What maketh a confident man? Wearing pink. Historically speaking, pink has been the center of many-a-conversations when it comes to men wearing it. Remember how Ross in F.R.I.E.N.D.S refused to acknowledge that his shirt is pink, and called it salmon instead? Twenty years later, new-age men are redefining masculinity to embrace Barbie pink, hot pink, or fuchsia — call it what you want.

Hot pink is now one of the hottest colours to wear, no matter your gender expression. From preppy polo shirts to full suits, it’s everywhere. With Harry Styles posing on his album cover in a silk satin hot pink blouse to Machine Gun Kelly wearing a monochrome look, to Timothée Chalamet posing in the same pink pants for Instagram, the shade has travelled around, and made its way into the fashion world. Justin Bieber and Ranveer Singh are no strangers to hot pink. From jumpers and jackets to sweatpants, the duo has had one too many pink style moments. For Spring/Summer 2022, the labels hosted the shade through a variety of styles. At Fendi, Casablanca and Louis Vuitton, colour-bleed rainbow patterns could be found on oversized T-shirts, hooded safari jackets and mesh jackets. Inspired by the Italian summer, Moschino and Etro saw the shade combined with other lighter colours.

Designer Nachiket Barve thinks that this colour will be huge in the coming months given that brighter shades are taking over as the pandemic shows signs of slowing down. “I think hot pink is an exciting colour. It is bold, passionate, and positive. I think after the pandemic, people are feeling optimistic and we are going to see a triumphant return of brighter colours as signified joy. Colour is the most important and defining element of any outfit or look — a shocking pink shade conveys great confidence. It depicts a sense of owning the look as well as taking the charge of your whole persona.”

It’s a colour that can be loud, and dominate an outfit. Assessing where the shade lies along the range of tones is important if you plan to coordinate with a second pink, or even with other colours. For example, some variants may look better with particular blues while others may make the blue look more purple. Designer Jenjum Gadi explains, “Hot pink goes very well with white and blue pastel shades. It neutralises the hot pink colour and gives it a soft and romantic feel. Hot pink is a kind of flamboyant colour for men, so you can tone it down by pairing them with very safe colours like beige, brown like safari shades.”

Speaking of the shade in traditional Indian wear, designer Kunal Anil Tanna thinks, “Hot pink is one of the most vibrant auspicious colours to depict Indian festivities. It’s very vividly adorned by women, but we have seen a lot of men willing to experiment with it as well with solid colour blocking or traditional jacquards, pink is popping in several men’s silhouettes. The relatively more conservative men have also joined the bandwagon, with minimal hints of the flaring hue in details.”

If you are someone who loves colour, flamboyance and being the centre of attraction in the room, a head-to-toe hot pink works amazing. You can mix it with purple, corals, and crimson and for a toned-down look, you can pair with greys, blush, and nude pink. It’s all about the proportion and the fabric. It is a strong colour, so if you are someone who is a maximalist, you can go bold and mix it with multi-colour accents in your bags and shoes. For example, turquoise and hot pink go really well together,” opines Barve.

When it comes to accessories, pink is the unsung hero. For starters, a hot pink patterned pocket square, when woven into a suit, adds a pop of colour. Similarly, ties in the colour are a timeless investment piece. Go for interesting weaves like knits and subtle patterning to ensure that you can wear it across seasons, and pair it with multiple outfits. Slides, bucket hats, fanny bags, tinted sunglasses, are some of the other add-ons you can include.

So, go ahead, try out the hottest colour of the season.