Cancer awareness organizations have developed a handy scheme in which specific cancer ribbon colors signify support for a certain type of cancer. These colors are most often worn as ribbons. When attending rallies, marches or walks, they can also be incorporated into your whole outfit to show dedication to the cause.
Raising awareness of the various types of cancer is a great way to show support. Raising awareness has concrete benefits when it comes to fighting the many different forms of cancer: it helps raise funds for research, raise donations for treatment, and encourage public support. Wearing cancer ribbon colors helps to make finding a cancer cure into a main priority.
1. Pink for breast cancer awareness
Undoubtedly the most famous of all cancer ribbon colors is pink for breast cancer. Even NBA athletes have worn pink to show support for breast cancer research and treatment. Pink is a great color to use because it stands out — most adults don’t generally wear this shade of pink on a daily basis, so when you see someone in a full pink outfit, there’s a good chance it’s for breast cancer.
This shade of pink is boldly feminine, almost Barbie-esque. If it suits you, embrace the femininity with a pink pleated skirt or pink pumps.
2. Light blue for prostate cancer
It may seem a little stereotypical, but just like pink is for breast cancer, light blue ribbons are for prostate cancer. Note that other forms of cancer are signified by other shades of blue — teal for ovarian cancer, periwinkle for stomach cancer, and dark blue for colon cancer — so you can’t wear just any shade. Light blue is specifically for prostate cancer, one of the most common forms of cancer in the U.S.
A fun way for men to incorporate this color into their outfits is to wear a light blue blazer with a casual button-up and slacks (long or short). Light blue hats and bow ties are other more subtle ways to incorporate it. If you go the subtle route, make sure to wear lighter colors like gray or white so the light blue stands out.
Women can find this color in almost any clothing item, such as a dress, camisole or simple T-shirt. It also works well on jewelry and nails.
3. Easy subtle gray for brain cancer
Brain cancer’s ribbon color is gray. This is a simple color, and you probably already have a few gray clothes in your closet. The trick here is to make your gray stand out more so that your brain cancer awareness is loud and clear. The easiest way to make this subtle color stand out is to wear a ton of it at once, from head to toe.
Rather than simply donning a gray T-shirt, go all out and wear a gray shirt, pants, shoes and accessories. Paint your nails gray, wear a gray hat, wear a gray belt — in short, make sure gray is all over your outfit!
For a trendy and updated gray look, buy a well-pigmented gray lipstick. This subtle color suddenly becomes extra bold when it’s somewhere unexpected, and there are gray lipstick formulas available now that are actually flattering and cute.
4. Orange for leukemia awareness
Leukemia is another common form of cancer. It’s represented by plain orange. This can be a difficult color to wear, and many people don’t already have orange in their closets. However, that can also be a plus — even one orange clothing item will catch people’s attention and demonstrate your support.
Wearing an orange dress is perhaps the easiest way to incorporate this color. Go with a bright orange-based floral for a dress that you’ll also be able to wear on other days. You can also wear a pop of orange, such as a tie, hair ribbon or eyeshadow. You can wear an orange scarf or bright orange sneakers.
5. Black for melanoma
Skin cancer, or melanoma, is represented by the color black. On any other day of the year, wearing a ton of the black might come across as dark or morbid, but wearing all-black during melanoma awareness events is a great way to show support.
If all-black isn’t your thing, simply wear black pants or a black skirt with a colorful top. Don’t forget sunglasses and a hat to demonstrate how to reduce the likelihood of this disease.
6. Simple white or clear is for lung cancer
Lung cancer’s ribbon color is clear; it often appears with a simple black outline. That may sound like a difficult color to incorporate into an outfit — it’s not really a color, after all — but by committing to this look from head to toe, you can achieve the same aesthetic as the lung cancer ribbon.
One way to do this is to wear all-white with black accents. Try a white hat with a black ribbon, white shoes with black laces (Chuck Taylors are perfect for this), and white clothes with black seams and buttons.
Stones such as quartz or cubic zirconia are an affordable option for clear jewelry. See-through purses may not be practical for everyday wear, but they’re perfect for lung cancer awareness. See-through shoes are also out there, believe it or not. Jelly shoes recently made a comeback, and they’d be perfect for this.
You can also paint your nails clear with a black accent — perhaps a ribbon on one nail if you’re feeling extra fancy.
Cancer is not a fun topic to think about, but it deserves your attention and support. Cancer ribbon colors are just one way to do this. Depending on the color, it may be a breeze to wear or it may take a bit more effort. But by wearing these colors, you show solidarity with a movement that works to increase awareness and fight against this disease. These simple cancer ribbon colors are a signal to everyone around you that you believe in this fight, and when you become part of a crowd full of people wearing the same meaningful color, it’s a truly magical sight.