GUESTPOST! Rethinking Pink

Ever since I was old enough to choose what I wore, and for several years before that, I haven’t wanted to wear pink. As a child, I preferred dressing up in my doctor’soutfitcomplete with working stethoscope (my parents must have been so hopeful for a sparkling career in medicine, sorry Mum) rather than jamming a Disney princess dress over my unruly curls and chubby limbs.

natalie-pink-dressThis obviously didn’t bode well for my teenage years, when I oscillated between gothy garb and so-tight-you-couldn’t-digest-food jeans from Miss Sixty with navy or white polo necks. As a result, now in my mid-twenties, I have a knee jerk reaction to pink things where I’m instantly reminded of the popular girls at school and the sartorially inoffensive twin-suits that my grandmother wore.Even my sister, the perennial makeup enthusiast and wearer of labels, resorted to cutting off my pink fiend of a Barbie’s hair in order to make her a bit edgy.

It’s interesting, then, considering the marmite reaction women often have to pink, that itonly began being associated with baby girls and girlishness (and blue with boyishness) shortly before WW1. That’s not even a hundred years, guys, why has pink become so associated with saccharine girlishness?

I’ve always had a niggle that pink is pushed on women, especially in situations where its associations with frivolity and aesthetic perfection can trivialise the actual issue at hand. Of course, there is some serious beef with pink being used to cutesy up rather un-cutesy subjects like cancer that I won’t go into, but the fact remains: not because of the colour, but because of the connotation, pink has not been my friend.

Jacket Zara, shoes Melissa for Vivienne Westwood, sunglasses Victoria Beckham

Jacket Zara, shoes Melissa for Vivienne Westwood, sunglasses Victoria Beckham

That said, this season has seen a whole lot of decidedly un-girly pinks cropping up. There is pink without chiffon, pink without frills, hot pinks that feel powerful rather than cute. The piece that swung me was a 60s style fuchsiadress from Zara with split sleeves, a veritable bat cape which has necessitated much Kate Bush style wavy-armed dancing around my flat. There’s also a DKNY two-toned pink and red blouse (pink and red not mixing is a myth perpetuated by pink purists, obvo) that might be taking a sizeable chomp out of my next wages.

The key to keeping pink non-nauseating is sticking to bold cuts and simple fabrics, read: no satin, no layers. Just straight up good tailoring and interesting shapes. If in doubt, size up on the top; you don’t want a tight pink shirt, unless you want to look like you’re trying to make Mean Girls-chic happen (it’s not going to happen).

Oh, and if the idea of wearing pink makes you want to sick strawberry yazoo milkshake, stick to accessories and go for the Marc by Marc Jacobs knockout pink haute mess bracelet, anything with knockout in the title cancels out any ghosts of girlishness, I promise.

Natalie Cox moonlights as a fashion blogger over at and occasionally appears in the papers  being annoyed about something. She tweets as @NatalieSCox.

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