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Is plum color same as Burgundy?

Plum and burgundy are both deep, rich shades of purple. However, there are some key differences between the two colors that set them apart. In this article, we’ll explore the definitions of plum and burgundy, look at their color codes, and compare their uses and associations to determine if they are the same color.

What is Plum Color?

Plum is a deep, reddish purple that gets its name from the ripe plum fruit. It sits between purple and red on the color wheel and is created by mixing red and blue. Plum sometimes has a brownish undertone compared to other shades of purple. It’s considered a tertiary color as it is created by combining the primary color (red) with the secondary color (purple).

The hexadecimal code for plum color is #DDA0DD. In the RGB color model, its code is RGB(221, 160, 221). It’s a highly saturated, rich color that pops against lighter backgrounds. Plum is less vibrant than shades like fuchsia but deeper than lavender.

Some key facts about plum color:

  • Hex code: #DDA0DD
  • RGB code: RGB(221, 160, 221)
  • Hue: 300 degrees
  • Saturation: 60%
  • Brightness: 67%

Plum is traditionally considered a feminine, romantic color associated with wisdom and dignity. It is one of the official colors used by Women’s Association football. Plum sometimes represents wealth and extravagance. It is linked to creativity and magic.

What is Burgundy Color?

Burgundy is a deep reddish-purple shade inspired by the color of French Burgundy wine. It sits between purple and maroon on the color wheel. Burgundy contains more red undertones compared to typical purple shades. It is also sometimes classified as a dark shade of red rather than purple.

The hexadecimal code for burgundy is #800020. The RGB code is RGB(128, 0, 32). Burgundy has less blue undertones compared to plum, containing only a 32 blue value.

Here are some key facts about burgundy:

  • Hex code: #800020
  • RGB code: RGB(128, 0, 32)
  • Hue: 330 degrees
  • Saturation: 100%
  • Brightness: 25%

Burgundy is associated with elegance, power, and prosperity. It’s commonly seen in high-end contexts like luxury fashion. Burgundy is one of the main colors of European nobility along with royal blue. It sometimes symbolizes ambition and determination.

Plum vs. Burgundy: Key Differences

While plum and burgundy are close in appearance, there are some key differences:

Plum Burgundy
More purple undertones More red undertones
Brighter and more vibrant Darker and more muted
Hex code: #DDA0DD Hex code: #800020
RGB code: RGB(221, 160, 221) RGB code: RGB(128, 0, 32)
60% saturation 100% saturation
Associated with wisdom, dignity, creativity Associated with elegance, nobility, ambition

From this comparison, we can see that while plum and burgundy are similar, burgundy leans more red/maroon while plum is brighter and more purple. Burgundy is a very saturated, bold shade while plum has some grayness that softens it slightly. They have different cultural associations and uses as well.

Are Plum and Burgundy the Same Color?

Based on their distinct RGB and hex codes along with the key differences between them, plum and burgundy are not the same color. They are however closely related colors in the purple family.

Some specific ways in which plum and burgundy differ:

  • Plum has more blue undertones from its 60% saturation while burgundy leans red with 100% saturation.
  • Burgundy is much darker due to its 25% brightness compared to plum’s 67% brightness.
  • Plum is considered more of a tertiary purple while burgundy is either a dark red or secondary purple.
  • The cultural associations differ – plum is more frivolous and creative while burgundy implies nobility and luxury.

There are definitely many similarities between the two colors – they are both rich, deep reddish purples. However, the differences in their technical specifications as well as their stylistic uses show that plum and burgundy are distinct shades.

When to Use Plum vs. Burgundy

So when should you opt for plum versus burgundy? Here are some general guidelines:

  • Use plum when you want a brighter, more playful purple. Plum works well for children’s designs, frivolous products, or to represent creativity and fantasy.
  • Choose burgundy when you want to convey luxury or tradition. Burgundy has an elegant, first-class feel perfect for upscale fashion, gourmet food & wine, royal themes, and vintage designs.
  • Use plum for women’s products or brands. Plum is strongly associated with femininity and wisdom.
  • Pick burgundy when power or ambition are key messages. Burgundy has a bold, determined edge great for motivation and success.
  • Plum pops more against light backgrounds. Its lighter shade stands out clearly against white or pale backdrops.
  • Burgundy contrasts nicely with deep colors. Pair it with gold, black, navy, or caramel for a rich effect.

There is definitely overlap in how plum and burgundy can be used. But keeping their subtle distinctions in mind helps inform when one is a better fit than the other. Test them out across your designs to see which shade best suits your goals.

Plum and Burgundy Color Palettes

Both plum and burgundy work nicely in a range of color palettes. Here are some examples of complementary color schemes:

Plum Color Palettes

  • Plum and pale pink
  • Plum and mint green
  • Plum and turquoise
  • Plum and gold
  • Plum and light grey

Burgundy Color Palettes

  • Burgundy and camel
  • Burgundy and navy
  • Burgundy and olive green
  • Burgundy and chocolate brown
  • Burgundy and charcoal grey

Both colors work well in monochromatic schemes with lighter and darker shades of themselves. Add plenty of white or black to soften them or make them pop.

Plum and Burgundy in Design and Fashion

Plum and burgundy are widely used in both fashion and interior design. Here are some examples of how these shades are used:

  • Plum in fashion: Plum works nicely for dresses, blouses, and skirts. It’s popular for accents like purses and scarves. Brands like Manolo Blahnik, Kate Spade, and Louis Vuitton use plum in handbags, shoes, and accessories.
  • Burgundy in fashion: Burgundy is ubiquitous in fall/winter fashion. It’s used for coats, suits, formal dresses, and luxury heels. Brands like Prada, Valentino, and Christian Dior employ burgundy for a high-end look.
  • Plum decor: Plum makes for an elegant living room when used on accent walls or combined with patterns. It’s also popular in nursery designs. Use plum with gold accents and white furniture for a glamorous effect.
  • Burgundy decor: Burgundy shines in formal dining rooms and libraries when used on feature walls or velvet upholstery. It gives off vintage, old-world vibes. Coordinate it with dark woods and black accents.

Both plum and burgundy work wonderfully to create depth and interest. However, plum leans playful and whimsical while burgundy skews formal and luxurious.


Plum and burgundy are stunning, sophisticated colors that have some key differences. Plum is brighter and more purple, while burgundy is darker and more red. They have distinct technical specifications and slightly different cultural meanings. Plum implies creativity and spirit, while burgundy signifies nobility and ambition.

Though they are close relatives, plum and burgundy are not interchangeable shades. Knowing their unique strengths helps determine when one is a more suitable choice over the other. Both offer immense versatility across design and fashion applications. So whether you opt for plummy purple or burgundy elegance, you can’t go wrong bringing one of these rich jewel tones into your projects.

With complementary palettes and smart usage, plum and burgundy can both provide the perfect pop of regal color.