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Do Real Men Wear Pink?

Man in Pink Crew Neck T-shirt Wearing Black Cap
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The short answer is yes. In fact, history is proof that they always have! Until the 20th century, men knew that there was NO reason whatsoever to define their sexuality through colour! Only in the relatively recent past did pink acquire its feminine connotations. Thankfully, we have celebrities like Jason Mamoa, Ranveer Singh, Akshay Kumar, Ayushmann Khurrana and many more embracing the power of pink!


In one of her interviews with The Atlantic, American fashion historian, director and chief curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York and author, Valerie Steele said: “In the 18th century, it was perfectly masculine for men to wear pink silk suits with floral embroidery.” Until the 20th century, toddlers of either sex were normally dressed in white, but when colours were used, boys were dressed in pink.
We don’t really have to go digging into world history to find men and their love for this powerful hue. A peek into the paintings of the great kings/emperors of our royal past (Mughals or Rajputs), would reveal that they wore this beautiful shade with pride. Back then, it was okay for a man to wear a pink court dress to rule the land or go to war! The thinking was that since pink was closer to red (thought to be warlike) and therefore a strong colour, it was inherently more masculine.

However, by the 19th century, especially as Freud and other psychologists’ theories of childhood development gained hold—parents began to differentiate their offspring’s sex earlier on. As they did, some parents favoured pink for girls and blue for boys. This was misunderstood to mean women preferred redder tints and then, the capitalists took over!


Mumbai-based celebrity stylist and owner of Chotto Golpo, a sustainable clothing brand, says, “I believe all colours look equally good on both the sexes. I think the main worry for guys is that they could look effeminate in pink. You can incorporate this hue into your wardrobe if you know how to style it right and the confidence to pull it off.” Here’s how to add a splash of pink into your sartorial choices:

1. Choose the right shade of pink: Go for a tint that works on your skin tone the best. If you have a dusky complexion, opt for more pastel/baby pinks. Deep vibrant pinks look great on lighter/paler skin tones.

2. Pink at work: Can you think of a more power-dressing staple than a salmon (pink) shirt and a navy suit? If suits are not your thing, team an Oxford shirt in pink with a pair of grey trousers/chinos.

3. Pink in winter: Pink is often associated with summer colour, but there’s no written (fashion) law that says you can’t do the shade justice during the colder months. In fact, it’s a great way to add a pop of brightness to an otherwise dull wardrobe. In winter, rosy layering pieces offer contrast, peeking out from underneath heavier outerwear in sombre hues. You could go for pink cardigans too!

4. Pink accessories: We must admit, the hue isn’t for the faint-hearted. So, if you’re still not convinced but want to add hints of the shade into your wardrobe, do it with accessories. A pink tie is an easy way to inject some personality into an otherwise bland formal attire. A pink belt can dress up a monochromatic black outfit. So can a bright pair of fuchsia-hued socks!

5. Pair pink with: “Powder blues, khakis, camouflage, whites, beiges and greys,” recommends Bose. “Pink adds a flush of brightness instantaneously!”
Wearing pink automatically tells the world that you’re a self-assured person, who doesn’t care what societal/gender norms are! So, how are you planning to wear pink today?


[Featured Image Credit: Pexels]