How to Accessorize a Purple Dress

Written by louise harding
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How to Accessorize a Purple Dress
Use a colour wheel to determine complementary colours for your purple dress. (purple dress with flower bouquet image by Paul Retherford from

Accessorising a purple dress can be accomplished by considering the colours on the colour wheel that complement purple. Designers divide colours into warm and cool colours to assist in colour matching. Purple is a cool colour. According to Ask Andy About Clothes, two cool colours should be matched with one warm colour, or one cool colour should be matched with two warm colours for a great look. Accessories such as scarves, belts, necklaces, purses, shoes and hats should be chosen within these colour fields for optimal visual appeal.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Colour wheel
  • Shrug, jacket or sweater
  • Necklace
  • Scarf
  • Belt or sash
  • Shoes
  • Purse
  • Hat

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  1. 1

    Build your outfit around the purple dress, which represents the core colour in your ensemble's colour scheme. According to Ask Andy About Clothes, when placed next to the core colour, a complementary colour appears brighter. For example, if you're wearing a sleeveless purple dress, accessorise with a sage shrug.

  2. 2

    Use a colour wheel (see Reference section) to determine complementary colours for your purple dress. According to Unique Home Decor Ideas, complementary colours are positioned opposite of your core colour on the colour wheel. Complementary colours for purple are greens, yellows and oranges. For example, a necklace of green, orange and purple beads would be a good choice to complement your purple dress.

  3. 3

    Choose accessories such as shoes, a belt, purse, hat, shrug, sweater or necklace in complementary colours. According to Ask Andy About Clothes, designers construct ensembles around two or three contrasting warm and cool colours. For example, orange and yellow are warm colours. Choose purple and another cool colour, such as green, contrasted with yellow, a warm colour. In this case, a purple dress could be worn with a floral print scarf in greens and yellows, with a solid yellow belt.

  1. 1

    Another option is to choose accessories in violet, magenta, plum and other variations of purple. According to Ask Andy About Clothes, monochromatic accessorising involves utilising accessories within the same colour family, but in different tones, hues and shades of the core colour. For example, choose a lavender chiffon scarf to wrap around the neck of a purple dress.

  2. 2

    Contrast your lighter purple dress with darker purple shoes and a purse. According to Ask Andy About Clothes, mix one light shade with two darker shades, or vice versa.

  3. 3

    Wear your purple dress with plum earrings and a hat and matching plum shoes. Belts and sashes in shades matching the shoes and hat pull the accessories together.

Tips and warnings

  • Purple is sometimes hard to match. Snip a tiny bit of fabric from an inside seam to take shopping with you while looking for accessories.

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