Tangerine is 2012's color of the year

Go for a double shot of citrus with

Go for a double shot of citrus with Velvet Heart's collarless leather jacket in supple lambskin, $298, and Vince Camuto's leather sandal, $129.95; at Nordstrom and nordstrom.com. (Credit: Handout)

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It's been called "invigorating," "dramatic" and "seductive." But only neophytes dare call it . . . merely . . . orange.

No, the shade you'll be seeing lots of in coming months is tangerine, and not just any tangerine -- but "Tangerine Tango," a reddish-orange hue recently declared 2012's color of the year by Pantone, a leading color-forecasting firm based in Carlstadt, N.J.

"Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow," explains Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. The result? "A high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy," she notes.

Talk about a shade that packs a punch.

Designers like Tommy Hilfiger and Elie Tahari are already onboard, having incorporated the shade into their spring lines. And Sephora is partnering with Pantone on a limited-edition collection for eyes, lips and nails, debuting in March.

So what makes tangerine so appealing? "The reddish-orange color is bright, lively and inviting . . . like the morning sunrise," says Jeff Damiano, a creative development exec at Apple & Eve juice makers. Like the fruit itself, says Damiano, the shade is both "sweet and sassy," which means it could be a hit with a wide variety of consumers.

Decide for yourself. Check out this crop of clothes, cosmetics and furnishings ripe and ready at a store near you. Best of all, no peeling required.

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