Pink is on my mind, yes that’s right … We’ve been blessed with a baby girl!! I was quite convinced baby 2 would be a second boy but no, my mother and sister in law and the nursery school teacher were right and a little lady arrived on 29th April.
So now to pink or not pink is the question?
Curiosity into why we so commonly dress our boys in blue and our girls in pink made me keen to do a little research. Here’s what I discovered.
According to Smithsonian.com, the shift toward pink and blue happened gradually. For centuries, all children had worn practical white dresses, which could easily be pulled up to change diapers, and bleached when said diapers inevitably exploded. Pastel baby clothes were introduced in the mid-19th century, but according to University of Maryland historian Jo B. Paoletti, author of Pink and Blue: Telling the Girls From the Boys in America, the colors weren’t gender-specific at first.
Ladies’ Home Journal article in June 1918 said, “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. 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.” Other sources said blue was flattering for blonds, pink for brunettes; or blue was for blue-eyed babies, pink for brown-eyed babies, according to Paoletti.
So there you go! An unexpected twist! Pink considered “a more decided colour” – what a lovely turn of phrase!
In 1927, Time magazine printed a chart showing sex-appropriate colors for girls and boys according to leading U.S. stores. In Boston, Filene’s told parents to dress boys in pink. So did Best & Co. in New York City, Halle’s in Cleveland and Marshall Field in Chicago.
In the 1940s manufacturers settled on pink for girls and blue for boys, so Baby Boomers were raised with wearing the two colors. But that wasn’t the end of the story. Paoletti says that due to the women’s liberation movement, more unisex baby clothes came into style in the late ’60s and ’70s. Yet pink and blue came back in the mid-’80s, with the development of prenatal testing. Once parents could find out whether they were having a boy or a girl, they could outfit their nursery in the “appropriate” color. Manufacturers pushed the fad too after realizing affluent parents would buy a whole new set of baby products once they found out Junior was expecting a little sister.
When Did Girls Start Wearing Pink? [Smithsonian]
Now obviously the colour you choose to dress your child, children, baby in, is pretty darn irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, but I have to admit I found it incredibly irritating when people assumed Felix was a girl despite head to toe blue outfits! Admittedly Blue is actually one of my favourite colours as apposed to baby/pastel pink. Anyhow I’ve found myself buying more pink numbers than I’d expected alongside yellow and red to add to the hand me downs she’ll receive from big brother.
Follow Eva’s fashion adventures via my Instagram feed and feel free to add your thoughts below.