Saturday, June 18, 2005

Guys in Pink

"Don't you know about the new fashion honey?
All you need are looks and a whole lotta money."
—Billy Joel, "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me"

Conventional wisdom has it that guys hate pink, and rightly so. But you wouldn't know that from the clothes on display in every men's department of every department store. The trend, if you can call it that, is no longer subtle. Every month some article announces that pink is the "in" color for men, that pink now transcends the gender lines, that pink is the new orange (or new red, or whatever), that it's what "fashion-forward" guys are doing, that nothing says confidence more than pink. Men should, in short, wear more pink (for that matter, more colors generally), and the style industry "experts" and various spokespersons want men and those who shop for them to know this.

Who, you ask, started this so-called trend? That's a good question. Its origins are dubious at best. I've read that pink is popular in Japan, that pink and black together symbolize punk thanks to Avril Lavigne and Good Charlotte, that pink became popular chiefly because rappers started sporting pink in music videos, magazine shoots and on award shows' red carpets, including pink cell phones and pink cars.

This is how men are duped, hoodwinked, snookered into buying pink:
"Nazir [a salesman] snatches a pink shirt and lays it over a rack. He places a silk pink tie on the shirt and slips them both under a black Calvin Klein suit jacket. Then he tucks a matching pink handkerchief in the left breast pocket. 'If you wear this, you'll be the man of the occasion,' he assures a Daily News reporter. 'You'll be a ladies' man.'"
Are you kidding me?! This is precisely what academics call "the fetishism of commodities," the habit of endowing things with self-contained, mysterious and almost magical properties to shape the world in distinctive ways. The fetish arises because we endow entities with powers that they do not have (e.g., the ability to provide us with a superior life). You won't be a ladies man. You'll be wearing pink.

You won't look pretty in pink either. You should be embarrassed to even think about wearing such an outfit. Do you follow the fashion trends of rappers? Have you seen the guys who buy pink these days?--They're suckers who don't know what they're doing. Okay, perhaps—perhaps—if you had the right pink, the not-so-innocent-pink (rather than hot- or bubble-gum-pink) you might—might—be able to pimp yourself out. But let's face it, you're no rap star and you've probably never seen a real pimp in your life.

Style is the man himself, and you're no man that should or could sport pink. Period. This is pie-eyed fashion advice for the ages.


Anonymous said...

Dear Ilya,

I believe Mr. Brandon Flowers pulls off his pink blazer quite, he does it while wearing eyeliner!

Miss Lucy (Mr. P's should-have-been-a-groupie friend from high school) Hahaha...

Anonymous said...

Rule #384 in Blogdom...don't post on the weekends.

Ilya said...

Dear Miss Lucy,

I've had a look at Mr. Brandon Flowers, and, well, I'm frankly not impressed. (I tried to include a picture of him here, but, alas, I can't).

Anyway, he's a performer, he wears a costume, he masquerades on the stage. Which is to say that different rules apply.