Author: jogreenehoc

biker chic

Biker jackets crop up in 95% of capsule wardrobe essentials lists, and with good reason. For 95% of you, a biker jacket, especially one as versatile as Kettlewell’s, will open up a whole host of styling options for you. Faux suede, buttery soft and cut to fit and flatter, and available in six fabulous shades, this jacket almost certainly needs to come and live with you.

Biker jackets have magic powers – your favourite one will add edge to a pretty outfit, or a touch laid back chic to a more dressy one. Conversely, you can use it to smarten up a relaxed jeans and tshirt look or make a daytime outfit evening-ready. Magic. The downside is that nine times out of ten, bikers come in variations on the theme of black and grey, so the choice of a whole range of colours is a luxury not to be ignored!

Just add jeans…
This one’s a classic. Pair a biker with your favourite jeans and tee for instant laid back style. To keep it casual, play with lengths by pairing a slightly longer tee with your biker.Spring: Alexa Jacket in PralineMaddie Tunic in Aquamarine & Soft White
Summer: Alexa Jacket in InkMaddie Tunic in Hyacinth & Sultry Navy
Autumn: Alexa Jacket in TaupeMaddie Tunic in Antique Moss & Latte
Winter: Alexa Jacket in InkMaddie Tunic in Emerald & Black


Just add a dress…
Even the most feminine of dresses, like the beautiful Sofia dress, play nicely with the buttery soft faux suede of the Alexa jacket. The saturated shade and gentle drape add a luxurious-but-edgy hint to the outfit.Spring: Keira Dress in Poppy & BiscuitAlexa Jacket in Praline
Summer: Sofia Dress in Cassis & CharcoalAlexa jacket in Cranberry
Autumn: Sofia Dress in Teal & French NavyAlexa Jacket in Forest Green
Winter: Keira Dress in Navy & SilverAlexa Jacket in Royal Blue


Just add workwear…
The biker jacket also does double (triple? quadruple?) duty as workwear. Pair it with a pencil skirt or work dress for smart-but-cool office wear.Spring: Classic Ponte Dress in Galaxy BlueAlexa Jacket in Royal Blue
Summer: Classic Ponte Dress in CharcoalAlexa Jacket in Cranberry
Autumn: Grace Pencil Skirt in Marine TealSoft Square Vest in Soft WhiteAlexa Jacket in Praline
Winter: Grace Pencil Skirt in NavySoft Square Vest in WhiteAlexa Jacket in Forest Green

Grey for every palette

When I trained in colour analysis, the colour we were told to expect to be asked the most questions about was black. And yes, people do ask about it a lot, but these days I find an increasing number of clients who know that black isn’t right for them (or even if it is, wanting something a little more subtle and modern feeling) and wanting to know whether they can still wear greys in every hue from dove to charcoal.

Because the class always ends up focused largely on the bold, bright and beautiful colours that each client looks amazing in, that discussion about greys can sometimes take a bit of a back seat and clients end up some months down the line unable to remember just which shades work for them.

Step forward, Kettlewell. With greys for every single palette, there’s a solution for every season. And the variety you can wear might just surprise you. So which grey should you be wearing, and how do you pick it out from all the ones that make you look grey instead? If you’ve had your colours analysed, just click on the seasonal links below for more information about your best greys and how to choose and wear them. If you haven’t had a colour analysis you could start with Kettlewell’s quiz, or read on for more information.

 

 

 

 

If you don’t know your own personal best palette, your best bet is to go for those greys which suit the vast majority of skintones, as there is less chance of things going horribly wrong. As a general rule of thumb, greys with a slightly stone or mole undertone, rather than stark pure grey, will be more universally flattering.

If you desperately want to wear darkest charcoal or pale ice grey, another option for making it ‘safe’ for your skintone is to choose a more universally flattering colour to pair with it up, such as true red, teal or soft white. Wearing one of these colours up near your face will reflect a more flattering light onto your skin and make you look and feel fresher and brighter.

Grey makes a grey smart work look that’s a little less terrifying (and unflattering) than black. Pair it with softest nimbus grey for a seriously smart look, or add a bright pop of colour for less formal days.

There’s a reason 75% of loungewear comes in grey. Easy on the eye and, in the case of Kettlewell’s amazing alpaca shawls, every bit as cosy as it looks. Add a splash of something bright to make sure you don’t feel drab while you’re relaxing.

Kettlewell’s taupe bike officially makes every outfit better, and when the starting place is as good as this maxi skirt and cashmere combo, you can’t go wrong.

Back to school (uniform)

Many of us swear never to wear our school uniform colours again once we finally escape after anything up to fourteen years wearing the same outfit day after day, so when a client discovers that her old and much despised school uniform colour falls within her palette, there is often a moment of utter disbelief.

Obviously if your uniform doesn’t fall within your palette, feel free to carry right on with the dislike. But if your uniform colours are part of your palette, it might be worth revisiting them and injecting new life into those once loathed colours.

It’s impossible to cover every single uniform colour combination in the UK (I encountered a few memorable combinations while researching this article. Bright green, primrose and purple, anyone?), but I’ve restyled a few of the most common colour combinations below so you can see that your previously tiresome uniform colours could soon be reinvented as your new wardrobe staples.

 

 

Look 1: Grace Jacquard Blazer in PralinePippa Top in Lemongrass
Look 2: Camisole in Soft WhiteLong Tie Wrap in True Red
Look 3: Mid Cascade Wrap in Iced AquaSleeveless Mock Turtle in Cassis
Look 4: Silky Roll Neck in Soft WhiteMerino Sleeveless Wrap in Bright Navy Marl
Look 5: Star and Bead Necklace in Gold BronzeClassic Ponte Dress in Pine

 

 

New season top picks

 

Above: Sofia Dress in Teal & French Navy

Yippee, it’s that time again! I love new season time at Kettlewell. So many new colours, new styles, and new opportunities for incredibly easy shopping.

Every season, my problem is what to leave out for my five top picks, rather than what to choose, and this season was even harder than usual, with the ever increasing range of products and fabrics that Kettlewell offer, from necklaces to shoes and jersey to boucle and faux suede.

However, I have forced myself to pick only my very favourites, the ones that I predict will be hanging around for approximately 23.8 seconds after they are launched in early September.

Alexa jacket

Now this is right up my street. Buttery soft with a hint of edgy styling, this jacket will take you everywhere this autumn/winter and beyond. Add a biker edge to a pretty dress, or smarten up a basic tee and jeans.

Look 1: Alexa Jacket in PralineKeira Dress in Poppy & Biscuit
Look 2: Alexa Jacket in TaupeLove Colour Tee in Wisteria

 

Grace blazer, trousers and pencil skirt

OK, so this is technically three things, but it’s the fabric I’m excited about here as much as the style. I don’t know a single person who has touched this fabric who hasn’t gone ‘oooooooh’ at its magical properties. All the style and smartness of a herringbone tweed, but with the comfort, hold-you-in effect and ease of wearing of stretch jersey. Needs to be tried to be believed.

 


Look 3: Grace Jacquard Blazer in Marine TealGrace Pencil Skirt in Marine TealSleeveless Mock Turtle in Shaded SpruceStar & Bead Necklace in Gold Bronze
Look 4: Merino Crossover in Marine BlueGrace Jacquard Trousers in Praline

 

Cosy merino sweater

If, like me, one of your summer heroes was the effortlessly stylish cotton/cashmere mix crew neck sweater, than breathe a huge sigh of relief, because the winter weight version is here. Created from sumptuous pure merino in a slightly chunkier knit than the summer weight sweater, this neat crew neck will resolve a multitude of outfit conundrums.

Look 5: Cosy Merino Sweater in GlacierTiny Star Necklace in Silver

 

Maddie tunic

Is it an animal print? Is it a heart print? Whatever you decide it is, this easy to wear tunic will up your casual outfit game no end. Layer up with the Alexa biker above for cool chic, or add a jersey wrap and pretty necklace for a prettier look.

Look 6: Maddie Tunic in Hyacinth & Sultry NavyMerino Sleeveless Wrap in Bright NavyTassel Necklace in Pink Mulberry SparkleSuede Satr Shoulder Bag in Tin & Soft Berry

 

Sofia dress

This is the dress you’ll turn to this winter when you need an instant confidence hit. The swirling print, long sleeves, faux wrap front and clever ruching on this dress all work together to highlight your best features and conceal any bits you’re not so keen on. Add some edge with an Alexa biker or make it work-ready with a Grace blazer. It’s another one of those things that Kettlewell does so well – a dress-up-dress-down wardrobe essential.

Look 7: Sofia Dress in Periwinkle Blue & Bright NavyAlexa Jacket in Royal BlueTiny Star Necklace in Gold

As well as my favourite styles, here’s a look behind the scenes, of Melissa’s recent trip to the factory to check on the progress of the new season styles as they go into production. Lots of obsessive trying on, measuring and fine tuning takes place until each and every new piece is absolutely perfect and ready to go into a full production run for the coming season.

Pantone autumn/winter colour trends

You might remember being introduced to Greenery, the Pantone Colour of the Year for 2017, especially if you’re an Autumn, since it was basically designed for you. However, Pantone also does a fashion update for Autumn/Winter, showing the key palette of colours for the coming season. And the good news is, there’s something in there for everyone.

Regardless of whether you are a slavish fashion follower or prefer to do your own thing, the Pantone colour trend reports are a great way of finding out which colours are going to be available in the shops for the coming season, in terms of both in clothing and interiors.

The good news is that, unlike last autumn/winter, this season’s forecast has a few colours for every palette, so whether you are warm or cool, bright or muted, there’s going to be something for you. And, of course, Kettlewell has your version of each of these shades available, so even if the high street lets you down, the 150+ shades available at Kettlewell won’t.

Grenadine is a warm bright red, perfect for both of the warmer palettes. Get the look with Kettlewell’s poppy. This is a great vibrant shade to add as a splash of colour or wear top to toe. If you belong to one of the cooler seasons, simply swap that tomato-tone for a slightly more cherry one.

Kettlewell items shown: Semi Scoop 3/4 sleeve and Long Camisole

Tawny Port translates as one of those ever-so-clever neutral burgundies which seems to work well on both Autumns and the cooler seasons. Kettlewell’s versions, have the same magical powers.

Kettlewell items shown: V Neck 3/4 sleeve, Camisole

 

Pretty in pink, this delicate pink shade offsets many of winter’s deeper and brighter colours beautifully. One for the cool seasons only, it pairs brilliantly with charcoal and navy for a formal look, as well as with tawny port above for a more unexpected look.

Kettlewell items shown: Silky V Neck, Long Camisole

Butterum initially seems like a strange contender for autumn/winter, but once you start mentally pairing a cashmere sweater in this colour with Spring’s navy or Autumn’s deep olive (Summers and Winters need to stick to cooler stonier tones, such as light dove grey) it begins to make sense as a timeless look.

Kettlewell items shown: Davina Tee, Darcey Boat Neck

Let’s all give a hurrah for Pantone predicting one or two truly sensible and realistic shades for the season. Navy peony is, to all intents and purposes, light navy, making it an excellent wardrobe basic for Springs, Summers and Winters (although the latter needs to make sure it is running at full intensity, not softened off). Autumns should head for a more teal version.

Kettlewell items shown: Diane Swing Top, Soft Square Vest

 

What’s this? Another sensible neutral? Surely not. Dolphin grey will make a super-simple neutral this season, paired with everything from pink ice to burgundy. Ideal for Winters and Summers, Autumns and Springs are better in a lighter, warmer shade.

Kettlewell items shown: Short Cascade Wrap, Cotton Blazer

Shaded Spruce is a perfect match for deep teal, another multi-season shade. Too dark for Springs, it nevertheless works well on all three other seasons. Look for a really deep sea green shade, such as deep teal.

Kettlewell items shown: Milan Knit Cardigan, Lace Camisole

This colour belongs to one season and one season only – it’s just for the Autumns. A brilliant saturated moss shade, find it in silk or cashmere for vibrant winter luxury.

Kettlewell items shown: Tasha Top, Long Camisole

Just to make the rest of you feel better, this shade definitely doesn’t belong to the Autumns. Ideal for Springs and Summers, this cheery shade will be a welcome relief from all the usual dark winter colours.

Kettlewell items shown: Fine Cotton Tee, Semi Scoop 3/4 sleeve

Very definitely a warm tone, this gorgeous tanned-orange shade will bring vibrancy and depth to any cold weather outfit. Autumns can wear it as a brighter splash, while Springs can use it as a neutral next to bold yellow or green.

Kettlewell items shown: Short Cascade Wrap, Semi Scoop 3/4 Sleeve


 

Does your season change when you tan?

I think this must be up there in the top ten questions asked of colour analysts. Even the most sunscreen-committed of us tend to see some variation in our skintone throughout the year – from winter’s palest shades through the first hint of colour as Spring appears and then on to our own personal deepest tan by the end of the summer. Personally I experience this in extremes, with my father’s fair Scottish heritage predominating during winter and my mother’s more olive-skinned genes taking over once the sun comes out, so as a client it was top of my list of questions when I had my own colour analysis and which my consultant gave an almost identical answer to the one I am going to give you here.

The – very – short answer is no. Not only does your season does not change throughout the year, it actually remains unchanged throughout your entire life, but that’s further than we need to worry about today. Colouring is determined by genetics, and remains unchanged regardless of (natural) tanning, scars, ageing etc.

Rather than ending there, I suppose it’s only fair to also give you the longer answer too. When you had your colour analysis, the chances are you were given some kind of ‘direction’ within your season, being described as a light Spring, or a deep Summer, or similar applicable adjective. So as well as being given a broader palette you will also have been guided as to what your ‘wow’ colours are within that palette.

When we are at our palest (and therefore often our least ‘bright’, regardless of how bold or muted our personal palette is), we often rely on our wow colours more, feeling less confident in other parts of the palette. However, as we get more colour in our own skin, some of those less good colours seem to start working too. The reason is that tan does some of the work, adding a bit of a glow and hiding some imperfections, so we are able to venture outside our wow colour comfort zone a little more and wear just ‘good’ colours as well as wow ones. As an aside, most people are more comfortable wearing brighter colours when it’s sunny and bright outside, so there is a psychological correlation between feeling confident with the brighter colours in warmer weather too.

So, in summary, a tan will never affect your seasonal outcome, but it may affect how you look and feel in some of the less wow colours within your palette.

A note about fake tan: almost all fake tan is warm (yellow) toned, and can seriously alter the outcome of a colour analysis, because it adds an artificially warm overtone to the skin. This is especially true, obviously, of cool toned people, but can alter the wow colour outcome even for the warmer toned among us.