Alice in Wonderland, Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Belle in Beauty and the Beast: each wear blue dresses.
Though we’ll admit we’ve never made the connection ourselves, Allure has delved into the symbolism behind the color for us.
Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, told Allure that the connotations we ascribe to the color has to do with the sky. “It’s dependable. It’s reliable. It might cloud up, but we know it’s there.”
The positive qualities we associate with the hue, like dependability, constancy, and loyalty, might point to why we’ve traditionally assigned the color to boys. We want them to embody these values as they become men.
Give the color to girls, especially iconic role models, and they’ll get to embody those values, too.
The blue dress Belle wears at the beginning of the Disney tale serves as a symbol of her transition from her sheltered girl’s reality to her expanding experience as a woman.
Alice, tumbling down the rabbit hole in a blue dress, returns home with a grander world view. The same is true of Dorothy, returning home from Oz.
Or, take Cinderella’s transition from her homemade pink dress to her crystal blue ball gown: the symbolism is strong.
“There is a sort of refinement and crispness to light blue, but there’s also blue in workwear,” Eiseman explains. “It is a practical color, and a color that you can work in. In that sense, it is full of active strength.”
Active strength: There’s a quality we want to instill in all girls.