Shall we wear purple?

purple cashmere sweater

Purple is a colour that can polarise opinion. Do you love it or hate it? A quote from the wonderful poem by Jenny Joseph.

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.”

When I googled this well-known poem I found information on this interesting site Later Bloomer. Apparently the poem was an “ode to nonconformity”.

Personally, I love mixing strong bright colours together and I can well imagine myself wearing a purple coat with a red fedora hat. however, I acknowledge that this look might not be for everybody. The colour purple seems to carry a lot of baggage. The definition of purple is that it is a colour somewhere between red and blue. However, if you add white to the mix it quickly becomes various shades of lilac.

The jeans I am wearing are my trusted Levis, necklace MarksandSpencer last year, they have some funky styles. my trainers are Stan Smith and my lilac wool scarf from St.Tropez market.

I remember wearing various shades of purple way back in the 80s and have not owned a deep purple garment since then. However, when I attended the WinserLondon event in London recently I was tempted to try several of their brighter coloured sweaters. I eventually opted for their bright purple polo neck. It is part of their cashmere collection and absolutely gorgeous. It is made from superfine cashmere so is perfect either worn on its one or as a layering piece. If purple is not your thing the sweater also comes in orange, emerald, red, yellow and rich cream for those of you who prefer neutrals.

Purple and lilac:

Purple cashmere sweater

For the last few years purple seems to have fallen out of favour but this season the colour, often associated with royalty and nobility, has been embraced by many of the designers. There are so many shades of purple that you could opt for the palest lavender to the brightest purple or the deepest plum.

Purple & Lilac accessories:

All photographs taken by Laura Hines. Follow her on Instagram

Disclaimer: The purple sweater I am wearing was requested for photography and subsequently gifted. All the other items I am wearing are my own.


  1. M
    15th March 2019 / 14:48

    How funny, Josephine – I’m sat reading your blog wearing my purple cashmere cardigan. So I think I can safely say, I’m a fan.

  2. Paula
    15th March 2019 / 15:09

    Lovely color on you! And to the poem I say why wait to wear purple

    • 15th March 2019 / 16:44

      I agree Paula why wait it it a great colour

  3. Langus Sandra
    15th March 2019 / 15:10

    You look lovely! I love aubergine purple, but that is probably too deep a color for spring.

    • 15th March 2019 / 16:45

      Hi Sandra Yes it is probably more a winter tone however you could liven it up with either yellow. lilac or any bright colour of your choice

  4. Georgia
    15th March 2019 / 15:12

    I love purple in any shade! I have green eyes and blindfish hair and I enjoy wearing purple very much.

    Love your blog Josephine!

    • 15th March 2019 / 16:46

      HI Gorgia
      I also have greenish eyes, not sure what blindfish hair is. Glad you like my blog.

  5. Sara
    15th March 2019 / 15:14

    I think this looks great with silver hair, as per your look, Josephine. I am still reddish (with the aid of my excellent hairdresser) and I find I feel more comfortable in very dark aubergine colours rather than the brighter lighter purple. My silver haired friends look great in dusky lilacs, whereas I would look totally washed out. I rarely want to say that certain colours cannot be worn by someone as I think it is so much a matter of personal preference. Similarly, I have never subscribed to the idea of “having colours done “ as I think it so restrictive. Generally, surely people can decide for themselves what they like? As I get older, I intend to wear more and more what I feel right in, just like the poem’s author! More power to that idea and if you like purple, go for it. Actually, when I think about it, I have always worn the colours I wanted to.

    • 15th March 2019 / 16:50

      Great philosophy Sara. We should all feel happy in the colours we choose to wear.

  6. Jasmine
    15th March 2019 / 16:05

    The ‘electric’ purple jumper you’re wearing looks great on you, particularly with your jeans and pale lavender scarf, but unfortunately I couldn’t wear that particular shade of purple. I am a fan of purple, a large percentage of the items in my wardrobe are various shades of purple but they are the more muted shades. From the palest lilac/pink to dark aubergine.

    Love reading your blog and looking at your ideas even if I don’t always get a chance to comment.

    • 15th March 2019 / 16:52

      Hi Jasmine

      Thank you for taking the time to comment. The more muted shades used to suit me but somehow my colouring has changed and now to my surprise I prefer the brighter tones.

  7. Karen Carr
    15th March 2019 / 16:05

    Thank you Josephine, you look lovely. Purple is one of my favourites. I remember wearing the colour for a business trip to Paris and being told in France it is associated with funerals. That rather caught me out! I’m delighted it is in fashion now as it is so versatile in all its tones and depths.

    • 15th March 2019 / 16:57

      Hi Karen

      Thank you for taking the time to comment. I know that other cultures have very different associations with various colours. In the Middle East white is associated to purity and mourning.

  8. 15th March 2019 / 16:42

    IT is a HAPPY COLOR!

  9. Wendy in York
    15th March 2019 / 16:50

    Lovely colour . I think I would have added some purple patterned socks too !

  10. 15th March 2019 / 16:56

    Alas, I hate purple and the blue shade that borders on purple. We have a Spring garden and my husband loves blue azaleas and rhododendrons. I hate them!
    I know exactly why I hate the colour ; it’s psychological in my case.
    I have green eyes but would never wear the colour.
    On you, Josephine, it looks terrific.

    • 15th March 2019 / 16:59

      I know some people really have an aversion to purple

  11. Kathleen
    15th March 2019 / 17:04

    Hello Josephine,

    My youngest granddaughter’s name is Josephine also! I am happy to see you wearing jeans. I am of a certain age as well and still like the casualness of jeans on days when it is appropriate. I had once read that women over 50 shouldn’t wear them but I am hoping that was an old posting and the person has since gotten with the times a bit!

    I enjoy your posts so much.

    Thank you,


    • 15th March 2019 / 18:13

      Hi Kathleen Josephine is quite an unusual name these days. I think women can wear jeans at any age. It is quite hard to find the right pair for ones figure shape. They need to fit well and be comfortable.

  12. Jo Johnston
    15th March 2019 / 18:59

    Yes, I like purple. It has been a staple in my wardrobe for years, in colors that tend more toward the blue side of purple. I don’t particularly care what colors are “in” or not “in”. I wear what I like.

  13. Kay
    15th March 2019 / 19:15

    I wonder how life would be different if that poem read “I shall wear yellow.”

  14. Christine Thomas-O'Meally
    15th March 2019 / 22:15

    I love purple and I love red hats but I will not wear them together because I don’t want to be part of the Red Hat Society. It makes me crazy because the poem is about nonconformity, but yet the Red Hat Society is all about being a group of people who wear purple clothes and red hats. I’ve already advised friends that if they ever see me in a group of women wearing hats, they are to SHOOT ME.

    Kidding, of course. But not too much.

    • 16th March 2019 / 07:48

      Hi Christine
      I have never heard of the Red Hat Society so do not know what it represents. I love wearing hats but have never been in a group of women wearing them. A lot of my friends are not hat fans.

  15. Marilyn L
    16th March 2019 / 15:45

    That reminds me that I have a purple Spring jacket lurking in the wardrobe. Once it stops raining and warms up I must get it out. I love the colour

  16. edebock
    17th March 2019 / 02:56

    You look vibrant in that colour, Josephine!

    Elaine @ Following Augustine

  17. Gillian
    17th March 2019 / 03:00

    Have you heard of the Red Hat Ladies? They wear red hats with purple outfits. I like purple.

  18. Heidi L.
    20th March 2019 / 02:46

    I was going to mention the Red Hat society which I think springs from this line in the poem.I figured being British you might now have it over there. 🙂


  19. 17th March 2020 / 18:14

    I love purple but if you see me wearing purple with a red hat, SHOOT ME BECAUSE I HAVE CLEARLY GONE MAD. 😀 Seriously, the idea of the poem is to be a nonconformist – so let’s all wear red hats with purple! NOPE

    However, I love purple and I love pairing with teal or green. That makes me very happy, It’s actually the colors of my brand.

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