Could This Unexpected Shade Replace Millennial Pink?

Hilary George-Parkin

Much ado has been made over the past year or two over the increasing preponderance of so-called "millennial pink," a term The Cut coined for the spectrum of shades ranging from dusty rose to bright salmon that brands have recently latched onto to market to young women. And yes, the trend has infiltrated fashion in a big way, dominating street style in 2016 and carrying over to this spring in the form of block-heel mules and slinky slip dresses alike.

But another color is quietly gaining ground among my millennial cohorts—and, fittingly, we have a teenager to thank for its popularity. Mauve, a dusky pale purple, traces its roots back to William Henry Perkin, an English scientist who discovered the first synthetic dye, mauveine, in 1856, when he was just 18. Once prohibitively expensive, the ability to mass-produce the purple dye made it accessible to a far broader segment of the population, and soon after, the shade became the hit of London, first among royals like Queen Victoria and then among everyday women.

Today, mauve is a less expected alternative to the pinks that dominate millennial-targeted advertisements and Instagrams—and, as an added bonus, it's just as wearable (more so, if you shy away from anything remotely bubblegum). According to color-gospel Pantone, the precise shade we've been seeing around is called Mauve Mist, and we're betting it's about to be everywhere.

Read on to shop 18 pale purple picks to wear this spring.

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