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Updated on May 2, 2016

"I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it." -- Alice Walker

pur·ple [pur-puhl]

noun a group of colors with hues between violet and red.

adjective Of the color purple, imperial or regal.

transitive & intransitive verb purpled, purpling, purples - To make or become purple.

A color can be a visual, a feeling, a temperature, a total mode of personal expression. 

My mother once told me that I was four years old when I picked out my first outfit all by myself, and it was purple with purple flowers. My love of the color purple has pretty much been a constant from that point going forward. This lens is a celebration of all things purple!

I wanted purple hair on and off for many years and it wasn't until 2010 that finally decided it was time to COMMIT and not have faux purple hair but REAL PURPLE HAIR. I bleach and then stain to get a color this bold and bright, and I spend half the year purple and the other half a very bright red. The picture is a self-portrait I took at the Top Pot Donut Dash held at Greenlake in Seattle on May 1, 2011.

How Do You Say "Purple?"

  • Dutch - purper

  • French - pourpre

  • German - purpurrot

  • Icelandic - purpuralitur

  • Italian - viola

  • Norwegian - hensikt

  • Portugese - roxo, púrpura

  • Spanish - púrpura

  • Welsh - nglasgoch

Symphony In Purple

This picture is an outfit I wore for a night at the Seattle Symphony. In the fall of 2007, they presented an evening of theme music from science fiction movies and television shows. Or as my mother said, "They're playing your songs." George Takei was a special guest and they said that costumes were encouraged. Clearly, it was one of those nights at the symphony made just for me.

The dress I'm wearing was actually a bridesmaid's dress that was made for me for a friend's wedding. We hand-dyed yards of silk for her dress, which was made to look like purple bird's-eye maple texture. She let me pick the pattern of my dress, and she selected the fabrics. It's a classic Empire gown pattern done in very modern textiles.

I made the fan myself by gluing purple feathers onto a bare fan frame. The wig is a favorite of mine, which I've nicknamed "Lilah."

Do you listen to Purple? - the sounds of purple

Purple Rain
Purple Rain
A song about purple rain from one of the most purple singers.

The Purple Lady

I traveled to Las Vegas one October to attend a gathering of folk I had met in CA the summer before. One of the events was a Witches and Wizards Ball, a social/dance event held inside a very cool multi-media space. They did lots of lights and had a great sound system.

Everyone was encouraged to dress in costume and I decided to just go as a Purple Lady. Since I was flying to Vegas, having a costume that could be utterly smushed in luggage was really paramount. This one traveled perfectly.

The dress was one that was given to me by a former boyfriend. It's purple panne velvet and is sort of a fantasy maiden dress. The wig is a deal I got from a past retail-oriented job. After-Halloween markdown combined with an employee discount was what made me bring the "purple cotton candy porn star" wig home.

Then there are my witchy black-and-purple-striped tights. I've been to gatherings where a good quarter of the women who show up are wearing striped tights. Why do we all do it? Because of the tights worn by the Wicked Witch of the East in the Wizard of Oz movie. Her black-and-white-striped legs are all you see jutting out from under the house that was dropped on her, but most people only remember her ruby slippers. True witches remember her tights.

Yes, Purple Fans... There Really IS A Purple Store!

Yes, Purple Fans... There Really IS A Purple Store!
Yes, Purple Fans... There Really IS A Purple Store!

Purple Cowgirl

I was going out to a freaky street fair in San Francisco with some friends one year, and it was just one of those occasions when I had to do purple, and decided it had to be a purple-themed cowgirl or nothing.

I think having purple-trimmed chaps was what started off the whole outfit. The wig is one of those $20 jobs, and it sheds a lot, but since I was going to be outside, I decided the shedding wouldn't be a problem. But where to find a purple cowboy/girl hat at the 11th hour?

The drag queen store had them for $60 which was out of the question. Several stores had $40 felt ones, which were nice, but not the kind of thing to slather with purple paint. I finally found a white paper cowboy hat for $20 and then used purple acrylic paint to purple it up myself. If you try something like that, make sure to apply the paint sparingly, because if you get the hat too wet, it loses its shape.

I replaced the braided leather hatband with a big purple ribbon and violá! Purple Cowgirl!

Lavender Lifestyle - Purple in the day-to-day world

Get out and be more Purple!

Formal Purple

Now, a custom-made latex evening gown in purple isn't necessarily everyone's idea of formal wear, but when you're doing a trade to make a web site with a guy who makes clothing like that, why not?

The dress design is copied from a decaying velvet dress that was abandoned in a heap of stuff left behind by a former housemate of mine when she moved and bailed on any sort of cleaning. I donated and recycled what I could of her stuff since she left about eight huge garbage bags worth of stuff behind. One thing I found was the old velvet dress. The fabric was shredding due to age but the style was lovely so I kept it. And then one day, this trade for web site deal fell into my lap.

I know I totally got the better end of the trade on this one. Having a professional photographer take a picture of me wearing it sure didn't hurt either.

What say you, O' Purple People?

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    • schwarz profile imageAUTHOR

      Rae Schwarz 

      7 years ago from Seattle, WA

      @Sharon Weaver: One of my favorite things is having purple hair when I travel. It makes it REALLY easy when you are meeting up with people in public spaces.

    • Sharon Weaver profile image

      Sharon Weaver 

      7 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      I have a friend who dyed her hair purple because she thought people would notice. I'd say. Love it.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I Love Purple!!!! When I was younger, I always use light green & light pink in my coloring work and purple doesn't appear in my personal color dictionary until it suddenly hits on me when I am in my 20s. It is so sudden that I become very conscious and obsessed with purple :)!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Purple is my favorite color and if I had a very outgoing personality like you. I could see myself wearing it on my hair too. Very enjoyable lens.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I love purple!!

    • BLemley profile image

      Beverly Lemley 

      7 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      Purple-icious! LOVE IT! B : )

    • vineliner57 profile image

      Hal Gall 

      7 years ago from Bloomington, IN

      I like the Purple Cowgirl. Grape lens!

    • beaworkathomemom profile image


      7 years ago

      Great lens. I can see that you are enjoying yourself. Keep it up.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      wonderful lens I love purple

    • earthybirthymum profile image


      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Love your Lense! Purple is my favourite colour. Many Blessings.

    • sweetstickyrainbo profile image


      8 years ago

      thanks for the photos of purple crocus

    • kingfishernatur profile image


      8 years ago

      Utterly Utterly Insane.... mad as a purple pumpkin..... but I like it.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I love purple! Great lens!

    • patriciapeppy profile image


      8 years ago

      great lens on the color purple. I have a daughter who is a purple person. She loves anything purple.

    • writerkath profile image


      8 years ago

      You are really creative! What a fun lens! I love your costumes too... Also, your introductory quote by Alice Walker was the PERFECT start to this lens. You set the tone right away, and I had a huge smile on my face as I read your stories and ideas from start to finish. Bravo! *Blessed*

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great idea for a lens! Maybe one day I'll die my hair purple too! I'd love to have a deep purple mane with a lovely grey streak framing my face a la Stacy London, or Lillian Munster, for the non-Canadian Squids..

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      wow, looks really nice

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Awesome colour lens, the purple kitchenware is too cool!

    • schwarz profile imageAUTHOR

      Rae Schwarz 

      8 years ago from Seattle, WA

      @jimmyworldstar: Actually, when I've gone camping in the desert or hiking in the mountains, during certain seasons purple can be the predominant flower color you find.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Wow! Who knew there could be so much purple in one place? Nice lens!

    • SuperBrainwave LM profile image

      Paul Goodman 

      8 years ago from Florida, USA

      Purple really is the best color ever! :-)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Purple just seems like such a weird color, it's not one you see in nature very often.

    • andreaberrios lm profile image

      andreaberrios lm 

      8 years ago

      This is a great lens and super unique. Love your purple hair and dresses!! Blessed*

    • hughgrissettsr lm profile image

      hughgrissettsr lm 

      8 years ago

      great lens! i recommend that you listen to the song deep purple. thanks for sharing!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      GOD LENS

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Yeah.. that latex dress is amazing (and I'm not into latex!) and I LOVE purple!!!!! :) Blessed!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Yeah.. that latex dress is amazing (and I'm not into latex!) and I LOVE purple!!!!! :) Blessed!

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 

      8 years ago

      Great purple lens!

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image


      8 years ago

      I love your super awesome formal purple gown! It looks fabulous on you! Purple is one of my favorite colors, but ALAS it turns my skin a deeply off-putting shade of yellow. I'm envious of your purple panache!

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 

      8 years ago from San Francisco

      Gotta have purple. Years ago, when I, shy as they come, flew to attend a writers conference for two weeks, my best friend made sure I had plenty of purple to remind me I am a strong woman. Must have been a lot of friends giving purple gifts that summer. The first day of workshops, every woman in my section was either carrying purple, wearing purple, or writing with and on purple--or all three!

    • Sara Krentz profile image

      Sara Krentz 

      8 years ago from USA

      Very creative lens!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      You're fantastic! Great pictures. I don't even like purple (don't hurt me), but I love this lens!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I love purple... the purple streak in my hair lets the world know!

    • wheresthekarma profile image


      8 years ago

      Yep, i agree with what Petstrel said, purple is perfect!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I like the color purple, especially in the garden it is such a decorative color for indoors and outdoors.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 

      8 years ago from Vermont

      Your passion for fashion and purple are simply divine ... love your purple panache, relache!

    • PaulaSquidoo profile image


      8 years ago

      Great intro quote. I enjoyed reading this lens. Thanks.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Well done, this was fun to visit and see! Liked you showing us how to say this word in other languages too. I've got a lens that gives tribute to purple also for being the color for cystic fibrosis foundation so you can tell I'm grateful for your promotion of this color and for that I'll help rank this article higher for others to reader ... *blessed*

    • Petstrel LM profile image

      Petstrel LM 

      8 years ago

      Purple is perfect. A video by Prince - Purple Rain would be a nice addition to this lens :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I love purple too! I Even opened a purple store, Purpleologist in North Myrtle Beach, SC and a website, Thank you for your dedication to my favorite color!

    • Cinnamonbite profile image


      9 years ago

      I wasn't allowed to like purple once I was a teenager. My idiot foster mom told me it's a color for children and gave me a list of approved colors I WAS allowed to like. So for years, I simply didn't HAVE a favorite color at all.

      I'm back to purple now. Oh yes.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 

      9 years ago from United Kingdom

      Loved the photos on this lens. Hereâs a virtual string of Mardi Gras beads for you!

      I am now featuring it on my lens "Colours in Proverbs and Sayings", and lensrolling it.

    • MomwithAHook LM profile image

      Sara Duggan 

      9 years ago from California

      Love purple and Your outfits Rock! âLoved the photos on this lens. Hereâs a virtual string of Mardi Gras beads for you!â Kuddos

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image


      10 years ago

      Purple is my fav too :)

    • monarch13 profile image


      10 years ago

      Rolled to "Fashion, Feng Shui and Color". 5 stars too!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Did you know that the actress Agnes Moorehead was know as "The Lavender Lady?" A shade of purple, it was her favourite colour.

      Thanks for the lens.

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 

      11 years ago from USA

      Your purple pictures are adorable. Thanks for this great addition to the Fashion colors group.

    • tandemonimom lm profile image

      tandemonimom lm 

      11 years ago

      Purple! I mean ... wow! What a fun and colorful lens! (Sorry, couldn't resist that one.) 5 shiny purple stars for a wonderful and original lens idea.

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image


      11 years ago

      Purple's a little too "Royal" for me. I prefer pink. That way I can pretend to be sweet.

      Great lens


    • schwarz profile imageAUTHOR

      Rae Schwarz 

      11 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Ah, but everyday is a purple day in my!

    • teamlane profile image


      11 years ago

      I'm feeling all sorts of purple right now! Great lens relache! Blessed by a Squid Angel today! ;)

    • EelKat13 profile image


      12 years ago

      yah! purple! what a great lens... 5*

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 

      12 years ago from Royalton

      Purple is the color of Valentine's Day Adjectives. Love that purple hair and purple Pancake Griddle.


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