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Which purple dresses are best?

If you love purple, sporting a purple dress is an excellent way to showcase your favorite color. From flirty, casual dresses to elegant flowing gowns, you’ll find many styles of dresses in this popular color. We’ve put together this helpful guide to help you choose with numerous designs on the market.

When you find the perfect style and purple hue to fit your fashion sense, you’ll be thrilled to add a purple dress to your wardrobe. The Ralph Lauren Surplice A-Line Dress is an example of a fashionable option that’s versatile to wear for different settings and occasions. 

What to know before you buy a purple dress

Season, occasion, design and more — there are several factors to consider when buying a dress. However, below are a few considerations to factor in when browsing available purple dresses. 

Does everyone look good in purple?

Many clothing designers and stylists agree that purple is a color that most people can wear. That’s because it’s a versatile neutral color and comes in many hues, most of which are not washed-out or harsh. 

When it comes to wearing purple, many fashionistas love trying different shades. For example, wearing light lavender contrasts with gorgeous dark skin tones or rich eggplant that looks lovely on light skin tones. 

Shades of purple

Whether you prefer a mini dress, a full-length sundress or something in between, chances are you’ll find your favorite type of dress in purple. However, there are just as many purple shades as dress styles. Here are some pretty light, medium and dark purple hues that are popular in the world of fashion. 

Light: Periwinkle, lilac, heather, wisteria and mauve.

Medium: Lavender, orchid, plum, amethyst and violet.

Dark: Wine, grape, iris, eggplant and raisin.

Occasions to wear a purple dress

Because purple is such a versatile color, there’s a purple dress for just about any occasion. The lightest lilac to the deepest eggplant is suitable for work, casual days or special events.

What to look for in a quality purple dress

When browsing online retailers for purple dresses, be sure to check out these features for a dress that will fit your needs. 


There are numerous dress styles available, and the one you choose will depend on factors such as the occasion and time of year you plan to wear it. Here is a quick look at a few top styles, each of which is likely available in a selection of colors, including purple. 

  • Sundresses come in various lengths and are lightweight, perfect for spring and summer wear. They usually have short sleeves or spaghetti straps. 
  • Sweater dresses are casual and feature long sleeves and a length that works as a dress. Short-sleeve shirt dresses are similar but made of thinner material. 
  • Gowns are long and flowing and designed for special occasions. You’ll find gowns with all types of sleeve lengths.
  • Maxi dresses offer a full-length cut and vary from casual to dressy. They are available in different sleeve lengths.
  • Mini dresses are short, have strappy or short sleeves and are also available in casual and dressy designs.
  • Cocktail dresses are versatile for different occasions and seasons and come in a wide selection of necklines, hems and sleeve lengths. 


Regardless of the style of dress you choose, necklines vary across the spectrum of styles. Square, V-neck, scoop, portrait, jewel, keyhole, asymmetric, collar, off-shoulder, sweetheart and high are some of the most popular dress necklines. 


The materials used to make dresses are just as versatile as the available shades of purple. Top options are satin, silk, cotton, cotton blend, rayon, bamboo and polyester.  


When it comes to sizes, purple dresses are no different from other clothing types. You’ll find stylish options in a wide range of sizes that are measured in either numbers or extra-small through extra-large. Keep in mind that some purple dresses are available in various sizes, while others are only made in a few specific sizes. 

How much you can expect to spend on a purple dress

Purple dresses from luxury designers are priced as high as thousands of dollars. However, you can find stylish, well-made purple dresses from popular retailers for between $30-$150. 

Purple dress FAQ

Is purple a good color for all seasons?

A. Purple can definitely be worn year-round, but different shades are more suitable for specific seasons. Shades like lilac and heather are great for spring and summer, while deeper options like eggplant and wine are ideal for fall and winter. Purples like violet and lavender are more versatile to wear any time of the year. 

In fashion, what does the color purple symbolize? 

A. Purple is often associated with royalty and emits an air of sophistication. However, purple also reflects confidence and happiness. 

What are the best purple dresses to buy?

Top purple dress

Ralph Lauren A-Line Dress

Ralph Lauren A-Line Dress

What you need to know: With a rich purple color, a flattering cut and an excellent choice of sizes, this beautiful dress is a great pick to add to just about any wardrobe. 

What you’ll love: This dress is constructed of comfortable jersey material that’s great for all-day wear. It offers a versatile knee-length design and attractive surplice neckline. The sash waist creates an appealing silhouette. It comes in sizes 0-16 and is machine-washable. 

What you should consider: Sizes run somewhat on the small side. 

Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s

Top purple dress for the money

Grace Karin Sleeveless A-Line Cocktail Swing Dress

Grace Karin Sleeveless A-Line Cocktail Swing Dress

What you need to know: Anyone who is looking for a lovely purple dress that’s suitable for warm weather will love this sleeveless option. 

What you’ll love: An ultra-feminine dress thanks to the A-line structure and V-neck. The spaghetti-strap design makes it perfect for spring and summer. It’s available in light and dark purple and small to extra-large sizes. 

What you should consider: A little extra care is required to keep this dress looking its best, as it must be washed by hand. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Nine West Fitted Long Sleeve Side Cinch Dress

Nine West Fitted Long Sleeve Side Cinch Dress

What you need to know: This stylish and comfortable dress is available in two dramatic shades of purple. 

What you’ll love: Owners rave about how comfortable this dress is to wear, as it’s made of a soft, machine-washable jersey fabric with a bit of spandex. The cinched front is a fashionable touch. It’s available in deep raisin or dark mauve and sizes that range from extra-small to extra-large. 

What you should consider: The body-hugging structure and short hemline aren’t for everyone. 

Where to buy: Sold by Kohl’s


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Jennifer Manfrin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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