HOW TO DO PURPLE
Model and stylist Kim Coulter, owner of Style Makers LLC, gives tips on how to incorporate purple into your wardrobe.
Item: Leather-embellished jacket by Ruby Red Wear with: Wide-leg pants, all black to make the jacket pop, and patent leather boots Best for: Late 40s-60s Item: Medium Chiara bag by Dooney & Bourke Wear with: A white or cream jacket for pop, or charcoal gray or black Best for: 20s and up Item: Belted coat by Jessica Simpson Wear with: Gray or black accessories for a conservative look; yellow or hot pink for a daring, fun look Best for: Teens-early 40s; not for plus size, good for petites
Item: Knee-high Mirabelle boots by Antonio Melani Wear with: Skinny jeans and classic white shirt; or gray pencil skirt Best for: 20s-50s
Item: Gap limited-edition corduroy pants Wear with: A white, gray or cream chunky turtleneck sweater, brown boots; or gray and white layered T-shirts with gray or black boots Best for: All ages, most body types except petite, good for plus size Item: Space-dyed sweater tunic by Kensie Wear with: Skinny jeans or black leggings with flats or high boots Best for: All ages, lean figure, not for petites Items: Calvin Klein men’s vertical- stripe shirt Wear with: Jeans for play; or black or gray slacks with black shoes for work or dress Best for: 20s-40s
Corduroy pants cour tesy of Gap at Hamilton Place; all other fashions cour tesy of Dillard’s at Hamilton Place.
In her Pulitzer Prize-winning 1982 novel, “The Color Purple,” Alice Walker wrote that God gets angry “if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”
From sassy violet to demure lilac, a mix of hot red and cool blue, purple is hard not to notice. The bold color is all the rage right now, in retail and in Hollywood. Celebrities such as Carrie Underwood, Nicolette Sheridan, Holly Hunter, Lindsay Lohan and Blake Lively have shown up on red carpets in purple dresses.
Chattanooga has its own purple celebrity, Sonia Young, known as the Purple Lady. Ms. Young is tickled, well, purple, over her signature hue being a trend this year.
“I love seeing it and knowing that it’s here,” she said. “I found (purple) loafers this year.”
The hue is versatile, suiting a multitude of skin tones. Vibrant violet suits porcelain skin and dark hair, soft lavenders contrast warm skin tones, and striking plum is a bold choice for blondes, according to a recent issue of InStyle Magazine.
“I like the vibrance,” said TVA employee Jeremy Fisher, 27, who said he thinks purple works for men as well as women. “Purple, pink, doesn’t matter,” he said.
Liz Fulkes, 25, said, “I think of purple as being like royalty. I think purple can be a little wild.”
In fact, Ms. Fulkes is correct. According to Gavin Townsend, art history professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, “Purple has been associated with high status in Western culture.”
In ancient Rome, senators had a purple band on their togas and emperors had purple togas, according to Mr. Townsend. Derived from a mollusk found at the bottom of the Mediterranean, purple dye was among the most expensive in the ancient world.
Lee Reece, sales associate at the Gap at Hamilton Place, said customers are sometimes wary of purple if they’ve never experienced it before, but most tend to warm up to it once they try it on.
“They feel really comfortable ...” he said. “It’s a great universal color for just about anybody.”
Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...