Fit for a Queen: The Purple Theme


Purple has always had its passionate admirers, not least among brides. But we’re likely to see plenty more purple for years to come, as fall layouts and intrepid designers taught us to love its many charms. Of course, it’s difficult to use a single word like ‘purple’ to describe such a broad range of colors. Much more so than with colors like pink or yellow, purple comes in dramatically different hues and moods.

Rich, Royal Purple

On the dark and sophisticated end, there’s royal purple, suitable for low-lit ballrooms and floor-length gowns.

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Royal Purple’s ideal for formal events.

Exotic Orchid

Then, bringing a completely different feel to the table: orchid. Feminine yet not untraditional, this suggests flirty frocks on bridesmaids under a tropical sun, or a garden affair that slowly unrolls over an enchanted afternoon.

Purple Orchid
Purple’s at its flirtiest in its Orchid or Heliotrope hues.

Red-Leaning Purples

Purple’s lighter shades that lean toward red have a more playful, romantic feel, reminiscent of sangria-fueled fiestas. And the pinker purples look as striking as petal pink when you pair them with fresh shades of green.

Nature’s Blue-Purples

But choose a purple that leans more toward blue, and you’ve got the perfect excuse to indulge in armfuls of hydrangeas … and a great country-casual feel for your wedding (think wide-open fields and apple trees, farmhouses, porcelain sinks and powder blue.)

Purple - Blue
On the blue end of the spectrum, purple gets an ultra-romantic and fresh country feel.

Purple’s hardly a shy color, though. And in its most saturated forms, it can almost spin out of control. So for bridesmaids gowns or table linens, look for less vivid shades … or just go ultra-purple with the sashes and runners.

The best foil for purple overall? Often, it’s lots of diamond-white, which makes purple look crisp and tailored. Plus, other near-neutrals do just as well: try a deep chocolate brown, charcoal gray, or shiny platinum.

Purple RedViolet

Chic, energizing Aubergine’s a favorite of fashion editors everywhere.

Talk Back on Purple

What flavor of purple captured your heart? How did you possibly decide between its many personalities? And did you always love purple, or did fashion’s recent collections inspire you to give this classic hue a second look?