8 Rules for Wearing Purple: Ways to Rock Purple Ties, Sweaters Shirts, and Suits

A purple tie or pocket square are eye-catching elements you can add to your outfit today. But before you head out, take a peek at these rules for wearing purple, so no one mistakes you for Grimace or the Joker.

Image CreditDavid Gandy

Prince and the LA Lakers aren't the only ones who can pull off purple. You can do it too! Grab a purple tie, shirt or sweater. Just remember to follow these 8 rules for wearing purple, and there's no way anyone mistakes you for Grimace.

It’s time to make sophisticated easy, and look better than the guy next to you.

1 - Find the Right Purple for You

Purple comes in so many shades. Some can skew to more reds and pinks while others contain their fair share of brown. Some are seen as more masculine, others feminine. The key is finding the shade that you like and wearing it in the right amounts.

Lighter shades of purple like lavender and amethyst look great in smaller doses like in accessories.

The sweet spot for men's wear is the reddish-purple hues like burgundy and maroon. A burgundy suit forms a wonderful foundation for an outfit during the colder months. Maroon knitwear will keep you warm and stylish.

So, what other purple articles of clothing should you keep your eye out for? A purple tie? How about burgundy pants? We'll get to those. But first, a word of caution.

2 - Beware the Purple Dress Shirt

We don't mean avoid it completely. It's daring for sure. And it can look great with a dark blue suit. But watch out. You don't want to wear a full-on purple shirt. It's a situation where less is definitely more.

Take the patterned route if you want to rock some purple on your shirt. A lavender check pattern on a white background would look great as a dress shirt worn with a summer suit.

For a bigger dose of purple on a dress shirt, consider a gingham pattern. It's definitely bolder, but restrained use of purple. And it would still work well when paired with a classic navy suit.

And if you want to wear purple, navy's a great colour to pair with it.

3 - Don't Think Too Hard. Go with Purple and Navy

Purple is a powerful colour. If you want to wear a lot of it, you'll want to tone down other elements of your outfit. Navy blue is up for the task. Wear your dark wash slim fit jeans with a maroon or burgundy merino wool sweater, and you have a fantastic smart casual outfit.

Purple's great relationship with a classic menswear colour like navy makes it a great element to add some pop to your closet staples - like your navy blue suit.

4 - Avoid Pairing with Oranges, Yellows and Greens (Most of the Time)

Olive green can work with the right shade of purple. The brown tones of a maroon sweater can look great with olive green chinos.

In colour theory, green and orange contrast with purple. But in our opinion wearing more than one brightly coloured element can make you look cartoonish.

With purple serving as your statement colour, it's best to err on the side of caution and pair it with pieces in navy, grey, white, brown or cream.

By all means, if you pull off a green and purple or purple and orange outfit, please take a photo and tag us on Instagram @aklasu.

Of course, purple can work alongside many colours in the perfect shade and with the right balance.

And there's no better way to integrate purple into any outfit than accessories.

5 - Keep it Simple and Make it Tasteful with Purple Ties and other Accessories

If you consider your style conservative, there's no better way to dip your toe into wilder waters than with a purple accessory.

Even in small doses, purple can provide an exciting element to any outfit. A purple tie in a tasteful shade is the perfect piece to start with. Combine it with a light-coloured shirt and a navy or grey suit, and you're set.

Add a surprising element like socks or boutonniere when the occasion fits. A purple pocket square in a grey blazer adds a subtle touch that won't overpower the rest of your outfit.

It takes tact to wear purple. You want to be smart and thoughtful about it, or you risk looking like you're wearing a bruise.


6 - Don't Wear Purple Just to Wear Purple

Accessories are easy enough to integrate into any outfit. Throw on a purple tie and you can enjoy a spark of colour.

But you shouldn't stop there. Consider your outfit as a whole. A purple tie stands out on its own, sure. But if you put pieces that complement each other, you stand out - not just your tie.

Think about wearing a white dress shirt with a purple tie and a grey suit. Practice balance and restraint, and you'll look great every time. Follow this advice, or fall victim to our next rule.

7 - Too Much Purple, in Too Many Ways

Purple’s an exciting colour to wear. Different shades and pieces offer a variety of ways to wear colour. You can wear dark hues in the winter and lighter ones in the spring. With the infinite number of options, it's important not to get carried away.

Sure, you can wear a burgundy suit, a lavender shirt, and a purple tie. The monochromatic outfit makes a dramatic statement, but you risk disappearing behind all of that purple.

You look less ready for the red carpet and more ready to battle Batman.

8 - When In Doubt, Refer to Rule #5

Don't let the potential of looking like a bruised eggplant or the Joker scare you off from wearing purple. You can look great while rocking this regal colour.

Follow these rules, and you'll look stylish, sophisticated and ready to rule whichever room you walk into.

But if you want to build yourself up, start with simple, tasteful accessories like a purple tie or pocket square.

Remember that confidence is key. And if we can do it, so can you.

Discover more ways to add a pop of colour to your outfits. Read articles about wearing orange, green, sky blue, and dusty blue in our Journal.

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