Marsala Header

Pantone just announced that Marsala, a rich reddish brown hue, is next year’s must-have color. “It’s a color that’s equally as Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 4.02.02 PMversatile on the body, in cosmetics or in the home, and that really makes it universal,” says Pantone Color Institute’s executive director, Leatrice Eiseman.

Pantone’s yearly picks can herald a marked presence of a color in fashion, beauty, housewares, home and industrial design and consumer packaging, though some years the influence is stronger than others.

pantone-marsala-kitchen-wall-coty-2015-kitchann-style-e1417812537543Eiseman and her team travel the world to observe color at play. For Marsala, they see an accent wall in a living room or office, a swipe of eye shadow mixed with bronze for a metallic look, a throw pillow, the exterior of a car or a bit of jewelry evoking the 1950s.

There’s a natural earthiness to the shade, a full-boxiness like the cooking wine it is named for, without overpowering.

So how can you wear it? Pair it with a neutral tone, like navy or black, or try a complementary color, like mustard. Another way to indulge: Swipe it on your lips. “This color flatters the mouth’s natural pigments, so it works for everyone,” says beauty guru Bobbi Brown.

New Jersey-based Pantone, a subsidiary of X-rite, picks a new color every year based on the opinions of fashionistas as well as insiders from music, travel, movies and technology. Radiant orchid won the honor in 2014, while emerald was the top choice in 2013.