On My Style Radar: Grown-Up Pink

a casual outfit gets the glamour treatment with a pink bag and gold accessories - details at une femme d'un certain age

In an earlier post, I shared some thoughts on balance between masculine and feminine elements in an outfit. I find that my preferred mix is shifting somewhat toward the feminine side, especially with regard to my accessories.

Shown above: earrings | watch | shoes | sweater |
jeans (similar) | fragrance | bracelet | bag

Think Pink?

During our stay in Vancouver, Lisa and I had a lot of conversations about style, and color was among the topics. There are certain colors I’ve been wary of because they can easily skew twee, and pink is one of them. But this season I’ve been seeing a lot of accessories, especially bags, in more sophisticated shades of pink. From nudes to mauves, they don’t scream “Barbie doll” and have that chameleon ability to act either as color or a neutral, depending on the rest of the outfit.

A light-colored bag can really make a dark or neutral outfit pop. Earlier in the year, I decided I needed a white bag, but never quite found The One. Now that I’ve tried on a couple of pink bags, I’ve shifted my focus. These sophisticated pinks have the same outfit lifting properties as white, but are softer and (IMO) easier to coordinate.

What’s your stance on pink? What shades do you find work best for you, either in clothing or accessories?

La vie en rose

Casual Glam accessories with a rosy outlook…

Stay in touch.

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  1. June 19, 2017 / 3:48 am

    I love neutral pink and am always on the lookout for pieces in this perfect neutral. I love it with black, navy, grey and monochromatic outfits. Thank you for featuring some suggestions today.

  2. June 19, 2017 / 4:02 am

    I think the Barbie factor of pink depends on the style/cut/shape of the item rather than the particular shade. Bubblegum pink can look less bubblegummy on, say, a button-down shirt or a polo shirt. A flouncy dress will look Barbie-ish in any shade of pink at all. Which might not be a bad thing. Barbie can look pretty chic.

  3. rukshanaafia
    June 19, 2017 / 4:19 am

    Hot pink/fuchsia/shocking pink suit me and also any warmer pinks from pale peach thru’ to coral . Both kinds are good with black & grey , peach is terrific with browns . I avoid Barbie/candy/sugar pinks which don’t flatter me and also don’t often look so good on anyone over 10 yrs old . I realise I’m only thinking of tops & scarves – I do have a peach skirt but would never again buy bright pink trousers . Too near the dirty pavement ! Sometimes shades called dusty pink work and can look very sophisticated eg I have some new summer sandals in a metallic dusty pink which appear to go with everything .

  4. Meg
    June 19, 2017 / 6:14 am

    I love pink. I really like the soft nude pink shade you show but in shoes, it’s a great neutral for me. I can’t wear that shade of soft blush in clothing because it washes me out. But I love the brighter pinks, the happy pinks! and I agree that it’s more the cut and style than color that makes a garment twee. For example, I have a happy barbie pink blouse with accordion pleat long sleeves that have a graceful drape to them. It provides the interest and volume in a sleeve that is so current but not the bulk across my chest like the shorter volume sleeves do. I think it looks awesome with navy basics.

  5. MJ
    June 19, 2017 / 6:49 am

    A Saks personal shopper suggested some toned-down pink cropped soft jeans as an alternative to khaki. I never would have tried them on my own, but I love them. (That’s why I use her, after all.). They don’t have quite the same range as khaki – I wouldn’t wear them with yellow or green, for example – but they work well with a surprising range of colors.

  6. rose
    June 19, 2017 / 6:49 am

    Thank you, Susan, for ideas for another great outfit!

    I already have the snakeskin square toe shoes thanks to your previous post, as well as the cashmere grey sweater and jeans. I have a fabulous blush quilted purse from Henri Bendel that hasn’t seen nearly enough use, and very similar jewelry. I would not have thought to pair those dressier drop earrings with this look, but, wow–I’m glad you did and can’t wait to pair mine with this casual but elegant look.

    This will definitely be a look I replicate this fall.

    It is interesting to go along with you as you change and refine your style, and what I particularly appreciate
    is that while you are definitely classic in style, the looks are solid, interesting, and never look as though one has tried too hard–the most important thing to avoid in my opinion.

  7. Jane2
    June 19, 2017 / 7:38 am

    Pinks are in my colour palette, from pastels to fuschia. I was warned off the pinks with an orange undertone – however, I recently got a rose gold accessory, and it truly is a neutral.

  8. Nebraskim
    June 19, 2017 / 9:11 am

    I dig pink and its many variations, from fuschia to blush. I love how it kind of warms up my skin tones and I also love how it seems to span all seasons depending on how it is styled. I also think it’s the cut of a garment or accessory than can make it skew little girl/twee more so than the color. I do lament that the color has gained a negative reputation for being “feminine,” which leads to a wider lamentation that being feminine is somehow negative.

  9. Linda (BlueHorse...)
    June 19, 2017 / 11:00 am

    Until recently, I have never been a “pink person” in my 65 years. I don’t know what has happened, but I’m suddenly borderline obsessed with the color. Because I’m a visual opposite of you, Susan, with dark hair, eyes, and complexion, I can’t do pastel pinks, blu, or nudes (they make me look already dead). But I am newly in love with fuschia–in tops/sweaters and dresses, accessories, and Linda Rodin type pink lipstick. After all this time…who knew?! Love your blog so much. Thank you.

  10. Linda (BlueHorse...)
    June 19, 2017 / 11:03 am

    P.S. Did you say some time ago that you were planning a post about your decision to return to shorter hair? Or was that just wishful thinking on my part?

  11. Annette Ryan Kleinhenz
    June 19, 2017 / 11:39 am

    If one thinks of it, pink is simply a very pale form of red. Red has been a staple neutral for many years. Red is a primary color, and thus works very well for nearly everyone, when it is skewed toward the form of red that includes that person’s best colors.
    Orange red/pink for those who can wear the palettes of yellow. Blue red/pink for those who look great in the greater palettes of blue. This is a simplification and there is a ton of room in all the red shades. Brownish red or dull muted pink is simply one that has more green in it (red and green makes brown).
    Red works for everyone, IF you have the right shade of red. Pink is precisely the same, but it takes the right shade.
    Men also look great in pink, and many a secure male wears pink.
    Barbie Doll pink is rather screaming, but it’s a great color for many, and is the same as electric blue, or sunshine yellow, brilliant grass green, peacock turquoise – ie some people look wonderful in these colors and others do not – but one should not dismiss any color out of personal prejudice, advice to stick to neutrals or old notions of gender colors.
    I have a friend in the upper Midwest with impeccable taste, who did her entire living room in shades of a blazing hot fuschia toned pink and an equally vibrant pure turquoise and I mean the whole room from lampshades to carpets, furniture covers, draperies, in sumptuous wools, subtle silks, etc. It sounds dreadful, beyond dreadful actually, but it was stunning and I don’t even like either of those colors. It taught me to not be color prejudiced.
    I happen to look great in magenta, army green and deep royal blue, and I don’t like those colors, but I wear them. I can’t get anywhere near tan or beige so that cuts out a lot of options. I adore yellow and look positively ill in it, can’t even use it in accents, so I don’t wear it.
    As in the changes we’re seeing in our global society, one needs to keep an open mind to what is good and progressive change. In a mundane form this includes ourselves, perhaps even about appearance because some of what we do is simply old habit or no longer applicable “rules”.
    One also needs to reevaluate what colors look good on them as they age and their coloring changes – not just hair but skin color changes.
    Not to mention as one transitions from the work world, one no longer has to dress to fit a role or their professional environment and this is the chance to see if they like different styles, which includes different colors.
    If you like color but are skittish about embracing it (as am I to some degree), use scarves, toenail color, jewelry, accessories and maybe a shirt or sweater paired with otherwise neutrals. For example, I’ll now wear a magenta cardigan with neutral tank and pants whereas, I didn’t even own a magenta cardigan years ago.
    Pink is a wonderful neutral and I think the palest shades go with just about everything. Also, pink is psychologically soothing to view.

  12. GingerR
    June 19, 2017 / 6:16 pm

    I like pink in the late Winter. It lightens up gray, and makes me feel like Spring is on the way. My face tends towards being ruddy and I go easy on reds, I don’t need red reflecting on me, I’ve got plenty already, so I stick with light shades of pink and try to wear it with cool colors.

  13. June 20, 2017 / 6:11 am

    I have always loved pink I have three different pink bags! I also have a couple of tops that are pink or have pink in them. I’ve always been a bit reluctant to wear pink to work, since I work in a male-dominated profession. But I’m starting to think that I shouldn’t hesitate – like Nebraskakim said, why should being feminine be considered bad???

    • Annette Ryan Kleinhenz
      June 22, 2017 / 9:31 am

      Totally agree. They already know you’re “a girl” so this won’t remind them. If pink looks good on you, wear it with great style and pleasure.

  14. Daniella Karo
    June 20, 2017 / 5:16 pm

    Rose fanne was/is a shade of pink that we wear in Europe! A sort of faded rose.

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