About A Few Stylish Colors

During a Facebook automotive interest group discussion about a car photo, one member commented that he liked the 1957 Lincoln Premiere’s styling but hated it in the color pink. Another member wondered if “Mary Kay” decided to use Lincoln cars instead of Cadillacs in 1957. Someone else interjected that “Mary Kay” cosmetics didn’t exist until 1963. I piped in saying that pink and coral were considered to be stylish colors in the mid 1950s, so pink Lincolns and Cadillacs were high fashion status symbols in their day.

Indeed, one of my great aunts used to live in a stylish pink ranch-style home. It was located on the outskirts of town in a tiny neighborhood comprised of other ranch-style houses painted in 1950s colors. Most memorable, were the houses painted in pastel shades of sea-green, light blue, turquoise, lilac, and pink.

It was not unusual to see cars finished in light blue, medium red, pink, and coral. My paternal grandfather drove a pink Chevrolet BelAir four-door hardtop sedan. One of our next door neighbors rode around in a 1959 two-toned teal blue and white Ford Skyliner convertible. A neighbor across the alley from our house drove a Rambler painted in a color that resembled lemon meringue. In my opinion, the 1950s color palate was very adventurous and fun.

Later on, the 1960s colors were more subdued and earthy, the main cringe-worthy colors were avocado green and harvest gold. There was an over-abundance of beige and off-white. Even though popular culture was influenced by the psychedelic hippie culture, mainstream color styles lagged behind and were conservative. This earthy trend continued through the 1970s with notable flashy exceptions for appliances and polyester clothing.

The 1980s finally brightened up again with colors reminiscent of children’s candy with a touch of psychedelica. Silver, grey, and white were popular car colors. There seemed to be more radiant colors in that decade. The 1980s colors were otherwise unremarkable, in my opinion. The 1990s were pretty much a continuation of the 1980s, but more subdued. Nothing special about 1990s color schemes stands out in my memory.

The first decade of the 2000s appeared to be a conservative variation of throw-back colors of the 1960s and 1970s. Black, white, and grey were the most popular mass-market colors, highlights of bright red were used as accents. Overall, colors were more “serious”.

From the year 2000 until today, light greys and white have been the backdrop for the minimalist trend. Somewhat subdued shades of bolder colors are used more as accents rather than overall color schemes–for the most part. There seems to be a subtle return to 1950s colors, but much more subdued. It the trends cycle through again, perhaps that pink Lincoln Premiere will be stylish again.

Meantime, my own philosophy about color, is to enjoy it and exploit it. Color your personal space in the colors that please you.


The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes cinematographer, Conrad Hall. “There are infinite shadings of light and shadows and colors… It’s an extraordinarily subtle language. Figuring out how to speak that language is a lifetime job.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in art, cultural highlights, History, Meanderings, Vintage Collectables and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to About A Few Stylish Colors

  1. I do like grey n white.

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