Image by Marie Vonow
Purple is a colour traditionally associated with royalty and luxury. At some times in history only royalty have been permitted to wear purple. Variations in the shade of purple have different meanings. One survey showed it as the favourite colour for 23% of women but it didn't rank among favourite colours for the males surveyed. I have also read that younger people often think of purple as a happy colour, but older people are much less likely to. I recall a friend's young daughter saying, 'Purple makes me happy'.
It seems the earliest purple dye was used to colour cloth about 1900BC. I was amazed to read about 12,000 of a particular type of small mollusc had to be used to extract sufficient pure dye to colour just one Roman toga. No wonder purple was associated with the nobility.
Much later in history, purple pigments were invented making it cheaper to dye fabric this colour.
Purple is associated with spirituality, magic, mystery, the subconscious, creativity, good judgement, bravery, courage, peace and meditation.
Light shades of purple are often associated with light heartedness, romance, nostalgia and feminine beauty.
Dark purple can be thought of as representing gloom, frustration and sadness. Some of the negative meanings given to purple include conceit, arrogance, cruelty, eccentricity, immaturity and being unstable.
In Thailand and Brazil widows traditionally wear purple while in mourning.
Purple is often associated with sophistication and luxury. In advertising it is sometimes chosen for the colour of packaging of items such as chocolate, perfume, watches and jewellery.
In clothing, it is considered a good choice if you are looking for something to stimulate and energise your mood. Some claim purple will rebalance your life and remove obstacles. The shade will vary the effect it has on you, as will your personality.
I have read that the effect a colour has on an individual depends not only on their cultural background but on any extreme experiences a person has had involving that colour. This makes sense to me. In the end though, each of us just likes
some colours more than others and there may be no obvious reason for it.