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Can a man with a very unremarkable sense of style get away with having a (not-too hot) pink mobile?
March 15, 2012 11:58 AM   Subscribe

Can I, a man whose clothes comes from Marks & Spencer (US: think JC Penney), get away with having a pink mobile phone?

I, apparently, am more vane than I think I am. I want a new mobile, and the model that I like is the Samsung Galaxy SII. Trouble is, I think it looks terribly dull in black or white, and I really don't like phone cases. Luckily, it does come in pink, which is described as coral pink. And I really like the look of it. I just want to know if it fits my style.

My style is staid and male. I'm 34, I wear moleskin trousers and Oxford shirts to work, and on the weekends, polo shirts. Normally covered with a plain merino crew neck jumper. I have short brown hair, centre parted. I'll feel dull if I buy the black or white phone, but don't want to feel embarrassed by the pink one if I get it.

Persuade me to fit the pink into my staid identity. Or tell me it'll look like I'm using my girlfriend's phone. Preferably the persuasion, though.
posted by ambrosen to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (57 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
You can do anything you want. Realizing this is what allows people to "get away" with things.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:02 PM on March 15, 2012 [65 favorites]


What Ironmouth said. You pull things off by doing them.
posted by AaRdVarK at 12:03 PM on March 15, 2012


Be yourself. Do what makes you happy. Rock it.

Fashion is what happens when you stop caring what others think, and start dressing to make *yourself* feel good.
posted by jpeacock at 12:03 PM on March 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Pink is awesome. Go for it.
posted by gyusan at 12:04 PM on March 15, 2012


Do what you want, but realize that the general population is going to object to a pink phone mostly because it is hideous, not because it's an odd choice for a man.
posted by Patbon at 12:04 PM on March 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Think pink! If I saw you, mr. Staid, walking around with a pink phone I'd instantly feel that you were cool.
posted by BlahLaLa at 12:09 PM on March 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh, definitely. That isn't even a hot neon pink, fer chrissakes. I wouldn't carry that phone myself, but Ironmouth has the right of it - you can "get away with" damn-near anything, if you own the look and feel comfortable with it. That pink is no weirder than, say, wearing a pink tie. And this is 2012; that's not just acceptable, it's cliche.

Yes, some people will think it's stupid. So what? I'm a firm believer that nothing can be loved that cannot be hated. The pink makes a statement. Some people will think it's a stupid one. That is balanced out by the fact that others will think it's very awesome and those people include you, who gets a kind of outsized vote on these matters.
posted by Tomorrowful at 12:10 PM on March 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


My husband has a pink DS, he is very nerdy and staid dressing. No one has every said anything to him about it. I say get it if you want it and if you do find yourself embarrassed by the phone buy a case for it. I'd just tell everyone you got it as it's easier to find, it sure won't blend into the background like a black or white one.
posted by wwax at 12:10 PM on March 15, 2012


I am a dude who wears pink shoes. I get hassled for them occasionally, but happily ignore those people (and get more compliments than complaints). Getting in trouble is a made up idea. Go for it.
posted by dismas at 12:11 PM on March 15, 2012


Little disposable electronic devices are NOT part of your identity. There is nothing to integrate. You have our permission to like and dislike whatever colors you want.
posted by fritley at 12:11 PM on March 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Just realized there was a link and had a look. I'd call that more an orangy red than pink, don't worry about it.
posted by wwax at 12:11 PM on March 15, 2012


The pink phone sounds baller, and will probably increase your cool points by 100000 in the eyes of random passers-by who might judge you based on your phone. What stands out to me in your post is the center part. I think a side part might go better with a rad phone such as the one you describe, non?
posted by athenadanae at 12:13 PM on March 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you want it in pink, then go for it! It would be a real shame to stop yourself doing something you want in case some hypothetical people might think you can't 'get away with it'.

And if you do buy it, then don't apologise for it or make self-deprecating jokes about it being your girlfriend's phone or whatever. Confidence is how people 'get away' with things. Be proud of your awesome pink phone! (I have an SII. It's great.)


Do what you want, but realize that the general population is going to object to a pink phone mostly because it is hideous, not because it's an odd choice for a man.

I don't think it's hideous at all. From the pic, it looks like a really pleasant shade.
posted by badmoonrising at 12:13 PM on March 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Some people will think it looks feminine. Of that group, some will think that's a bad thing, some will think it's a good thing, and some will not give a shit.

I can't guarantee that no one will give you crap for having a pink phone, but having said that, I think you should do it. You think it looks good, you want it, go for it.

Does it fit your style? Not from what you describe, unless the polo shirts are also pink, but listen: No phone will fit your style because the range is black, white, and pink; not black, white, pink, and khaki. So go with the one you like.

If you would like a source to back up the claim that it will work with your normally staid fashion sense, you need only consider the sage (and entirely correct) words of Nathan Lane in The Birdcage, when quizzed upon his entirely conservative suit and tie, and pink socks:

"Well, one does want a hint of color."
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 12:13 PM on March 15, 2012 [14 favorites]


I am very much opposed to trendy "colours" in electronics, you are free to do whatever you want but to me pink phones look uniformly horrible, equally so for women as for men - even if you are not embarrassed by it, I will be on your behalf.

If you want to add pink to your wardrobe I would go try some pink oxford shirts, which can look great.

If you are totally opposed to a phone in plain black, then you can get any number of hideous decals that you can stick onto the phone without having to buy a case to give it some "colour". These have the advantage that they will both protect the phone from scratches and when you develop a sense of taste and realise that they are horrible they can be removed.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 12:13 PM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Piffle. That phone isn't PINK PINK PINK PINK pink, it's pink. If you accessorized it with a Hello Kitty charm or something, I might think "H'm, this gentleman's style choices are somewhat inconsistent" but that is an easy-on-the-eyes pink that doesn't make an I'M PINK! statement.

Not that it would be wrong to make an I'M PINK! statement if that's what you wanted, of course.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:14 PM on March 15, 2012


I was just thinking about this sort of thing today!

The only justifications for style are necessity and pleasure. All other forms of snobbery, judgement, etc, are just playing into the bullshit of capitalism - pretending that it "means something" to say that black is manly and pink is effeminate, when both of those things are so radically culturally and historically contingent as to have no truth value. When you get snobby/judgey, all you're doing is committing to using clothes and styles as a way to cement the stupid, oppressive hierarchies of capital. "I have a WASPy wardrobe because it is tasteful and timeless; he has baggy jeans and Adidas because he is trashy and lower class and a slave to impulse." And when you get snobby and judgey, you're inevitably lying. This year you have brogues because they are timeless and gentlemanly, but in 2015 you'll have something else and you'll be asserting that that is timeless and gentlemanly.

So anyway, if you like a coral pink phone and you need a phone, go right ahead.

Or think of it another way - by using a "girlie" phone, you're destabilizing all that bullshit about gendering random bits of plastic. "That's a man's suit, you hussy!" "Not when I'm wearing it, it isn't!"

On a personal level, I feel that a very staid and preppy style works very well with one or two personal, stylistically divergent items. It is for this reason that you will inevitably find me in a button-front shirt, some variant on chinos, and brogues or loafers while still wearing the gauged ear jewelry that dates from the last of my youth.
posted by Frowner at 12:15 PM on March 15, 2012 [10 favorites]


They will probably think it's your daughter's or wife's phone.

Honestly it looks like a muted light red color, so go for it!
posted by royalsong at 12:20 PM on March 15, 2012


I personally think that it'll look like your using your girlfriend's phone. But, if you're in a solid relationship with someone, happy and are not looking for someone else, go for it.
posted by WestChester22 at 12:23 PM on March 15, 2012


I'd probably just assume that you got a very good deal on it. But hey, if you like it, rock on.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:29 PM on March 15, 2012


Thanks all. It's a landslide for the What Do You Care What Other People Think? school of thought, which is very much where I want to be going. Start on the outside, and hopefully it'll go to the inside before too long.
posted by ambrosen at 12:29 PM on March 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Until a few days ago I was rocking a hot-pink beard, and nobody gave me any crap about it. Just be relaxed about it and the vast majority of people won't even care. If you like it, you should do it.
posted by Scientist at 12:31 PM on March 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


Hell, yeah. You will thoroughly rock the pink phone. All the associations with pink are horseshit anyway. Think how subversive you're being.

As a person with somewhat extreme personal style (think punk rock woman of a certain age) and tons of tattoos and wild hair that gets me attention all the time, I think you might get more looks from the fly-ass girlies, should that be your desire. If not, or if you're in a committed monogamous relationship, I still think a fella with a pink phone will get noticed.

I'm in the US, for what it's worth. If you were a high school boy in my area, I'd advise against it because - well, bullies. But you're not, so do it with my blessing and good for you.
posted by S'Tella Fabula at 12:33 PM on March 15, 2012


IMO far too many people think phones are a fashion accessory so I see why you ask, but like most others say - get it if you want it.

Fwiw, I think it's a pretty cool phone and you'd get cool points from me for not getting the trendy one.
posted by just sayin at 12:45 PM on March 15, 2012


In the past pink was nothing more than light red. Baby boys and girls were dressed in both colors. It's only recently that our culture has assigned pink to girls and blue to boys. If it makes you feel better, you're just giving a nod to your great-grandpa who probably wore pink dresses until he was potty trained.
posted by TooFewShoes at 12:52 PM on March 15, 2012


Pink phone, no biggie. The only part of your post that raised any eyebrows from me is the mention of a centre-part....
posted by Katine at 1:10 PM on March 15, 2012


Meh... I've had pinker.
posted by baniak at 1:20 PM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have a coral Blackberry case, the only mention of the color came from my 13 year old daughter. Coral is cool, dude!
posted by cgk at 1:22 PM on March 15, 2012


Katine, it's barely noticeable on account of the fluffiness of my hair.
posted by ambrosen at 1:27 PM on March 15, 2012


Ha. Good fluff. Coupled with the rest of your description, I was definitely picturing this.
posted by Katine at 1:32 PM on March 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


My mother gave me a loud zebra print wallet for my birthday. Most of my friends gave me friendly crap about it, and I did get some comments and raised eyebrows from the occasional rare counter person, but I thought it was more humorous than anything else.

If what I'm doing isn't harming myself or anyone else by proxy, it's totally fine. End of story.

That, and I'm pretty sure comments or no comments, a person isn't going to be thinking about me, my wallet or my phone 2 seconds after I put it away or leave, unless I put up an indignant stink and get really defensive about it.
posted by Debaser626 at 2:02 PM on March 15, 2012


If it doesn't work out -- e.g., because you get tired of it -- you can always slap it in a case. Problem solved.

P.S. Pink is fine with me. The idea that anyone "rocks" a mobile phone comes closer to turning my stomach.

P.P.S. Is Marks & Spencer really like J.C. Penney? I thought it was more upmarket.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 2:08 PM on March 15, 2012


I'd judge you more for the polo shirts than the pink phone, frankly. Having a pink phone would make you seem more confident and cool.
posted by chowflap at 2:12 PM on March 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Clyde, probably I'm wrong about J.C. Penney, but Marks and Spencer's in every town centre (over c.100,000 people). When I lived in the kind of deprived town where only unmarried men bought their own clothes, I'd be the only man in the menswear department (the checkout was in the middle of the lingerie department, and there was usually at least one lingerie customers wearing a burqa, which felt awkward), and the women were buying their partners polyester shirts, viscose trousers and beige shoes. Now I'm somewhere more prosperous, it stocks far more chinos, premium jeans and nice suits. It's also considered pretty much the poshest place for food shopping short of delicatessens, too.

chowflap, polo shirts don't have the same preppy connotations in the UK that they do in the US. I'd say that unless it's pink or the collar's turned up, if you ask someone to think of what type of person wears polo shirts, they'd say swimming pool lifeguards, or McDonald's staff.
posted by ambrosen at 2:31 PM on March 15, 2012


That is actually a really subtle, classy pink, btw.
posted by Vaike at 2:35 PM on March 15, 2012


It's doable but it's way into metro land so you gotta own it.
posted by whoaali at 2:48 PM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I fell in love with a hot pink handbag. My sister-in-law made a snide comment about it while we were posing for a group photo, and I realized once and for all that it's not just in my head, she really is a bitch! So useful!
posted by HotToddy at 3:02 PM on March 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


Actually it was more of a bright coral pink.
posted by HotToddy at 3:05 PM on March 15, 2012


I see no problem with you buying that phone.
posted by limeonaire at 4:01 PM on March 15, 2012


Macy's is probably a better US equivalent for Marks and Spencer's than J. C. Penney, but the latter isn't far off.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:41 PM on March 15, 2012


You can get away with it, and I say go for it. But if I didn't know you well and saw you with the phone, I'd think, "Oh, this guy really wanted a Galaxy SII but the black ones on ebay were selling for $$$, but he could only pay $$ so he got a pink one."
posted by arnicae at 5:40 PM on March 15, 2012


Coral pink isn't like other pinks, it's a richer, deeper color. Think Florida or Mediterranean color schemes - pairs exceptionally well with turquoise. It's unusual and eye-catching, but not garish or tasteless or femmy-femme.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:37 PM on March 15, 2012


Pink is a power color. In some ways I think it would be more socially acceptable for a man to carry a pink phone than a woman. Go for it!
posted by missmerrymack at 8:21 PM on March 15, 2012


I train at an old school, working class, neighborhood (as in 'hood) boxing gym. Not every dude who works out there is tough as a brick wall, but many of them are. These are dudes who get paid money to punch other dudes in the head. They are the most masculine of masculine dudes.

And a few of these butch, manly, tough dudes, wear pink hand wraps. I love them.

You are going to look fucking fantastic with your pink phone. If I were you I'd have a reply ready for anyone who gives you shit about it, along the lines of, "It's the color of your mom's pussy." but then, you probably have better manners than me.
posted by latkes at 9:01 PM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's the 21st Century, you don't have to settle for one of the colours that the store decided to offer you and that everyone else has. You don't even have to settle on a colour at all. Find a photo, or image, or texture, a special place, or something that you love, and make it into a skin online, custom fit to your phone and mailed to you. A skin is not a case, it's a thin film, removable (and re-applicable ) and doesn't leave residue.
posted by -harlequin- at 11:42 PM on March 15, 2012


One comeback if you get hassled for it is "I chose pink to show my support for breast cancer research". Hell, you can actually use it to show your support for breast cancer research.
posted by Harald74 at 12:42 AM on March 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


1: The phone is actually not pink. It's Nantucked Red.
2: A pink phone is easier to spot on a crowded desktop etc.
3: Pink phones has (perhaps) lower risk of theft, just like cars and bikes with bright colors.
4. You support the Sicilian soccer club U. S. Palermo.
5. You support the French rugby union club Stade Fran├žais.
6: You like the Indie rock group Dutch Pink.
7. You bought the pink phone because you don't have a red stapler.
8: Pink is the new black.
posted by iviken at 2:37 AM on March 16, 2012


At the risk of quoting myself (quoting my brother):

"Nobody knows how uncool you are. Wear the thing."
posted by gauche at 5:01 AM on March 16, 2012


You sound like the kind of guy who lives somewhere where fellows wear salmon pink cords. I find it hard to think of things in terms of 'can I get away with this' because I wear bright colours a lot and I generally have bright-coloured gadgets (or I'd lose them). (And it irritates me that the only colour available other than black and white tends to be pink. I think some marketing guy somewhere thought more women would buy things in pink. Ugh.) but my OH has a similar kind of thinking when he looks at clothes. I think you'll be more aware of the PINK of the phone than anyone else will be.

Besides, as others have said, it isn't pink, it's more a coral colour. I think it's a pretty classy shade.
posted by mippy at 5:29 AM on March 16, 2012


Get it in pink!
posted by oceanjesse at 6:52 AM on March 16, 2012


Oh my goodness. Awesome. Get it. And then we need to see you pose with it. For science.
posted by fiercecupcake at 8:38 AM on March 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Probably a lot of guys would like to have more colo(u)rful accessories, but don't because they have the same hesitation that you do. So think of it in terms of the fact that you are making it easier for other men to follow their bliss. You are a vanguard! A trendsetter! A man who is secure with himself!

I would totally respect the shit out of a guy who rocked a pink phone, even more so if he were straight (because it's not as taboo for gay guys to be nonconformist).
posted by desjardins at 11:22 AM on March 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mate if you want a pink phone, you go for it.
posted by Sutekh at 4:27 PM on March 16, 2012


Yes. Get 2.
posted by JIMSMITH2000 at 2:15 PM on December 10, 2012


I'm afraid it's looking rather tatty now, but here's a couple of pictures: holding and calling.
posted by ambrosen at 3:55 PM on December 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


About 5 people have mentioned it, for the record. So not many at all.
posted by ambrosen at 3:56 PM on December 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh yeah! Looking good!
posted by HotToddy at 5:38 PM on December 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


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