Friday, February 24, 2006

The Color of Men

Do you remember the 80s? Specifically, the clothing and style of the 80s? Men and women alike had feathered hair, women wore something called "Units", colors were bright, pants baggy, clothing layered to varying degrees. Most of my way through Junior High and High School, I had mix-and-match outfits where I wore some T-shirt or Polo shirt beneath another unbuttoned button-up shirt that sort of swayed and drifted as you walked. I was cool. (Although, I am now rather embarrassed at the thought of wearing royal blue cotton pants with a drawstring/elastic waist and no fly. Who in the world thought up such things?)

Anyhow, it was during the time period where everybody who was anybody wore sweaters hugging the neck that men were introduced to a new freedom of their masculinity: real men wore pink!

I bought into it. I remember on my ninth grade spring break buying this pink cotton button-up shirt with various gray and white and blue geometric shapes splattered all over it. It was about three sizes too big, which was okay since I would wear it unbuttoned over another shirt most of the time anyhow. But for the rest of my high school career, it was a staple of my wardrobe, even though we would cross over into the 90s.

I must reiterate here. It was pink. Pink as the Pink Panther. Cotton Candy pink. But eventually the world righted itself, and the idea of men wearing pink sort of evaporated.

Flash forward to 2006. Yesterday, I was trotting through Wal-Mart to pick up some pictures, and it was clear the spring wardrobe had bloomed. "Think Spring" displays were everywhere, and the winter coats have been replaced with short-sleaves.

But then I noticed something quite disturbing. There was an awful lot of pink. In the men's clothes. Pink T-shirts, pink Polos, pink plaids. And once again, the fashion world shows us that history means nothing to them. Apparently, they hadn't been paying attention in class when they taught the importance of learning history: don't repeat the mistakes of the past. Sure, the teachers were talking about how to avoid World War III, but I think it's safe to assume it applies to men wearing pink as well.

So, what's a guy to do? I already went through my pink stage in life. Yet, here it is upon us again. Must I prove my manhood yet again? Must I demonstrate how secure I am in my masculinity by investing in pink?

Well, I won't do it. Because everyone knows that next year, the color of men will be brown, or puce, or burgundy, or charcoal gray, or even seafoam green. (In fact, I already have a shirt with seafoam green, so consider me ahead of my time.)


julia said...

I'm kicking myself for not keeping my late 80s/early 90s clothes. I would be SO stylin' right now. Alas, I'm stuck being an un-hip mama.

I like a pink dress shirt on a guy. But it has to be a very well-fitting dress shirt on a very trim man, otherwise, fuggedit.

Shannon said...

I heard the 80's were coming back. Miami Vice colors ruled.

I found a picture of my husband with puffy feathered hair (very short in the back and sides), a pink Izod shirt, WHITE suspenders and white cotton pants.

I wish parachute pants were back in style. Those were rad.

Penny said...

I am not a fan of pink on a man. I'm a little disturbed to find that it has found it's way back in fashion.

Melanie Lynne Hauser said...

It's the curse of the metrosexual, Ryan. You need to be confident enough in your masculinity to wear pink. I'm sure you can carry it off!