Marsala: Color or Fail of the Year?


1_29_Style The Pantone Color Institute recently announced their highly anticipated color of the year for 2015 and... it's the color of dirt. Although Pantone describes their new color marsala as "hearty" with "grounding red-brown roots," it reminds us a bit too much of a muted '90s mauve that just isn't pretty. I'm sure all the great aunts of the world are puckering their wrinkled faces in delight — they've been wearing this color on their lips for decades. Everyone else, however, isn't so thrilled.

Pantone chose marsala for its versatility, warmth, and sophistication. New York Magazine disagrees, describing it as "a color that makes you want to go to Olive Garden or order Tampax in bulk." Probably not what Pantone was aiming for.

They call marsala a "tasteful hue," which essentially means a "boring hue." There is only one color of the year, after all — shouldn't it be as exciting and refreshing as possible? Last year's color was Radiant Orchid, a bright purple-pink color that inspired fun and creativity. In 2013 Pantone selected a bold emerald green, and in 2012, Tangerine Tango took the title. Each of these colors is unique, special, and even wearable.


While the '90s are having a bit of a fashion reappearance right now, I think fashion is about taking the past and making it new again. There's nothing wrong with a good '90s silhouette, but it needs to be balanced with a more modern, splashy color, not the same old muted tones from back then. To put it plain and simple, marsala is ugly.

Behold, five cringe-worthy colors that are still better than Marsala.

1. Spinach Green 1 This murky pea color is reminiscent of Shrek and would likely make any skin tone look sickly. It reminds us to eat our vegetables, though — the redeeming factor that proves it more useful than marsala.

2. Purple C 2 So bright I have to squint my eyes, this neon purple is slightly alarming. But, let's admit, we all wore this color on our nails in sixth grade and definitely wanted it on our bedroom walls. For the middle-school neon nostalgic, Purple C beats Marsala.

3. Withered Rose 3 This color sucks and is tragically similar to marsala, except maybe a shade or two lighter. It wins because at least it can admit that it's withered, while Marsala pretends to be some hot new thing.

4. Oil Blue 4 Oil should probably never be blue, and the whole concept reminds me of the BP Oil Spill. In case you hadn't guessed, it is still better than marsala.

5. Tawny Orange 5 Probably the worst shade of orange I've ever seen, but any shade of orange is still beautiful here in 'Cuse. Infinitely better than Marsala.

Art by Shawna Rabbas

StyleJackie Homan2 Comments