Pretty In Pink

Pretty In Pink

I wasn’t quite myself this morning.  I had planned to wear a vibrant pink jacket my sister gave me for my recent 39th birthday (I am holding firm to this number, it has a nice ring to it). It’s a funky jacket and something very few would venture to wear.  I fell instantly in love with it the second I untied the ribbons, ripped the paper from the box, and lifted the lid.

It was a perfect jacket to wear today since here in the Bay Area we are bypassing Winter-frost, and moving directly to Spring-blush. I slithered into my funky and damn near new vintage bell bottoms—I am a lot like the song, I’m a little bit country, a little bit rock and rock-n-roll, well I am a tad vintage-hippy—and pulled on the pink jacket.  WOW, some strange little voice whispered in my ear, it’s cotton candy pink. Can you really pull this off?  I answered back, I have violet black colored hair with red streaks and this jacket isn’t any brighter than my pink cashmere boa I am so fond of wearing to work winter mornings.

As I stood in front of my mirror, giving myself the once over and taking inventory, I recalled what my hairdresser had said to me about women wearing pink.  Women past twenty should never wear pink.  She felt strongly pink is color for the very young.  She said this to me while streaking my hair. Hmmmm?  As I stared at my reflection in the mirror considering the jacket, I heard her words.  I didn’t agree with her but since she mentioned it, I’ve wondered if a woman of 39 (ME) should change their style (MINE) to suit a number.  Is there a number a woman redefines and/or conforms?  I wonder.

In truth, if I had an endless pot of gold, I would wear something new everyday. I love clothes. I even love shopping for clothes, despite the headaches endured finding my size perfect—perfect for my curvy body—and meeting my criteria for fashion. I don’t follow the trends nor do I shop in big box department stores and the last time I checked—this morning—my body isn’t designed for the likes of what is found on the pages of Vogue. I don’t like what women are wearing in Redbook or Family Circle and as I am past eighteen, I can’t see myself in itty-bittys at the ripe age of 39 (and holding.)  That being said I don’t want to wear anything with little red ladybugs, tulips and daisies, but rhinestones and shimmery is OK.  Pink or not, the jacket is me.

I stared longingly at my cotton candy pink jacket but slipped on a black velvet one instead.  Am I too old to wear pink?  Who says I can’t? I dropped the thought with the jacket on my bed and ran for the train.  I was lost to the blank page of the laptop on my lap (as a writer with many lives I write when I can) and unaware of everything but the words I was typing.

My eyes noticed her before my conscious self, did.  Her shoes took me on a journey, from the tip of two-inch heels to the white hair sitting without a care on her shoulders.   Her sense of self rocked me, but it was highlighter pink rhinestones affixed to the velvety black brocade atop two-inch heal with a design out of a 1940’s movie that took my breath away.  Her suit, old but classic, maybe Chanel, was soft black. The silk blouse, under the wool, matched the rhinestones in her shoes, as did her nail polish and lip stick.  Her bag was black, but attached was a white with pink peonies silk scarf tied at the strap.

She caught me watching her, and for a moment, I was embarrassed, but she seemed to know what I was thinking.  I couldn’t keep my eyes off her sense of style. As she exited the train, I’d swear she whispered to me, always follow your heart and stay true to your sense of self.

She had to be in her seventies, plus or minus a few years. Damn, if she didn’t look pretty in pink.


Do you think there is an ‘age’ we should stop wearing PINK or conform to an age appropriate style of dress?

post script: assuming the weather holds, I’ll be sporting my pink jacket tomorrow)

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I’m a writer and hoarder of one-size-fits-all panty hose. Until the hose fits over my bum, I write to provide an alternative view on writing and perfection.

76 thoughts on “Pretty In Pink

  1. Jo

    Holy Moly NO NO NO! I am past celebrating my 23rd anniversary of turning 39 and more than 1/4 of my wardrobe is pink. All shades of pink are going to jump in my arms when I go shopping. I will be wearing pink, yellow, purple or whatever color I want and like for as long as I live. I think you should just feel good in whatever you drape your nakedness.
    I have a lot of brown and black, but I nearly always have a red, pink, yellow or purple a little bit of aqua to wear with it, if the mood strikes!
    Pink is for girls…forever, if they like it. ♥♥♥

    • I’m with you, Jo.. I LOVE PINK.. I do, I do, I do. Your answer made me smile from the inside out. I’ll not forget the line ‘jump into my arms when I go shopping…” Hugs, sweet woman.

  2. Wear it! I’ve never heard there was an age on colors to wear. That’s kind of crazy.

    Hey, Brenda, my new WIP came to me in present tense. I totally thought of you. 😉

    • Kelly – you know when I read your post on Monday I did wonder how you felt about the tense. I sort of like writing in first person present. Odd, huh? Yes, I have pink on today.

  3. Great post! So well written and thought out ( ima writervandceditor so can’t help remarking on these strong points:)) and interesting question. Anyway, 39 is young! I’m 49. Pink sometimes looks good on me, depending on the pink shade, so I would wear it for that reason. In general. I’m not a pink person. Then again, I’m from the east coast NYC area, where black is more the norm. My mother is 93 and wearing brighter colors now than than when she was younger if only because they make her feel better. I say wear what you feel good in period. And to hell with that awful show “What not toWear”!

    • Sandra – you’ve made my day, thanks so much. I wear a lot of black as well, but I like to add splashes of color. I lived in London when the original ‘what not to wear’ was aired. I loved that show. I confess, because those two women I started buying better bras. :-)

  4. I dress according to my mood, so when in a certain frame of mind that means black and dark brown. The rest of the time I am pretty eccentric in my dress and would adore your pink jacket. I think confidence has everything to do with whether you can carry something off or not, and totally believe you dear Brenda can carry off anything. Great style never goes out of style, and if you have it, flaunt it!

    • Hi Elizabeth.. You’re right, it has to do with how we feel both on the day (emotionally) and the strength and confidence we wear always..

  5. Love this!!! Trust your soul. If you think you look happenin’ others will too. But don’t ever wear white after Labor Day…LOL.

    • Denine.. Never white after labor day.. Actually I rarely wear white. I love it, but I am eventually dribble my coffee or something when I am wearing it, never when I have black on, only white. Why is this?

  6. I find myself thinking the same thing sometimes…and then I say ‘f-it’ and wear exactly what I like! My daughter sometimes tells me, “Mom, don’t wear that again,” but most of the time my style just makes me look good! I’m a pretty neutral colored gal-well, mostly black, but blood red pops into my outfits on a regular basis. And you should see the stares when I wear leopard! You go, girl! And remember-in SF nobody is shocked at anything!

    • Jennifer, the curse of having a daughter is hearing their voice in your head even when they are not around. My daughter will say, that’s not you, Mommy – it’s too normal. And you’re right, in SF, we pretty much wear what we want.

  7. Hi, Brenda! ~

    That was a fun read — haha!

    I’m very fortunate to have an amazing stylist and BF rolled into one. I don’t have a lot of pink clothers, but I have some. I asked Mr. C about the pink ‘age thing’ once and he pretty much blew it off.

    I must admit, he pushes my fashion boundaries sometimes! I have balked at form fitting fashions, short skirts, and knee sox with high heels to name a few. I’m well over 39 after all …

    Ultimately, I trust my guy’s eye for style. When he sends me into the world dressed that way I get tons many compliments and approving glances — that feels good at any age 😉

    • Linda – I am jealous that you have your very own design consultant living underfoot. I couldn’t trust my significant other, his tastes are questionable. :-) Glad you enjoyed.

  8. Brenda, if you love pink…go for it! Don’t let anyone stop you from wearing or doing whatever the heck you want. I once was told by my ex’s dad that blondes should never wear yellow. This is after I tried on a yellow dress and fell in love with it. Because I was a young girl I thought he may know something I didn’t…some sort of universal law that says I must stay away from that shade at all costs. I still remember how beautiful that dress was.

    • Annie – Ouch! Men can be kind of strange about things. I am always amazed when I am shopping and I see partners together and the woman comes out of the dressing room clearly in love with what she is wearing and the partner says no.. Saddest thing ever watching the woman’s face fall. I really don’t care if my husband likes what I am wearing. My grandmother’s fault. She pushed all the woman in my family to be strong and free. I am wearing pink today, and damn, don’t I look good! :-)

  9. Who makes up these crazy rules, and why would we follow them for a minute? I’m not fond of pink, myself. When I was a kid my grandma made me wear it, and I got to where I hated it. But if it looks good on you, go for it and be proud! I think confidence is the best accessory anyway. I would wear white after Labor Day just to rebel, except that somehow I always end up eating Italian food when I wear white, and then I have to pull out the Spray ‘n’ Wash afterward!

    • Hey Nadine – I can’t wear white before or after day, I am allergic. The minute I don something white I have an accident, spill, spit, fall, bump, and then my white is not longer. I LOVE pink. It a favorite color.

  10. Pink rocks. I have a pink jacket and people always tell me I look good in it.

    You WEAR that pink, pretty lady.

    That said, I think as you get older, the SUPER-trendy – camo mini-skirt and ripped fishnets & Doc Martens, say, with a fluorescent, belly-baring tank top – prolly not a flattering look, even if you’re in excellent shape. There *are* things/styles you can get away with, being young & cute, that simply don’t work for more mature people.

    But colors? Oh, HELL no. Gonna wear pink and turquoise and tie-dye colors till I die.

    • Hola Beverly.. You said it perfectly. Some stuff I will wear, but other stuff, not me and not made for my body or my age. But pink.. hell yeah, it’s in my body today. Hugs…

  11. I love pink! And I’m well past 39 :-). I intend to wear more color, less black and dark colors. Go for the gusto and wear whatever colors make your heart sing, Brenda!

  12. Banning pink after a certain age is nonsense. Pink is flattering to women of all ages. There is nothing that throws a prettier cast on your skin. I wear pink and I’m 66. I also wear high heels just about all the time. My hair is short, spiky and white blond. I do not feel like I dress “young” but I’m stylish. Wear what makes you feel good, Brenda. And I know you are pretty in pink.

  13. I hate it when we’re given ‘rules’ for what to wear! I can remember my MIL being so pleased when I cut my long hair (to stop my toddler from yanking it out), because she saw it as my concession to being a grown-up. She thinks long hair is for under-30s.

    Ha! Made me want to grow it right back again.

    I say wear what makes you feel good about yourself and f*ck everyone else’s opinion.

    • Kario – I still wear my hair long. I know there are suggestions about hair length, too. For me long hair is easier. I still color it and keep it healthy. I wore short hair when I was younger and only in recent years grew it out because I don’t have to fuss with styling it. Short hair is too much work. Anyho….

    • Amy – so glad you enjoyed. I don’t think I’d ever give up black, it’s such a versatile color..Thanks so much for stopping by.

  14. I am now 61 (though I can’t believe that) and I find myself more drawn to bright colors now than I used to be. When I was younger I used to wear a lot of brown, beige, black–now I think those are so boring. Remember the goes “when I am an old woman I shall wear purple”? Hey, why not? This Christmas I got myself a pair of purple jeans and a pair of red ones, and I love them! So go ahead and wear your pink, purple, bright green, whatever makes you feel good!

    • Elaine,Elaine, Elaine. And here I am finally commenting back. I love the ‘when I am old I shall wear purple poem’. I gave that to my own mom when I was truly younger and without my own kids. I am more a pink woman, clearly. I like vibrant colors. You should see my house. Love it. Thanks for visiting.

  15. Brenda, not only are you not too old to wear pink, I’m from the school of thought that you’re never too old to do anything! As long as you can physically pull of a feat, anything’s game, sister! The lady with the pink rhinestones is an inspiration to all who play it safe by staying in their comfort zone. I say, set yourself free and tomorrow, weather permitting, rock your pink coat like a diva! And while you’re at it, take a picture of yourself and keep it as a reminder that you can do anything you please, thank you very much! :)

    • Bella, I hear you and your Nana in my head now. Scary but wonderful.. trust me, I wear pink, but for a fraction of a second, even less, I did wonder if I should (says the woman with streaks in her hair).

  16. k~

    “Do you think there is an ‘age’ we should stop wearing PINK or conform to an age appropriate style of dress?”

    Pffft, nope… no… not… (GrinZ). A woman I worked with (in radio mind you LOL) told me that I needed to cut my hair because “no woman over the age of 35 should have hair as long as mine” (It came down just over my hiney in thick auburn waves), and continued to tell me it was disrespectful. I later asked her who in the world told her that, and mentioned that she might look nice in longer hair 😉 She explained that it was something her father told her she HAD to abide by. I gave her permission that day to do as she pleases with her own hair. (yes, it was necessary).

    There isn’t any colour I would wear because someone, somewhere said it was wrong. I wear white in the winter, if I feel like it, and I would wear pink whenever I want (it’s a good colour on me ;-). I usually bend fashion ideas with a twist of my own, and will more often than not opt for comfort. The short version… no, I don’t think there is any rule like that I would agree with.

    • K- What a wonderful story… I still wear my hair long. It’s easier. Now that you have mentioned radio I a curious about what you did. I love that we all have many sides to us. Makes for great copy.

      • k~

        After 20 years in the business, there wasn’t much I did not do 😉 I was an on-air announcer, had a talk show, produced copy, wrote copy, performed as traffic manager, music director, news writer/director, marketing rep, and did live remotes. I enjoyed it when it was more community oriented, but the bigger the station/pay the less connected to the local community it became.

        (In my best Paul Harvey voice) “Now you know, the reeessst of the story” 😉

        • K- in a previous comment, you reference Blake. Does your story weave any of your experience into his? I always pull from real life, but rarely to I stay on target. More a writer’s curiosity.

          • k~

            Brenda, I am sure that real life is pulled into many of the story lines on a psychological level. The psychological profiles that experience has shared with me are vast, complex and could have bits of Blake’s within them, but I would have to say that I too “rarely stay on target”. I like to weave them from many directions into one coat of many colours.

  17. I don’t think there are any rules…I think if we use our good sense, we should wear whatever FEELS good on, what we’re comfortable in, what we LIKE…and I think THAT is what gives us our own sense of style. Like the lady in the 70’s…she was alive!

    • Linda, I think the rules we follow are either ones we THINK we need or ones we make up depending on how we feel at any give moment. We all have ‘moments’.

  18. I go back and forth on this topic! I think people should wear whatever they want, but I can be that person with wide eyes at Wal-Mart when something is particularly “unique”. The other day I was thinking to myself, you shouldn’t wear Jean shorts after age 25, it just looks silly. Then I realized, not true…its trying to squeeze into tiny daisy duke shorts that you wore at 15 when your hips have grown and you are an adult that doesn’t work. Wearing things that FIT and that you feel great in is style, not looking like everyone else or attempting to be something you are not. Wear the pink jacket!!

    • Elizabeth – bingo! Wear what fits and what you fit. I do think there are some things I wouldn’t put on my body regardless, either for fashion’s sake and there are something just better on the body of a twenty year old. I watched Madonna on stage and thought- hot, hot, hot, but.. was also disappointed. She has a body to kill for but on stage I wondered if she was trying to hard to fit into the past. Yes, the jacket looked good today and so did I. :-)

  19. Well, I guess if you’re one of those people who thinks you’re too old for a colour, then you are.

    But I know you’re not!! Go for it! This time of year my wardrobe is all about black…it’s awful, I admit. But I do have a couple of pink scarves that go so well with black and serve to remind me spring is around the corner!
    Thinking pink, here!

    I could totally picture that woman on the train … and her whispering back at you? Perfect!

    • Astra – I mostly do what I want and wear what I want within reason. I was taken by the woman on the train as the pink issue was on my mind and she was wearing pink. I wear a lot of black as well. It’s just easier.

  20. —What a great story :)

    I see that stylish woman……Her white & pink peony silk scarves billowing behind her.

    How lovely. What kind of perfume was she wearing? I imagine Chanel No 5…

    Brenda, you are an Artist….You can Definitely wear PINK ;))) You can wear anything you wish.

    Xxx Love Love.

  21. Brenda, I’m all for pink. I’m way older than you and I still wear it. In fact, I love wearing orange and pink together. Wow-za! Pink knows no age limit.

    • Monica, I didn’t say I was 39, only that I was holding there… I can’t wear orange, but I love the color. It’s fabulously warm and sexy.

  22. BRENDA! You know my answer! I hope you one, either went home at lunch and changed into it, or two, you wore it the next day! That pink jacket of yours needs you as much as you need it! And all of us spirit-folk out here, we need you wearing it, too!:) Love you, sweet soul.

    • Brynne, sweetness.. I didn’t go home and change, but I wore the jacket the next day. I do love my pink. And I’ve missed you. I confess to being a tad busy and overwhelmed with the final edits, writing query letters, and all that not fun stuff that comes after a novel. I am ever behind reading and commenting because the writing is ahead of everything.

      • angel…no expectations…my computer died and I have been out of commission myself…and I too…am behind on my novel editing. No requirement on our friendship. I am always out there, here for you, no matter if we connect once or twenty times a year. p.s. I think I will be in Seattle from April to Oct….still not a sure thing…not (really) publicizing it yet…but I already smile imagining you so near:)

  23. No, no, and still no. There are shades of pink. I’m not fond of eye-blinding pink, but I do like the subtle dusky pink. Wear whichever shade you like, make yourself happier. Colours are in our world for a reason.

    On another topic, I realized what your song of the week is. I have that Kasey Chambers album! (Gosh, we do share a similar taste in music, don’t we? :) ) And I think some time ago, it was a Katie Melua song. I haven’t got any of her albums yet, but I’ve heard one of her heartbreaking ones (can’t remember the title) that goes like this:

    Sweet darling, you worry too much.
    My child sees sadness in your eyes … (something like this)

  24. Definitely! Go with the pink! Or, whatever color suits you and that you love. I’m in my 50s and I adore wearing pink. And, don’t plan to stop! :)
    Great reflection, Brenda!

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