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Basically, this is a lady wearing purple as a sign of her femininity, whether she is girly and sweet, or graceful and mature.
For much of human history, violet was the hardest color to make using naturally occurring dyes, and thus was prohibitively expensive to all but the wealthiest of nobles. Because of the color's associations with high class, it was even adopted in many cultures as the official color of royalty (the Romans even passed laws forbidding any but the richest noble families from even wearing the color). As the Industrial Revolution kicked into high gear, and synthetic dyes became the norm rather than the exception, purple was now just as affordable as any other color, and thus lost much of its noble lineage. As colors began to take on their now-familiar gender connotations, purple found itself increasingly on the feminine side of the gender divide because it was considered a pinker version of blue. This trope is thus a merger of two associations: purple with nobility, and purple with femininity. This color is fairly common to see on a young girl, elderly matron, Spirited Young Lady, or princess (even if Princesses Prefer Pink).
Now even though this color can be worn by girls of any age, older feminine women are more likely to wear this color long after a girl who wore pink grew out of that color.
This also tends to be a popular color among some Mary Sues.
Just being a woman in purple isn't enough. It has to be a clearly feminine lady.
- A recent paint commercial has a woman asking for paint that's purple "but not puuuuurrrple." The salesperson understands completely. She is then shown several men all painted different shades of purple so she can have her pick.
- In a UK commercial for Tena Lights, a lady wears a purple dress with matching purple underwear.
Anime & Manga
- Pictured above: Sumire Kanzaki of Sakura Taisen wears purple as her main color, in both her uniform and regular outfit.
- Scarlet aka Angel Salvia in Wedding Peach has Purple Eyes, plus wears purple both in her Fairytale Wedding Dress and her Mini-Dress of Power.
- While Anthy Himemiya of Revolutionary Girl Utena, the Rose Bride, generally wears a red dress (or white in the movie), her hair is purple, and purple itself is a symbol for royalty and, appropriately, magic and mystery (both which make up Anthy's mystique and outer personality). Most of her outside artwork, namely monochrome drawings, utilize purple.
- Hotaru Tomoe/Sailor Saturn from Sailor Moon wears purple.
- Lady of War Yuri Tsukikage/Cure Moonlight from Heartcatch Pretty Cure has purple hair in both forms and a violet-accented Cure outfit.
- When Akiko Hoshi from Kyojin no Hoshi gets married to Mitsuru Hanagata, she switches from pink and sometimes blue jumpers/white blouses to purple kimonos.
- In the original Saint Seiya and in Lost Canvas, Saori and her past incarnation Sasha are Women in White but have lilac hair, while Pandora is a Woman in Black with dark purple hair.
- Akiko Ogasawara from Taishou Yakyuu Musume is the richest girl in the cast, and when she's not in school uniform she tends to wear a cute lilac dress with a white Nice Hat. Her sleepwear is also in lilac and blue.
- In the 1981 Little Women anime, the Team Mom Meg March wears lilac and purple clothes.
- Betsy "Psylocke" Braddock of X-Men is a former supermodel, whose motifs are butterflies, and is often depicted as a elegant Lady of War in a purple leotard, although for a time she fit Purple Is Powerful more than this trope.
Films -- Animation
- The Disney Princess site offers several purple Pimped Out Dresses in the Virtual Paper Doll game.
- Rapunzel of Tangled wears a purple and lavender dress.
- Ariel wears a purple Seashell Bra as a mermaid, and in The Little Mermaid II, she wears a purple dress.
- In a lot of The Merch, Jasmine from Aladdin is shown wearing the purple dress she wears towards the end of the movie, rather than her usual blue outfit.
- Esmeralda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame has a predominant scheme of white, teal, gold, and purple--with purple standing out the most as the color of her skirt.
- Shanti from The Jungle Book.
- The Black Cauldron's Eilonwy wears dress that is a mixture of purple, pink, and white.
- Jane from Peter Pan: Return to Neverland, contrasting with her mother Wendy's True-Blue Femininity.
- One of Mulan's outfits in Mulan II.
- Alice wears blue, but in the classic Disney movie her big sister wears purple (with splashes of blue).
- WWE Diva Ivory's favourite colour was purple and nearly all her outfits were purple. She also had her trademark purple scarf which she carried to the ring with her. She often referred to herself as a lady, calling the rest of the Divas sluts and skanks.
- Ambassador Deleen in Babylon 5 loves purple robes and wears them when handling interstellar crises' or blowing bad guys up.
- Lady Morgana wears a lot of purple on Merlin whilst she's living in Camelot's court, and Guinevere's coronation gown is purple.
- The dowager countess, Maggie Smith's character on Downton Abbey, is named Violet and wears lots of purple.
- Several outfits Barbie has worn have been purple, as well as several characters in the Direct to Video movies.
- Action Girl Virginia's fuchsia Pimped-Out Dress in Wild Arms 3.
- Blaze the Cat from the Sonic the Hedgehog series.
- Morrigan of Dragon Age Origins is a Lady of Black Magic who mostly wears purple and black. Violet is often emphasized with her in official artist's depictions, as well as occasionally being the color of her magic.
- Katamari Damacy's Velvet wears purple as a sign of her maturity and haughtiness.
- Ivy Valentine of Soul Calibur wears purple dominatrix suits and is the most...womanly character in the game.
- Some depictions of Princess Zelda often tend to show her in a purple dress, especially newer ones.
- Yakumo Yukari from Touhou wears purple dresses. Also overlaps with Purple Is Powerful.
- Her name even means violet.
- Princess Schala of Zeal in Chrono Trigger.
- Alisa Bosconovitch of Tekken wears a dress that is mostly purple.
- Jaina Proudmoore wore a long hooded purple mantle decorated with runes in Warcraft III, along with white clothing. By World of Warcraft, she had switched that outfit for a more elegant purple and white robe befitting her status as the ruler of Theramore.
- Rarity, the most feminine main character in My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, has a violet mane and tail. Her choices in outfits for herself also tend to be biased towards purple and blue.
- Yue, the princess of the Northern Water Tribe Avatar: The Last Airbender, wears purple, when all the other water tribes wear blue (although a play involving her portrays her wearing pink).
- This is one of the most common colors worn by Daisy Duck of the Classic Disney Shorts.
- Fallon of Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders wears purple and has purple hair.
- In the Fairy Tale episode of X-Men Jean was a Princess and wore purple and pink.
- The Ashleys in Recess have a tradition around this color. When they first met in kindergarten, they were coincidentally all wearing purple, and every anniversary of that day is "Purple Day", where the girls only wear the color purple. The episode which introduced this began with their leader, Ashley A., arriving late, but accidentally wearing yellow. She, for a brief moment, is kicked out of the club.
- Princess Ilana wore a purple dress in the first episode of Sym-Bionic Titan when she and Lance first arrive on Earth.
- Marzipan from Homestar Runner wears a purple dress... ...or her body is purple and it looks like a dress.