Deutsch: Farbton / Español: Tono / Português: Matiz / Français: Teinte / Italiano: Tinta

Hue in fashion refers to the pure spectrum colours, such as red, blue, or yellow, without the addition of black, white, or grey. It is one of the main properties of colour, alongside tone, saturation, and brightness. In the fashion context, hue is essential for creating vibrant and distinct looks, playing a critical role in the design, selection, and coordination of clothing and accessories.


Hue represents the base colour from which various shades, tints, and tones are derived. It is a fundamental concept in colour theory and fashion design, as it helps in defining and categorising colours. Designers and stylists use hue to create a visual identity for collections and outfits, ensuring that the chosen colours align with the intended aesthetic and mood.

The importance of hue in fashion includes several aspects:

  1. Colour Identity: Hue is crucial for establishing the primary colour of a garment or accessory, which forms the basis of the design.
  2. Emotional Impact: Different hues evoke different emotions. For example, red hues can signify passion and energy, while blue hues often represent calmness and reliability.
  3. Trend Setting: Fashion trends often revolve around specific hues that become popular in different seasons or years. For instance, a particular shade of green might dominate fashion runways one year.
  4. Cultural Significance: Certain hues hold cultural or symbolic meanings, influencing their use in fashion. For example, white is often associated with purity and is a traditional hue for wedding dresses in many cultures.
  5. Coordination and Contrast: Understanding hues helps in creating outfits that either coordinate harmoniously or offer striking contrasts. Complementary hues (opposite on the colour wheel) can create visually appealing contrasts.

Historically, the concept of hue has been pivotal in fashion evolution. Ancient civilizations used natural dyes to achieve specific hues, which often had social or status-related significance. With the advent of synthetic dyes, the fashion industry gained the ability to produce a broader range of hues with greater consistency.

Special Considerations

When selecting hues for fashion, it is essential to consider the context and the wearer. Certain hues may flatter particular skin tones more than others. Additionally, the choice of hue can be influenced by the season, occasion, and current trends.

Application Areas

  1. Fashion Design: Designers select hues to create a cohesive and impactful collection.
  2. Textile Manufacturing: Fabric producers develop materials in various hues to meet the demands of designers.
  3. Retail Display: Retailers arrange clothing in hues that attract customers and highlight new trends.
  4. Personal Styling: Stylists choose hues that complement clients' skin tones and personal styles.
  5. Fashion Marketing: Advertisements and campaigns often emphasize specific hues to align with branding and seasonal trends.

Well-Known Examples

  1. Pantone Colour of the Year: Each year, Pantone selects a specific hue that influences fashion and design trends globally.
  2. Classic Red Dresses: The hue red is iconic in fashion, symbolizing confidence and elegance.
  3. Denim Blue: The blue hue of denim is a timeless staple in fashion, widely recognized and versatile.
  4. LBD (Little Black Dress): The hue black is synonymous with sophistication and is a classic choice for evening wear.

Treatment and Risks

Selecting the wrong hue can result in an outfit that clashes with the wearer's skin tone or fails to convey the intended mood. Additionally, hues can be subject to fleeting trends, making it important for fashion professionals to balance timeless hues with trendy ones. Overuse of certain hues can also lead to a saturated market, reducing their impact.

Similar Terms

  1. Shade: A darker version of a hue, created by adding black.
  2. Tint: A lighter version of a hue, created by adding white.
  3. Tone: A version of a hue altered by adding grey.
  4. Saturation: The intensity or purity of a hue.
  5. Value: The lightness or darkness of a hue.



Hue is a foundational element in fashion, defining the pure spectrum colours that form the basis of design and style. It influences emotional impact, cultural significance, and visual harmony in fashion. Understanding and utilizing hue effectively allows designers and stylists to create cohesive, trendy, and flattering outfits, contributing significantly to the ever-evolving world of fashion.