Fact or Fiction: Pink was a colour for Men

Story by: Jeremy Cabral

It was not too long ago when the colour pink was considered masculine as it was seen as a diminutive of the the colour red. Red already had its strong association in war. Therefore the pastel shade of Red, Pink evokes youthfulness and was universally accepted as a masculine colour. Then what attributed to the present-day assumption that pink is a feminine color. Let’s find out.

Fashion scholar Valerie Steele, director of The Museum at the Fashion Institute Technology and author of several books on fashion once in an interview said “In the 18th century, it was perfectly masculine for a man to wear a pink silk suit with floral embroidery,”. Back in the 18th century men wore pink, dressed in pink silk suits which were embroidered with flowers. Those men were very powerful and highly respected.

In the early 1900s, young men would confidently sport pink dress shirts (the first of which was made by Brooks Brothers) as part of their Ivy League wardrobe. So, what caused such a dramatic shift in perception?

Clothing companies in the 1960’s introduced baby clothes that were gender specific. The intent was to force parents to buy new clothes for their second child if it was a boy and the first child was a girl. They assigned blue for males and and pink for females. Soon after the colour Pink-is-for-girls became a trend.

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