From Ralph Lauren polos to English Laundry houndstooth button-downs to Lacoste cable knit sweaters, men have embraced pink as a fashion-forward hue for both professional and personal wear. However, the color trend has shifted recently as men get bolder in sporting pink accessories, such as ties, bags, socks and sneakers.
The movement is reflected in the promotional industry; certainly pink garments for men are widely available as promotional pieces, but industry suppliers now also offer accessories in related shades to meet client requests. Bruce Everakes, president of Wolfmark, says his company offers pink ties, bowties and cummerbunds for formal events, which Everakes says are "our primary wearables for men, so they've certainly been steady and consistent sellers." Wolfmark also carries neckwear styles for both men and women, including infinity scarves, featuring a tone-on-tone ribbon pattern for breast cancer awareness.
While pink is still most often used around October to promote breast cancer awareness, demand has expanded into year-round requests from sports teams, gyms and fitness centers, says Charles Badgett, president of Sports Solutions Inc. Previously, his company carried just one shade of pink; now, since demand has widened, they offer three additional variations.
Badgett credits this subtle trend in part to the NFL's efforts to bring awareness to breast cancer. "Years ago, men just didn't wear pink," he explains. "Now, you see many of the NFL players accessorizing in pink during October, and this has been fully embraced by the league. These efforts have definitely changed men's perception of pink."