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.
- Stick to proven shades. Gray hair has brought her friend Purple to my closet, and she’s proved to be a decorous guest.
- Rely on color matching skills of someone like Jenna Lyons, the famed design leader of J. Crew.
- Anchor the adventurous colors in a silhouette you’ve worn happily forever.
- 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?