What Does Wearing Purple Symbolize? Unraveling the Meanings Behind the Color

Did you know that wearing purple has been symbolizing different things throughout history? From royalty to feminism, the color purple has been associated with a range of meanings that you might not have known about. The color purple is not just a pretty hue; it has a story to tell and a message to convey that has been passed down through the ages.

In ancient times, purple was seen as a symbol of wealth and status. During the Roman Empire, purple was incredibly expensive, as it was made from the glands of snails found only in the Tyre region. This made the color exclusive to royalty, and only the wealthy elite could afford to wear it. For centuries, purple was seen as a way to display social status, power, and wealth to others.

In modern times, wearing purple has become a symbol of gender equality. The color purple is often used for International Women’s Day and the feminist movement. The suffrage movement in the early 1900s adopted purple as one of their colors, as they wanted to convey the message that women’s rights were just as important as men’s. Nowadays, wearing purple represents resistance and activism against gender discrimination. Whether it’s through clothing or a ribbon, the color purple has become an emblem for the fight for equality.

The History of the Color Purple as a Symbol

The color purple has a rich and storied history as a symbol. For centuries, it has been associated with royalty, prestige, and power. In ancient times, purple dye was made from the glands of a marine snail, and the process was so laborious and expensive that it became a symbol of wealth and luxury. Only the wealthiest members of society could afford to wear purple, making it a powerful symbol of status and authority.

As early as the Roman Empire, purple became associated with royalty. Emperors would wear purple robes to signify their power and authority, and the color soon became synonymous with the ruler himself. Later, during the Renaissance, purple took on a symbolic meaning as a color of passion, love, and spirituality. Many religious paintings from this time feature the color prominently, often depicting the robes of Christ and the Virgin Mary in dark purple hues.

In modern times, purple has continued to be a symbol of royalty and power. It has been used by political parties as a symbol of unity and solidarity, and by women’s suffrage movements as a symbol of freedom and equality. Purple ribbons have been used to raise awareness for a variety of causes, including lupus, domestic violence, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Overall, the color purple has a rich and complex history as a symbol. From its origins in ancient societies to its use in modern political movements, purple has always represented power, wealth, and authority. Its association with royalty and prestige has made it a timeless and enduring symbol that continues to be used in a variety of contexts today.

Religious significance of wearing purple

Wearing purple has deep ties to various religious traditions and is often associated with royalty, wealth, and power. In many cultures, the color purple is considered sacred and holds great spiritual significance. Here are some of the religious significance of wearing purple:

  • Christianity: In Christianity, purple vestments are often worn during the Lenten season and Advent as a symbol of penance, humility, and preparation. The color purple is also associated with the royalty of Christ and is often used on the robes of bishops and cardinals. The use of purple in religious ceremonies dates back to the Old Testament, where purple cloth was worn by royalty and high priests.
  • Judaism: Purple is a color associated with royalty and was used to adorn the clothing of kings. In Judaism, the use of purple has a deeper meaning – it is a reminder of the divine presence. The color is often used in religious textiles and objects, including Torah covers and prayer shawls.
  • Buddhism: Purple is the color of compassion and is often used in Buddhist ceremonies and rituals. The color represents the transformation of negative emotions into positive ones and encourages reflection and introspection. It is also associated with the highest state of consciousness.

Across various religious traditions, the color purple holds great importance and significance. It represents power, spirituality, and transformation. From royal robes to religious textiles, purple has been used throughout history to convey a sense of sacredness and significance.

Political and Social Implications of the Color Purple

The color purple has been used as a symbol with a wide range of political and social implications throughout history. Here are some examples:

  • Royalty and Nobility: In ancient and medieval times, purple dye was rare and expensive, so only high-ranking officials and royalty could afford it. Therefore, purple became a symbol of power, luxury, and sophistication.
  • Feminism: During the early 20th century, the color purple was associated with feminism and women’s suffrage movements. This was largely due to the fact that it was a color typically associated with royalty and, therefore, power. As such, purple was used to signify the power of women, their dignity, and their struggle for equal rights and recognition.
  • LGBTQ+ Rights: The use of the color purple as a symbol of LGBTQ+ rights began in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This was largely influenced by the writings of James Baldwin and other black writers, who wrote about the use of “purple” as slang for anything gay or queer. Today, purple is used as a symbol for both LGBTQ+ pride and support.

Another interesting aspect of the political and social implications of the color purple is that it can hold different meanings in different cultures. In the Western world, it’s mostly associated with royalty and nobility. In China, purple was traditionally the color of the emperor and, therefore, it symbolizes imperial power and authority. In Thailand, purple is not commonly used at all. Instead, yellow is the color of royalty and represents Buddhism.

Overall, the color purple has a rich and varied history of political and social symbolism. From royalty and power to feminism and LGBTQ+ rights, it has played an important role in representing many different struggles and movements throughout history.

Purple as a symbol of royalty and nobility

Purple has long been associated with royalty and nobility, and for good reason. In ancient times, purple dye was rare and expensive, made from the secretions of sea snails found along the Mediterranean coastline. The process of extracting the dye was lengthy, complicated, and required a large number of snails, making it a luxury reserved only for the wealthiest and most powerful members of society.

  • In ancient Rome, purple was worn exclusively by the emperors and other high-ranking officials. Ordinary citizens were forbidden from wearing the color and faced severe punishments if caught doing so.
  • During the Byzantine Empire, purple was the color of the emperors and their families, as well as the highest-ranking dignitaries of the court.
  • The color was also associated with the Catholic Church, where it was worn by bishops and cardinals as a symbol of their authority.

Today, purple is still often associated with nobility and high society. It is frequently seen at formal events such as weddings, proms, and other special occasions where a touch of elegance and sophistication is desired.

Below is a table highlighting some famous uses of purple in royal and noble contexts:

Famous Examples of Purple as a Symbol of Royalty and Nobility
Emperor Nero of RomePurple-bordered toga and purple slippers
Byzantine EmperorsPurple robes and headdresses
Queen Elizabeth I of EnglandSumptuous purple gowns and cloaks
Cardinals of the Catholic ChurchPurple cassocks and skullcaps
The Purple Heart MedalThe high honor awarded to American service members wounded or killed in combat

The power and prestige associated with the color purple have made it a popular choice for upscale brands and products, from luxury cars to high-end fashion accessories. Whether you’re looking to add a touch of regality to your wardrobe or simply enjoy the striking beauty of this royal hue, purple is a color that will always be associated with nobility, grandeur, and refinement.

The Use of Purple in Heraldry and Coats of Arms

In heraldry, purple is considered one of the so-called heraldic colors, along with black, red, green, and blue. These colors are considered “true” heraldic colors because they are used in most coats of arms, and are recognized by the International Heraldry Organization (IHO).

Purple is usually used to represent royalty, luxury, and power. This is because, historically, purple dye was very expensive to produce, and therefore only the very wealthy could afford to wear it. In ancient Rome, purple was considered the color of the emperors, while in medieval Europe, it was used by the nobility to distinguish themselves from the common people. Today, purple is still used in many coats of arms to represent the same ideas of luxury, power, and royalty.

The Symbolism of Purple in Coats of Arms

  • Purple represents royalty and the nobility
  • Purple represents wealth and luxury
  • Purple represents power and sovereignty

Purple in Coat of Arms Examples

There are many different coat of arms that use purple in their design. Here are a few examples:

The coat of arms of King Richard II of England, who reigned from 1377 to 1399, features a purple background with a white hart in the center.

The coat of arms of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom features a purple section, which represents Scotland.

Coat of ArmsDescription
Coat of Arms of Kenilworth Town CouncilThe coat of arms of Kenilworth Town Council features a purple section in the center, with a castle and two bears on either side.
Coat of Arms of Van Uylenburgh familyThe coat of arms of the Van Uylenburgh family, who were art dealers and friends of Rembrandt, features a purple background with a white bird in the center.

Overall, purple is a powerful and symbolic color in heraldry and coats of arms, representing wealth, power, and royalty. It is used in many different coat of arms designs, and is recognized as one of the “true” heraldic colors by the International Heraldry Organization.

Role of purple in the LGBTQ+ community

As a color of royalty, purple has long been associated with power, wealth, and luxury. But in the LGBTQ+ community, purple has taken on a different symbolism.

Here are the different ways purple has been used in the LGBTQ+ community:

  • Purple represents pride: The use of purple in the LGBTQ+ community dates back to the mid-20th century, when it was used as a symbol of pride for queer individuals. Back then, the word “gay” was not commonly used, and being openly queer was not socially acceptable. But the color purple became a way for queer individuals to show solidarity and pride with one another.
  • Purple represents spirituality: In addition to pride, purple has also been associated with spirituality in the LGBTQ+ community. This is partially due to the fact that purple is often associated with the supernatural and mystical, which has made it an important color in various spiritual traditions.
  • The purple hand: In the early 1990s, the Pat Parker/Vito Russo Library in New York City created a purple hand symbol to represent the LGBTQ+ community. The symbol was meant to signify strength, unity, and pride among queer individuals.

Today, purple continues to be an important color in the LGBTQ+ community, and it is often used during Pride month and other LGBTQ+ events and celebrations.

Shades of purple used in LGBTQ+ symbolism:Symbolism:
LavenderSapphic love and attraction
IndigoMysticism and spirituality
Deep purplePower and royalty

With its rich history and symbolism, it’s clear that purple plays an important role in the LGBTQ+ community today.

The Psychological Effects of Wearing Purple

Purple, the color of royalty and luxury, has an undeniable psychological impact on the people who wear it. From boosting creativity to enhancing spirituality, the color has a unique set of psychological effects that can influence behavior and mood. Let’s explore the number 7 subsection of these psychological effects of wearing purple.

  • Encourages imagination: Wearing purple has been linked to an increase in creativity and imagination. This color is often associated with artistic expression and can elevate one’s inspiration and originality.
  • Calms the mind: Purple is a soothing color that can evoke a sense of serenity and tranquility. It can also help calm the mind and promote a sense of mental clarity and stability.
  • Enhances spirituality: Purple has long been associated with spirituality, often being seen as a color that connects individuals with their higher selves or a divine source. This can lead to increased feelings of well-being and inner peace.
  • Boosts confidence: Wearing purple can also boost confidence and self-assurance. The color is often associated with power and luxury, which can lead individuals to feel more empowered and self-assured.
  • Increases sensitivity: Purple is a color that can make individuals more sensitive to their surroundings. This heightened sensitivity can lead to increased empathy and a greater appreciation for the world around them.
  • Relieves stress: As a calming color, wearing purple can also help relieve stress and anxiety. It can promote a sense of relaxation and can be particularly helpful for individuals dealing with high levels of stress.
  • Induces a sense of abundance: Purple is often associated with wealth and abundance, which can help individuals feel more prosperous and abundant in their own lives.

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Overall, wearing purple can have a positive impact on an individual’s psychological well-being. From boosting creativity to promoting a sense of inner peace, this color has a unique set of psychological effects that can influence behavior and mood.

However, it is important to note that individuals respond differently to color, and what might work for one person might not work for another. It is essential to pay attention to how different hues make you feel and wear colors that make you feel your best.

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If you’re looking to incorporate more purple into your wardrobe, here are a few ideas:

Clothing ItemHow to Wear It
Purple BlousePair it with black or white pants/skirt for a sophisticated look.
Purple Accessories (scarf, purse, shoes, etc.)Pair with neutrals like black, white, gray, or beige for a pop of color.
Purple DressWear it with nude heels for an elegant look or bold-colored heels for a fun and creative look.

Remember, wearing purple is ultimately about how it makes you feel. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different shades and styles until you find what works best for you!

Cultural significance of purple in different countries and regions

Throughout history, purple has been associated with royalty, nobility, and luxury. But its cultural significance goes beyond just that. In different countries and regions, purple has taken on its own unique meanings and values.

  • China: In Chinese tradition, purple represents spirituality and immortality. It is used in many religious ceremonies and is often associated with the Confucian and Taoist beliefs. During the Ming Dynasty, only the Emperor was allowed to wear purple clothing.
  • Japan: In Japan, purple represents wealth, power, and position. It is often seen in traditional Japanese clothing, such as kimonos and hakamas, worn by high-ranking officials and aristocrats.
  • India: In Hinduism, purple is associated with the uppermost chakra, which signifies the highest state of consciousness. It is also commonly used in sarees and other clothing worn during weddings and other religious ceremonies.

Interestingly, in numerology, the number 8 is also associated with the color purple. In this system, each number is assigned a color, and 8 is purple. This has its own cultural significance in certain regions.

Here’s a table showing the number–color associations in numerology:


In conclusion, while purple is most commonly associated with royalty and luxury, its cultural significance goes much deeper than that. Its meaning varies from country to country and region to region, but it remains a color that holds great significance and importance in many cultures around the world.

Purple as a Symbol of Creativity and Imagination

Purple is often associated with creativity and imagination. This is due to the color’s connection to the crown chakra, which is located at the top of the head and is believed to be the source of spiritual enlightenment and creativity.

  • It is said that wearing purple can help to stimulate the creative side of the brain and encourage greater levels of imagination.
  • Artists, writers, and other creative individuals are often drawn to the color purple, as it is seen as a symbol of inspiration and artistic expression.
  • In addition, purple is also associated with royalty and luxury, which can inspire feelings of creativity and elegance.

One interesting connection between creativity and purple is the number 9. In numerology, the number 9 is often seen as a symbol of creativity and universal love. When you add up the digits in a date, the number 9 often appears in dates that are associated with important creative works or events. For example, September 9th is the birthday of several famous authors, including F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ann Leckie. It is also the release date of several important works of literature, including J.D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye” and Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

9/9/1922Publication of “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams
9/9/1947Birthday of author and poet Alice Fulton
9/9/1954Publication of “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding

Whether or not you believe in the mystical properties of purple and the number 9, there is no denying that wearing purple can help to boost your creativity and inspire your imagination. So the next time you’re feeling stuck or uninspired, try incorporating more purple into your wardrobe or workspace and see what happens!

The Use of Purple in Fashion and Design Trends

For centuries, the color purple has been associated with power, luxury, and royalty. In today’s society, wearing purple can represent a variety of different things, from creativity to spirituality and power. It is a versatile color that can be utilized in various ways in fashion and design trends. Here are some ways in which purple is commonly used in these industries:

  • Clothing: Purple clothing can be seen as empowering as well as stylish. From rich, deep purple dresses to pop-of-color accessories like gloves or belts, there is no limit to how purple can be worn and accessorized. In fashion, purple often represents creativity and uniqueness, as it is not as commonly used as some other colors.
  • Makeup: Purple is an excellent color for eye makeup and comes in a range of shades from lilac to plum. It enhances green and hazel eye colors and can give an edgy and bold look or a soft and romantic one.
  • Interiors: When used in interior design, a touch of purple can add a luxurious and regal feel to a room. It pairs well with blues, grays, and neutral colors, and can be used as a statement wall color or in decorative details like curtains or pillows.

In addition to its use in fashion and design, the color purple can also symbolize different things based on its shade:

Lavender: This delicate color is associated with serenity and calmness. It symbolizes relaxation and spirituality and is often used in aromatherapy products.

Plum: This deep shade can represent luxury and elegance. It is often associated with royalty and can be used in fashion and interior design to add a touch of opulence.

Amethyst: This vibrant shade is often associated with creativity and passion. It is a popular gemstone and can be seen in jewelry and accessories.

Shade of PurpleSymbols & Meanings
LavenderSerenity, calmness, and spirituality.
PlumLuxury and elegance, associated with royalty.
AmethystCreativity and passion, often seen in jewelry and accessories.

Overall, the use of purple in fashion and design trends can represent a wide variety of things, from luxury and power to creativity and spirituality. It is a versatile color that can be used in many different ways to make a statement and convey a message.

FAQs: What Does Wearing Purple Symbolize?

1. What does wearing purple symbolize in religion?

Wearing purple is often associated with royalty, wealth, and luxury. In Christianity, purple is also worn during Lent, symbolizing repentance and mourning.

2. What does wearing purple symbolize in LGBTQ+ communities?

Purple is often used as a symbol of support for the LGBTQ+ community. The color symbolizes diversity and is associated with the lesbian, gay, and bisexual community.

3. What does wearing purple symbolize in cancer awareness?

Purple is often used to represent cancer awareness, specifically pancreatic cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

4. What does wearing purple symbolize in women’s empowerment?

Purple is often used as a symbol of women’s empowerment, as it represents strength and independence.

5. What does wearing purple symbolize in mental health awareness?

Purple is often used to represent mental health awareness, specifically suicide prevention and awareness.

6. What does wearing purple symbolize in domestic violence awareness?

Purple is often used to represent domestic violence awareness, as it symbolizes courage and survival.

7. What does wearing purple symbolize in fashion?

Wearing purple in fashion can symbolize creativity, originality, and uniqueness.

Closing Title: Thanks for Reading!

Thanks for reading about what wearing purple symbolizes in various contexts. Whether you’re wearing purple to show support for a cause or simply because you love the color, it’s always important to understand the symbolism behind it. Make sure to visit again for more informative and engaging articles!