It is the color of luxury and passion, of princely robes and papal vestments, dazzling gems and florid prose. And now it's the reigning color of the season.
"Historically purple was only worn by an elite few, but in autumn/winter 2012-13 it will be for everyone," explains Vogue fashion editor Francesca Burns. "It is undoubtedly the color of the collections."
Here, we show you how to wear this color in 10 different ways, so whether your a shrinking violet or fashion Queen, you can work this up and coming trend into your look.
1. Purple Color Blocking
- Team colors from the same family together for a harmonious look - think bright violets with rich fuchsias and aubergine with dark inky shades.
- Keep cooler tones together, lavender and hyancinth work well.
- Go for a neutral-toned shoe to keep it simple.
Mix it up
- Work regal purples in with contrasting, fiery oranges.
- Try a vibrant orchid shade with melon or rosebud pink for a pleasantly jarring combination.
- Go to town on the look with a loud, contrasting shoe or handbag.
2. Head to Toe Purple
- There are many shades of purple you can throw on together if you cunningly coordinate an outfit.
- Ambitiously don a multicoloured scarf showing multiple hues, a plum pullover, darker corduroy trousers and a bright Byzantium or mulberry colored bag. Keeping the key pieces darker or less brash shades of the color enables the look to work, while bright bag and accessories teamed with a neutral bag and shoe pull the look together in a way that works.
3. Purple Acid Trip
- Let's get one thing straight, wearing neon is not always easy, it evokes memories of legwarmers, blue eyeshadow and orange lipstick, shoulder pads- all things 80's, all things cyber, and all things 'rebellious teenager' - we remember wearing neon ties to school as to showcase 'our individuality!' (Yes, all photographic evidence of this phase has now been destroyed). None of those looks are... desirable to say the least. At least not for anyone wanting to be taken seriously.
- Do not try color blocking neon at home, if the temptation almost gets to much to wear a neon jumper with a neon skirt, with neon nails and neon accessories- please immediately lock yourself in a beige room.
- Wearing neon or super bright purple is a good compromise- neon purple still retains an air of fashionable quirk, while neon greens and yellow make us feel a little nauseous.
- The best way to wear neon anything, but especially neon purple is to wear with nudes- think acid bright hyancinth skinnes and a luxe loose knit camel sweater, or a cream leather bag with a purple scarf tied around the strap.
- A neon purple dress is a great way to get the color into your look without having to worry about working separates- a bright dress will emphasize the fun vibe of summer, while it can brighten a drab winter day- team with cork wedges, and a muted bag.
4. Gothic Glam
- Getting in touch with your dark side is a way to wear purple that you can really go to town on, and still look fabulous rather than frightful.
- Textures is an important one for this look, think lace, patent leather and contrast it with soft cashmere blacks or crushed silk.
- Aubergine lips with matching nails and a chic and directional black ensemble is a look we'll be trying out.
- The darker the purple tine the better, for a new take on the smoky eye, try a mulberry colored eyeliner or an amethyst or damson eyeshadow.
5. Sweet 'n' Sugary
So soft, romantic and ethereal, cupcake inspired pastel purples are the obsession of all girlish girls, who want to spice up their looks with some innocent and romantic vibe.
- The most important rule of pastel shades is not to overdo with their “sweet” manner. Maybe all these head to toe sugary dresses with lace details, accessorized with pastel shoes, bags and headbands, look chic on the catwalk, but in real life they can be too much. Instead, try to calm things down by accessorizing your pastel clothes with pieces in black, white or other nude tones- do not be afraid to mix pastel colors with neutral ones. Beige and creamy shades will help you balance the girly nature of pastels.
- Mix lavender, pastel violet and mauve on the principle of color-block, using things with clean straight lines. Pastel color-block will not work with clothes featuring too complicated cuts and draperies.
- Combine pastel jeans with a white and black top, complementing the look with brighter violet platform sandals.
- If you are not sure that you will feel self-confident in pastel clothes, start with small things here and there, mostly using pastel accessories, such as a pastel clutch, jewelry, hats or shoes in candy purple hues.
- Purple lipstick can be tricky to pull off, but we have one word for you- skintone.
- For pale and light skin tone avoid dark purple shades in order to pull off the look. Choose the hue with blue or pink undertones depending on your skin undertones.
- For medium skin tone opt for hues with warm yellow undertones.
- For dark skin tone you can choose almost any shade and hue starting from lilac to deep purple.
- Whether opting for a bright hue, a dark one or a pastel shade, keep the rest of the face simple and fuss free- flawless skin, a neutral eyeshadow, or no shadow at all and just a slick of mascara will do, and keep away from contrasting blusher unless you want to look like a clown.
7. Purple Peepers
- If you have brown eyes we recommend looking for purple shadows with warmer tones. Brown eyes look gorgeous when accented in purple shades with a bit of bronze mixed in, the extra warmth really makes eye color pop.
- When it comes to pairing purple with blue eyes cooler tones are the way to go. Try a purple that has gray or cool undertones,dusty purples can also work to spice up a gray outfit.
- For green eyes, try an regal or aubergine tone. Green eyes look great with any deep shade of purple, and you can create a really elegant effect with a sweep of dark aubergine.
- Some colors are meant to be layered and blended- which is the concept that a traditional smokey eye rests on, however not so with purple. If you are going to do purple, one shade swept across the lid can be just as effective.
8. Purple Fingertips
When you go into a salon and get your nails done, it's likely you'll see every shade of pink and red under the sun, and while you may not be willing to sport a bright blue or green polish - we know it's not for everyone, a purple shade is a great way to stray from the beaten path a little whilst still retaining your professional and elegant image.
- If you're willing to be daring, opt for a dark nail shade, get as close to black as you can if you want to make a punchy statement.
- A dark purple nail can be just as glam as a fresh manicure or bright red, go for a regal, Jewell tone for a sassy finish.
Nails are a great way to work a trend into your look, without the constraints of having to match it to your skintone, you can paint your nails to get our sweet pastel look, work neon into your life, or a dark shade for our gothic glam look.
- This is undoubtedly the easiest way to get purple into your wardrobe. Chose the shade of purple you want, but accessories of every kind in your desired color and the world is your purple playground.
- Chose a base color, so lift a gray outfit with violet, vamp up a black outfit with aubergine or make a muted cream outfit kooky and cool with pastels. Easy.
10. Purple Tresses
This is probably our most daring advice yet, but purple hair can look incredible.
- Again, its all about skintone, and the laws of skin tone apply- cool, medium or warm tones, and figuring out your skin undertones is the key to getting purple hair that makes your complexion glow, and brightens your face rather than contrasting with you in all the wrong ways.
- Tips, dip dying, and highlights are all great ways to get the look without committing yourself wholeheartedly.
- If your having a drastic change, don't try it at home- take our word for it, we've had enough home hair dying disasters to know that for a big change it's best to seek the skills of a pro.