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?

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37 Comments

  • 10/09/12
    7:26 am

    Reply

    Lori @ Lori May Interiors said...

    I think you look beautiful and the purple is so very flattering. Hope you’re well!

  • 10/09/12
    7:29 am

    Reply

    Jennifer said...

    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.

  • 10/09/12
    7:38 am

    Reply

    lewellyn said...

    ankle boots would look great!

    10/11/12
    6:02 am
    Lisa said...

    Aha! I have been searching for an opportunity to wear booties!

  • 10/09/12
    7:43 am

    Reply

    Jan's Sushi Bar said...

    “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.

  • 10/09/12
    7:51 am

    Reply

    Ajc said...

    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.

  • 10/09/12
    7:57 am

    Reply

    kathy said...

    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.

    10/09/12
    9:09 am
    Sandy said...

    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.

  • 10/09/12
    8:00 am

    Reply

    Babette said...

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

    10/11/12
    6:11 am
    Lisa said...

    I have worn this also with a black tee, black tights, and pumps.

  • 10/09/12
    8:03 am

    Reply

    hostessofthehumblebungalow said...

    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.

    10/11/12
    6:12 am
    Lisa said...

    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.

  • 10/09/12
    8:03 am

    Reply

    Tasi said...

    Sophistication at its finest. You look wonderful

  • 10/09/12
    8:04 am

    Reply

    josep-maria badia said...

    That beautiful is the purple colour. The shirt that your dress is lovely and the skirt also. The outfit with the jacket and scarf remains perfect.

  • 10/09/12
    8:16 am

    Reply

    the gardeners cottage said...

    love this lisa. you wear it well!

  • 10/09/12
    8:18 am

    Reply

    Maris Olsen said...

    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!

  • 10/09/12
    8:49 am

    Reply

    rb said...

    LPC, I love your purples. You look fetch!

    10/11/12
    6:14 am
    Lisa said...

    Fetch! Thank you. Great expression.

  • 10/09/12
    9:25 am

    Reply

    déjà pseu said...

    Oh I LOVE this!!! The pattern mixing breaks it up, but the whole thing is very harmonious. Well done!

  • 10/09/12
    9:47 am

    Reply

    pve said...

    pretty picture betrothed in purple. love the combo of gingham and tweed.
    pve

  • 10/09/12
    10:21 am

    Reply

    pj said...

    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.

    10/11/12
    6:14 am
    Lisa said...

    I am probably always going to wear one piece less than optimal for impact:).

  • 10/09/12
    10:34 am

    Reply

    That's Not My Age said...

    I believe that khaki is a colour – and that Jenna Lyons is a genius at mixing things up.

    Purple suits you.

  • 10/09/12
    11:00 am

    Reply

    Susan said...

    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.

  • 10/09/12
    11:01 am

    Reply

    crissa said...

    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?

  • 10/09/12
    11:06 am

    Reply

    sisty said...

    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.

  • 10/09/12
    1:14 pm

    Reply

    Jane said...

    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

    10/11/12
    6:21 am
    Lisa said...

    Probably. Or, I don’t know, mustard? Olive green? That’s the graduate level course:).

  • 10/09/12
    1:31 pm

    Reply

    Sydney Shop Girl said...

    Purple reigns, Lisa!

    I love the way you’ve contrasted your checked shirt with the textured skirt. Great idea.

    SSG xxx

  • 10/09/12
    2:00 pm

    Reply

    Duchesse said...

    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!)

    10/11/12
    6:21 am
    Lisa said...

    I prefer to look like a table than a sofa:).

  • 10/09/12
    2:03 pm

    Reply

    materfamilias said...

    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!

  • 10/09/12
    2:56 pm

    Reply

    Whitney said...

    I love this outfit. It pops in the early AM (fog? rainy day?) where you took this picture.

  • 10/09/12
    2:59 pm

    Reply

    roseag said...

    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.

    10/11/12
    6:22 am
    Lisa said...

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

  • 10/09/12
    3:04 pm

    Reply

    Laura Lewis said...

    I love it! You look wonderful!

  • 10/09/12
    3:45 pm

    Reply

    Sally McGraw said...

    Oh, I just love this. Never enough purple, I say! Especially when it’s this masterfully implemented.

  • 10/09/12
    4:01 pm

    Reply

    Sheryl said...

    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.

  • 10/09/12
    5:02 pm

    Reply

    Lane said...

    I love the purple as well, does look great with your lovely hair. This has a classic feel with a twist.

  • 10/10/12
    3:38 am

    Reply

    Donna @ Rock the Silver said...

    I like it. Simple and clean, but the pattern mixing spices it up. Purple and silver are a winning combination on you.

  • 10/10/12
    3:43 am

    Reply

    ELS said...

    Stunning, what a clever eclectic mix – gingham and tweed, well well…

  • 10/10/12
    7:13 am

    Reply

    Angela said...

    Hilarious! I have this same skirt and it sits un-loved in my closet…but No More!

    10/11/12
    6:19 am
    Lisa said...

    Take it out! Let’s be twins! I had to get mine taken in, BTW, to mitigate the sofa effect.

  • 10/10/12
    7:19 am

    Reply

    Candace said...

    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!

  • 10/11/12
    5:58 am

    Reply

    Jacqueline said...

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

    10/11/12
    6:18 am
    Lisa said...

    Thank you. That is very kind.

  • 10/12/12
    4:48 am

    Reply

    Englishvers said...

    Purple is so noble and it’s such a delightful colour on you. I tend to wear purple skirts rather than blouses.

  • 10/12/12
    6:49 am

    Reply

    mary jo said...

    Love the way you put all of this together, it’s just perfect!
    xo Mary Jo

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] now I can wear my purple tweed J. Crew pencil skirt sedately with low heel pumps, or pull on ankle boots and tights to edge towards Artsy. With a peacoat and scarf for walking in […]

  2. […] 5 Tips On How To Wear Entirely Too Much Purple […]

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