published Monday, June 27th, 2011

Color’s place in male wardrobes expands

Eddie Grant, vice president and chief development officer at First Things First, spices up his summer wardrobe with vivid-colored polo shirts. He is shown at the Hunter Museum of American Art.
Eddie Grant, vice president and chief development officer at First Things First, spices up his summer wardrobe with vivid-colored polo shirts. He is shown at the Hunter Museum of American Art.
Photo by Allison Carter.

HOW TO WEAR IT


• Sweaters: A pink crew-neck cashmere sweater paired with dark trousers is a classy look.

• Dress shirts: Pink dress shirts can be worn with suits, under sweaters or on their own with trousers or jeans. A pink dress shirt breathes new life into suits.

• Suits and trousers: Spring and summer are the ideal times to wear pink suits and trousers that are made from seersucker or light cotton.

• Accessories and T-shirts: If you can’t commit to a more substantial item in pink, start small with ties, T-shirts or hats.

Source: Daniel Billett, about.com

Still think pink is just for girls? Think again.

“I don’t have a male customer who wouldn’t wear a pink tie,” said Bruce Baird, owner of Bruce Baird & Co., a men’s clothing store in downtown Chattanooga. “More and more men are becoming open to wearing pink, even men I didn’t think would wear it.”

Pink for men hit a peak in the 1980s, led by Izod knit shirts. Its popularity ebbed for a while, but now the color is coming back strong, Baird said. His store stocks linen pants, dress shirts, knit shirts, shorts, underwear and ties in various shades of pink.

The website mensfashion.about.com says wearing pink can make a man appear confident.

Local attorney Keith Black, 42, agrees. He said he has been wearing pink since the 1980s. He even wore a pair of hot-pink 501 Levi’s jeans in 11th grade.

“I believe that wearing pink exudes confidence, not only in your manliness but also makes a statement about your confidence in yourself,” he said.

Black said he finds pink “pleasing to the eye.” For some men, he said, pink is just a color, “not a statement of your sexuality.”

Eddie Grant, vice president and chief development officer at First Things First, a Chattanooga family advocacy group, said his summer uniform includes a pair of Dockers and a polo shirt. Wearing shirts in vivid hues is a nice change of pace, he said.

“I like to use bright colors to jazz up an otherwise boring daily appearance,” he said. “Bright colors do that for me.”

Ray Minner, 62, a local educator, says he has numerous pink (and purple) shirts in his closet. His pink garments include dress shirts, long-sleeved casual shirts and short-sleeved polo shirts.

“I’ve never hesitated to wear pink,” he said. “I do get comments about wearing pink, but, interestingly, [there are] almost as many positive ones as questioning ones.”

Mary Jane Tallant Fitzgerald, a local interior designer, said her 17-year-old son, Walker Fitzgerald, has worn pink since he was a young boy. A linebacker for the McCallie School football team, Walker is 6-foot-4 and weighs 315 pounds.

“I had him in pink as a baby, and he proudly wears his pink button-downs, polos and bow ties,” she said. “He’s big as a bull but pink as a pig.”

about Karen Nazor Hill...

Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...

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