"Because the intense green color of emerald is the color of spring, the ancient cultures prized it as the gemstone symbolizing love and rebirth. Treasured for at least 4,000 years by different civilizations all around the world, emerald is said to quicken the intelligence as well as the heart."
Who says it's not easy being green?
Pantone, the global authority on color, recently named emerald the 2013 color of the year. That translates into an abundance of green fashions, green home accessories, green paint, green everything.
"Green is the most abundant hue in nature -- the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum," says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, in a news release. "Symbolically, emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is so important in today's complex world. This powerful and universally appealing tone translates easily to both fashion and home interiors."
Pat Fuller, owner of Orange Blossom Boutique in Cleveland, Tenn., says emerald is a rich and flattering hue that anyone can wear with panache.
"Green is a generic color, but emerald is specific," she says. "It goes with all hair color and skin tones. Not everyone can wear peridot, navy or brown, but everyone can wear emerald."
Fuller says she expects to see emerald fashions paired with shades of sapphire for spring and summer.
"It's already showing up everywhere," she says. "It's a good look."
Laura Thered of Chattanooga says green is her best color.
"I get compliments when I wear it but I haven't been wearing it much over the last few years because it really hasn't been in the stores," says Thered, a natural redhead. "I do have a great emerald green raincoat that I enjoy wearing, but I don't have anything else in emerald right now. Sounds like that may change in 2013. We redheads are in luck."
Chattanoogan Robin Derryberry, also a natural redhead, says she'll shop for green fashions, too.
"Finally, a shade we (redheads) can wear," Derryberry says. "I love all shades of green but I'm drawn to some of the more urban shades like olive. So it sounds like 2013 is off to a great start."
Emerald is not exclusively for redheads, says Suzanne West, owner of Frankie & Julian's boutique on Frazier Avenue.
"Emerald green looks good on blondes, brunettes, and redheads, but, in general, pastel shades are better for fair skin, and darker shades are better for medium to dark skin tones," West says.
The typically hard-to-find emerald green is already showing up in stores, she says.
"I've got several pieces right now," she says. "Because of its popularity this season and going forward for spring, it will be more readily available due to the fact it's trending right now. Everyone looks good in green, but different shades of green may be better for certain hair color/skin tones."
Green fashions can also be found at Kohl's.
"Much like the natural beauty of the gemstone, the emerald exudes vibrancy and elegance," says Sofia Wacksman, vice president of trend for Kohl's Department Stores. "Wearing this rich jewel-tone in 2013 is sure to make a statement. Try easy, tailored pieces in emerald, like a classic blazer or sophisticated sheath dress."
Regardless of who can wear the color, it's best not to wear it head to toe, West advises.
"Break it up," she says. "Any jewel tone color such as emerald green, ruby red, amethyst purple, and sapphire blue are better worn with a nude or gold heel to balance the look."
Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...