The Purple Suit: Yes or No?
The ever-changing fashion world is fast-paced and can feel bewildering. Once in the province of Willy Wonka, the purple suit is suddenly having a moment. But is this a fashion step too far, or can you really wear a purple suit with style? Here at Suits Distributors, we are experts in all things menswear. If you’re considering a more adventurous suit choice, but feeling unsure about the particulars, here’s the Suits Distributors guide to the purple suit.
When purple means purple
The term ‘purple suit’ might summon visions of children’s book characters, but really it refers to a wide range of shades. From plum to red wine, violet to almost grey, ‘purple suit’ is actually an umbrella term that could mean a variety of quite different suiting options.
Aubergine, burgundy, mauve, or garnet can all be implied when talking about purple suits. But the important fact to note is that, whichever shade of purple you are considering, purple’s fashion moment gives you another choice that sits conveniently in the ‘neutral’ category.
Purple is the new neutral
If you can get your head around purple as a neutral colour choice, it becomes a lot more approachable. Rather than the province of catwalks and city nightclubs, purple becomes the chosen shade for someone who is confident in their menswear styling, and entirely appropriate for situations as diverse as the office, an evening out, or a wedding.
To find your ideal neutral purple shade, look for styles with less colour saturation that will tone well with your existing wardrobe.
Traditionally, purple was the province of royalty – a colour exclusively reserved for use by those at the very top of the tree. Perhaps this is why it has been so neglected as a clothing colour by the rest of us. Either way, in fashion circles, purple’s time has finally come.
And while purple suits can work well as the new neutral shade, they can of course provide a welcome pop of real colour in your wardrobe. If you want to go down the statement route, rather than keep it subtle, opt for stronger shades and bolder cuts.
If you are plunging in head first with a strong purple statement, the key is to tone it with calming accessories. Think pristine white shirts, and muted hues for everything else, from cufflinks to shoes.
Purple is an impressively versatile colour option. As it combines the warmth of red tones with the coolness of blues, there is something to work in every season.
For summery vibes, we prefer lighter suits in shades such as violet and lilac. These come across well in warm weather fabrics like linens and cotton and tone beautifully with summer neutrals such as greys and beiges. Choose a suit shade that is light but contrasts strongly enough with a crisp white shirt to make the most of your colour choice.
Purple’s underlying red tone makes it a great option for a winter suit too. But here it’s nice to go with stronger tones – fabrics such as woollens and tweeds can look fantastic in a deep wine shade or a maroon. These hotter hues are a confident yet future-classic choice.
Be aware that those with a pinker complexion might not suit a strong red undertone in their clothing. But there are many purple hues that will still work. Explore the full range of different shades before making your selection, and if in doubt, ask a menswear expert at Suits Distributors.
A vital element of wearing a more unusual colour such as purple, is being aware of the possible colour combinations that will work alongside your suit. Purple sits easily alongside beige, grey and navy. These three colours are likely to be staples of your existing wardrobe, so your purple suit should soon find a comfortable home.
Another attractive but less expected colour pairing for purple is olive green. Best for those who are already confident in their suiting game, this kind of combination gives a seriously fashion-forward feel to an already on-point outfit.
How to accessorize a purple suit
The general rule when accessorizing a stronger colour choice such as purple, is to keep accessories low-key and toned down. Think classic and timeless, and select items that will pair seamlessly with each other.
The very best choice of shirt for a purple suit is a plain white understated number. Purchase the best quality you can afford, as, despite its simplicity, good tailoring always shows. A well-cut shape is a must – your tailor or menswear expert will be able to help you choose the perfect options for your size.
If you’re looking for something a little different, you could consider selecting a white shirt with contrasting purple buttons to match your suit. But this kind of cheeky choice will place your outfit more in the realm of high days and holidays than the world of office wear, so do consider where you plan to wear your suit first.
You can’t go wrong with a pair of dark brown Chelsea boots. And especially with a purple suit – they scream classic style and keep your outfit grounded. They are such a timeless piece that they will blend with your ensemble whilst simultaneously holding it together. Once again, quality will show – aim for a pair that feature finely stitched leather, made to last.
Cufflinks and watches
Favourites amongst menswear accessory fans, both cufflinks and watches can play important roles in completing an outfit. But if you are considering investing in a purple suit, it’s wise to know which accessories will work well in this context.
With cufflinks, you can downplay their role so that a particularly spicy purple suit doesn’t overwhelm you. But if your suit is a calmer neutral, you can use your cufflinks to introduce a fun element to the ensemble – think a pop of contrasting colour, glitter, or simply bling.
Watches are a less interchangeable style item, particularly if you invest in a high-quality piece. But if you have a choice of watch, those with a metal strap work best with purple suits in lighter shades such as lilac; while leather straps tone beautifully with darker purple tones, given their underlying earthy hues.
Two-piece or three?
The choice between a two-piece suit or a three-piece very much depends on the occasion, but with a purple suit, there are other factors to consider. If you have opted for a very strong shade or a statement pattern of any kind, it might work better to choose a two-piece, and let your plain white shirt provide a restful space for the eye at the centre of your outfit.
However, if you’ve chosen a more neutral purple, and the occasion demands the formality of a waistcoat, a three-piece can be a great option. A lighter shade in a less formal fabric such as breezy cotton can be smartened up with the addition of the third piece; while for winter a dark plum suit will look properly complete once you have the waistcoat keeping you truly warm as well as stylish.
The purple suit: yes or no?
With a huge range of choices and something to suit every style and menswear preference, for us at Suits Distributors the purple suit is a definite yes. Whether you want to play it down for days at the office with a fashionable edge; or take it to the next level for party season, a purple suit is a great option whatever your personal fashion sense.
If you’re looking for a suit – purple or any other colour – pay Suits Distributors a visit today. Our team of friendly menswear experts can help you look and feel your best, whatever the occasion.
Contact Us for your Suit Requirements