Even when we did start, it was sort of haphazard at first.In 1918, a trade publication stated that it was pink that was appropriate for boys, as it was a stronger, bolder color.
Stores in New York City, Boston and Chicago all suggested pink for boys, and we all know that big cities set the trends for the rest of the country.
By the 1940s and the end of World War II, the gender divide (along with gender-specific clothing styles and colors) was firmly entrenched in the public consciousness.
Figuring out why we've fallen into the restrictive idea that blue is for boys and pink is for girls means taking a look at what came before pink and blue became the norm. Paoletti is a professor at the University of Maryland, where she focuses on the clothing and textile industry along with the history of fashion and its role in American pop culture.
She's also the author of a book called , and she's done a ton of work on this topic.
The pastel tones of blue were better for girls, they said.
Other contemporary publications suggested that colors should be decided on not based on a baby's gender, but on their hair or eye color.By 1947, fashion designers like Christian Dior were advertising the clothing of the postwar ideal. And it makes a tremendous amount of heartbreaking sense.The country (and the world) was ready for a bit of normalcy after looking into a bottomless abyss of horrible, and they were ready for quite a bit of idealism, too.It's not surprising that we latched onto the symbolism of a return to the normal gender roles.According to Paoletti, the women's liberation movement that kick-started the social change of the 1960s put a temporary end to the dominance of gender-specific colors.She started with looking at what families did before pink and blue were even a thing, and found that for centuries it was completely gender-neutral clothing that was in favor.