9 Grown-up Ways to Wear Pink Clothing (Skip the Barbie Dreamhouse)


How to wear pink clothing without looking like you’re on your way to a ballet recital… that you’re starring in.

When it comes to pink clothing, I’m a total hypocrite. I constantly go on about how much I love the color, yet you won’t find one stitch of pink clothing in my wardrobe. I’ve always attributed the color pink to being girly, vibrant and outgoing… all things I’m not, so it goes without saying I’m a tad concerned about taking the plunge. It’d basically be like putting Elle Woods’ clothing on Darlene from “Roseanne.”

That being said, I’ve decided to start small and work my way up: Pink jewelry, pink hair accessories, pink office supplies – I’m almost ready to buy pink socks. Almost. Where are you on the spectrum? If you’d like to think pink but have no idea where to start, here are 9 grown-up ways to wear pink clothing:

1. Mix with menswear
No matter how frilly the pink clothing you choose, you can easily edge it up by accenting with menswear, such as a fitted blazer or tailored pant. If you’re in the mood to go bold, make a sophisticated statement with pink menswear (an oddly impressive combination).

2. It’s all in the shade
Choose your shade of pink based on the outing: For the office, go for a more muted shade (such as blush or peach), and leave anything bubblegum-esque for your night out with the girls. If you want to make a bold statement but don’t want to look too Madonna-circa-1980s, take a bright coral or magenta for a spin.

3. Add some leather
As they say on “Project Runway”, the strength of leather combined with the daintiness of pink will give your outfit a “juxtaposition between hard and soft.” For example, a leather jacket over a pink minidress takes away the Zooey Deschanel factor that only Zooey Deschanel can get away with. Or depending on where you work, a leather pencil skirt with a pink blouse (me-ow!).

4. Try it with a print
If you’re worried wearing pink clothing is going to make you look juvenile, then use the color to bring some character to a “serious” or structured print. The print will make the pink aspect of your outfit look more adult, while the pink will add whimsy to what could otherwise end up being an intimidating outfit.

5. Choose the right cut
Especially when opting for a crazy-bold piece of pink clothing (fuscia, anyone?), make sure it’s well-tailored. No matter how bright the color, when the piece is fitted and flatters your body, it reads stylish and polished.

6. Wear classic silhouettes
Infuse pink throughout your common staples, such as your casual tanks and tees – swap some of those neutrals with the shades of pink you love most. The pop of color will be a fun change of pace from your usual whites, blacks and greys. (Yawn, am I right?)

7. Go big or go home
Let’s face it: There are days when you just want to go full-on princess! I say, if the hints of pink aren’t cutting it for you, then choose an occasion where you can take pink clothing for a spin the way you’ve always wanted to. You might find there’s a whole new you underneath all of those muted colors!

8. Wear a pink coat
If you can’t quite commit to pink clothing (yet), why not try a pink coat? It’s a great way to test the waters to see if you can make pink work. If you’re not feeling it, you can simply take off your coat and go back to your regularly scheduled programming. Let’s face it though: You’ll rock the pink coat and then wonder what all the fuss was about.

9. Use pink as an accent
If you’re like me and need some time to work your way up to pink clothing, start with pink accessories: A clutch or purse, a cute pair of pumps, even a keychain if you’re really desperate. It’s a great way to start adding the color to your wardrobe without breaking the bank.

What’s your favorite way to wear pink clothing?

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Image: Veronica Bautista

Krissy Brady

Krissy Brady is a women’s health + lifestyle writer who’s so out of shape, it’s like she has the innards of an 80-year-old. Instead of learning how to crochet, she decided to turn her emotional baggage into a writing career (genius, no?). You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (you know, if you want).