Then 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.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit


You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes


But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.


But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.


Taken from the book
When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple
Editd by Sandra Martz
Papier Mache Press–Watsonville, California 1987

I am sure many of you will be familiar with this poem, I still find it amusing and it came to mind as I started to write this post on “shall we be wearing purple this Autumn?” Various shades appeared in a number of the runway shows. As it is not a colour that I have worn for many years it does not currently feature in my wardrobe, except maybe the odd scarf. Will I be indulging, not sure yet I will have to try a few pieces on. From memory only the lighter shades suit me as I have fair colouring, the darker shades are best worn by the brunettes amongst us.

Tilda Swinton looking gorgeous in purple


Alberta Ferretti


Christian Dior


Roksanda Illinac




Shall we wear purle



Shall we wear purple



Shall we wear purple



Shall we wear purple


PS There was a very interesting article in last Saturday’s Financial Times about Luxury brands waking up to the power of older women. Well worth a read here Saturday FT link to article

Thank you for reading. I really love to hear from you and appreciate the time you take to leave comments.
Fashion and Style, Beauty tips, Lifestyle


  1. Catherine
    3rd September 2012 / 16:53

    The secret to purple is know which shade suits. There are blue purples for the fair skinned or reddish purples for darker or sallow skinned. Also I think ALL purples look better with co-ordinating dark brown and not black. On the whole black does not go with many bright colours yet it seems to be the default colour choice for so many of us…. Purple can also look stunning with scarlet or bright orange!

  2. 3rd September 2012 / 17:01

    Good point Catherine. I also think it goes well with navy and grey.

  3. Catherine
    3rd September 2012 / 17:32

    P.S. Forgot to say… love the poem and look forward to following its guidelines!

  4. 3rd September 2012 / 19:10

    I think the secret to wearing purple is limiting it: the photo of black pants, gray top and purple appeals to me the most. Love the poem. You know, I’m sure, that “The Red Hat Society” was formed after being inspired by the poem

  5. Caroline
    5th September 2012 / 08:49

    Oh now I understand all!?

  6. 7th September 2012 / 20:04

    Ooh…this post has me craving some rich purple shades right about now…it has been sadly absent from my wardrobe for years…I do remember in high school being so infatuated with the color that I literally dyed my entire wardrobe a shade of purple..right down to my undies.

    I so appreciate your chic and stylish picks…

  7. 9th September 2012 / 10:02

    I really like this posting about Purple. However I find it humorous that you commented about Purple for the “Dark haired” and the first pix is of Tilda…who certainly could not be more fair skinned!

    I love & wear purple=as an aging redhead. Makes me look ( in my mind at least) Queenly! TY for the time you spend on this blog to make it ever so interesting.

  8. 9th September 2012 / 15:32

    Hi West Coast Boomer
    Tilda looks to me like a warm blond, not ashy toned. Possibly a slightly lighter shade might have been better however I think she just manages to carry off the bright tone she is wearing.
    Purple with red hear can look absolutely stunning, lucky you.

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