Last month, an oddly specific shade of purple took center stage at the men’s shows in Paris. At Fendi, it came down the runway as a fleece jacket and baseball cap paired with a leather handbag in the same hue. At Dries Van Noten, it took the form of cargo pants and a matching windbreaker followed by a four-pocket anorak. The list goes on: the color made cameos at Loewe, Études, and Louis Vuitton, too. Call it periwinkle or violet, lilac or heliotrope (yep, that’s a color)—light purple is enjoying a nice little moment right now, and lavender clothing is taking the lead.
It’s hard to say when, exactly, the purple reign began, but the same logic that informed Miranda Priestly’s monologue on the origins of cerulean holds true here as well—and, as Priestly would be the first to remind you, lavender’s renewed popularity has plenty of precedent. Alongside mesh-y running shoes and zip-up hoodies, the color’s return is another sign of the Y2K resurgence, one that traces its roots all the way back to the runways of the aughts. In 2005, the Alexander McQueen fall/winter show opened with a full lavender look; John Galliano’s collection from the same season included a duo of lavender blazers; Etro showed a series of lavender suits; and in 2006, long before the brand debuted its signature shade of pink, Valentino leaned hard into lavender as well.
In the time since, lavender made its way off the runway and onto the streets (just ask Tom Holland!) and it’s easy to see why. Along with its high-flying designer pedigree, purple’s subtler, romantic sibling offers a gentle lift on dreary winter days. It might just be a color, but to paraphrase Priestly, it’s a color that has trickled down into casual corners from great heights, and one that happens to look really good, at that. Below, we rounded up 17 primo purple-hued picks to help you embrace lavender clothing this season—and add a welcome jolt of spring energy to your outfits in the process.
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