Regular readers of this blog will know that I like pink.
I enjoy wearing pink, and it makes me feel good. Although it is the ultimate “feminine” colour it has some properties that can make it a very flattering choice for both men and women.
Pale skinned people show the blood beneath their skin, especially when they are energised, excited or happy. We flush with pleasure and get a peachy glow after vigorous exercise. Young children have rosy cheeks, full pink lips and plump skin. Unfortunately, as we age our skin begins to look duller as a result of poorer health and circulation – we get dark circles, pasty skin and age spots. Many women, and a few men, will rectify this natural fade with makeup – especially using rouge and lipstick to bring the colour back into their faces. I have nothing again a dollop of blusher or lipstick, but wearing pink, especially near the face, will generally have a similar effect of making your skin look brighter and fresher. But instead of wearing make up you can wear pink (which is generally more socially acceptable, especially for men).
The key thing with pink, like any colour, is to get the right shade for you. I explain how to do this here. Because my colouring is cool I need to avoid the warm peachy pinks (which I love, by the way) and stick with bluer shades.
Pink works its magic on men too, although many men steer well clear of it, feeling it has girly implications. But just as women look more feminine in masculine clothes, men can look more masculine by a carefully judged use of pink. Women are often attracted to pink and like to see it on men, especially if it is a little unexpected and different.
And I have shown three suits above (although two of them are notionally from the 1930s) – although this may look a bit full on it makes a change from the M&S stone light weight suit many men choose for summer weddings and special occasions. Pink is popular for casual wear – a nice pink jumper or polo shirt with jeans, dark trousers or summer shorts can look very cool. On holiday this summer I noticed how lots of men wear pink, peachy shades and light reds on holiday – the only time men can really let their hair down and express themselves.
However I really want to recommend pink for work, especially the pink shirt or tie. It is a great, and subtle, way to look younger and fresher, and to indicate approachability. Pink always goes with grey and navy, but also works well with lighter shades like this pinkish beige.
I am sure you know what white collar jobs and blue collar jobs are (office jobs versus manual jobs). Have you heard of pink collar workplaces? There are a range of definitions of what this means but it can include female dominated industries, or more generally the service industries. I work in a female dominated industry – social housing – but I wouldn’t want to call it a pink collar workplace. But I do think men who have lots of women reporting to them, or in more diverse workplaces, may find pink a good colour for shirts, ties or handkerchiefs.
So a few pointers if you have been thinking of breaking out of the white/blue/grey wardrobe many men are trapped in. For men colour in general is a bit scary – but pink can be subtle and beautiful and
- Get the right shade of pink to flatter your complexion
- If you are dark skinned you can get away with a strong contrast eg very light pink with deep charcoal, and also the deeper pinks. White men generally look better in the lighter pinks, with less contrast.
- A very light pink shirt will look like a white one but will lend a little glow to the skin.
- One pink item is usually better than head to toe, unless you are a dramatic dresser and in a creative industry.
- A pink shirt is still a little bit non-traditional, so if your workplace is old school keep all the other elements very sober
- A pink tie can be very classy so long as the item looks expensive and is made from silk or other beautiful natural fibre.
- Pink accessories can add just a little interest or shock value eg pink socks, or a bright pink handkerchief. But never go for the comedy look eg pink pigs or hippos etc.
And finally here is a beautiful 1955 pattern, reknitted in the 1980s, in a delicious shade of peachy-beige. My husband has asked for exactly this jumper, but in cashmere. Honestly! He overestimates me…