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Real Men Wear Pink

June 23 is National Pink Day! This date is set aside every year to observe everything pink. Pink bubble gum. Pink teddy bears. Pink lemonade. If it’s pink, it’s celebrated!

Let’s take a look at the history of the color pink, its place in modern society and the many ways that real men can wear pink.

Early History of Pink

Pink wasn’t always a popular color. In the Middle Ages, it was occasionally seen in fashion and religious art. But it wasn’t until the Rococo Period (1720-1777) that pink took off. This is the time that pastel colors became stylish in Europe and royalty began wearing pink.

In 19th century England, pink ribbons and decorations were worn by young boys. Red was worn by the men, so pink was for the younger boys or “smaller men.” This is why pink was decided to be the stronger color and more suitable for boys. Blue was believed to be daintier and ideal for girls.

Pink in the 20th Century

By the 1950s, pink had become a color more strongly associated with girls. There were several reasons why this happened.

First, infant development experts encouraged parents to distinguish their children’s genders from an earlier age. Second, clothing manufacturers saw that they could make a lot more money by having non-unisex clothes. If parents had a boy and then had a girl, they would have to buy a whole new wardrobe.

It wasn’t long before the whole “pink is for girls and blue is for boys” mentality came about. By the 1960s and 70s, however, pink was out of style. Surprisingly, there were no pink clothes for toddlers featured in the Sears, Roebuck, and Co. catalog from 1976-78.

Of course, trends move in and out, and by the 1980s and 90s, pink was back with a vengeance. And the rest, they say, is history.

Pink in Modern Culture

Today, pink is a color that is associated with sensitivity and tenderness. It can also signify romance or childhood. When combined with violet or black, pink takes on a feeling of seduction or eroticism.

While pink is a highly popular color for girls, it’s really just popular all around. Yes, even men can wear pink and look good in it. However, you can’t just put on a pink sweater or polo tee and expect to look great. There are ways to wear pink with style.

Here are a few pointers:

  • If you have a darker complexion, you’ll probably look better in a lighter, pastel pink. On the other hand, if you have a lighter complexion, a darker pink is better.
  • Even if you have a lighter complexion, be careful about going too pink. Darker pink is more feminine and less classic looking compared to its lighter version.
  • If you’re not ready to wear a solid pink shirt, try experimenting with small doses of the color. For instance, a pink tie or pocket square. Some of the colors that pink looks best with are brown, black and cream.
  • If you’re ready to go all in, try a button-down dress shirt. It’s classic, sophisticated and usually pretty sexy. You can also try for a pink polo shirt, which is generally no fail. Pink sweaters and t-shirts (in most cases) stay away from. Unless it’s an Ugly Sweater Party. Then you’re good.

There are many ways to wear pink and look brilliant and sophisticated. Show off your flashy style on June 23rd!