color because, when you think about it, what’s more powerful than sunlight?" Eiseman said. “It’s nature’s most unignorable color.”
Pantone named Mimosa — a tawny bold hue ― as color of the year back in 2009, but we didn’t really see it in pop culture until 2017 when celebrities including Viola Davis and Reese Witherspoon appeared on the Golden Globes red carpet in strapless banana-hued confections. During each awards ceremony since, at least one celebrity — at this year’s Globes it was actress Zoey Deutch who demanded our attention in a taxicab bright Fendi jumpsuit — commands the carpet in yellow.
And in 2018, how could we forget how sophisticated Amal Clooney looked at Harry and Meghan’s wedding in her flaxen Stella McCartney sheath and matching hat. Or Beyoncé smashing a car with a baseball bat while wearing a lemonade Roberto Cavalli number in her video for “Hold Up.” Talk about a power move.
“Yellow is for the fashion girl,” said Maureen Doron, owner of Skirt in Center City and Bryn Mawr. “She knows how to style it. How to dress it up. How to dress it down. This season yellow is unexpected and nontraditional. It’s just cool.”
Afraid of head-to-toe yellow? No worries. Start with a blazer over a vintage tee or silk blouse with a pair of jeans or navy trousers. Then work yourself up to a full-on dress or suit. “You certainly won’t blend into the background," Doron added. Most importantly, know the shade of yellow that works best for you to avoid looking washed out. The darker your complexion, the hotter the yellow.