Traditionally a colour steeped in femininity and girlish charm, pink actually started as a shade reserved typically for boys. Rather amusingly a Ladies Home Journal article in June 1918 said: “pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl…” How times have changed, with those colours taking on whole new meanings and seemingly splitting the sexes for generations; it’s refreshing to see them somewhat reclaimed and re-categorised in recent years (the question of how to wear pink is no longer resigned to an Elle Woods masterclass,) but for me there’s still an incredibly girly and barbie-esque association with pink that’s weighed me down since I was a child.
My younger years were spent in all the frilly 80’s dresses and pink ballet leotards, but I can vividly remember rebelling against a shade that made me feel unlike myself and replacing it with a black pair of teens and batman tee; that was my favourite outfit for years. As I progressed through school and university I proactively avoided pink as I didn’t want to be seen as as a ‘vacuous woman’ (admittedly my own problem and not a refection of anyone else’s choices,) instead choosing neutrals, a lot of monochrome and the occasional splatter of the on-trend colour of the season. (FYI 2004-5 was the year of green and my wardrobe looked like a Leprachaun’s on St Patrick’s Day. Good times.)
Even as an adult, partly driven by the fact I’ve always looked way younger than my years and my incessant need to be taken seriously, I avoided pink like it was the plague. I’ve been practically repulsed by the majority of things in any shade of blush, cerise or magenta because of how they’re often accompanied by a picture of Hello Kitty, unicorns or sparkles – none of which I’m here for as a 36 year old grown woman.
However, in the last few years I’ve started to embrace more understated shades of the pink stuff in an ironic way, allowing it to either make a statement or soften the harshness of dark textures of fabrics. It may have started as a splash of pink on my lips and nails, evolved into pink florals and blush cardigans, but right now there are a multitude of pink looks and accessories I’m loving – even as an anti-pink woman who would loathe to admit her growing admiration of the shade.
So how do you wear pink if you’re not that girly? How do you embrace the shade in a feminine, elegant and timeless way without going overboard on the Barbie feels? For me, it’s all about embracing the nude end of the pink spectrum and opting for tones that are almost nude in their ability to be matched with anything else you’re wearing. A blush pink can be beautiful, especially in spring, and help add a touch of elegance to any look; a peachy pink is a great way to add warmth, while a dusty shade of pink can help offer a wearable shade if full on bold shades make you feel a bit ill. It’s all in the shades you choose, the textures they come in and how you build your outfit together.
This Marks & Spencer skirt may have been in my closet for a couple of years now, but it remains one of my favourite things to wear. (Read my original outfit post here for a different look.) It’s classic in shape, amazingly elegant, and allows me to be feminine without ticking the super girly box; I love it dressed up with a blouse just as much as I love underplaying it with a plain white tee or cream knit, it’s just that versatile. A classic trench coat always smartens up a look and adds a more serious edge, as well as helping you to transition into the new season without reaching for heavy winter coats or dark leather jackets, while pinky-nude accessories bring everything together with ease. If you’ve ever wondered how to wear pink, this is the answer…
I’m still loving my Hill & Friends bag that I bought in the sale at the beginning of the year; it’s big enough for everything I need to lug around day-to-day, amazingly sturdy and comfortable to sling over my shoulder – I just wish it had a longer strap so I could also wear it cross-body. Finally, my new Kurt Geiger studded flats are the perfect example of how you can embrace shades of pinky nude no matter your style: they’re beautifully soft, feature pearl and gold stud detail, go with pretty much everything (I’ve also been wearing them with blue jeans and tees) and are super comfortable too. What’s even better is that they’re in the sale…
Got any other tips on how to wear pink if you’re not that girly?
SHOP THE LOOK
Marks & Spencer Lace Midi Skirt | £40.00 | SIMILAR HERE
Primark Cream Cropped Jumper |£8.00 | SIMILAR HERE
Kurt Geiger Marina Nude Flats | £69.00 (NOW £49.00) | LINK
Marks & Spencer Trench Coat | £49.00 | LINK
Hill & Friends Bag | £750.00 | SIMILAR HERE