Here are the fall forecast colors for 2011. I like these colors a lot. Overall, they’re warmer and deeper than the shades for 2010 were. Last fall, your trendy brown would have been chocolate, and this year it’s coffee with nougat.   Last year it was rustic green and this year it’s cedar. Last year’s sunset yellows have deepened to this year’s bamboo.

The change is just enough to make you want to buy new clothes, but not so much that you have to buy all new gear, which might make you rebel and ignore the new color forecast. This way, you can still keep the old stuff without looking too dated, but the new things won’t go with the old ones.

I began my Summer Tops Project today with a top from Butterick 5354, which you’ll notice is illustrated in shades from last year.

However, I’m making it in Honeysuckle Pink, the 2011 Color of the Year (in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s Tusk, a very pale citrus green a lot like the pale green in our colors from last year).

If you read the sewing blogs, you might have noticed that buxom seamstresses are liking 5354 and making it in multiples, while slender girls are saying it’s like a tent. I like it a lot and will probably make more. I’m hemming it this evening, probably while watching a movie, and then tomorrow I’ll show you a picture.

As I say, I like the colors for fall. The teal and the blue-green are the same color family as my eyes, and they make my gray hair look silvery, so those are always good colors for me. The thing is, when your good colors are in style, it’s easier to find things in those colors.

However, even if the trendy colors happen to be favorites, you’ll find that your older clothes won’t look stylish. First, they’ll be in different combinations. Last time we really saw teal, it was being paired with mauve and  burgundy. Nice colors, too, but wear them with teal this fall and you will immediately look old-fashioned.

No, this year you have to wear your teal with mustard yellow and warm browns, and I guess with spicy pink, though I’m finding that a hard combination to accept right at the moment.

Skirts are longer, and A-line, either full or narrow. Pants have longer legs. Sheath dresses are holding strong, with little A-line dresses as an alternative for those who aren’t slinky enough to wear a sheath well. Jackets are boxier and simpler in shape, but there’s quite a bit of draping and layering going on. Pleats and tucks are still popular, and I’m glad of that, but there’s also a lot of metallic embellishment, which I could do without. Mixed neutrals, like caramel and gray and black, are popular, and some of us will add what people insist on calling “a pop of color.” That’s another phrase, along with “seamless” and “passionate,” that I’m really tired of.

And I guess that lets me be sympathetic about the color changing. I’m quite sure that people who work with fashion color all the time begin to feel that they can stand no more chocolate brown, and will stab the next person who offers them anything in aqua with their scissors, just as I just can’t think about any more seamless integrations of X with Y.