Historically the colour for boy’s baby clothes, pink has experienced a complicated relationship with men’s fashion over the past century. Traditionally pigeon-holed as a girly-hue, and the reserve of Barbies and party frocks, since the millennium pink has enjoyed a comeback, from preppy polo shirts to full suits.
Here, we’ll be explaining the dos and don’ts of this shade and suggest how it can be woven into even the most unexpected of ensembles.
Wearing & Pairing Pink Shirts
For the uninitiated, the easiest foray into wearing pink is via shirting. Sensational as part of a business kit, a pale pink shirt with a charcoal suit looks fresh and offers a change from the standard white or blue shirt. If you err on the conservative side of dressing, tone it down with a subtly patterned tie that’s complimentary to your suit – think grey paisley or stripes.
Beyond a work setting, a pink chambray shirt is a great match with blue jeans. Appropriate for a casual weeknight dinner or after-work drinks, pair your shirt with plain white sneakers or loafers for a dressed-down but chic look. In terms of styling, wear it in a French tuck (tucking only the front of your shirt into your jeans) and flick back the cuffs.
To change things up, explore patterns and different fabrics. During the warmer months, seersucker and linen can be great options and work in a pink and white stripe or check. Patterns also offer a slightly more subtle look than the full block colour and are perfect for those dabbling with pink for the first time.
Wearing Pink Chinos
If you’re looking to diversify beyond your standard beige/navy chinos, a pink pair could well be your answer. Surprisingly versatile and a great way to change up your look, chinos in a pinky-red shade add warmth and a splash of colour to even the drabbest outfit.
But how to style them? Pink chinos are a statement piece, so it pays to keep everything else simple. Think about pairing the chinos with a classic white shirt and a pair of white low-top sneakers. If you need to dress this up, layer with a navy cotton blazer for an easy after-5 look.
If you’re more of a tee-shirt man, look at pairing pink chinos with a good quality white or navy tee. Stockists like Cos or J.Crew are perfect for a premium looking option that won’t break the bank. From a styling perspective, throw on a classic pair of sunglasses for instant cool.
Wearing Pink Shorts
Come Summer, there are two things that every gent should have in his sartorial arsenal; a classic pair of Bermuda shorts and some statement swimwear. One brand that straddles both is the inimitable Orlebar Brown. They offer a standout pink setter short that can easily be dressed up with the addition of a white linen shirt.
If you prefer to keep land and sea attire separate, look for more traditional cotton twill or linen styles in dusky pinks. Ideally, a pair of summer shorts will hit just above the knee – any longer and they can have a baggy ex-skater boy effect. Think about pairing your shorts with something a little different from the standard white tee or shirt, instead experimenting with knitted or terry towelling button downs.
Wearing Pink Fashion Accessories
When it comes to accessories, pink is the unsung hero of the 21st century. Easy to pair with either charcoal, navy or black suiting, pink accessories are the ultimate in versatility and are an easy way to shake up your suit collection.
For a start, look at a hot-pink, patterned pocket square. Garish on its own, when woven into a suit, it adds a pop of colour and can also be easily repurposed with a navy sportscoat for a cocktail outfit.
If you’re a true dandy, you might also want to consider purchasing a silk flower lapel pin. Whilst Spring racing might now be over, this is an accessory that can be added to most jackets to dress them up and adds a point of difference.
Finally, pink ties are a timeless investment piece. Opt for interesting weaves like knits and subtle patterning to ensure it’s something you can wear across seasons and pair with multiple outfits.
Wearing Pink Shoes
For those fearful of pink, shoes are a great way to start experimenting with the colour. The perfect addition to jeans and a white tee-shirt, a pair of blush coloured, low-top sneakers from the likes of Axel Arigato or Common Projects change up this otherwise basic ensemble. Wear them with either exposed ankles or socks for a more urban take on this look.
In the cooler months, pale pink sneakers are also an interesting way to break up a full monochrome outfit. Experiment with a navy sweater and cuffed chinos for a non-traditional take on Winter dressing.
For the more formally inclined, dusky pinks are also creeping into loafers. This can be the perfect way to shake up more casual suiting for events such as the polo or the races. Look to stockist like Aquila for subtle options that won’t break the bank.
Wearing Pink Suits
A few years ago, you’d be forgiven for thinking that we’d lost all sartorial chops by including this section. However, over the past few Spring/Summer seasons, dusky pink tailoring has been featuring in an increasing number of collections. From Pitti Uomo to the Australian high street, the pink suit is no longer a men’s style pariah.
But how to wear it? As with many statement pieces, the trick lies in keeping things simple. Pink suits tend to sit at the more casual end of the suiting spectrum, so keep the styling laid back. Pair it with a crisp white shirt that has a starchy collar and opt for fashion-forward tailoring, having the trousers cropped right on the ankle. In terms of footwear, stick with light brown suede loafer or white sneakers. This softens the overall look and keeps things casual.