Color

3 Tips to Wear Pink and Blue

Without Looking Juvenile!

Happy day, reader dear!

I pray your day is bright and breezy. Ours here have been grey, hot and sticky. But I’m hoping for some sunshine this week. If nothing else, I’ve got sunshine in my closet!

They say writers write the book they need to read. I certainly don’t think of myself as a writer (in the literary sense), but sometimes I blog what I need to read… Hence today’s post!

The other evening I stood in front of my open closet (Overtired = Not a good time to make decisions!) trying to hang up my ensemble (I am running with that word!) for the next day. Yes, I’m that nerd. I check my calendar and the weather–and hang up an outfit for the next day. I can always change my mind in the morning, but usually inertia wins and I wear what’s there. It’s easy and I don’t have to think about it! So what was my problem that evening? (Besides overtired?) Well, it was my capsule. I have a LOT of pink and blue in my closet, and everything was feeling too cute for an adult female. Or too old… You know, like in the ads for polyester pants, the pastel ones? Not my vibe!

You might call that a capsule fail, but it was a brain fail. The next morning, my (refreshed) brain was coming up with all sorts of outfits that worked. It was time to connect the dots and ask myself why these would work but the others felt too cute. Well, it came down to Value Contrast (and accessories). Because both dramatically change the feeling of an outfit!

What did I find? To keep the look from saccharine:

Look for Crisp Lines

Mid to light pink and light blue are often thought of as children’s colors, with the exception of men’s dress shirts. So what’s a woman to do when those colors rock her world and she still wants to look like an adult BUT not old-lady? Let’s take a lesson from the boys… Crisp lines and tailoring are our friends! (One of these days I will find my pink power suit.) In the meantime, these tailored trousers with the crisp crease down the front kept my combination from feeling to soft and sweet. That and…

Add(ing) Edgy Accessories

There is more than one way to do this! Think bundles! Beauty bundles! You can choose light, like I did from my mod beauty bundle

Or you can go dark…

White and black aren’t your only options! Dove grey and ivory work for light. Navy, charcoal, or even deep eggplant could be your dark! Both these outfits have a top and bottom of similar value, which is the reason I chose to add light and dark accessories to finish them off. That addition of light or dark helps…

Up the Value Contrast

Wearing light pink and light blue together are a sure recipe for a juvenile look. Especially if, like me, you are 5’3″ first thing in the morning when your spine is stretched loooooong after a good night’s sleep. AKA: Altitudinally Challenged. One way to lose the baby vibe is by upping the Value Contrast. Raise the contrast by wearing light with dark OR light with bright. (Or dark with bright!)

No, the pink shorts aren’t bright on their own, but that’s the thing about contrast… Contrast is relative. The pink looks brighter next to the soft blue blouse. The same effect occurs with the pleated skirt. It’s not nearly as dark as it appears here! It’s more blueberry than navy, but the contrast with the pale blush top makes the skirt look darker than it is.

Caveat: Because my coloring is 2N+1C, I do not normally wear multiple colors in an outfit. I usually pair one color with neutrals or wear color monochromatically. (Shades of one color: e.g. pink and red.) In the case of these two tops, they are so light in color that their blue or pink-ness is lost to the other color and they almost read neutral. Paired with another pale or matched with their own hue, their color would be more obvious.

How About You?

Are there color combinations you avoid because they make you feel juvenile? Or super-aged? Do you find yourself taking out pieces and putting them back because they don’t play well with others? It might be the impression those colors give you when paired… Have a poke about in your closet and let me know! I love to hear from you…

Stylishly yours,

14 Comments

  • KaththeeT

    It has been a couple of years since this was published, but today/tonight I wore pink and blue together to go to an early dinner in the city. The combo was a lot like the 2016 colors of the year rose pink and serenity blue(a little deeper and cooler). My jeans were high rise baggy pink Good American and a BA&SH cardigan in a mottled blue yarn over a black fitted Anne Fontaine blouse. I wore leopard print pony hair boots with a mid- heel, vintage rhinestone brooch in green and clear on the sweater- festive touch for Christmas. I wore a twilly type scarf around my neck to bring the colors together. I felt beautiful. Thank you for the pointers and permission to wear pink and blue together. I felt like the black blouse really kept it from looking too juvenile or sweet and the boots helped too. I too have a lot of blue and pink in my wardrobe. They are my favorite colors but I rarely wear them together. I source most of my clothes on the secondary market- only my cardigan and boots were retail.

    • Liz K

      Sounds like a fun combination, Kathy! Especially the touch with the boots and black blouse. Sounds like you’re a bit of a style maximalist; is that a holiday thing, or all year long? I’d love to see your outfit! Did you post wearing it anywhere on social?

  • Lydia

    Good tips! Pink and blue can be a dangerous combination… my favorite sweater is a pink wrap sweater that I once wore over a pretty tame blue dress, but once I tied the belt over the sweater the effect was positively sugary. I felt like an eight year old!! Note to self, no big bows!

    • Liz K

      Ooooh! I can just imagine that pink + blue + bow being an overdose! Glad to help. Thank you for visiting, and commenting, Lydia!

  • Lise

    Liz I actually like high contrast outfits. What should it try pairing them with? No they are not borderline neon, just little girl real candy pink.

  • Sally in St Paul

    Great tips, Liz. I would have thought that I wear blue and pink together all the time…but apparently that’s not really true (looking back at OOTD photos). And it’s especially not true of lighter blues and pinks…which DEFINITELY has a “gender reveal party” association for me (remember Pantone’s rose quartz and serenity colors of the year a while back? All I could think about seeing it was a gender reveal party!). I use the “add value contrast” approach quite a lot, pairing lighter pink with dark denim and navy.

    • Liz K

      LOL, Sally! I just don’t get the whole gender-reveal party thing… Apparently not finding out is the radical thing to do now, and I’m good with that! Why ruin one of the last surprises left in life? To decorate a room? Or buy a stroller? Really? I’m too flipping practical. OOTD photos are revealing! It’s amazing how what we think we wear and what we do wear can be so very different in our head. Data. Give me data!

  • Lise

    Hi Liz, I do have this issue with a pair of pink skinnies. They are not light pink, but bright pink. If they were not such a great fit and so comfortable I would donate them. I really struggle with what to wear with them. Optic white works the best, and then I am stuck. I think I have just realised that they are actually the high contrast item because I do not like them with other high contrast colours. Hhhmm, what do you think? I cannot think of a color name to describe them correctly but they are very pink (not cerise), just real bright pink!

    • Liz K

      If you are drawn to lower Value Contrast looks, that may be why you struggle with your bright pink skinnies! (Do they border on neon?) It seems counter intuitive, but since contrast comes from the difference in value, you might like them more paired with a shirt in a similar shade of pink! That would create less Value Contrast and a column of color. If that much bright bothers you, maybe it’s time to bleach or overdye your skinnies. Bleaching might soften the pink to something you find easier to combine, or overdyeing with a grey dye will certainly tame the color.

      • Lise

        Maybe it is Bubblegum pink… Even though I usually like high contrast outfits I don’t like this pink with black or navy. Not keen to dye them either. Maybe a mocha brown? Or green?

        • Liz K

          Both brown and green would be great options, Lise! Green is opposite red (Which is what pink is!) on the color wheel, so that will give you great contrast. Brown won’t give you the same contrast, but I think the pink, brown and white together would look amazing!

  • Leslie Susan Clingan

    Great tip about the value contrast. I am fast becoming Altitudinally Challenged – measured yesterday and have lost about a .5″ lately. Ugh. I can see where a light pink and light blue would ‘read’ childlike or baby shower!! Love the light pink blouse with the jeans. Heading off to look for a pink blouse in my closet and in search of a white shirt dress like you featured recently, too.

    • Liz K

      Perfect for baby shower! I never thought of that! And I have children in their reproductive phase… How could I not see that one? Thank you. I’m sorry you’re shrinking. It seems to happen to all of us. Hope to see your OOTD’s!

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