A friend recently gifted me a gorgeous purple blouse and I’ve been looking for the perfect opportunity to wear it ever since. Purple can be a tricky color to coordinate with, however, and I’ve been on a quest to find the perfect color to match this new addition to my wardrobe.
Purple clothes go well with colors like white, gray, beige, blue, or yellow. Purple is not limited to these colors, however, and can be paired in seemingly endless combinations. The key is to always match the undertones of your purple to those of the colors you pair it with, keeping warm tones and cool tones separate from one another.
I predict that purple will be one of the go-to colors this year and you’ll want to be sure to hop on this trend from the beginning. In this article, I’ll explain what colors go with purple clothes and what you should think about as you make your selections.
- Why Are Purple Clothes So Popular?
- Purple and the Color Wheel
- What Colors Go With Purple Clothes?
- What Color Goes With Light Purple Clothes?
- Purple and White Outfits
- What Color Goes With Dark Purple Clothes?
- Purple and Black Combination Dress
- Can You Wear Purple and Green Together?
- Do Pink and Purple Go Together?
- Purple and Brown Clothing Combination
- What to Wear With Purple Dress to Wedding
- Colors to Avoid With Purple Clothes
- Styling Purple Outfits: 4 Tips
Why Are Purple Clothes So Popular?
Purple has been a popular color for centuries and has long been thought of as the color of royalty because the pigment was rare throughout history and expensive to produce. This luxurious status has not been lost over time and the color remains popular.
Another reason for purple’s popularity has been its flexibility. Purple is made through a combination of red and blue and can be created in various tones and intensities. This makes it a color that can be tailored to fit many different styles, skin tones, and seasons – making it a go-to choice for designers all year long.
Purple and the Color Wheel
When it comes to matching colors, many designers and artists turn to the color wheel and basic color theory for choosing coordinating options. The color wheel contains all of the main colors of the rainbow, ranging from shades of red to shades of purple. By looking at the colors next to the color, you wish to match and the colors across from it, you should be able to choose colors that pair well.
In the case of purple, the colors on its immediate sides are blues and reds. Both blue and red are accent colors to purple and often pair well with the color. Looking across from purple, its direct opposite shade is yellow, which contrasts well.
The main colors that are not alongside or opposite purple are orange and green. Both orange and green are colors that don’t always pair well with purple and are generally ones to be avoided when making your color selections.
What Colors Go With Purple Clothes?
White is a classic, safe option to pair virtually any color – purple included. It adds a clean and soft finish and will pair well with any shade of purple you wish to match. Wear a purple top with your favorite white skirt or pants, or switch it up and pair a white blouse with purple bottoms.
You’ll want to stick to a pure white color, however. Off-white shades can have yellowish tones, which won’t always work with all shades of purple. If you stray into the off-white range, try to pair it with purple colors with warmer tones – like plum, mauve, or shades with a reddish hue.
Most colors blend well with the primary colors that make them up. In the case of purple, which is made from a combination of blue and red dyes, blue is a natural pairing to make. In particular, the color blue emphasizes the cool tones of purple clothing.
Often the best way to pair blue and purple is to match the shades between the two. You can pair bright purple and bright blue together or a pastel purple and pastel blue. Alternatively, you can mix shades and pair light purple with dark blue or dark purple with light blue colors.
Beige is the ultimate neutral color and works well with certain shades of purple. It pairs best with any purples that have earthy tones, such as shades of plum, mauve, and even certain shades of lavender. Beige often works best when paired with light shades of purple.
You’ll commonly see a light lavender blouse paired with a beige pantsuit or skirt for a classy office look.
A beige overcoat would also pair well with a light purple ensemble, especially if you accessorize it with a beige handbag to match.
Red may not immediately come to mind as a companion to purple clothing, but the pairing can add a bold pop of color to your wardrobe. Red is one of the primary colors that make up purple and it draws out the warm tones contained within any purple clothes you pair it with.
Generally, you’ll want to pair bright red with bright purple clothing for the best match. This is certainly a bold color pairing but is one that has been occasionally embraced by fashionistas worldwide – including the late Princess Diana and Megan, the Duchess of Sussex.
Gray is another popular neutral shade that pairs well with certain purple colors. Gray works especially well with purple clothes that have a gray hue to them, especially lavender tones. You can also pair dark gray clothing with darker purple tones for a moody look.
When choosing gray colors to pair with purple, you’ll want to pay attention to the tone of gray. Gray can appear warm-toned, cool-toned, and have many different undertones in the fabric. You will want to ensure that your purple clothing has the same tones to avoid the gray appearing to be an entirely different shade.
Yellow may seem like a surprising pairing with purple, but it makes sense. If you look at a basic color wheel, purple and yellow are opposites. This means that they contrast well with one another for a bold look.
The key to pairing yellow and purple is often to match the intensity of the shades. Pastel yellow goes very well with pastel purple. Bright yellow can match the intensity of bright purple.
Mustard yellow shades often make a good pairing with purple clothing as well. This is especially the case when they are paired with warm-toned purples like plum, mauve, or other purples with reddish undertones. This color pairing is especially popular in autumn for a fun, warm-looking outfit.
When in doubt, you can always pair your purple clothing with other purples. You can wear the same shade throughout your outfit for a monochromatic look. Alternatively, you can pair your clothing with purples of opposite shades.
Match light purple with dark purple tones to give contrast to your look. Just be sure to stick to similar undertones in the colors you choose. Keep cool-toned purples separate from warm-tone purples since they will look like entirely different colors when placed side-by-side.
What Color Goes With Light Purple Clothes?
Light purple clothes go with many different colors, depending on your mood. White, beige, and gray neutrals are all good color options as long as they have similar undertones to the purple you are wearing. For a pop of color, pair your light purple clothing with light yellow, light blue, or dark purple options.
The main colors you’ll want to avoid are browns, oranges, and certain shades of red and green. These generally won’t pair well with light purple unless your outfit already has hints of these colors within its fabric. The only exception to this rule is for bright red colors, which will often pair well with light purple clothing.
Purple and White Outfits
Purple and white are a natural pair when it comes to planning outfits. If you’re looking for an even split between the two colors, try pairing white pants or skirts with a purple blouse. You can also do the opposite and pair purple bottoms with a white top to keep a similar divided look.
However, you can also pair purple and white in other combinations that aren’t evenly divided. Pair a purple dress or jumpsuit with white boots, a white handbag, or even a white cardigan for a small bit of contrast. Alternatively, a white pantsuit with a purple blouse makes a striking combination for everyday office wear.
What Color Goes With Dark Purple Clothes?
As with light purple, dark purple clothes often go well with neutral colors like white or gray. Beige can be a bit trickier with dark purple but can work if you pair it with a warm-toned purple that has reddish hues. You’ll also want to avoid browns, oranges, and certain shades of red and green with dark purple.
Dark purple also works well with bright or dark colors that contrast with it. Dark yellows often pair well with dark purple, as do bright reds. You can also pair dark purple with blue tones, drawing out the cool tones in purple.
Dark purple can also pair well with lighter shades of purple. Just stick to similar color tones since warm-tone and cool-tone purples don’t mix well.
Purple and Black Combination Dress
One color combination we haven’t talked about yet is purple and black, which can also make a striking combination. Black works well with dark colors of purple since it can make these dark shades pop. This can make dark purple colors look more intense than they normally would against other color shades.
Black does not always work well with light purple colors, however. It can sometimes make light purple colors look washed out or make them appear gray. Use caution when pairing such light and dark shades together, and consider adding an element of white to the look to help keep the light purple from looking dull.
Can You Wear Purple and Green Together?
Purple and green can work together if you choose the correct shades. Choose the wrong shades, and the colors will almost certainly clash with one another.
The best pairings for green and purple are ones where the colors have similar undertones and intensity. Pastel greens can pair with pastel purples, while bright greens can pair best with bright purples. Just avoid mixing and matching the shades.
You’ll also want to pay attention to the undertones of the greens and purples you mix. Pairing a warm-tone green like an olive green won’t work with a blue-toned purple like periwinkle. Stick to colors that are both cool or both warm to make good combinations.
Try mixing a blue-toned green or teal with a blue-toned purple for a good mix. Alternatively, you can pair a warm-toned olive with a warm-toned mauve for an earthy look.
Do Pink and Purple Go Together?
Pink and purple can go together if you choose similar color tones. Pink and purple share the color red in common, meaning that you can pair together red-toned shades of each to make a good match. Pastel purples and pinks also go well together since both are light in color.
You will often see pairings of bright pink with bright purple for a high-intensity look. This combination has been especially popular recently, as fashion trends from the 1980s and 1990s have risen in popularity again. Don’t be surprised if you see increasingly bold color combinations hitting your store shelves soon!
Purple and Brown Clothing Combination
Purple and brown clothing combinations are one of the few that rarely seem to work. This is mostly because it is difficult to find tones of purple and brown that work well with each other. Brown tends to be much more warm-toned than most purples are, given that purple has strong influences of blue within it.
If you’re set on trying to find a combination that works, stick to earthy tones. Go for a warm-toned purple or mauve paired with a warm, medium brown color. Stick to brown colors commonly seen in leather handbags, especially those in a medium to the light color range.
What to Wear With Purple Dress to Wedding
When choosing accessories for a purple dress, you’ll first want to consider the occasion. If you’re wearing the dress to a wedding, you’ll want to steer clear of any white accessories since white is considered off-limits to anyone but the bride. You may also want to avoid black since many brides consider that bad luck on their wedding day.
An easy alternative is to choose shoes and accessories in another neutral color like beige or gray. Both are items you may already have in your wardrobe, and both will generally pair well with many shades of purple. Just be sure to pay attention to the color tones of the purple you are wearing.
For formal occasions, silver or gold accessories are also good matches with a purple dress. Silver often works best with cool-toned colors and gold with warm-toned colors. But realistically, either should work with a purple dress and you can find shoes, jewelry, and other accessories that all coordinate.
Colors to Avoid With Purple Clothes
Most colors seem to work with purple clothes, as long as you match undertones and shade intensities between the colors you pair. However, several colors are difficult to match with purple clothes and tend to clash. These colors include brown, orange, and certain shades of green and red.
Brown and orange are difficult to match because they are warm-toned, whereas purple has blue, which often gives it a cooler appearance. The only times these colors seem to work are if you find purples much warmer in tone, like mauve, plum, or other warm hues.
Green and red have similar issues with tone. Green will generally only work with purple if it is cool in tone, even bordering on blue. Bright red will work with many shades of purple, but other tones are often hard to match.
Styling Purple Outfits: 4 Tips
It may seem like there are many details to remember when styling purple clothing, but don’t fret. Here are a few rules to live by:
1. Pay Attention to the Tone of Purple
Purple is made up of red and blue and therefore comes in many different shades with both warm and cool undertones. Your best chance of matching purple clothing is to choose colors that share the same undertones as the purple you have. Stick to warm colors with red-toned purples, and use cool colors with blue-toned purples.
2. Neutrals Are a Safe Choice
Neutrals are almost always a safe bet for matching purple clothing. You’ll still want to pay attention to the tone of purple you are wearing, but most white, beige, gray, and even some black clothes will make good purple outfits. The only neutral to be cautious with is brown, which can be tricky to coordinate.
3. Accent Purple With Blue or Red
Since red and blue make up the color purple, both work well when styling this tricky color. Which one you choose will depend on the color of purple you are trying to coordinate with.
4. Change Your Purples to Match the Season
Shades of purple vary widely, and some are more appropriate than others for the changing seasons. Pastel purples are popular in the spring, bright purples in summer, and earthy warm-toned purples in the fall. Winter is an excellent time for cool, blue-toned purples.
Purple is fun to wear year-round and pairs well with many different colors. After reading this, you should have plenty of inspiration to draw from as you make your new outfit selections. Keep this guide handy as you shop, and don’t be afraid to make some bold color choices!