Pink – despite its connotations of softness and femininity – is a colour many of us may find intimidating. It’s easy to feel unconfident when self-styling with pink; the wide range of hues and tones it encompasses can be overwhelming, making it hard to know which shades we look – and feel – good in. Being scared to enjoy this wonderful colour is simply no way to live; familiarising ourselves with the way pinks react to different complexions and colours makes styling with pink far less daunting.
STYLING PINK: TEMPERATURE
The temperature of pink is ambiguous; being rooted in fiery red tones, it would be easy to assume that pink is a warm colour, but this generally isn’t seen to be the case. When considered for its own merit, pink is often categorised as a cool colour. More traditional categorisations of pink group vibrant, hot pinks and light, pastel tones with similar shades of purple – regarded as a cool colour – rather more unquestionably. The relationship between pink and purple is strong and has been relied upon by various fields within the visual arts, such as fashion and styling, interior design, and marketing (to name a few), for decades. The relationship between these two colours thrived during the latter half of the 20th century and into the early noughties; although this iconic duo are often still used in accordance with one another, the ‘millennial palette’ of the 2010s has opened pink up to new possibilities of colour combination.
Despite pink and purple’s close relationship, the arrival of ‘Rose Gold’ has destabilised the way we think about pink. This is particularly true when considering colour temperature and how we integrate it into our styling. The millennial palette – in which Rose Gold is a defining colour – gives warmth to pale pinks by using them alongside copper and orange tones. This palette – commonly used for interiors – lends itself well to fashion. We recommend warming up a pale pink blouse by pairing it with some well-tailored, orange trousers. This colour combination, reminiscent of Himalayan salt lamps, is youthful and calming – a perfect way to channel some bright yet tranquil energy into your look.
Rose gold itself – when used for jewellery and phones like the iPhone – is a peachy, blush toned metal, likened to gold because of its warm undertones. Gold is traditionally perceived to be the more feminine metal, whilst silver is more masculine. The pairing of gold and pink – whether as part of one shade or separate garments – is highly feminine, regal, and majestic. Rose gold jewellery looks great with cream, which has a warmer appearance than white. We’d recommend wearing peachy jewellery with a simple cream blouse or dress for a mellow, minimal look.
STYLING PINK: LIGHTER LOOKS
Pairing pale pinks with warm, cream tones is a great way of giving pink warmth – perfect if you’re more drawn to warm palettes. If you better suit, or otherwise just prefer, cooler palettes, try swapping cream for white, and adding a splash of purple into the mix. A white shirt, pink blazer, and purple statement earring combo is a feminine and playful way to wear this classic look. Have a go at styling this combination with a matching pink skirt, or purple trousers of a darker shade. When using pink for lighter styles, gauging the temperature of the overall look is a good way to coordinate items. Basing the look on white (cool) or cream (warm) is a great way to achieve light, airy styling with a statement splash of pink that also matches the overall pigmentation of the wearer.
STYLING PINK: DARKER LOOKS
STYLING PINK: MONOCHROME
Pink is, quite simply, one of the best and most joyful colours to use in a monochrome look. Its power and chicness have been demonstrated by the likes of Gigi Hadid, Rihanna, and Jessica Alba, whose differing styles and personalities highlight the adaptability of this look, which some perceive to be limited in its effect. Monochrome styling gives the wearer a polished yet urban look; individual pieces then work to convey the unique taste, style, and personality of the wearer. While the possibilities for cuts and styles of individual garments are endless for monochromatic looks, pale pink tones are currently favoured over brighter, richer shades. Pale pink blazers are wonderfully versatile: great as part of monochrome power-dressed looks or worn over the top of darker professional or casual outfits. Pale pink monochrome makes for fabulous formal evening attire, and the popularity of light shades of pink mean you’re sure to find items that match your preferred cuts and styles. The combination of pale, blush pinks with monochrome styling is the ultimate expression of the millennial aesthetic: encapsulating the playful, post-gendered, and peaceful energy embodied by pink across the 2010s. The reign of ‘millennial pink’ does, however, seem to be waning, and as we journey into the early 2020s, lively, bright pinks are beginning to make their comeback. Devotees of blush and salmon tones needn’t worry – it doesn’t look like pale pinks are going anywhere quite yet. Hotter, more passionate pinks are often combined with lighter shades, meaning we can still enjoy the peaceful delicacy of our favourite pale hues, albeit within more dynamic, contrasting overall looks. We can see bright pink monochrome looks becoming more popular in the coming years: abundantly creative, bold, and eye-catching, the possibilities of palettes including diverse shades of pink are deeply inspiring. Pink has a seemingly endless ability to take on new meanings, and what a joy it is to witness new life being breathed into it once again.