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10 Ways to Wear Pantone’s 2021 Color of the Year

The Rivet 50 is calling for nominations for leaders in the denim industry in 5 categories: design, influencer, leadership, sustainability and supply chain. Nominations close on May 23.

One of Pantone’s selections for Color of the Year for 2021 may encourage denim heads to break out of their “Classic Blue” habit.

Ultimate Gray, a color that represents steadiness and resilience, made the cut along with Illuminating, a warm solar yellow. Described as two independent colors that come together to create an “aspirational color pairing,” the colors express feelings of cautious optimism for 2021, Pantone said.

The neutral is a natural fit for denim, with gray and vintage-inspired black washes offered throughout women’s denim collections. And the best part is how the color will naturally fade during the course of the year ahead and beyond. Here, Rivet selected some of the best ways to rock Ultimate Gray with a denim twist.


1. Manière De Voir

Gray denim is best paired with heaps of silvery jewelry and hardware. Available in a loose-fitting mom style, these jeans by Manière De Voir feature silver chains at the hip and an adjustable cuff for some edgy flair.

Rivet selected an array of gray denim jeans, skirts, jackets and more to match Pantone’s Color of the Year selection for 2021.

Manière De Voir jeans $69
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2. Rag & Bone

Denim styles are loosening up lately, and this straight-leg style by Rag & Bone is bound to be your new go-to. Featuring a cropped length and a frayed hem, these jeans will give you an effortlessly cool look that’s trending for the new year.

Rivet selected an array of gray denim jeans, skirts, jackets and more to match Pantone’s Color of the Year selection for 2021.

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Rag & Bone jeans $135
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3. Reformation

Elevate your go-to denim skirt. Choose a longer style with a front slit, like this one from Reformation, for a flattering silhouette that can be paired with anything from a leotard to a T-shirt.

Rivet selected an array of gray denim jeans, skirts, jackets and more to match Pantone’s Color of the Year selection for 2021.

Reformation skirt $89.60
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4. BDG

Keep warm with a fleece-lined denim jacket. The faded gray wash of this BDG jacket gives an extra vintage touch to the classic ’70s garment.

Rivet selected an array of gray denim jeans, skirts, jackets and more to match Pantone’s Color of the Year selection for 2021.

BDG jacket $119
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5. Helmut Lang

A crisp gray denim jacket is the perfect accent piece to any outfit. Combined with its coordinating gray jeans with front zipper accents, it becomes a fashion-forward denim suit that works for any occasion.

Rivet selected an array of gray denim jeans, skirts, jackets and more to match Pantone’s Color of the Year selection for 2021.

Helmut Lang jacket $188
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6. Mango

If you’ve been in sweatpants all year, you’ll want to slowly ease your way back into jeans. This super-soft, loose-fitting pair from Mango is made from sustainable cotton and checks all the boxes.

Rivet selected an array of gray denim jeans, skirts, jackets and more to match Pantone’s Color of the Year selection for 2021.

Mango jeans $59.99
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7. Isabel Marant

This light shade of gray will be your new favorite neutral. Featuring zippered cuffs, accent paneling and utility pocketing, this pair by Isabel Marant is all about the details.

Rivet selected an array of gray denim jeans, skirts, jackets and more to match Pantone’s Color of the Year selection for 2021.

Isabel Marant jeans $291
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8. Urban Outfitters

Capitalize on the utility trend with a fresh pair of cargo jeans. With oversized pockets and a slightly baggy fit, this style by Urban Outfitters will give you ample room for movement.

Rivet selected an array of gray denim jeans, skirts, jackets and more to match Pantone’s Color of the Year selection for 2021.

Urban Outfitters jeans $90
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9. Levi’s

The events of 2020 may have prevented you from wearing denim shorts as often as you would have liked. Layer these gray denim shorts by Levi’s over a pair of transparent tights to winterize the look.

Rivet selected an array of gray denim jeans, skirts, jackets and more to match Pantone’s Color of the Year selection for 2021.

Levi’s shorts $69.90
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10. Rag & Bone

Invest in a versatile Trucker dress by Rag & Bone for a staple piece that will provide limitless pairings. Wear it unbuttoned over a dress or buttoned up on its own.

Rivet selected an array of gray denim jeans, skirts, jackets and more to match Pantone’s Color of the Year selection for 2021.

Rag & Bone dress $210
Buy now