Guys Wearing a Purple Dress Shirt
Are there any colors that are off limits for a man to wear? The short answer is ‘no’, but some colors may seem a bit tougher to pull off than a classic gray. Consider the purple dress shirt. Not that solid, bright hue you wore to the club after you turned 21; but allow your mind to see softer, more subtle shades of purple. While there are many clever ways to incorporate purple into your wardrobe, a dress shirt, the staple of a clean look, is a great place to dive in. Potential awaits you.
A Brief History of Wearing Purple
A brief history of wearing purple takes us back to a time when the color was extremely rare and donned by only the royal or exuberantly wealthy.
When a color can only be extracted in tiny amounts from cracking open the shell of a sea snail in one region of the world, it’s easy to see how it became worth its weight in gold. Some royals even insisted that no other person in their kingdom wear the sacred color other than themselves under penalty of death. Talk about distinguished! Purple didn’t become more widely available until the 1850s when synthetic dyes finally hit the market. And lucky for us, those synthetic dyes offer a range of hues to incorporate purple into any ensemble.
When To Wear A Purple Dress Shirt
The proper occasion for wearing any audacious colored dress shirt is not so much the occasion as it is the presentation. Purple, especially, makes a statement. Done well, it displays a confident personality.
In fact, according to a recent survey, women are more likely to accept a date from a man wearing a purple shirt as they see it as the most attractive color in sense of clothing for men.
Before going further, consider these colors:
Although not the exhaustive list, these all belong in the purple family. Are you starting to see the possibilities? While you may not gravitate towards a magenta (nor should you when it comes to a dress shirt), a lavender may be just the shade of purple to get you started.
There are some guidelines to consider when bringing a purple dress shirt into your look. When wearing such a distinct color on a large part of your body, your torso, it’s important it be more muted. While a lavender or heather can look quite sharp, an even better option is a white shirt with simple purple detailing, like a light purple windowpane grid or thin stripe.
Again, occasion isn’t as relevant as how. The bottom line is, do wear purple.
What To Wear With A Purple Dress Shirt
As is often the case with proper styling, less is more.
If you choose to wear a distinct color such as purple, wearing a muted, complementary palette around it is best, lest you run the risk of appearing clownish. Purple is compatible with three of the most versatile, classic colors in menswear: navy, gray, and beige. It’s not impossible to combine other bright colors with your purple dress shirt, but the main idea to keep in mind (as with any look), is for it to look effortless as an ensemble, versus forced or borderline costume.
But let us go bold for a moment. Purple can pair very smartly with olive green, a rusty red orange, and even…more purple. It’s true, you are not limited to your shirt making the only royal statement. Done right, a white dress shirt with purple pinstripes under a purple coat or with purple pants can give you panache and still be just shy of overdoing it.
But good sir, don’t let us stop you from going over the top. Especially for a man with a darker skin tone (as lighter skin tones can often produce a harsh contrast with bright purple), going for stronger hues of any color can be especially stunning.
Going more casual? A heather dress shirt looks easy with fitted jeans, gray sports coat, and loafers. Or perhaps you want to make more of a statement, then a purple dress shirt with pinstripes paired with white chinos and tan belt is the way to go. Got an evening event? Take masculine refinement to the next level with a bolder purple colored shirt – say, plum or violet – and a black three-piece suit.
When accessorizing a purple shirt, you can take into consideration the previous rules in terms of complementary colors. If you find yourself thinking of the Joker on your way out the door, chances are you’ve gone too far and need to edit.
Beige, gray, or navy ties will look sharp. Add some pop with a whimsical pocket square of varying patterns and colors. These colors can be brighter and bolder since they only represent a small fraction of the whole look. Even socks can bring in some purple detailing to harmonize with your overall look.
Putting It All Together
Be eccentric; or be a classy minimalist.
A purple dress shirt belongs on both sides of the spectrum and everywhere in between. Are you new to adding such bold color to your wardrobe? As you’ve already discovered, there’s no need to fret as there are subtle ways to venture into this new look. Start with a lighter shade and keep the rest of your outfit in subtle tones. Once you lose count of the heads you’ll turn, we’re convinced it won’t be long before you’re experimenting with more ways to incorporate purple into your regular rotation.
Now that you know how this color of truly royal lineage can make an impact on your style, be a gentleman and share this with a friend who needs to know.
Purple offers something to everyone.