Whether you call it eggplant, aubergine, grape, plum, amethyst or deep lavender, just be sure to call it...as much as you can. This fall, purple is as ubiquitous as high gas prices and presidential campaign commercials.
Defined as a group of colors with hues between violet and red, purple is back with a vengeance this season, coloring everything from dresses, tops and pants to handbags, shoes and jewelry. Purple has even crept its way into the beauty industry: Do your nails in OPI’s dark aubergine “Lincoln Park at Midnight,” lips with Chanel’s Glossimer in “Moonlight” and eyes with MAC Cosmetics’ “Shadowy Lady” shadow collection—filled with four shades to create the perfectly sultry, smudged-violet smoky eye.
Happily, the hue is likely to complement almost any skin tone and hair color combination more often than the variations of any other. Just ensure you’re choosing a shade with the right color nuances: If you’re fair and blonde, opt for a more blue-purple; olive skinned brunettes should consider a grape shade saturated with red undertones.
And feel free to play up the popular shade as much as you like, while breathing a sigh of relief: When timeless colors like this are suddenly the “next big thing,” there’s little worry they’ll ever date themselves like an acid-washed skinny jean or an oversized blazer with shoulder pads. So invest in key purple pieces to so you’ll be perfectly on-trend for fall, but sure to be in style for a lifetime. Here, some of our favorites:
Use of the color purple dates back to 1900 B.C., when it was produced from the mucus of a variety of marine mollusks. Since it took so many shellfish (about 12,000!) to extract a measly 1.5 grams of the pure dye, it earned a reputation as being rare and expensive: only the rich and powerful could afford it. Of course, the synthetic dye industry eventually made purple accessible to the lowly masses, but it never lost its majestic appeal.