How to wear radiant orchid (part 1) + Create your own ensembles!

by Sylvia

How to wear radiant orchid |

Colors are one of life’s magical things. They can bring you in different moods and depending on how you use them can create the most beautiful art and images.

Playing with color is fun. It can also be challenging.

How, for example, will you wear Pantone’s new color of the year: Radiant Orchid?

Colourlovers to the rescue

I like to take inspiration from color palettes, images, patterns and fabric and Colourlovers is the perfect site to play with all of these.  This site lets you create your own colors, palettes and prints.

I usually just go there to take inspiration from others and the first two palettes I found were A kiss before I go and World Orchid pictured above. Then I couldn’t really find the colour combinations I was looking for.

So I decided to create my own and setup an account (you can view my profile here). and came up with the simple but very practical Graphic Orchid. (yes, you do have to invent your own names; another test for your creativity!).

If you’re not inspired to come up with the colours youself, you can also import images and create your palettes from those. I started out with Pantone’s own Orchid image which resulted in the monochromatic Orchid Bliss palette.

How to wear radiant orchid - take inspiration from photos! |

Now enthusiastic about all the possibilities, I imported the images of my red, orchid and orange dress which resulted in the Montensia Paradise palette.

I created Mysterious Vibe from an image from the Guo Pei collection and the Shoedelicious palette from my funky Chie Mihara shoes!

Create color palettes from photos to get great color combination ideas! |

These last two don’t have the exact Radiant Orchid, but contain softer versions of the color. If you don’t particularly like the pure radiant orchid, you can always go for softer tones of this color.

I even created a basic Radiant Orchid texture.


Colourlovers is a very fun tool to use to get inspiration for your ensembles. The only problem is that you may get too enthusiastic and can’t stop creating new palettes or patters as was the case with me.

Create ensembles from your favorite color palette(s)

So I did not get round to do the final step, which is to go into Polyvore and start creating ensembles with my favorite colour palettes. Since quite a few of you now know how to use Polyvore, I was hoping you may want to help me with this next step!

Choose your favorite color palette and create a collage on how YOU would wear Radiant Orchid or a variation of that colour. For some inspiration on how to create your collage, you can check previous articles in this series on how to wear orange and how to wear green.

When you are done, send me the links to your collages through the comments below no later than February 4. Then next week, I will present my own collages together with your’s to give you the ultimate guide on how to wear radiant orchid. Of course I will give you full credit for your collage and will link to your collage at Polyvore as well as your website, if you have one. If you don’t find any of the above palettes appealing and would like to create your own, by all means do!

I hope I have persuaded you to join in! I look forward to seeing your creations.

For now, let me know which is your favorite color palette and how you would wear radiant orchid?


UPDATE: be sure the check the final article and ultimate guide on how to wear radiant orchid here

Pallettes:  A kiss before I go and world orchid. All others by myself at 40PlusStyle

1 cabellin

That color for me is a real challenge!
(for me, graphic orchid and shoedelicious)

2 Sylvia

Try creating a Polyvore collage Cabellin. It would be interesting to see what you can come up with!

3 Patti @ NotDeadYet Style

It’s a challenge for me too, but I’d definitely wear it as part of a silk scarf or floral skirt for summer.

4 Sylvia

I look forward to seeing it Patti!

5 Rita A.

Purples and pinks of most shades are my staple colors, though I tend to pair each with a neutral (taupe, kahki/olive green, brown, grey). Purples with cooler neutrals, and pinks with warmer neutrals. Either works great with jeans, though.

6 Sylvia

Great ideas Rita.

7 Shawna

I love your orange and radiant orchid top! Those colours look great together and I would wear that combination. I am most especially likely to buy it in a scarf or in a patterned skirt. I also like purples with greens so I would happily combine my favourite shades of green with the orchid and I love that combination up top with the black and the mossy green. I would also try Mysterious Vibe with a chocolate brown.

8 Sylvia

Great to get your feedback Shawna. They sound like wonderful combinations.

9 Greetje

The first two are my colours and Montensia Paradise. I think blue is another colour that would work with Radiant Orchid. Of course any shade of black and white. Perhaps yellow (a lighter, brighter yellow than in the examples you already showed). I have installed Polyvore but cannot work it. I wanted to create something from my own photos which I think is not what Polyvore wants.

10 Sylvia

Polyvore is not the greatest tool to work with your own images. Best to find things that are similar to your own clothes to create a nice collage.

11 Greetje

I won’t…. Because then I will see a lot of nice things for sale on the internet…. I still have not found the Stop-buying-clothes-and-shoes-button… And I so need to,

12 MyEmptyBag

I really like this color. I use to combine this type of colors each other or with neutral colors.


13 Cynthia

I like the World Orchid palette. Or the top one if the ratio of olive to purple were reversed. This is not one of my colors though — it’s just not an area of the spectrum that I’ve really been drawn to. I like my pinks a little more to the red and either more saturated or very very pale. I like my purples deep and plummy.

14 Lisa

Oh no! Another web tool that I will totally go nuts over! Looks like a fun way to spend a dreary winter day. But first, I must clean my house and go grocery shopping! 🙂

15 Sylvia

Ok Lisa, I’m counting on you! If you don’t want to get sucked into colourlovers for now (and possibly spend lots of time there), you may just want to go to Polyvore straight away 🙂

16 Lisa

I think that’s an excellent idea!

17 Suzanne

I want to give this a go since I’m not over-the-moon about this colour yet, but I do get a little weak in the knees every time I see those Chie Mihara shoes.


18 Suzanne

Called baby steps radiant orchid… : )


19 Catherine

beautifull Suzanne, maybe a purple handbag?

20 Suzanne

LOL : ) I tried it with one…there is a great one on Polyvore…but found it too matchy matchy for my tastes.

21 cabellin

love it!
I dont have anything in tthat color, right now I have a $40 dollar credit at HM I will try to get something in orchid form there! I’ll will challenge myself, in terms of price and color

22 Sylvia

Great outfit Suzanne. A great way to incorporate the color in a subtle way. Those shoes are fab!

23 Lisa

Love the shoes!

24 Sonja

For me as a summer colour type it is a great colour. I´ll definitely wear it this summer!
I like the palettes A Kiss before I Go and Graphic Orchid most.

25 Nanne

It’s a lovely color, but I’m not sure how I’d incorporate it in my wardrobe. It’s not a color that looks good against my face, so perhaps a pair of jeans? The mysterious vibe and the Shoedelicious are my favorite combinations.

26 Sylvia

Perhaps play a bit with Polyvore and try out some combos. Suzanne just created one that lets you wear this color in a subtle way:

27 Catherine

Like Suzanne moodboard I will wear it with marine blue, but now I see Sylvia, ohh no problems

28 Melissa

I love this color! Here is my idea on how to wear it to work

I think the first color pallets is my favorite. Such a beautiful color.

29 Sylvia

Wonderful Melissa! Love this outfit. Would wear it without hesitation.

30 Suzanne

Very sexy.

31 Lisa

I love the skirt!

32 Lisa

Okay, here’s a capsule wardrobe in “Royal Orchid” I’ll do more later as I have time.

33 Sylvia

Fabulous Lisa!

34 Lisa

Here’s another one based on my memories of the colors in Honduras.

35 Sylvia

Wow Lisa fabulous collage and color combi. You are very good at this!

36 Lisa

Thank you for introducing me to my new addiction. 😉

37 Lisa

Here’s an updated color scheme for all those who remember the 1980s “preppy” pink and green look.

38 Lisa

And here are two more:

Radiant Orchid and Pewter Blue:

Radiant Orchid and analogous colors:

39 Lisa

Okay. This is my last one! I needed a little tropics in my life after all the snow today and the two additional storms forecast for the week ahead!

40 Suemac

Here’s my take on Graphic Orchid: I tried to clip your colour palette from Colourlovers, but eventually gave up! I’ve pinned the picture from the top of this post instead.

41 Lisa

I think I used that same dress in one of my sets!

42 Sylvia

Very nice Sue!

43 kay kerns
44 kay kerns

Another stab at Radiant Orchid

45 Sylvia

Wonderful Kay!

46 Lorraine

I think I will call mine Tutti Frutti Orchid:

47 Lorraine

This one is called Fun in the Sun Orchid!

48 Greetje

Well done Lorraine. With lots of other colours thrown in. Really nice and inspiring.

49 Lorraine

This one is Minty Rose Orchid!

50 Sylvia

Wow Lorraine. Love all your collages. Beautiful color combis!

51 Lorraine

Thanks – this is addictive!

52 Oceanblue Style

Hi Sylvia, just read your FB post and went to Polyvore straight away;-) So here it is my Elegance Color Collection which really surprised me:

So hope it works, its my first time playing with polyvore so please excuse any blibbs!

xo, Sabina OceanblueStyle

53 Sylvia

Thanks for joining in Sabine. Very nice collage!

54 Lorraine

I didn’t realise this colour was so wearable until I started playing with it!
This one is Very Fruity Orchid:

55 Lorraine
56 Lorraine

This one is Nautical Orchid

57 Lorraine
58 Petra

What a fabulous dress you are wearing here – amazing colour combination. I suit radiant orchid (I’m a winter) but find it incredibly hard to locate in the form of clothes 🙁 Must look harder, and perhaps being that it’s the colour of the year, we might see it more in the shops.

59 Lorraine

No prizes for guessing who I had in mind with this one. I am calling it Rocking Orchid.

60 Lorraine

OK – this is my last one – and probably what I would wear. Cardigan is a little too purple here.

61 Yolanda

I like this color although I don’t think I’ve ever worn it. I think I like it with turquoise and silver. Created in the Polyvore iPad app.

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