Pretty in pink

David Hinajosa

Last week, I reflected on how pink fits into fashion. Blue has been my favorite color ever since I was little. I would never wear pink—it wasn’t my favorite color. That is, until I bought my first pink shirt two years ago.

Pink in one’s wardrobe is viewed in varying ways. Since pink is stereotypically seen as feminine, men question if pink makes them less of a man and hesitate to wear the color. Additionally, there is a stereotype that associates colorful clothing with homosexual men. Pink and blue have been socially constructed for gender.

Over the years, gender barriers have been broken. Women now hold jobs that men once dominated – is the color pink another broken social barrier?

A wide range of male celebrities wear pink, such as soccer legend David Beckham and actor Brad Pitt. Men even wore pink in the 1920s; men sporting pink was mentioned in the classic novel The Great Gatsby. It wasn’t until the 1950s that pink was commonly known as a feminine color, and even then the construct was broken by Elvis Presley.

Fashion trends come and go, but they always cycle back. Lately I’ve noticed musicians on TV and models in men’s catalogs wearing long muscle tees that look like dresses, something I frankly would never wear due to societal norms I’ve grown accustomed to.

My conclusion on the color pink is it’s okay to wear it, as long as it matches your outfit. This month I matched a dark pink shirt with white slacks. There are many variations of pink shirts to choose from, so it won’t take long to find something that works. I wouldn’t wear pink 10 years ago because of the perceptions people I knew had about men who wore pink. More recently I gave a pink button down shirt a chance, and it turned out to be a good choice. “Surprise!” It looks just as good as my blue button down shirt.

Guys shouldn’t let societal expectations dictate the color of their clothing. Men can wear pink and look sharp doing it. Being risque is trying something new. It might work, or worst case scenario, be a simple wardrobe malfunction.