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Pink and Red…a love-hate-love relationship with colors.

by Cheryl Fork

An Intellectual Style Newsletter, with tips for living your best (real) life.


In this issue of Soap AF, I’m reflecting on how my relationship with color continues to evolve- with an emphasis on red and pink in anticipation of V-day, and some related fashion discoveries.

Dear Reader,

Nurturing my curiosity, and seeing myself as a lifelong learner, has become more and more important to me as I’ve grown further into adulthood. As SOAP AS FASHION is “an intellectual style newsletter”, I may attempt to reflect on this in a more “intellectual” way another time, but today I am leaning into the “style” aspect and exploring how keeping an open mind more specifically applies to my personal sense of style- and even more specifically to my relationship with different colors.

I no longer really have any set fashion rules*. Invariably, and maybe especially, in fashion, once you start ruling something out, it becomes de rigueur the next season. “No white after Labor Day” becomes the “winter-white” trend. “Sneakers are only for the gym” has morphed into the highest-end fashion houses getting in on (or leading the charge for?) the current “sneakers are for every occasion” trend that has been happening the last few years. I mean how good are these fishnet ones that are already sold out everywhere, or these with their signature beading in the front. And of course both these and these by Loewe (pronounced LO-WAY-VAY, thank you very much), the latter of which one of my chicest (and closest) friends bought last year and even more impressively had the audacity to wear them out on the streets of New York when it was raining outside (!) These are the epitome of quiet luxury- which is another trend they** are trying to move on from now but in reality will obviously always be chic. For most of the current century high-waisted jeans were thought of as unflattering and “out”, until around 2017 or so when they slowly started to make a comeback, eventually becoming the dominant style. And now it’s 2024 and online media outlets (presumably out of desperation for new headlines) are declaring them in and out (swapping with lower rises) so frequently, one can only conclude that they are in fact a classic style that will pretty much always be “in” if worn correctly. (And as long as they fit correctly, and especially if they are particularly flattering on your specific body type).

All of this means that I no longer have set rules about my color choices either. With that said, I do mostly gravitate to a neutral palette (even my wedding theme colors were black & white), but I also don’t shy away from color, when my mood or occasion calls for it. Besides neutrals, I will go in and out with my interest in most colors. Metallics come and go. I’ve maintained a pretty constant appreciation for bright colors…hot coral (basically the color of watermelon, ahem). Bright Yves Klein blue***. All of the gorgeous bright greens in one of my favorite movies of all time. Bright yellows. The occasional orange or purple are more rare, but they still make it into my rotation. And OF COURSE RED…the color of love…power…danger…sex…luxury. Pops of red have been front and center since last fall and still look fresh****. The main exception for me has been a color that I have historically avoided…bright pink.

Which brings me to my more recent evolution with pink. While most people who know me would probably say I’m quite feminine, I’ve never identified with being a “girly-girl” ala Elle Woods in Legally Blonde or similar. I have always been in love with women and being a girl and a woman in general, but I naturally gravitate towards more understated, classic style with a bit of an androgenous edge ala Sofia Coppola, Carolynne Bessette, 90s Gwyneth Paltrow, etc (I know, double eyeroll). And maybe therefore, the most girly-girl color of all, PINK, has barely called out to me since I was legitimately a child. I remember it being one of my favorite colors in 2nd grade. But probably since then, and up until about 2 years ago, I had almost nothing in my closet that was actually pink (the closest thing would be the hot orangey-pink coral color mentioned earlier). But that weirdly all changed…

When I had my daughter. For some reason this unleashed in me some sort of primal desire for…PINK! Pink-themed baby shower! Pink baby clothes! Plush pink blankets and pink toys! Bold floral wallpaper in her nursery with pink being the dominant color! I haven’t yet really analyzed why that happened, but it was undoubtedly real. And then subsequently there was the outsized impact of all things Barbie last summer. Like osmosis, these different influences ended up permeating into what I was choosing to wear. Head-to-toe florals, pink-and-white-striped over-sized button-down shirts with white cutoffs, pink floral Hillhouse nap dresses, and a maxi-dress in bright Barbie pink. I have worn more pink in the last 2 years than I probably had in the previous 20.

So because I have rekindled my long-dormant love for pink, along with my long-standing appreciation for red (and because it’s still having a moment RN)- along with the fact that it happens to be Valentine’s Day very soon (a fun excuse to dress up at the very least), I put together a list of a few really good things I found recently in RED and PINK:

1. Classic cashmere sweater, with custom sweetheart stitching, in RED. The perfect Valentine’s Day sweater! Would be charming any time during fall/winter months, and any time you need a little pick-me-up. I could def see it styled as a pop of color around your shoulders or waist as well, into the spring. And you could wear it every year on V-day :) LF also has options to get it without stitching, or customize your own phrase. If you’re looking for something at a lower price point, I also wanted to share this crazy-reasonably-priced, high-quality cashmere sweater by this cool brand I’ve been following for a while and don’t remember how I first learned about them. I just recently discovered this particular cashmere crew. Annoyingly, as of this email send, many of the sizes of the red options are already sold out, but there still are some left. And the hot pink one is still mostly in stock! Not to mention all of the neutral colors- I could see buying several of these and having them forever. And jfyi: red sweaters are largely sold out most places right now (driven by the red trend but also with recent help from a certain pop star), so the Lingua Franca one is a find! I also just found this one by La Ligne***** that must have literally dropped today.

2. Classic ballet flats in RED. Ballet flats are having a moment. A comfortable-enough alternative to wearing sneakers everywhere, ballet flats are also having a major resurgence right now (though again, they are a classic that never really goes out of style if they fit your particular aesthetic). This pair is extremely affordable (and even on sale!), available in red satin and silver leather (which are both very of-the-moment but also classic enough that you could have them for a long time), as well as classic black in both satin and leather. Steve Madden isn’t a brand I normally consider buying, but somehow these came into my orbit and they have the most perfect shape!!! And they cost less than going to the grocery store!!! Lol. I have multiple pairs of black ballet flats in my closet from years’ past, including a pair of black satin Alaïas that are still in excellent shape, but I couldn’t resist this SM pair in black leather because I love the shape so much and I won’t have to be as precious with them (esp with toddler in tow). I also love these and these in different shades of pink that are very on sale (and so are the same Jimmy Choo ones in black if you’re lucky enough to see your size still in stock)!

3. This chic lounge sweater and pant set in RED. A sweatsuit but better. I am still leaning into comfort most days and this set looks so much more polished than a regular sweatsuit. I also love the black version. I’ve had good experiences with Mango and love that their clothes are often lengthy enough for tall people (me).

4. The most classic tote bag in PINK and RED. Still voted one of the best tote bags by fashion insiders and chic moms everywhere. Of course my favorite color option is still the white one…but these are so affordable you can get one in several colors, and also monogram them. There is also a zip-top version if you want more privacy. The pink one would be so cute for my daughter when she gets a bit older :)

5. Clean luxury bubble bath. The bottle is so pretty you’ll want it on display. Not pink or red per se, but maybe your idea of a perfect V-day is soaking in the tub with luxurious bubbles, with a glass of bubbly and a good book. Treat yourself!

Simple. Clean******. Chic.

That wraps it up for this issue. I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day.

Xoxo, Cher

Taylor Swift in red sweater.jpg__PID:13a23332-cb21-450b-88cd-7fa34b8afa41

*Except maybe in terms of grooming? Please no chipped nail polish if you can help it.

 **Mostly people on TikTok.

***My artist friend gave me this children’s book as part of a baby shower gift, and it’s one of my daughter’s favorites :)

****A quote from Leandra’s most recent newsletter that I tend to agree with (she’s talking about red): “…I’m realizing now that to put it in these terms kind of dismisses the way the trend cycle works these days. Trends don’t really die and get replaced by new ones anymore so much as they do develop this buildable quality. What I mean is, they stick around and get stacked on. New variables enter their ether and this gives them a freshness that extends their lifespan.”

*****I met one of the co-founders of this brand at a small event last year and she was lovely.

******Clean-ish? F&M bubble bath is clean for sure. Some of the fashion items are “cleaner” than others (a topic for another time). At least if we’re buying with the intention of keeping things for a longer amount of time it’s a step in the right direction…

^Image credit to Vogue Magazine/Instagram.

Please note, any products I share are things I actually use and/or are genuine recommendations of mine. I may earn some money if you purchase through one of the links above. If you enjoy this newsletter and decide to purchase one of the items- using my links helps to support the continuation of this newsletter at no cost to you, so please use them! :)

If you ever want to see all my picks in one place, click here.

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