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Best plum dress

Which plum dress is best? 

Plum is a rich, bold color that makes a perfect addition to your spring or summertime wardrobe. It's vibrant without being too bright and dark without being dull. Plum is an easily adaptable color that can be fun and casual with the right design, but most plum dresses are geared toward formal occasions.

Check out the Alex Evenings Deep Plum Sequin Embellished Lace Top Gown for a dress that is sophisticated, well-made and comfortable.

What to know before you buy a plum dress

Plum vs. purple

How can you tell a plum dress from other purple dresses? Purple is a color derived from mixing blue and red. The ratio of red to blue and the introduction of other colors to the mix is what makes different shades of purple. Plum is what you get when you blend purple with a brown russet color. It's more purple than burgundy and more brown than lavender.

Formal vs. casual

Plum is a popular color for bridesmaid and prom dresses but that doesn't mean you can't find a good T-shirt dress or sundress in the same color. Fit and fabric play a role here as formal dresses are tailored to fit in specific ways and might use more expensive hand-wash or dry-clean-only fabrics. Casual dresses are less fitted and often machine-washable.

Dress length

The season, occasion and your sense of style dictate the best length for a dress. There are five primary dress lengths from which to choose. Remember, height plays a key factor when it comes to where the hemline falls.

  • Mini: This is the shortest length, falling above the knee. It's  popular for T-shirt dresses and cocktail dresses.
  • Knee-length: The hemline rests around the knee or a little below, lower than a mini dress but higher than a midi dress.
  • Midi: This rests a little below the knee and a little above the ankle, suitable for casual or formal gatherings. 
  • Maxi: The extra length here works for all occasions, from beachy summer dresses to formal eveningwear. It falls around the ankle and this small margin for error can make choosing a dress based on your height challenging.
  • Floor-length: Less common these days than the maxi dress, a floor-length dress falls all the way to the floor and might even have a train. It's mostly associated with special occasions such as galas, weddings or prom night.

What to look for in a quality plum dress

Comfortable fabrics

A beautiful dress is great but one that's also comfortable is better. Anything with cotton, chiffon or silk is soft to the touch. Polyester and spandex are great for adding a little bit of give that keeps dresses from feeling too tight or baggy. Polyester is made with plastic fibers, though, and can make you feel warm quickly — something to consider for summer occasions. 

Matching sets

Some formal dresses come with a jacket or shawl tailored to match their color and any beadwork or detailing they might feature. This is great for plum dresses, since plum can be a difficult color to match. Versions of it vary, so if you want a plum jacket with your dress, the best way to make sure they pair well is to purchase a matching set.

Secure closures

The closure method isn't a big deal for pullover dresses but it's something to consider with dresses that button, zip or wrap. Most button-up dresses come with an extra button or two in case you lose one, but zip-up dresses don't have that luxury. A zipper can snag or break. To determine the reliability of a zipper, check reviews of the dress. If more than two or three buyers have had trouble with the zipper, chances are it isn't as well-made as it should be.

How much you can expect to spend on a plum dress

A casual plum dress costs $20-$40, while a formal one can cost $30-$200.

Plum dress FAQ

What shoe color goes best with a plum dress?

A. Black shoes are a safe bet when trying to match a plum dress. Beige and silver are great alternatives if you want something lighter in color. 

Can dresses you should hand-wash be dry-cleaned?

A. Whether a dress can be dry-cleaned depends on the fabric. Polyester is made with plastic, which doesn't always dry-clean well. Linen, cashmere, silk and velvet do dry-clean well.

What’s the best plum dress to buy?

Top plum dress

Alex Evenings Deep Plum Sequin Embellished Lace Top Gown

What you need to know: This is a zip-up, ankle-length A-line dress with three-quarter sleeves for formal occasions.

What you’ll love: It has a beautiful sequined lace top and a flowy chiffon bottom. The scalloped neckline is a nice feature. It's lined and comfortable.

What you should consider: It is hand-wash only.

Where to buy: Sold by Macy's

Top plum dress for the money

R&M Richards Plum Short-Sleeve Faux-Wrap Dress

What you need to know: This is a pull-over, knee-length faux wrap dress with short sleeves and a ruffled skirt that works for a night out or formal occasions.

What you’ll love: It has a flattering silhouette and is gathered at the waist with a jeweled ring. There's an inset panel at the neckline. It's simple and comfortable with a touch of glamour. 

What you should consider: It is hand-wash only and runs a little small.

Where to buy: Sold by Macy's

Worth checking out

R&M Richards Plum Embellished Dress And Illusion Duster Jacket

What you need to know: This is a pull-over, knee-length A-line dress with a matching duster jacket for suitable for formal occasions.

What you’ll love: The sleeveless dress has beautiful beadwork along the neckline and the duster features sheer panel three-quarter sleeves. It looks great without the duster jacket and the colors match perfectly. 

What you should consider: It's hand-wash only and the jacket runs a little small.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Macy's


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

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