The colour pink has always had a somewhat turbulent relationship with the male wardrobe here in the UK. Up until the 1980’s there was the long held notion that it was too effeminate and had no place making an appearance in a man’s day to day outfit. It was more of a novelty observed from afar within the dance halls of the disco era. Any man donning a garment with even a hint of pink, no matter the shade, would have their masculinity called into question at first glance.
The advent of electro music gave birth to the acceptance of electric pink. During this period of the 80’s synth reigned supreme, allowing pink to enjoy a long period in the sun. Don Johnson made it acceptable to incorporate pastel pinks into one’s outfit with confidence. Once people saw how the colour complimented the Miami Vice star’s South beach wardrobe it became a summer staple.
Then came the 90’s when to wear pink was to make a statement about how confident you were in your sexuality. Not every man had yet bought into the blush but it was certainly making waves. As it grew in popularity, pink smashed through into the appropriately named ‘noughties’.
By the year 2000 everybody from city boys trading stocks in the high towers to football fans trading blows in the Highbury terraces was wearing pink like confidence boosting war paint, accenting themselves with so much of this ‘power colour’ it began to loose it’s power. The problem was that men had no fear of pink any more, and like with any bold colour, it’s important to know how and when to use it.
Thankfully pink’s overuse began to wane over the next decade, cropping up on the occasional polo shirt or shorts. Now, in 2017, pink has finally found it’s rightful place in menswear. A happy balance of vibrancy and subtlety during the warmer summer months. Sure, there’s still a level of confidence needed, but on the right garment and on the right occasion, pink can be incorporated to accentuate the qualities of a perfect statement piece. The shade is important too of course. Today, the harshness of pink has been replaced by a more subtle shade of salmon that can be used for full garments, rather than just accessories or detailing.
Take this beautiful single-breasted jacket sported by Elliott on a sunny June day. Due to the context, shade and cut of the garment, not to mention the quality and texture of its Huddersfield fine worsted cloth, the jacket stands out with its wide peak lapels and lavish lining without venturing into the overly elaborate. That’s one of the golden rules of sartorial style. If you are going to swim upstream and stand out from the crowd, make sure it’s for all the right reasons.