Pink is the most flattering colour a woman can wear.
I am definitely going through a pink phase lately, as I realised when I was putting an armful of clothes into a ‘pink wash’. Cashmere jumpers, cardigans, pink microfibre vests, knickers, not to mention the two coats I bought this winter – suddenly I seem to have a lot of pink in my wardrobe. Even my new daypack and wheelie bag are both pink – the former a 1970s floral and the latter a zinging magenta grosgrain.
It is because I have finally cottoned on to the fact that pink is probably THE most flattering colour in a woman’s armoury, and – as you can see from the pix below – I have stocked up on it bigtime for summer, with skirts and pretty cardigans to go alongside my one pink linen dress.
One reason that pink is so useful is that it’s an inherently feminine colour. Although men do wear it, it is only in small items such as ties or shirts. There are very few men who would wear a pink jacket, for instance, and for a man to wear a bright pink like magenta, or a pink coat, suit or shoes would truly look like fancy dress.
But pink is a useful colour in other ways. It has the power to make you look happy, vibrant, glowing, healthy and sexy, all things most of us could do with more of. So why don’t more of us actually wear it?
If you are politically against the colour because of its girly, submissive connotations, remember you can team it with grey, black, brown or navy for outfits where you need to be taken seriously. Most situations where you’d normally wear a white blouse or shirt can easily get away with a shell pink instead, for instance.
I most commonly team pink with brown – these new pink cardis all go with my brown and beige suedette skirts, and the middle coat pictured at the top is actually a brown and pink tweed, which looks great with a brown hat, boots and gloves.
In summer, pink is an easy colour to match with white, blue, or shades of jade, turquoise or lemon for casual wear.
Many women are also convinced they just ‘can’t wear’ pink, but – as with most other colours – the trick is all about finding the right shade.
I look at my best in baby pink (not a colour I actually like, but which I have to admit is very flattering) plus cool pinks like magenta, and warm pinks like salmon. Pinks shading into lilac, blackberry-yoghurt etc also look good, as do nude pinks and a strange dark flesh pink that was common in the 1920s but seems rare today.
Darker skins or hair, or those with a reddish cast to their colouring might look better in rustier shades of pink, while grey-haired women often look best in blue-based pinks such as magenta.
Experimenting with numerous different shades of pink is always worthwhile, but on the other hand, wearing the ‘wrong’ shade of pink is never going to kill you – it’s not like olive, khaki, grey or beige, where the wrong shade can make you look like you’re in anaphylactic shock.
Seriously, I believe it’s worth everyone’s while to at least have a go at wearing pink, and watch how many compliments you pick up.
Pink is probably at its most flattering up by your face. Makeup guru Bobbi Brown, for instance, recommends pink pearls as a pick-you-up when you’re not looking your best – the combination of the delicate colour and the natural lustre of the pearls makes you look instantly glowing. Alternatively, try it in a scarf, earrings or a blouse – I guarantee that if you can find the right shade, you’ll be amazed at how good you look in it.