THE BOULEVARDIER: Men wear blush

Let your pink out of the box…

I recently purchased a new laptop and with it, a soft case in hot pink. As I pulled it out of my satchel at a café, the gentleman next to me said: “Harrumph, pink. That’s a girl’s colour!” As I scraped my chin off the floor, I thought, Really? A girl’s colour?

It’s not that the gentleman in question was particularly old or stodgy—he seemed worldly, well-read and educated, like a bit of a traveller in his matching Tilley vest and hat. But still, there it was: sexist colourism.

Hey! I figured you for a golfer at least. Don’t all golfers wear pink?

Unfortunately, I hadn’t yet read this little morsel from the Guardian: “Towards the end of the great war, in June 1918, America’s most authoritative women’s magazine, the Ladies’ Home Journal, had a few wise words of advice for fretting mothers. ‘There has been a great diversity of debate on the subject,’ it wrote, ‘but the generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger colour, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.’”

Not that I really needed this historical justification to wear pink but it’s always nice to reference something from the last century.

Now, when I look around at the modern men who choose to wear pink, many of them seem to be men of influence. Bay Street lawyers, Wall Street bankers, doctors, athletes, even  Lloyd Robertson in all his sartorial splendor, wear variations of the pink dress shirt, often matchy-match with a tie and cufflinks. I believe that even that titan of men Dubya Bush wore a pink polo. Not that I can recall seeing Stephen Harper wearing blush tones, but at least his manhood isn’t predicated on starting a war.

With the return of ’80s neon, now hot pink is coming over all indie. Every hipster on Ossington is wearing some variation of it, whether on the arms of rubber sunglasses or on the ubiquitous paint stroke T-shirt. Aren’t you ironic, wearing clothing that’s older than you, cheeky monkeys!

Rose, fuchsia, mist, bubble gum, petal, cotton candy, hot, watermelon, peachy, coral, blush, flamingo, parfait, raspberry, geranium, eraser, punch, powder or piggy pink.

Personally, my favourite pink piece is my toque—both manly and Canadian.

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