Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Pink for Boys and Blue for Girls?

I spend a lot of time trying to decide whether a particular color palette is "right" for a baby boy or baby girl.  Not surprisingly, my sweaters for girls tend to include shades of pinks, and my sweaters for boys have various shades of blue.  So I was fascinated by this article from smithsonian.com describing the evolution of gender-specific clothing.

I was particularly interested to learn that, not only did boys in the 1800s wear dresses until about age 7 (that's future president FDR in a white dress and party shoes below), but that blue was traditionally reserved for little girls and pink for little boys. The reason was that pink was viewed as a stronger color, better for boys, and blue was thought to be more delicate, so more suited to girls. The colors didn't reverse until the 1940s, when manufacturers and retailers determined that consumers "preferred" the colors the other way around.

I've often thought about offering a blue sweater for girls, but I'd probably dress it up with a ruffle or flower buttons or some other more feminine trim. But I'm having a harder time envisioning a pink sweater for little boys, even with fire truck or dinosaur buttons. I see lots of men wearing pink shirts (and think they look pretty sharp), so why no pink for little boys? Does anyone dress their little boys in pink in 2012?

(photo courtesy of smithsonian.com)

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