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Purple is a powerful color  the color of royalty, a staple in the wardrobe of kings and queens. The ancient civilization of the Phoenicians extracted the dark Tyrian purple dye from mollusks and added it to their wardrobes as a sign of wealth. Tyrian purple was the color of “clotted blood” and the dye was a valuable trade item. In order to wear purple, you must exude the confidence of a princess and be willing to stand out in a crowd; there is no hiding in the shadows with a color so bold.

The key to wearing purple is to find a shade you love, and to limit just one piece of your outfit to the color. There are many lovely shades to choose from, from violets, lilacs, deep dark purples and fair lavender. In the spring and summer, the lighter pastel shades are best, while the crisp autumn air and winter calls for darker shades. The shade you choose should have more to do with the season rather than your skin-tone, as purple is universally flattering.

Purple can look chic and effortless when used correctly. Jeans and a white top with a purple handbag puts the focus on the bag and keeps the look clean and minimalist, with a splash of color. With a basic outfit or neutral colored dress, add some unexpected color with purple pumps or heels. A purple top looks best with jeans, beige, or white bottoms; try to avoid black or brown as the colors clash. Purple eyeshadow brings out blue eyes, and purple nail polish is a different and cute look. If you work in a conservative environment stick to shades like mauve and thistle, which are easy on the eye. The world or purple is diverse and magical, so choose a purple item and go out boldly into the world.