Back to basics (and neutrals, and accents)

Before I go start this post, can i just insert a big fat disclaimer? Please wear your colours however you feel comfortable. If you, as a Spring, want to wear aquamarine top to toe, or indeed, as a Winter, want to wear black top to toe, I am not going to stand in your way, and will strongly defend your right to do so. This post is purely intended to help inspire those of you that want some more ideas to develop your wardrobe, not to make you feel that you are being dictated to in terms of how you should wear your colours. Lecture over.neutrals_palette

So you’ve had your colours done, you’ve gone out and bought colour in a big way. Your sophisticated (if dull) wardrobe of grey, navy and black has been replaced with a sea of greens, blues and pinks. And now, well, maybe you don’t exactly feel like yourself. You feel like you’ve slightly turned into a Did I Mention I’ve Had My Colours Done person every time you get dressed in the morning. I’ve had this problem brought to my attention (on one occasion, in total crisis mode before a major international conference) more than once by clients who are hoping to maintain wardrobe that is still modern, stylish and sleek while still embracing their newfound perfect palette of colours.

The solution is simple. When we look at building a wardrobe, we generally talk about starting with building a core of neutral colours, then adding basics and finally accent colours, to give a wardrobe that is versatile, well rounded and modern. However, for some of us, we get stuck with those basic and accent colours and forget all about the neutrals in the excitement of discovering all the other amazing colours we can wear.

Obviously you want to get your absolute best (and often boldest) colours up near your face, and scarves and tops in your best colours will be the ones that get you compliments aplenty and give you the confidence to carry on wearing your season, but building your entire wardrobe around bright violet because it got you half a dozen compliments in five minutes probably isn’t going to help you feel your best if what you want is a streamlined and grown up wardrobe. And so, back to neutrals we go.

I’ve selected five key wardrobe builders in neutral colours for each season, and as an example to show you the kind of versatility they will give you.


For Summers, the neutrals are rose brown, blue grey, trench navy and (depending on your style) perhaps burgundy. Your light neutral is winter white (a cool off white), with perhaps a pale pink, blue or taupe thrown in.

Kettlewell products: Crossover cardi in Silver Marl, City pencil skirt in Mole.



Your Autumn neutrals are marine navy, dark brown and dark olive green. Your light neutral is oyster, although a lot of autumns look better in a slightly richer, warmer cream, or perhaps a pale olive green

Kettlewell products: Long camisole in Dark Khaki, Merino wrap in Chocolate Marl.



Winters have the ‘fashion’ neutrals – black, navy and charcoal grey, with true white and silver as pale neutrals. Probably the easiest season to buy neutral colours for at the moment (remember back in the 90s when you could buy all basics in either black or brown? Now it’s either black or grey, both Winter shades). A streamlined look focused on basics is easy for you, but be careful not to let it get boring and lose that high contrast brightness that makes you look so amazing. Throw in one of your accent colours in the form of a scarf or a camisole to ensure your look is modern rather than flat.

Kettllewell products: V-neck sweater in Light Grey, Audrey skirt in Midnight Blue, Lace camisole in Navy.




As a Spring, your neutrals are grey, chocolate brown and bright navy, with your light neutral being cream (throw in a shell pink or a light peach too, if you fancy, but basically we’re talking shades of cream). Springs do things a little differently and like to always have some brighter items thrown in, so we have also shown how to ‘Add a Splash’ and ‘Mix it up’, but you could make this technique work whatever season you are.

Kettlewell products: Long camisole in Soft white, Ruched crossover in Lime, Cashmere gauze stole in Forget-me-not, Infinity scarf in Aqua, Round neck cardi in Azure.

For details of all the clothes visit Kettlewell Colours on Polyvore

One thought on “Back to basics (and neutrals, and accents)

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  1. Great blog! It’s lovely to see a post like this – I think a lot of people are terrified of looking like a kids TV presenter if they get their colours done when it really doesn’t have to be like that!

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