Can’t find the perfect outfit to wear on New Year’s Eve? Whether you’d like your ensemble to sparkle and shine or you’d rather be in your pajamas to watch the ball drop, find inspiration from the bold, shimmery, vibrant and iridescent colors and patterns of the aquatic animal world. We think they look fabulous all year-round!
Here are our nominees for “best-dressed” to ring in 2022:
Make a statement
A Mandarin dragonet shows that bold colors will always be fashionable. The Mandarin dragonet, or mandarinfish, gets its common name from the colorful robes of an Imperial Chinese mandarin, or bureaucrat.
Stick to the classics
The banded butterflyfish is a marvelous model for a classic black and white style. Butterflyfish use their long, thin snouts to search for food in corals, or eat the coral itself.
Experiment with fringe
Flower hat jellies are a splendid example of fantastic fringe. These unique and multicolored jellies are nocturnal, meaning they sleep during the day— and stay up all night. Unlike other jellies that drift in the ocean, flower-hat jellies spend their time near the ocean floor so they can reach down for their food with their long hunting tentacles.
Sport an outfit fit for royalty
Walk into the party feeling like royalty with a dazzling crown like the queen angelfish. Queen angelfish get their name from the "crown" of electric blue encircling a black spot just above their eyes. Their vibrant colors help them evade predators by blending in among equally vivid corals on Caribbean and western Atlantic reefs.
Orange is the new black
Make the party a little brighter wearing orange! Midas cichlids, which can be orange, gray, brown and white, are found in freshwater lakes and estuaries in Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
Slither into the party with ssstyle
Snake patterns are always in! Brilliant green Amazon basin emerald tree boas have vertical pupils to detect movement of prey on the ground from their usual perch, coiled on tree branches. They also have heat-sensing pits around their mouths to sense warm-blooded prey in the dark when they hunt at night.
Wear the 2022 "Color of the Year"
Despite its name, the blue blubber jelly can range in color from white to light blue to dark purple — similar shades to Pantone’s 2022 color of the year called Very Peri. The bell of blue blubber jellies pulses in a distinctive, steady rhythm.
Cool colors are cool
Dazzle in shades of aqua like the blue-green chromis. Males and females of the species look the same, except when they spawn. Males will turn a light yellow color, with darker fins.
Go with a staple
Neutrals like cream, beige and brown should be a staple in your wardrobe. This moonlight gourami, native to ponds, bogs, swamps and lakes of Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, models a gorgeous creamy white tone. Their small, fine scales make them appear to shimmer in the water. The moonlight gourami has a special lung-like organ that allows it to breathe air directly.
Everything's better with texture
Texture can add interest to any outfit, and sea stars excel at texture. The lovely ochre sea star shown below is considered a keystone species, which means it is critical to the health of its natural ecosystem in the intertidal zone of the Pacific Ocean.
You can never go wrong with silver and gold
Metallics are sure to shine like a school of golden trevally. The golden trevally genus, Gnathanodon, derives from the Latin for “toothless jaws.” These fish use their unique jaws to suck up food from the sandy ocean floor.
Not sure what color to wear? Wear them all!
It's more colorful under the waves than you might think! Have a look at some of Shedd's more colorful residents below.
Rainbow trout sport a beautiful array of earth tones. The health of rainbow trout populations can be used as an indicator of water quality in their freshwater habitats.
A colorful mantis Shrimp in Shedd's Underwater Beauty special exhibit.
The mandarin dragonet is not afraid to show off some color in Shedd's Wild Reef.
A mimic poison dart frog in Shedd's Amazon Rising.
Poison dart frogs come in an amazing array of colors and patterns!
The striped spines of a fire urchin.
Button polyps form colorful coral formations.
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