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Graceful Ladies Like Purple

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It's certainly lovely on these Princesses.

"This is 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 purple!"
Rachel Green (voicing her refusal to leave Monica's apartment), Friends, "The One With the Embryos"
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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 colour of nobility because it was one of the most difficult (and thus expensive) colours 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 colour 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 (in fact, one of the first colors made by coal-based dyes was mauve). So formerly expensive purple dye was now just as affordable as any other colour, and thus lost much of its association with wealth.

Then as colours 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.

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This colour 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 colour can be worn by girls of any age, older feminine women are more likely to wear this colour long after a girl who wore pink grew out of that colour.

This also tends to be a popular colour among some Mary Sues. It's also a recommended color for blondes as the yellow/gold of the hair and the purple of the dress complement each other.

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 colours like fuchsia), True Blue Femininity.

Compare 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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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Imperial Princesses in Code Geass wear a lot of purple, as do their brothers, some of whom, like Lelouch, are quite feminine (and he also wears a purple dress at his school's crossdressing festival). The two oldest princesses, Cornelia and Guinevere, have purple hair as well.
  • Yuri Tsukikage/Cure Moonlight from Heartcatch Pretty Cure has purple hair in both forms and a violet-accented Cure outfit, and is a Lady of War admired by her teammates for her elegance.
  • Hinata Hyuga in Naruto, heiress to the Hyuga clan and user of the Gentle Fist, which relies on speed and grace rather than power. Her signature colour also happens to be purple/lavender.
  • In Patalliro!, Etrange is a reigning king's mother and a Proper Lady. In anime version, she wears purple clothes, has purple hair and purple eyes.
  • 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.
  • A few of Marie Antoinette's dresses in The Rose of Versailles are purple in the anime.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • Hotaru Tomoe/Sailor Saturn has purple as her main outfit colour, and she's a kind and demure young girl. However, her powers as an Apocalypse Maiden make her fit Purple Is Powerful more than this.
    • Rei Hino has purple hair in most manga illustrations, Crystal and in the latest Sera Myu. In those three incarnations she is a graceful Ojou and her femininity is part of her characterization, specially when contrasted to Minako's spunky and ditzy personality (They pretty much play Tomboy and Girly Girl in the manga). Bonus point for having purple as her secondary colour and purple eyes as well.
  • Princess Elizabeth of The Seven Deadly Sins wears a purple waitress uniform as her standard outfit.
  • Sylphiel Nels Lahda of Slayers wears a mostly purple outfit, fitting for her proper, polite and demure behavior.
  • The beautiful gravekeeper Scar from Sunday Without God is polite, soft-spoken, and purple is her main color, and it's not just her clothes that are purple, but also her hair and eyes.
  • 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.
  • Zakuro Fujiwara in Tokyo Mew Mew, a mature, refined model, has a purple-colored Mew Mew outfit (and purple hair to match).
  • Rinne Berlinetta from ViVid Strike!, an Ojou (via adoption) and both her casual outfit and Barrier Jacket heavily feature purple.
  • Angel Salvia in Wedding Peach wears purple both in her Simple Fairytale Wedding Dress and her Mini Dress Of Power.
  • Renamon from Digimon Tamers has purple as part of her color motif. After yellow it's the second most prominent color of her design and showcases her mature, feminine side.
  • Noelle Silva from Black Clover. She wears a short purple dress under her blazer and purple stud earrings, and is an aloof, feminine young lady from a noble family.
  • One Piece: During the Marinford Arc, Boa Hancock wore a purple dress and purple high heel pumps. Overlaps with Purple Is Powerful because of how strong she is.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Mai Valentine wears purple in all of her outfits.

    Comic Books 
  • 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.
  • All the girls of W.I.T.C.H. had purple as one of the colors of their costume (the other was turquoise). Seems to be a color they consciously use to portray the magical female characters in, since Orube, Elyon and Nerissa also had purple as part of their designs (or wore purple clothes at one point).
  • Allure of Relative Heroes had her feminine traits supernaturally enhanced as an infant when her mother made a deal with the Greek god Eryx and wears a pastel purple dress when acting as a superhero.
  • Starfire is a beautiful alien princess who wears purple outfits.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): Hippolyta, the graceful queen of the Amazons, usually wears purple. Even her armor is decked in purple, with the undergarments, pteruges, and crest all in the color.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Padme wears a lot of purple gowns in Revenge of the Sith.
  • Christiana wears a few purple robes in A Knight's Tale. As Jocelyn's lady in waiting she would be expected to be quite ladylike herself.
  • Anita in West Side Story wears a violet dress during the dance, and in the famous "America" number.
  • Arwen wears quite a few beautiful, purple dresses in The Lord of the Rings.
  • Lorraine in Back to the Future wears a few purple outfits for school.
  • Ruth Jamison in Fried Green Tomatoes wears a few lilac dresses, which signifies that she's the more feminine character, in contrast to her tomboyish counterpart, Idgie.
  • In The Greatest Showman, Anne wears a violet circus costume, and she is the most feminine of all the main performers.
  • In Little Women (2019), Proper Lady Meg wears a gorgeous violet gown when going to the Moffats; likewise, The Ingenue Beth wears a few lavender dresses as well.
  • Andy Carmichael, wears a purple jacket at the beginning of The Goonies during cheerleading practice.
  • In Footloose, Genki Girl Rusty wears a lot of dark purple shirts and sweaters, and even wears a dark purple dress to the prom.
  • Jenna Rink wears quite a few feminine purple outfits in 13 Going on 30, and is quite a girly Fashionista.
  • In Beaches, Hillary Whitney wears a lavender and white colored dress, when she is introduced at the beginning of the film as a child.
  • Medda wears a violet gown, along with a matching hairpiece and fan in Newsies, during the "My Lovey Dovey Baby" number.
  • Caroline, the popular girl in Sixteen Candles wears a lilac colored dress throughout the majority of the film.
  • Lily St. Regis in Annie wears a stylish dark purple dress throughout the film.

    Films — Animation 

    Literature 
  • 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. There's also a pretty girl character named Lavender Brown, although she's a Smitten Teenage Girl and The Ditz rather than a graceful lady.
  • 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.
  • Played with in Betsy-Tacy high school years, where Fashionista, cook, dancer, and "excellent back lot football player" Tib has touches of purple in every piece of clothing she owns, all scented with lavender.
  • Scarlett and Tella's grandmother owned a gorgeous purple dress in Caraval.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Ambassador Delenn in Babylon 5 loves purple robes and wears them when handling interstellar crises or blowing bad guys up.
  • Merlin:
    • Lady Morgana wears a lot of purple whilst she's living in Camelot's court. In fact, Morgana gets no less than four purple gowns, two of silk and two of velvet: one, two, three, four.
    • When Guinevere is crowned queen, her coronation gown is purple. Additionally when she was still a servant, she had a few purple dresses too. Notably she started wearing more purple once she became Arthur's love interest.
  • The Dowager Countess, Maggie Smith's character on Downton Abbey, is named Violet and wears lots of purple.
  • In The Legend of Zhen Huan, Shen Meizhuang is ladylike and wears purple.
  • Princess Aurora in Once Upon a Time wears a lavender gown. And overlapping with Purple Is Powerful, Cora favours gowns with purple on them. On the flipside, Regina occasionally dons a purple gown when she's trying to differentiate herself from the Evil Queen persona.
  • 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.
  • Breaking Bad: Marie Schader, has purple as her favourite colour, frequently wearing purple clothes. She might not be exactly graceful due to her shoplifting disorder, and she only wore black or white after her husband Hank's murder.
  • Deanna Troi on Star Trek: The Next Generation often wears a purple uniform when she's not wearing teal or red.
  • Batman (1966): Batgirl's costume is a dark, sparkly blue-purple, but her Batcycle is definitely purple. And has Frills of Justice. No, really.
  • Raven wears quite a few purple outfits in Season 1 of That's So Raven, being The Fashionista that she is.
  • On Stranger Things, Nancy wears a few light purple outfits, including a violet flannel dress when she serves as a chaperone at her brother's school dance.

    Music 

    Poetry 
  • 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.
And this poem was the inspiration for the Red Hat Society, a social organization for women 50 and older, combining this trope with a playful touch of "Screw the (Fashion) Rules, I'm a Senior!".

    Pro Wrestling 
  • 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.
  • Alexa Bliss was initially colour-coded with blue, but also had a set of purple outfits. She was portrayed as a Cute Bruiser who loved everything sparkly. When she turned heel and dropped that gimmick, she switched to red.
  • Trish Stratus in her 2002-2004 period - notably when she was trying to move away from her Ms. Fanservice status - wore lots of variations of purple and blue on her gear. She never seemed to like pink, so purple was the most feminine colour she wore. And funnily enough, she teamed with Ivory a few times in this period.

    Puppet Shows 
  • On The Muppet Show, Miss Piggy is never seen without a pair of lavender High Class Gloves. She is the very definition of delicate, graceful femininity, and will punch out the lights of anyone who says otherwise.
  • Sesame Street:
    • Julia is a cute, quirky girly-girl, who is often shown wearing a violet jumper dress.
    • Ovejita is a Manic Pixie Dream Girl lamb with lavender wool.

    Toys 
  • Several outfits Barbie has worn have been purple, as well as several characters in the Direct-to-Video movies.
  • Lego Friends, the girl-oriented spin-off of LEGO, has purple as its primary colour. Most of the sets are purple and pink.

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 

    Web Comics 
  • Last Res0rt features HRH Adharia Kuvoe — a pink-furred blonde lion-taur whose uniform's colours are purple, lavender, and silver.
  • The protagonist of The Weave, Tally, has worn two different purple dresses for the larger part of the comic so far, and she's a sweet, quite feminine sort of girl.

    Web Original 
  • 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: [1]. 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.

    Western Animation 
  • 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).
  • Luciana in Barbie as the Island Princess wears a purple dress.
  • This is one of the most common colours worn by Daisy Duck of the Classic Disney Shorts.
  • Princess Clara in Drawn Together wears a simply purple frock.
  • Marzipan from Homestar Runner wears a purple dress... or her body is purple and just looks like a dress.
  • June from Little Einsteins is a six year old ballet dancer who wears a purple dress.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
    • Rarity, the most feminine main character, 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.
    • Princess Cadance, while mostly pink, has a lot of purple in her design. Of the established princesses, she's the one who mostly closely fits the Princess Classic model, though she can fight when she has to.
  • Fallon of Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders wears purple and has purple hair.
  • The Ashleys in Recess have a tradition around this colour. 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 colour 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.
  • 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.
  • She-Ra: Princess of Power: Princess Glimmer has purple in her outfit and lavender hair.
  • Sofia from Sofia the First wears a purple princess gown. Even before she became a princess she wore purple.
  • 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.
  • Starfire in Teen Titans wears a purple top, mini skirt, and boots.
  • Fifi La Fume in Tiny Toon Adventures is a purple skunk.
  • Total Drama:
    • Courtney, during the Fairytale Challenge of Season Two, is wearing a purple dress.
    • Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race has Josee of the Ice Dancers. Her partner even describes her as: "beauty, grace and strength."
  • In the Fairy Tale episode of X-Men Jean was a Princess and wore purple and pink.
  • On Arthur, Muffy Crosswire's signature outfit is a purple jumper dress, with matching hairbows.
  • Six on Seven Little Monsters wears a purple tutu, and is the most feminine one of all the monsters.
  • Jelly on PB&J Otter is a purple otter. While she is mostly tomboyish in personality, at times she is shown to have a more feminine side.
  • Daphne on Scooby-Doo almost always wears a purple outfit.
  • On Anne Of Green Gables:The Animated Series, Diana - who is more graceful and feminine, in contrast to the tomboyish Anne - is often clad in a lavender dress, with a matching hair ribbon.
  • Trixie Tang, the most popular girl in school on The Fairly Oddparents wears a lilac sweater and matching headband.
  • Pearl Pureheart, the main love interest of Mighty Mouse, often wore a purple dress.
  • Invader Zim has Gaz, who is mostly an aversion of this trope; she has purple hair and reddish-purple tights/leggings, but she's tomboyish and gruff rather than feminine or delicate. However, she does sleep in pink, winged footie pajamas and sport a skirt with her regular attire in the comics (as well as a dress in the original show). She's also been shown to possess otherworldly powers in situations where she's angry or determined, so her appearance ties into Supernatural Is Purple. This series also gives us Tak, another character who's an aversion of the trope; her color motif is purple, though she's a Dark Action Girl who, like Gaz, isn't particularly feminine.
  • In Ready Jet Go!, part of Lillian's dress is purple. And she is definitely graceful, as she takes gymnastics classes.
  • Tracy on Jay Jay the Jet Plane is a feminine and kind-hearted violet jet plane.
  • Gadget on Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers often wears a lilac jumpsuit, with matching goggles.
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