Meet our Winter ambassador – Helen Noel

Our Winter Colour Ambassador, Helen Noel, 48, who runs her own creative agency Brand+Soul, shares her wardrobe secrets – from the top she can’t live without to the best confidence-boosting colours for meetings

 Helen wearing a Merino Tunic in emerald with a Studded Scarf in sapphire

Do you have a casual uniform?
Striped Breton, long cardigan, scarf, skinny jeans and boots. You can’t go wrong.

Helen wears a Cosy Cotton Stripe Top in Navy/Fuchsia under a Grace Jacquard Blazer in Navy

Favourite dressed-up look for evening?
Something simple, like a maxi wrap dress with a slightly 1970s vibe – no necklace but statement earrings. And always heels! I love deep colours, such as black and cassis (I’m actually hankering after a deep green or emerald evening dress).

Favourite piece from the Kettlewell A/W collection?

So many favourites, how to choose? The entire Merino collection – the wool is beautifully soft and the colours are just amazing. The Alpaca Shawl will be a constant friend in the office (no central heating!). And because you can never have too many stripes in my book, I would go for the Cotton Stripe Boat Neck for work and the Cosy Cotton Stripe for weekends.

Helen wearing a Greek Blue Alpaca Shawl over a Stripe Boat Neck in Indigo Stripe

Your favourite seasonal colour?

Royal Blue. It just works, always.

Here she is wearing a Grace Jacquard Blazer in Grey over a Silky Crew Neck tee in White and a Cashmere Gauze Stole in Winter Lobelia

Best feature (and parts you prefer to play down)?  
Not sure about best feature – can I say dimples? I definitely like to play down my tum ­ and I’m not overly fond of upper arms, either!

How does wearing the right colours for you make you feel?
It sounds a bit dramatic but having my colours analysed really transformed my understanding of what works for me. Knowing the colours that suit me best makes shopping easier (particularly when spending out on an investment piece), gives me more confidence in client meetings and presentations, and makes choosing clothes and getting dressed a pleasure rather than a minefield. Even after a bad night’s sleep, popping on the right colour can perk up your complexion and hide a multitude of sins.

No outfit is complete without…

…a scarf – preferably in Fuchsia cashmere!

 

Photographs: Katharine Davies

You can contact Helen at Brand+Soul creative agency.

Special thanks to Hardy the dog…

 

Colour meets denim: everything you need to know


Sophie is wearing a Cosy Cotton Top in jellybean with boyfriend jeans

Whatever your personal style, the chances are you have a pair or ten of jeans in your wardrobe. We’ve talked about denim here before, but something that the good folk at Kettlewell and I get asked an awful lot is which Kettlewell tops go best with which jeans shapes. When faced with the challenge of seemingly limitless denim and t-shirt shapes, it can feel a little overwhelming to begin to work with colour as well, but I’m here to show you that putting the whole lot together can be a breeze.

Straight leg jeans are such a classic cut that it makes sense to pair them with similarly timeless top halves. For an easy smart-casual look, try pairing with a merino crew neck in winter or a simple cosy cotton stripe top. For an evening out, opt for the gorgeously drapey Daphne blouse and the Alexa biker.

Outfit 1 – Cosy Cotton Stripe Top in cornflower/light navy, Florence Infinity Scarf in dusky rose

Outfit 2 – Alexa Zip Jacket in cranberry, Daphne Blouse in pastel rose

Outfit 3 – Shawl Collar Wrap in navy, Darcey Square in blue moon

Outfit 4 – Cosy Merino Sweater in marine blue, Cashmere Gauze Stole in ocean blue

Skinny jeans are so ubiquitous now that it’s hard to think of them as an ‘extreme’ style, but they do require a little more balancing out than classic straight or boot leg styles. Longer tops are your friend here. Layer a long vest under a standard tee, or add the beautiful merino tunic for sleek longline style. Go for the Diane swing top for a change of silhouette.

Outfit 1 – Merino Tunic in deep claret, Tassel Necklace in pink mulberry sparkle

Outfit 2 – Tasha Top in charcoal, Long Vest Top in raspberry

Outfit 3 – Davina Tee in fig, Florence Infinity Scarf in grey plum

Outfit 4 – Davina Tee in dutch blue, Alpaca Shawl in mallard

The bootcut has been out of favour for a while, but increasingly it’s returning to the denim front line. So easy to wear and to balance with a variety of tops, it’s easy to see why many of us refused to abandon this wardrobe stalwart during the skinny jeans years. Pair with classic tees, or add a camisole under a shirt or wrap top if you are larger busted.

Outfit 1 – Sara V Neck  in grey plum, Cashmere Gauze Stole in dolphin grey

Outfit 2 – Cotton Jersey Shirt in navy, Lace Camisole in silver

Outfit 3 – Merino Crossover in glacier, Camisole in steel blue

Outfit 4 – Paris Textured Jacket in true red, Darcey Scoop in ice blue

 

The more extreme wide leg of flared jeans demands a more fitted top half to avoid accidentally landing in clown territory. Embrace the retro feel by pairing with a silky roll neck or a poncho layered over a fitted tee, or go for a simple fitted merino crew neck.

Outfit 1 – Silky Tee in true red, Multi Star Necklace in silver

Outfit 2 – City Poncho in deep claret, Silky Roll Neck in dolphin grey

Outfit 3 – Sleeveless Merino Wrap in bright navy, Silky Crew Neck in light aqua

Outfit 4 – Cosy Merino Sweater in marine blue, Tassel Necklace in charcoal sparkle

Boyfriend jeans can be worn with a relaxed top for a super casual look (go for something slouchy like the Tasha or Davina tees) but look their best contrasted with a more fitted option. Keep it simple with a short sleeve crew neck or a long sleeved silky v neck.

Outfit 1 – Tasha Top in meadow violet, Tassel Necklace in lilac sparkle

Outfit 2 – Alexa Zip Jacket in ink, Sleeveless Mock Turtle in raspberry

Outfit 3 – Silky Crew Neck in pink ice, Studded Scarf in grey

Outfit 4 – Cosy Merino Sweater in bright navy, Florence Infinity Scarf in pastel blue


 

Parisian chic

Georgia wears the Paris Jacket in Aubergine over a Fine Cotton V Neck in Mint Aqua

Well this is one that’s worth the wait. I know there’s been a huge number of you desperate for the effortless elegance of the Paris jacket, and you’ve been patiently hanging on since the beginning of September waiting for one. I’m pleased to be able to tell you that the next delivery of Paris jacket stock has finally arrived and any pre-orders will be shipped as soon as possible.



With that out of the way, let’s make sure you know exactly how to style one of Kettlewell’s three wardrobe cornerstone jackets.

Paris Jacket in Aubergine, Davina Tee in Sapphire, Pink Mulberry Sparkle Tassel Necklace

This is the classic hi-low mix boucle jacket outfit. The perfectly classic cut of the Paris jacket (but in beautiful comfortable heavy weight slight-stretch fabric rather than stiff tweed) plays nicely with relaxed denim and a simple tee – go bold rather than white with the t-shirt for your take on this timeless look.

Paris Jacket in True Red, Ponte Trousers in Charcoal, Cotton Jersey Shirt in Nimbus and Mid Grey Velvet Ballerinas

Up your game by pairing the Paris jacket with a classic collared shirt and ballet pumps. Effortless elegance, sorted. The light neutral shirt makes a bold contrast with the true red jacket, and both these shades are universal, suits-everyone colours, so whatever your palette, wear with confidence!

Paris Jacket in Light Grey, Grace Pencil Skirt in Grey, Sleeveless Mock Turtle in Raspberry, Silk Leopard Scarf in Bright Pink

Workwear never looked so good. Simply throw the Paris jacket over anywhere you’d normally add a cardigan or blazer for a feminine look that’s 100% pulled together and smart enough for any board meeting.

Secrets of layering for every palette

Eveline wears a City Poncho in Marine Blue over a Silky Roll Neck in Mandarin Orange.

Layering is an essential skill during the transition seasons, but many of us lack confidence in how to add different styles, colours and textures within an outfit.

Effective layering has many benefits. Number one, the practical. You’ll be warm, but if it heats up, you’ll be able to cool down incrementally, rather than just shedding one enormous sweater and freezing to death. Number two, style. Mixing layers, textures and prints within an outfit gives it depth and interest, instantly making you look more pulled together. Number three, colour! Layering gives you an opportunity to add more colour into your outfit in a way that looks current and wearable, rather than you having to head out in top to toe ochre (unless you want to. Please don’t let me stand between you and top to toe ochre if that’s where your heart lies).

When I started to discuss this post with Kettlewell, we got so excited about the opportunities to demonstrate effective layering that it quickly became apparent that we’d need a separate post for each of the four seasonal colour palettes. So if you’ve had a personal colour analysis, just click on the link below to go to the appropriate post for your palette. If you haven’t had a colour analysis, don’t panic. You can either make a start on your journey into colour by visiting the Kettlewell colour quiz or simply read on for some great layering looks that will add wow colours to your outfit whatever your skin tone.

 

The easiest and least challenging way to layer is to stick to tonal shades. The lack of different colours means you just can’t go wrong. Make sure you add a long layer to peek out the bottom.

Start with a Long Vest Top in Sky Blue and Ponte Trousers in Navy. Add a Tasha Top in Galaxy Blue and throw on an Alpaca Shawl in Greek Blue. Finish off with a Cashmere Gauze Stole in Navy.

Getting bolder? Try adding some contrasting colours to your layers to add depth and interest to your look. This is a great way of adding a bright shade if you lack confidence doing large quantities of bright colours.

Start with a Silky Roll Neck in Mallard and Ponte Trousers in Charcoal. Layer a Merino Crossover in Festival Fuchsia

The ultimate winter layering system – try adding more than one knitwear layer for style that keeps you cosy.

Start with a Cosy Merino Sweater in Marine Blue and your favourite jeans. Add a Merino Sleeveless Wrap in Indian Ochre and top off with a Cashmere Gauze Stole in Ocean Blue.

Layering can be a great way to add some colour to your workwear too – the sleeveless mock turtle is the perfect lightweight base layer.

Wear a Sleeveless Mock Turtle in Aquamarine and a Grace Pencil Skirt in Praline. Layer over a Cotton Jersey Shirt in Nimbus and then add your Grace Jacquard Blazer in Praline.

Meet our Autumn Ambassador – Ilka Dunn

Ilka Dunn wearing an Alexa Zip Jacket in Taupe with a Leo Print Scarf in Truffle print

We put our Autumn Colour Ambassador, Ilka Dunn, 39, a colour consultant for Red Leopard, under the spotlight to find out how she blends Kettlewell with her own personal style and her favourite piece from the new A/W17 collection

Do you have a casual uniform?
I like pairing skinny trousers in dark brown or dark olive with an interesting top or blouse. For cooler days, I love chunky sweaters. I always wear an eye-catching necklace or a scarf, and a pair of flat ankle boots or high boots.

Favourite dressed-up look for evening?
My go-to pieces are dresses and shoes with a heel because it takes just seconds to get dressed and yet makes a dramatic change. I like to wear slightly darker colours than during the day and I tweak my make-up to make sure that it still looks good when the lights are low.

Ilka wearing a Paris Textured Jacket in True Red, with a Silk Leopard Scarf in Bright Orange Print

Favourite piece from the Kettlewell A/W collection?
It’s not really like me to wear the bright colours of the Autumn palette, but I love the Paris Textured Jacket  in Leaf and True Red. It’s great if you have limited time to get dressed in the morning: paired with jeans and a T-shirt, it will instantly make you look more put together. All you have to do is add the Leopard silk scarf to look perfectly stylish.

Your favourite seasonal colours?
Dark sage and moss – colours that are very flattering on most autumns. I also love coral as an accent colour in a pattern on a blouse or a scarf because it throws a lovely glow on to the face.

Ilka wearing an Alexa Zip Jacket in Forest Green with a Leo Print Scarf in Petrol Green print

Best feature (and parts you prefer to play down)?    
I am slightly narrower at the bust, so this is where I try to draw the attention to in order to visually balance out my proportions. I have a slim waist and try to accentuate that with belts, tops that come in at the waist, high-waisted trousers or high-waisted skirts.

Ilka wears a City Poncho in Indian Ochre over a Silky Roll Neck in Chocolate

How does wearing the right colours for you make you feel?
Life is just easier and more fun when you wear the right colours. They can make you look healthy, energetic, more capable and radiant. When you look great, you feel great. And when you feel great, everything is possible.

I also love that dressing is much easier and faster with my clothes being from the same seasonal colour palette because everything goes so well together. My wardrobe is sorted by colour – it’s like flipping through an Autumn’s colour wallet.

Ilka wears a City Poncho in Chocolate Marl with a Leo Print Scarf in Truffle Print

No outfit is complete without…
…a smile! Twenty years ago I saw a Snoopy cartoon in which he was very beautifully dressed but looked miserable. Underneath the caption read: “The best clothes don’t work if you don’t smile.” It is so true!

With thanks to the Duchess of Cornwall Inn, Poundbury, Dorset

Photographs: Katharine Davies

To book a consultation with Ilka, visit the Red Leopard website.

Silk square 101

I adore this new addition to Kettlewell’s repertoire. A bold and beautiful silk scarf adds sophistication to almost any outfit you care to name. If your jeans and t-shirt feel a little lacking, add a silk scarf. If your work outfit is lacking a little impact today, add a silk scarf. If your raffia beach bag is looking a little dull, add a silk scarf.

Kettlewell’s silk scarves have been designed with the four seasonal palettes in mind, so no need to worry about whether enough of the print fits with your colours. And they feature so many colours that they’ll go with an almost endless range of colour and clothing combinations.

As well as wearing with endless outfits, there really is no limit to the number of ways you can tie these silk square, but to start you off, here’s a few of our favourites.

SHAWL

Couldn’t be simpler. Simply fold in half and drape over the shoulders. Great for adding a splash of colour to a simple outfit. Secure with a brooch or scarf ring if you’re worried about it flying off.

FRENCH CHIC

A classic tie for a silk scarf and perfect for a Parisienne look. Fold diagonally, then fold or roll until you have a long strip. Wrap either once or twice round the neck (depending on whether you want tails) and tie off to one side.

WILD WEST

Silk scarves are surprisingly warm, and this tie really works to keep a chill out, as well as making your silk square work with more relaxed outfits. Fold diagonally. With the large point facing downwards in front of your neck, drape the long ends around the back of your neck, cross them over and bring them back to the front.

Want more inspiration? Try searching on YouTube for silk square tutorials, there are literally thousands.

Meet our new Colour Ambassadors

There’s something about September, that fresh-start, back-to-school feeling that comes with this time of year, that feels right for new launches. So hot on the heels of the arrival of the A/W17 collection, we are excited to introduce our new colour ambassadors – four inspiring women who will be flying the flag for colour and demonstrating how they blend Kettlewell with their own inimitable style.

 Spanning the four seasonal colour palettes, Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer, as well as all ages and body types, our Colour Ambassadors will be joining us for the next six months, sharing styling tips as they put together a series of great wearable looks and showing us how they incorporate colour into their everyday lives, from work to weekend. We hope you enjoy meeting them!

Would you like to be a Colour Ambassador for SS18? If so, we would love to hear from you. Please email us a photograph and a brief description of why you love to wear colour to press@kettlewellcolours.co.uk

 

Next week: Our Autumn Colour Ambassador Ilka puts together looks from the A/W collection

 

Photographs by Katharine Davies