Pink is complicated. I can't think of another color that is as politically charged, and it's no surprise given the cultural history of pink.
Until the early 20th century, blue was thought of as the color of virtue and passivity and associated with the Virgin Mary, and was therefore ascribed to girls, while red, and its paler shade of pink, was thought of as a masculine color associated with strength and might (as in the British Redcoats.)
"There has been a great diversity of opinion on the subject, but the
generally accepted rule is pink for the boy and blue for the girl. The
reason is that pink being a more decided and stronger color is more
suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty,
is prettier for the girl." [Ladies Home Journal, June, 1918]
After WWII, men returned to the workforce wearing either plain shirtsleeves and denim or the ubiquitous gray flannel suit, while designers had an entire color palette with which to support the modern woman's return to her "traditional" identity as home maker and consumer. Children's clothing manufacturers were divided as to which sex should be represented by what color. Greeting card companies, however, followed Thomas Gainsborough's "Blue Boy" and "Pinky" and began to assign the opposite palette when creating birth announcements.
Within just a few years, the new gender/color assignment followed through to industrial design in pink cars:
and home appliances:
Color assignment for the sexes fell off the radar for a while in the 70s and 80s, while androgyny was fashionable. In fact, in the mid 80s we found gender reversal in fashion, with women wearing men's suits and men wearing pink. (That's a whole 'nother post.)
In the early 21st century pink seems to be making a resurgence yet again, to the dismay of some modern women who see the "pinkification" of women and women's issues as patronizing. Point taken. Still others, like one of our favorite rockers, Pink, are trying to take back the color as a symbol of female power.
Now, back to your regularly scheduled vintage fashion. Here's a selection of favorites from DaisyFairbanks:
We also found this video confession on 12seconds.tv:
If you're anything like her, you'll have plenty of choices.