Apparently, somehow, somewhere, I must have misplaced my invitation to all the fun and falderal of London Fashion Week. It seems the event has now come and gone. Curse that impeachment stuff going on in Washington. There’s always something that shoves the really important news off the front page. But, thank goodness, there are reports surfacing about what the new “in” color palette will be for spring and summer 2020 clothes. And I thought you’d like to know so as not to totally embarrass yourself at the first post-winter soiree you attend.

I don’t know much about the style of clothes that will have to be part of every wardrobe, but from my observations, style today is mainly in the eye of the beholder. Unless you’re a male over 40. Those “skinny” suits do not, I repeat, do not flatter any man who is approaching or well past middle age. Many of them look as if they’re several sizes too small on the guys that can actually wear them. Older guys trying valiantly to squeeze into them are well advised to remain standing. Sitting down may result in humiliation, consternation and distress.

The extensive research I did on this topic turned up a quote from one Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute. That organization seems to be the source authority on hues for humanity. Here’s what she had to say about the new colors everyone who is anyone will be sporting in six short months: “Combining our desire for stability, creativity, and more spontaneous design approaches, the color palette for Spring/Summer 2020 infuses heritage and tradition with a colorful youthful update that creates strong multi-colored combinations as well as energizing and optimistic pairings.”

So what does that mean for you and me? Well, you can take your pick from the following colors: Flame Scarlet, Saffron, Classic Blue, Biscay Green, Chive, Faded Denim, Orange Peel, Mosaic Blue, Sunlight, Coral Pink, Cinnamon, and my personal favorite, Grape Compote.

All those colors are replacing the ones from 2019, including two that were anointed “the” shades for 2019. As you no doubt remember from changing out your wardrobe last year at this time, those included Jester Red and Living Coral. (You’ll note some similarity to this year’s choices to last year’s. I’m thinking that’s because even the fashion industry isn’t stupid enough to make a wholesale change overnight. Those of a certain age will recall the Cadillac tail fiasco back in the late ’50s and early ’60s. Someone in Detroit had thought it was a great idea to install huge rear fins on its most popular models. It took about two decades to finally reduce those shark appendages so that consumers wouldn’t feel foolish.)

With the inclusion of a vivid red color and classic blue, it seems rather obvious the fashion mavens wanted to cover their political bases, at least here in America. Candidates on either side of the aisle can now feel free to proudly sport their preferences without committing a serious fashion faux pas, negating yet another reason for voters to be turned off by the election process.

Ronald Reagan is kind of given recent credit for ensuring that red always exudes power. He was partial to it, and Nancy wore it a lot. It’s said to be especially good for women to wear, and even The Donald definitely wears a lot of red ties. I don’t know if they’re Flame Scarlet, but perhaps they will be come spring.

The take on Classic Blue is that wearers are “open to possibilities.” Many in the Democratic camp might well say to that, “Yes, I believe that’s true,” while Republicans may rejoin with, “Sure, if all the possibilities agree with your point of view.”

Even without red and blue, those who would prefer not to wear their politics on their sleeves have a plethora of choices. For foodies, I’d suggest a closet full of Chive, Cinnamon, Orange Peel and Grape Compote. Free thinkers might go with the seemingly always trendy Faded Denim, Saffron and Sunlight. Which leaves Coral Pink for those wanting to feel warm, Biscay Green for preppies and the other blue (Mosaic) for a hint of mystery (at least that’s what the experts say). Plenty of choices for those who just want to have fun.

Other than the Grape Compote, there’s no color screaming, “Have fun!” But wearing a shade of dessert to a party can’t be all wrong.

What seems to be missing entirely is anything from the black palette. Perhaps those in the wash-and-wear know are acutely aware that 2020 is an election year. We’re gonna need something to brighten up our days for sure.

Bill Lewis is a freelance writer in Marietta.

See more of his work at www.wordsmith-at-large.com.

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