Fashion

Shop The Trend: Barbie Pink

Elle Woods famously declared, “Whoever said orange was the new pink was seriously disturbed.” Well, we’ve got good news for the “Legally Blonde” protagonist: Pink is all the rage right now.

And in keeping with Elle Woods’ signature outfits, this moment seems to be all about bold, bright hues. Unlike the more pastel “millennial pink” that has dominated fashion and decor in recent years, the 2021 pink trend is more in the hot pink universe.

Runways, red carpets and city streets are littered with a shade of magenta many refer to as “Barbie pink” in reference to the doll brand’s signature color. Celebrities including Jennifer Coolidge, J.Lo and Raye have all sported vibrant pinks in public appearances of late.

Celebrities have sported bright pink on red carpets, runways and city streets. 

But, of course, like other trends, this pink fad is hardly new to our times, even if the hue feels a bit more fresh.

Pantone chose “fucshia rose” as its “Color of the Year” for 2001 ― incidentally the same year “Legally Blonde” premiered and gave us a slew of pink ensembles for inspiration. Half a century earlier, Marilyn Monroe sported a pink dress in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” that’s so iconic it has its own Wikipedia page. And Italian fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli is often credited with popularizing “shocking pink” in the 1930s.

As these examples underscore, the color pink is associated with women and femininity (a connection further strengthened by the popularity of “gender reveals”). It’s worth noting, however, that the opposite used to be true, as pink was recommended for boys in the early 20th century.

In recent years, there have been even more efforts to dismantle this binary and reimagine pink. Spike Lee wore a vibrant pink Louis Vuitton suit during the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, and Harry Styles wore a hot pink Gucci shirt for his “Fine Line” album cover art.

Spike Lee at the "Annette" screening and opening ceremony during the 74th annual Cannes Film Festival on July 6.
Spike Lee at the “Annette” screening and opening ceremony during the 74th annual Cannes Film Festival on July 6.

And as The New York Times wrote, Argent’s hot pink suit for women, which trended around the time of the 2020 election, embodied the “reclamation of pink as a power color.”

There are endless ways to rock this power color in 2021 (on Wednesdays or any day at all). You can go bold with an all-pink monochrome look, like a pantsuit, matched skirt set or even a jacket and shorts.

Or you can keep it more subtle with hot pink accessories against a more neutral ensemble in black or pink. And for those looking to be truly extra and bring more brightness to these dark times, you could even mix hot pinks with other bold colors, like lime green or turquoise. Check out this street style for a little inspiration.

There are many ways to sport this bright pink trend -- from pantsuits to shorts to full monochrome looks. 
There are many ways to sport this bright pink trend — from pantsuits to shorts to full monochrome looks. 

However you decide to wear this color, just be true to your personal sense of style and you can’t go wrong. If you’re looking to try out the bright pink trend, we’ve rounded up some fun options below.

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