I’ll admit it: I look good in soft pink and powder blue and creamy yellow — it must be my pasty-white Nebraska skin that reflects those colors back into the world that makes me look truly alive instead of ghostly-dead. When I grew up in Nebraska, men who wore pink or pastels or creams were men who were secure in their sexuality and unafraid of being stereotyped by other straight men and women as “on-the-fence” or “in-the-opposite-mix.” Growing up in Nebraska you didn’t have many Gay people who were “out” because it was dangerous to do so back then.
There was, and still is, a physical danger to confessing a same-sex attraction in a conservative, red, neck of the woods. When I first moved to New York 20 years ago or so I had a few pastels in my wardrobe and, at that time, pastels were BIG in men’s fashion. There was no bravery in wearing pastels because everyone was wearing pastels. Miami Vice was a huge television hit show and everyone wore pastels on that show.
I didn’t, however, realize that when I dressed in pastels in New York I would attract openly Gay and bi-sexual men who felt my choice of colors were a quiet, public, symbol — just as at one time having a bandana hanging from your back pocket, or wearing a single earring indicated same-sex interest or a willingness to explore sexual experimentation — that required attention and a response. It didn’t matter if my wife was with me or not or if I was wearing my wedding ring.
Pastels speak their own hidden language! It took me awhile to realize the attention from the same sex went away when I didn’t wear my pink shirt and my baby-blue dress pants and my white deck shoes.
Now, 20 years later, pastels are back in style for men! I see men of all ages and stereotypes proudly wearing hot pink shorts and yellow tops. I see straight men wearing salty-blue blazers with violet dress shirts and creamy-white pants! It’s an 80’s fashion parade all over again! I won’t make the same mistake twice.
I have forsaken all pastels in my wardrobe. I may look pretty in pink and positively creamy in pastels, but if those colors send out the wrong sexual energy in fabric — then it’s best not to tempt the desire of those you do not seek. Thanks to ColourLovers I present an easy-to-follow pastels color palate that straight men of all ages may use to help them never choose clothes that match these hues, shades, tints, tones and tinges:
Here is another color palate I consider “man-safe” in that the colors are so boring and drab no Gay or bi-sexual male would ever touch a look at a straight man — yet these earthy tones still match the inspiration of the “never wear” pastels palette I previously presented:
Colors create power and symmetry and they attract various intentions from others around you, but — just as words have meaning
— colors create definition and context based on cultural traditions and sociological stereotypes.
If you are a straight man and you wear a bright pink top — even though pastels are once again in high fashion — just beware of the debt you may owe others due to the new attention paid.