It’s been over a year since a color has popped out to me, saying, “Hi! I’m the Color Of The Moment: let me guide your taste with a gentle hand.” That color is dusty pink—for boys.
This is all I have been seeing in stores for the last few weeks, particularly when I was in Europe. Every retail concept was toting delicate pinks that teeter on turning white for masculine figures that recall delicious Spring moments of Easter boy joy. I wore these dusty pinks to church as a kid and, somehow, that color has eluded me as something either silly or impossible to match as an adult. But it was revealed to me by brands like Sandro and Acne that this is a color to look into right now: all it takes is a little pastel play or white accenting to succeed with dusty pink. That’s how you achieve this dusty pink (for boys) moment.
There is obviously a bit of irony to this shade. It’s subverting masculinity by claiming a recently gendered color by returning it to the maleness it once was associated with. The pushing of pink has a duality though, one that is a little grating but ultimately good: many streetwear brands are pushing this as a joke, brands like Kappa and Carhartt and Supreme using it for bro laughs, while European brands are reaching back into the 1960s and 1970s to use this color to heighten a nostalgia apart from childhood. The latter is much more appealing and certain brands are truly folding it into their current core voice. It’s wonderful.
Dusty pink (for boys) is a fitting sequel to last year’s Mauve Rose, a soft purple-pink that was intended to bounce off of extreme natural bolds like hunter greens and cerulean. Dusty pink? It’s all about the fade, about Spring sunsets, about getting people to barely notice that the pink being worn isn’t white or yellow or green or whatever other pastel you pair it with. It should almost blend in and be extra pronounced when paired with an almost exact opposite like black or navy or even emerald. It reflects the desire to degrade gender and to strip men of power. I like to think it’s less of a reclaiming and more of an honoring of the effeminate as a valuable, important aspect of anyone—especially the “boy.”
It’s a precious color, a pink that we all should wear. Let this color be our guide for the season: dusty pink is the color of the moment.