Color Coded: Pink Was Originally for the Guys

Zayn Malik

Zayn Malik of One Direction

You’ve heard the old adage “it takes a man to wear pink.” But thanks to NPR and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, guys are getting to know just how true that is: originally, pink was seen as a masculine shade because of its close relation to the color red (FIRE! PASSION! COURAGE!).

The old fashioned notion of pink for baby girls and blue for boys didn’t come into the cultural milieu until after our troops came back from World War II and men claimed blue as a masculine shade (it was the norm for factory uniforms to be dyed a dark indigo). Prior to that, blue was seen as dainty and delicate.

Historically, the courtiers of King Louis XVI regularly wore pink coats embroidered with birds and flowers (today, something like that would walk the runway at Valentino Couture and we think menswear might not swing that way for a while) and men wearing pink can be traced back to cultures around the globe such as Japan and Russia. Today, guys are more than happy to throw on a pink oxford — a prep staple — and even a few adventurous blokes such as Zayn Malik and Armie Hammer have been snapped wearing pink denim jackets and full-on suits.

Next time you see a guy in pink, know that he’s carring the torch for a longstanding tradition — and maybe just flexing his sartorial muscle.

Images courtesy One Direction Music

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Author:Christopher Luu for Fashion Trends Daily

Christopher Luu is a Fashion Trends Daily Senior Writer and Menswear Editor.