There’s a poem by Shel Silverstein that I used to love reading—if I went and grabbed the book now I’d probably still enjoy it just as much—called “Almost Perfect.” It’s about a very discerning girl, named Mary Hume, for whom nothing is quite as optimal as it should be. The story goes through the various stages of her life, within each of which she’s quick to find something that just isn’t quite 100 percent perfect. (You can read it here).
Anyway, this is how I feel about the color purple (and what gave me the idea for the title of this article, a perfect fit, I think). It’s got all the makings of a color I should absolutely adore—and yet, I don’t. From shades of lilac to amethyst to lavender, purple is beautiful, so why am I always so put off by it? I can’t quite figure that out.
I think the answer circles around the idea that while I appreciate purple from afar, it’s not something I feel I could commit to. So I’d never paint my nails purple, purchase any sort of expensive shoe in that shade, or—most of all—seek out amethyst jewels for my own personal collection.
Quite the predicament when Pantone’s Color of the Year, Ultra Violet, is just that—purple. Quite frankly, I’m not a fan of this particular shade at all—for me, it lacks a certain vibrancy and feels putty-like and flat. But varying shades of purple are bound to multiply in its wake, and I already see in dresses and sweaters and shoes when shopping online.
So what’s one to do when they can’t commit to purple, but still want to get in on the budding trend? I’d recommend going for the “close enough” variations. Nearly there pinks, deep, difficult-to-decipher hues of blue, wine-like reds, or even hues that probably are considered purple, just not obviously so.
I also gravitate toward multicolor designs, mixing in the hue. The almost purple—but not quite. Just like these beauties that I definitely could commit to.
Briolette ring with 15.46 cts. t.w. pink sapphire and 1.68 cts. t.w. diamonds, $5,000; Butani
Pink Feather earrings in 18k yellow gold with lab-grown pink tourmaline, sapphire, amethyst, and diamonds, £1,360 ($1,838); Anabela Chan
Double Brick necklace in 18k rose, yellow, and white gold with 7.25 ct. tourmaline, $2,872; M. Spalten Jewelry
Finestrino stud earrings in 14k yellow gold with freshwater keshi pearls and 0.35 ct. t.w. amethyst, $810; Little h
Rainbow ring in 19.2k yellow gold with 7.81 cts. t.w. sapphires, $4,785; NOL Jewellers
Earrings in 14k rose gold with blue lace agate slices and 0.05 ct. t.w. diamonds, $640; Asbury Adams
Earrings in white and rose gold with pink sapphires, price on request; Bapalal Keshavlal
Ring in 14k white gold with 5.03 ct. tanzanite and 0.78 ct. t.w. diamonds, $5,960; Benjamin & Co.
Majesty pendant in 18k yellow gold with 33.9 ct. chalcedony, 6.25 cts. t.w. purple garnet, 1.79 cts. t.w. lavender spinel, and 0.46 ct. t.w. diamonds, price on request; Erica Courtney