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Graceful Ladies Like Purple
my apartment and I
like it! This is a girls' apartment! That [Chandler and Joey's] is a boys' apartment! It's dirty and it smells! This is pretty! It's so pretty! And look, it... and it's
— Rachel Green
voicing her refusal to leave Monica's apartment, Friends
, "The One With the Embryos"
A lady wearing purple as a sign of her femininity, whether she is girly and sweet, or graceful and mature.
For millennia, purple was the traditional color of nobility because it was one of the most difficult (and thus expensive
) colors to make with naturally occurring dyes. In fact, the Romans actually made it a crime for anyone not of the nobility to wear purple in public, cementing its status in many cultures as the color of The Beautiful Elite
. This changed some time after the Industrial Revolution
kicked into high gear, when synthetic dyes became the norm rather than the exception. So formerly expensive purple dye was now just as affordable as any other color, and thus lost much of its association with wealth.
Then as colors began to take on their now-familiar gender connotations
, purple found itself increasingly on the feminine side of the gender divide because it was considered a pinker
version of blue
. This trope is thus a merger of two associations: purple with nobility, and purple with femininity.
This color is fairly common to see on a young girl, elderly matron, Spirited Young Lady
, or princess (even if Princesses Prefer Pink
Now even though this color can be worn by girls of any age, older feminine women are more likely to wear this color long after a girl who wore pink grew out of that color.
This also tends to be a popular color among some Mary Sues
Just being a woman in purple isn't enough. It has to be a clearly feminine lady.
A Sister Trope
to Pink Means Feminine
(and can overlap with colors like fuchsia), True Blue Femininity
Compare Purple Eyes
, Princess Phase
, Winter Royal Lady
, Proper Lady
, Princess Classic
, Princesses Prefer Pink
, Purple Is Powerful
(and can overlap with some Action Girls
), Supernatural Is Purple
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Anime & Manga
- Sumire of Sakura Taisen wears purple as her main color, in both her uniform and regular outfit. Although her "graceful" aspect is just as often overridden by her being the Team Prima Donna.
- Zakuro Fujiwara in Tokyo Mew Mew, a mature, refined model, has a purple-colored Mew Mew outfit (and purple hair to match).
- Sylphiel Nels Lahda of Slayers wears a mostly purple outfit, fitting for her proper, polite and demure behavior.
- Angel Salvia in Wedding Peach wears purple both in her Simple Fairytale Wedding Dress and her Mini Dress Of Power.
- While Anthy Himemiya of Revolutionary Girl Utena, the Rose Bride, generally wears a red dress (or white in the movie), her hair is purple, and purple itself is a symbol for royalty and, appropriately, magic and mystery (both which make up Anthy's mystique and outer personality). Most of her outside artwork, namely monochrome drawings, utilize purple.
- Hotaru Tomoe/Sailor Saturn from Sailor Moon wears purple as her main outfit theme.
- In the opening of one of the movies, Venus is trying on different outfits at a store, including a long purple fur coat, where she poses like a movie star.
- Lady of War Yuri Tsukikage/Cure Moonlight from HeartCatch Pretty Cure! has purple hair in both forms and a violet-accented Cure outfit.
- Ayeka of Tenchi Muyo! has purple hair and is a proper princess. However, it's slightly cheating, since Word of God states that her hair is actually blue and she altered it to be purple in order to attract her half-brother/fiance Yosho.
- A few of Marie Antoinette's dresses in Rose of Versailles are purple in the anime.
- Princess Elizabeth of Nanatsu No Taizai wears a purple waitress uniform as her standard outfit.
- Psylocke of X-Men is a former supermodel, whose motifs are butterflies, and is often depicted as a elegant Lady of War in a purple leotard, although for a time she fit Purple Is Powerful more than this trope.
Films — Animation
- Bianca from The Rescuers dons purple often, including in her Iconic Outfit with the bow.
- Meg from Hercules has purple eyes and a lavender dress.
- Rapunzel of Tangled wears a purple and lavender dress.
- Ariel of The Little Mermaid wears a purple seashell bra as a mermaid, and in The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, she wears a purple Pimped-Out Dress.
- In a lot of The Merch, Jasmine from Aladdin is shown wearing the purple Bare Your Midriff dress she wears towards the end of the movie, rather than her usual blue outfit.
- Esmeralda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame has a predominant scheme of white, teal, gold, and purple—with purple standing out the most as the color of her skirt.
- Shanti from The Jungle Book.
- The Black Cauldron's Eilonwy wears dress that is a mixture of purple, pink, and white.
- Jane from Peter Pan: Return to Neverland.
- One of Mulan's outfits in Mulan II.
- In Barbie in A Christmas Carol, Eden wears a purple nightgown and Sleep Mask, while Catherine in a possible future wears a purple dress as an Evil Costume Switch (her present dress is pink and white).
- In Frozen, Queen Elsa wears a purple cape as part of her coronation regalia.
- In the Harry Potter series, women only seem to wear purple for formal occasions. The colour Lavender is always the specific shade. Madam Maxime typically wears black but wears a flowing gown of lavender silk for the Yule Ball. Additionally Hermione wears lavender for Bill and Fleur's wedding. It's presented as a She Cleans Up Nicely moment too.
- A minor subplot in Gary Jennings Aztec. When Mixtli meets Zyanya and Beu Ribe, they are wearing blouses decorated with a "rich and permanent purple" dye. At that point, Mixtli explains that purple had been harvested from insects that lived on a certain crop and it could only be harvested once a year (and faded after numerous washings). Their father had gone to find out the source of the permanent purple, which led Mixtli on the same quest, to better albeit bittersweet results. Much later after Mixtli marries Zyanya he sells some of his stock to Tenochtitlan's elite, but his wife has more purple garments than even the Queen.
- Ambassador Delenn in Babylon 5 loves purple robes and wears them when handling interstellar crises' or blowing bad guys up.
- Lady Morgana wears a lot of purple on Merlin whilst she's living in Camelot's court, and Guinevere's coronation gown is purple.
- In fact, Morgana gets no less than four purple gowns, two of silk and two of velvet: one◊, two◊, three◊, four◊.
- The dowager countess, Maggie Smith's character on Downton Abbey, is named Violet and wears lots of purple.
- Princess Aurora in Once Upon a Time wears a lavender gown.
- The titular mother in How I Met Your Mother is wearing a purple sundress when first introduced to the audience. And when she finally meets Ted, she's wearing a purple dress under her raincoat.
- WWE Diva Ivory's favourite colour was purple and nearly all her outfits were purple. She also had her trademark purple scarf which she carried to the ring with her. She often referred to herself as a lady, calling the rest of the Divas sluts and skanks.
- Jenny Jones has a different take on wearing purple in Warning...
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
- On The Muppet Show, Miss Piggy is never seen without a pair of lavender Opera Gloves. She is the very definition of delicate, graceful femininity, and will punch out the lights of anyone who says otherwise.
- Several outfits Barbie has worn have been purple, as well as several characters in the Direct-to-Video movies.
- Shirley Primer from Crimson Rafflesia wears and is commonly associated with the color purple, and she is the most feminine, graceful and soft-spoken girls of the cast.
- Action Girl Virginia's fuchsia Pimped-Out Dress in Wild ARMs 3.
- Blaze the Cat from the Sonic the Hedgehog series.
- Morrigan of Dragon Age: Origins is a Lady of Black Magic who mostly wears purple and black. Violet is often emphasized with her in official artist's depictions, as well as occasionally being the color of her magic.
- Katamari Damacy's Velvet wears purple as a sign of her maturity and haughtiness.
- Ivy Valentine of Soul Calibur wears purple dominatrix suits and is the most...womanly character in the game.
- The more recent depictions of Princess Zelda often tend to show her in a purple dress.
- Yakumo Yukari from Touhou wears purple dresses. Also overlaps with Purple Is Powerful.
- Her name even means violet.
- Princess Schala of Zeal in Chrono Trigger wears a purple robe.
- Alisa Bosconovitch of Tekken wears a dress that is mostly purple.
- Jaina Proudmoore wore a long hooded purple mantle decorated with runes in Warcraft III, along with white clothing. By World of Warcraft, she had switched that outfit for a more elegant purple and white robe befitting her status as the ruler of Theramore.
- In Kingdom Hearts Princess Aurora's normally blue (or pink) dress is colored purple on her stained glass window.
- Neptunia series: Played straight by Purple Heart and Purple Sister, natch. Also Nepgear (the non-Super Mode Purple Sister) to a lesser extent. Subverted by Neptune (non-super Purple Heart), who wears the most actual purple in her outfit, but is a chronically unmotivated slacker.
- The Disney Princess site offers several purple Pimped Out Dresses in the Virtual Paper Doll game.
- Toki used to be drawn in a purple dress or in something that is purple, as can be seen here: . Also doubles metaphorically with Purple Is Powerful, seeing that is she very wealthy and is seen of high status, being called "Lady Toki" or something of the like. Interestingly, it is also a Color Motif, seeing the purple, besides being the color of royalty and materialism (in which wealth is associated), is also the color of insanity, fitting since she is mentally ill.
- Rarity, the most feminine main character in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, has a violet mane and tail, and even her white coat had slight lavender tint to it. Her choices in outfits for herself also tend to be biased towards purple and blue.
- She even wears purple camouflage at one point, while dragon-watching, which the others call her out on. She doesn't seem to mind.
- Minor antagonist Trixie usually wears a purple cape and hat. As she is a stage magician, this also ties into Supernatural Is Purple.
- Yue, the princess of the Northern Water Tribe Avatar: The Last Airbender, wears purple, when all the other water tribes wear blue (although a play involving her portrays her wearing pink).
- This is one of the most common colors worn by Daisy Duck of the Classic Disney Shorts.
- Fallon of Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders wears purple and has purple hair.
- In the Fairy Tale episode of X-Men Jean was a Princess and wore purple and pink.
- The Ashleys in Recess have a tradition around this color. When they first met in kindergarten, they were coincidentally all wearing purple, and every anniversary of that day is "Purple Day", where the girls only wear the color purple. The episode which introduced this began with their leader, Ashley A., arriving late, but accidentally wearing yellow. She, for a brief moment, is kicked out of the club.
- Marzipan from Homestar Runner wears a purple dress... or her body is purple and just looks like a dress.
- Princes Clara in Drawn Together wears a simply purple frock.
- Luciana in Barbie as the Island Princess wears a purple dress.
- Sofia from Sofia the First wears a purple princess gown. Even before she became a Princess she wore purple.
- She-Ra: Princess of Power: Princess Glimmer has purple in her outfit and lavender hair.
- Sym-Bionic Titan: Princess Ilana wears a purple dress when she escapes Galaluna and lands on earth. She doesn't wear it for the rest of the show.
- Zoe Trent, the diva dog from Littlest Pet Shop (2012), is a purple spaniel.
- Fifi La Fume from Tiny Toons is a purple skunk.
- In Sabrina: The Animated Series when Gem is auditioning for the role of Juliet she wears a purple period gown. Notably when Sabrina plays the role, the dress she wears is pink. Also Aunt Hilda, the more feminine and fashionable of the two aunts, has a purple dress as her default outfit.
- In the Total Drama series, Courtney, during the Fairytale Challenge of Season Two, is wearing a purple dress.