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Our journey across the rainbow ends with the most exotic color of them all: purple. In order to understand purple, it's pretty much imperative that I give you a brief (but interesting!) history lesson. Back in Ancient Rome when everybody was running around in togas and worshipping Zeus, purple was an incredibly rare color. The only reliable source was a rather ugly sea snail
that excreted a purple mucous (yuck). Because these snails were so difficult to harvest, purple die was incredibly rare and therefore very expensive. The wealthy elite were the only people loaded enough to afford purple clothing, so purple eventually became associated with royalty
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This is worth mentioning because it's the only color that has artificial associations. Every other color has a natural meaning that stems directly from Mother Nature -- yellow is cheerful
because of sunlight and blue is soothing
because it resembles water. Purple, on the other hand, doesn't have any inherent meaning because practically nothing in nature is purple. That gives purple unique advantages and disadvantages in the world of custom clothing
For this reason, most of the meanings behind purple only apply in western societies that were heavily influenced by the Romans. People from eastern countries often have their own unique take on the color purple. Keep that in mind if you plan to expand your business in eastern markets.
As I explained above, purple represents wealth, luxury, and royalty. People often tie purple into the spiritual realm
because it's such a rare color.
The rarity of color is kind of a double-edged sword. On the one hand purple appears otherworldly and mystical. On the other, it can sometimes come off as being artificial and unnatural.
Best Industries for Purple Uniforms
Industries Focused on Women
Every gal wants to be treated like a princess. Royal purple uniforms can promote ideas of luxury and elegance for your female customers
. Not to mention the fact that purple is right behind pink in romantic and feminine colors
. If your business caters to female fashion, spa treatment and beautiful pedicures
, or lovey-dovey couples, then purple might be right up your alley.
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The Best of the Best
I was out at a mattress store the other day and the saleswoman described a certain brand of mattresses as being "The Lexus of beds." Some companies pride themselves on being the best of the best, the creme de la creme. Choosing purple for your company uniforms can help enhance that brand identity. Purple's association with wealth and luxury makes it appear much more refined than any of the other colors.
That is one thing that you might want to be careful about -- purple's close ties with luxury make it feel more expensive than other colors. It's a great color if your business is all about top-notch products, but purple can send the wrong message on low-priced items.
Cruise ships, hotels, spas, massage parlors, and other industries that pamper customers often opt for purple colors schemes. This ties into the whole luxury thing -- if purple is all about kings and queens, then purple uniforms tell customers, "Here, you'll be treated like royalty."
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Worst Industries for Purple Uniforms
Just to be clear, there's nothing about purple that makes people think about pollution and greenhouse gases. It's just that purple is an incredibly rare color in nature, so it usually appears manmade. If you're trying to promote an eco-friendly image with your company, then you probably want to avoid color palettes that make your uniforms appear artificial. Stick with green uniforms
Purple is generally considered to be a feminine color. For that reason, purple probably isn't the best choice if you want to promote a strong, stable, masculine company image.
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"But wait" you say. "What about football teams? Surely, the Minnesota Vikings aren't girly
!" Well, I'm not sure that everybody would agree with you on that one. Purple uniforms are often ranked as some of the worst sports uniforms
. You're probably better off going with a different color if you're selecting customized jerseys
for a men's sports team.