Privilege Blog

5 Tips On How To Wear Entirely Too Much Purple

The other morning I shuffled my curmudgeonly self out onto the back patio. “Is this too much purple?” I asked. Sceptically, evidently. Please remember, I belong to the Quiet Dressers, those who believe khaki is a color, navy peacock-hued. And this outfit included not only two pieces of purple clothing, but gingham worn against bouclé tweed. Yikes.

However, Quiet Dressers know a few tricks for mitigating color terror.

  1. Stick to proven shades. Gray hair has brought her friend Purple to my closet, and she’s proved to be a decorous guest.
  2. Rely on color matching skills of someone like Jenna Lyons, the famed design leader of J. Crew.
  3. Anchor the adventurous colors in a silhouette you’ve worn happily forever.
  4. There’s no shame in black shoes.

In other words, this is a J. Crew Perfect Shirt, which I’ve had for a year, and a new J. Crew No. 2 pencil skirt (on sale now for $79.00, down from $148). One helpful hint, from experience. Bouclé pencil skirts need to fit extremely closely or you’re going to feel like a well-stuffed sofa. Excess wool does nobody’s hips any favors.

So off I went, empurpled and amused. Threw on a black peacoat and a the Etro scarf my brother gave me several years ago. Yet. More. Purple.

And made a final discovery.

5. Adding yet more purple, as long as you also include teal and mustard, can depurple an entire kit and kaboodle.

Will wonders never cease?

50 Responses

  1. Looks fabulous! As a graying blonde myself, I’m finding purple sneaking into my wardrobe as well. Of course your “killer” legs don’t hurt either darling.

  2. “There’s no shame in black shoes.”

    Thank goodness.

    I think you look absolutely gorgeous – I love the skirt, probably because I could never pull off tweed of any color.

  3. No, not too much at all, it looks perfect! You are right, there is something about the silver hair that makes the outfit even more beautiful, I feel like the outfit would be more banal with blond or brown hair.

  4. The color and pieces look terrific on you, but I’d love to see what a third piece to the outfit would do. It seems to be “missing” something – a belt, a denim vest, “boyfriend” cardigan? Purple does look so good with your hair color.

    1. Love the idea of a “boyfriend” cardigan wih the outfit, So cool and casual, yet put together. Then a scarf thrown over in an ever so casual manner. Should I say French?

      Love you in puple. you wild woman.

  5. I think jet black cashmere on top would have been a tad better – make that gorgeous skirt pop a bit.

  6. Like Kathy I think a 3rd piece in purple is called for..
    I’d vote for a cashmere cardigan.
    I do like the weave of that skirt…luxe and vibrant colours too.
    This shade looks great with your hair and complexion.

    1. I tried wearing a purple cashmere v – it was really too much purple. I thought it would look dignified but I looked like a grape Jolly Rancher.

  7. There is never enough purple! ;-) And I think it is essential to break out of our “style norm” on occasion. Mix life up a little, and keep things fresh. Enjoy your purple day!

  8. I agree with the ladies that say it needs a third piece. A vest or cardigan. But I would say a vest. Or as one reader suggested a plain crew neck, but with an outstanding necklace. Of course keep the scarf. It is so beautiful.

  9. No, not too much purple. This color is wonderful on you. I have a request. Would you/could you wear your hair free and flowing sometimes? Is the tied back look a necessity for work? Would your co-workers go beserk if you wore your hair down? I need to know.

    By the way, Lisa, are you familiar with the blog, Rock The Silver? It’s a favorite of mine. The author is quite charming and her personality has really grown on me. PLUS, she lives only about 40 miles from me. No, I have not met her.

  10. Combination approved! But bouclé and bare legs won`t go together with a mid European winter (and I would wear bouclé only in fall and winter). Then: what color might suit the hosiery? Midnight blue?

  11. Love the purple on you, and love the way the shirt and skirt look together. I think anything other than a plain black shoe might’ve put the whole outfit over the top.

    Just thinking the other day how awful I look in purple — another reason to welcome the grays I’m getting.

  12. I too am loving the purple. And that skirt fits you beautifully. I would need to start smoking again or Zumba incessantly to be able to wear that.

    I don’t think it needs more purple, Jenna would prob throw in some teal.
    xo Jane

  13. Love the gingham with bouclé, everything, really. And that you keep the shoe sober. The shade with your hair, very beautiful. Was just reading about mixing table settings in the NYT “T” magazine and- same principles apply here, combining different hues of same colour, and mixing scale. (Not to say you look anything like a table!)

  14. So is is too early to say that purple’s the new navy? Perhaps. Not too early to say you wear your several purples very well, mixiung textures and prints with glorious aplomb. Brava!

  15. If you’re attempting to be managerial a 3rd jacket-like item might be nice. If you’re being a peer I think this is enough. With two patterns and fuzzy texture there isn’t a need for more.

    1. I’m already way fancier than most people in my office, that absolutely has an impact on my choices.

  16. This look is just gorgeous. I love seeing you play with colour and be a little daring with your style. It always reminds me how much I love pushing my boundaries, and I seem to end up with some really good ideas from your outfits.

  17. So beautiful on you – your skin tones and hair make the colors pop. The shades of purple and blue are my favorite and look lovely on you!

  18. Lisa, I don’t often comment but just wanted to say that I always enjoy your postings. Great work!

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