Author: jogreenehoc

Why should I get a colour analysis?

Keira, our graphic designer, had her colours analysed with Gilly from House of Colour and discovered she was a Jewel Winter

I spend an awful lot of time on this blog chattering on about the ways to wear each palette, the endless variations of any given colour and ways to style my Kettlewell favourites, but it’s been a long time since I’ve given the how a rest and discussed the why. Why exactly should you get your colours analysed? What are the actual benefits to you, a human being with a passing interest in looking and feeling good but also a busy life and other things to worry about?

Picture me rubbing my hands together gleefully at the prospect of informing you. I have just the one blog post in which to do this, so I’ve had to condense my reasons into just six points which hopefully will help nudge you over the edge if you’ve been wondering if this colour analysis malarky is really for you…

Lizzi (Autumn) from Loved by Lizzi blog had her colours analysed with the Red Leopard ladies, Rachel, (Winter), Ilka (Autumn), Manina (Winter) and Annie (Autumn)

Look good

Oh, it’s so obvious, isn’t it? But it really is true. Wearing colours that suit you, whether they are light or dark, bright or neutral, will make your skin clearer, your eyes brighter and your teeth whiter. You’ll look younger and fresher and more put together, because your outfit won’t be working against you, and that’s before you apply a scrap of make up. Wearing clothes that suit you essentially gives you a head start on looking good, regardless of whether you walk out the door bare faced or with full hair and make up every single day.

Annabel from House of Colour in her Winter colours

Feel good

All that looking good naturally translates to feeling good. And it’s not just about feeling ‘pretty’ (or whatever your word of choice is to connote physical attractiveness). Wearing colours that are in harmony with your natural colouring and style will give you an inner boost, be it conscious or subconscious, and allow you to be more open and engaging, stand up for yourself, carry more authority, and feel more attractive – whatever your own personal little hang up is about your appearance and however it holds you back, colour analysis is one huge step towards overcoming it. Wearing the right colours just makes you feel like you, but better.

Sarah, from the Kettlewell team who is a Summer wearing her Tropical Teal Helena blouse

Mix ‘n’ match

My personal favourite. All that looking and feeling fabulous is all very well by itself, but actually the thing I find incredibly satisfying on top of it is having a wardrobe where everything works. The beauty of colour analysis is that everything in your wardrobe will not only suit you, it will suit everything else, so you can mix and match endlessly to create amazing outfits. And (this is it: as a lazy and busy person, my number one benefit) you can get dressed in about 8.3 seconds, without even looking at which top and which bottom you are pulling out of the wardrobe, add some red lipstick, and look like you’ve got it together. Genius.

Annie, one of the Red Leopard stylists with Vanessa from The Model Edit blog – both Autumns.

Go bright

When it comes down to it, most of us don’t wear much colour. It’s very rare that I open a client’s wardrobe doors and see a riot of colour, of any palette. We just don’t have the confidence to wear colour. But seriously, it can bring a whole lot of joy, to you and to others. Knowing that you can in fact wear, and look amazing in, hot pink, or cobalt blue or saffron yellow is a huge confidence boost and can finally give you permission to wear colours you’ve hankered after for years (and stop you continually trying then giving up on wearing a bright colour that your best friend loves but looks dire on you).

Mary (Spring) and Lisa (Summer), from House of Colour in their Striped Pocket dresses

Stay neutral

Of course, if you’re anything like me and actually have zero desire to wear a bright colour 95% of the time, then discovering your best neutrals is even more vital than discovering your best brights. Imagine being able to look and feel absolutely amazing simply by knowing which shade of grey to pick. It’s akin to witchcraft, but anyone can do it.

Sian from House of Colour a Jewel Winter adds a pop of colour to her Silver Sparkle Crossover with her pink glasses!

Be you

Imagine knowing your best palette, not the colours that the fashion industry, your mum, your best friend or your nearest clothes shop, think you should be wearing. It is simultaneously liberating, empowering, terrifying and exciting. Finally you get to wear the palette that you love, not the one you’ve been told to love. You get to embrace the colours that feel like they belong to you because, well, they do.

‘Love Colour Tee’ worn by House of Colour Stylists Kristine (Autumn), Jennie (Autumn), Judy (Spring), Harry (Winter), Elisa (Summer), Catherine (Summer) and Lara (Winter)

Some of these images are taken from our Real Women Gallery on the website. We love to see how you wear your Kettlewell styles (old and new!) so visit here to upload a photo. We are awarding a Florence Infinity Scarf to our favourite image posted before midnight on 31st August 2017.

Which ice cream flavour are you?

It’s summer, it’s hot (intermittently, at least) and, if you’re anything like me, ice cream is featuring heavily in your life in all its many glorious flavours and colours.

There’s something about those pastel-yet-vibrant shades that just evokes an air of  glorious seaside holidays and stress-free living. Why not evoke that retro-beach-holiday vibe in your outfit too, and wear your favourite flavour? From orange sorbet to vanilla ice cream and chocolate to mint, there’s an ice cream shade for every palette.

Spring

So many spring shades sound decidedly edible anyway that it’s no problem imagining them in ice cream form! Keep your shades light and bright, with a sorbet pop to brighten things up.

Summer

Raspberry ripple, strawberries and cream, mint choc chip… All the softest and coolest shades belong in your Summer sundae.

Autumn

Tropical fruity shades, from papaya to orange to kiwi fill your palette, and if that feels a little bright you can always play it safe with coffee and vanilla.

Winter

Contrast icy lemon sorbet or palest mint with bold bright raspberry, strawberry and blueberry. For maximum impact, ripple your shades with bright white.

 

* All images from Baboo Gelato who make our favourite local artisanal ice cream! If you are coming to Dorset, visit them in West Bay or Lyme Regis.

Do your colours work for your style?

Whatever colour palette you wear, whether or not you’ve had your colours analysed, the chances are you’ve had a time when your own personal style seemed to be in conflict with the colour palette you choose to wear. Whether you stick to soft colours and sometimes like to look dramatic or wear bolder colours but favour a more natural look, there will be times when it feels like your palette is working against, rather than with you.

Whatever palette you wear, rest assured that you can make any style work for you. To see how to work ‘against’ the natural tendencies of your own seasonal palette, just click on the links below. If you haven’t had your colours analysed why not take Kettlewell’s quiz, or read on for more inspiration and ideas.

 

 

 

Even if you haven’t had your colours analysed, the chances are that sometimes you’ve struggled to put together your clothes into the look that your trying to achieve, because the colours just aren’t playing together as you want them to. But whether you stick to a more bright and bold palette or a softer more muted one, it is possible to have fun with mixing up the look of your outfit to work ‘against’ the palette. If you want to style more muted colours in a higher impact way, the trick is to layer up dark colours or neutrals (embrace your inner goth, but resist the black if it doesn’t suit you!), perhaps adding a pop of neon colour to add contrast.

Alternatively, sticking to the natural and neutral end of a bright and bold palette is an easy way to embrace a more easy going nature inspired look without losing the colours that you love to wear. If you want to add a pop of bright to lift things without losing the tonal look, add a little lipstick or swap the necklace for a brighter one.


 

Dark detox – get out of the navy, charcoal and black trap

It’s so easy, isn’t it? Throw on a pair of black trousers and a grey top for an evening out. Pair a navy dress with a navy jacket for work. Opt for the black swimsuit for your holiday. Time and time again we go for the safe dark coloured option without even considering the alternatives. But going for the safe, boring option makes us look and feel just that; safe and, shhh, a little boring. When we feel a little sluggish and dull on the inside, a diet detox makes us look and feel better. If you’re feeling a little sluggish and dull on the outside, having a dark detox is a guaranteed way to refresh the way you look and feel too.

If you’re feeling a little nervous about stepping away from your comfort zone, don’t panic. You don’t need to go out looking like a parrot carrying a cocktail and perched on a rainbow. Just lighten those dark neutrals, add a bit of colour, and enjoy the feeling of looking revived and refreshed.

Try simply swapping dark neutrals for light. It will lift and lighten your outfit (and your mood!) without any scary too-bright colours added in.

Kettlewell items shown: Shawl Collar Wraps in Navy and Cashew, Soft Square Vest in Blue Moon, Jersey Trousers in Navy and in Cream

Feeling a little braver? Go for a light neutral and swap that dark top for a brighter alternative. More flattering on your skin tone and more fun.

Kettlewell items shown: Short Ruched Skirts in Black and Latte, V Neck 3/4  in Dark Burgundy and Poppy, Florence Infinity Scarf in Black and Tassel Necklace in Savannah.

Want to go the whole hog? Swap that dark neutral for a bold beautiful bright and make the light neutral the accent part of your outfit rather than the main event.

Kettlewell items shown: Arabella Cap Sleeve Dress in Bright Navy and Fiesta Orange, Cotton Blazer in Blue Teal and Oatmeal Melange

What’s your Wimbledon white? For every palette

 

T

The world’s most famous tennis tournament opens in just a few days, and with it one of the world’s most famous dress codes. Wimbledon states that all its players must wear ‘almost entirely white’; a dress code that has existed since the club’s Victorian origins.

The dress code is believed to have originated in the 1800s, when tennis was a sport played primarily at social gatherings, and unsightly sweat patches were rather an unappealing prospect. The all-white outfits were designed to disguise this social faux pas.

While things have, thankfully, moved forward in the worlds of both technical sports clothing and anti-perspirant, nothing beats a predominantly white outfit for evoking long sunny days, effortless chic and the breezy confidence of one who might get up and do some sport, but in reality is unlikely to need to tackle anything more taxing than a gin and tonic at the end of a hard day’s sitting in the sun.

While Wimbledon still insists on true white (no off-white, cream or silver allowed), the rest of us are allowed to choose the white that works best for our skin tone. For many, true white is simply too stark and ageing, and a slight variation on the shade might be more flattering. If you already know your season, click on the link below to find your best ‘Wimbledon white’. If you don’t know your best palette, why not take Kettlewell’s colour quiz to start you off, or read on for more outfit ideas.

 

 

 

If you don’t know your personal colour palette, you may be sticking to true white when it comes to buying basics, as it tends to be very readily available. However, true white belongs only to the Winter palette, and is too stark for many skin tones, making us look tired and washed out. If you are not confident in looking your best in true stark white, it can be safer to opt for a soft white or a light dove grey shade, to give the impact of white without the potential challenges that true white can provide to the skin tone.

Camisole in Mallard, Mid Cascade Wrap in Soft White, Tassel Necklace in Teal Green – wear with cream jeans and tan flip flops.

Long Camisole in Soft White, Jersey Trousers in Cream, Long Linen V Neck in Silver Birch,  Tassel Necklace in Savannah – wear with tan flip flops.

Simone Cowl in Pebble Grey, Short Ruched Skirt in Pebble Grey, Tassel Necklace in Cerise Pink, Metallic Leather Clutch in Silver wear with silver sandals.


 

Arctic aircon vs sunny afternoons – summer layering sorted

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time you will no doubt have noticed that I have a bit of a vendetta against over-enthusiastic air conditioning, especially in the summer, in Britain. With the best will in the world, it’s not often that it’s so scorchingly hot outside that stepping into an office, store, train or plane cooled to the approximate temperature of an industrial fridge is a huge relief.

However, I gather that my one woman campaign to get the air conditioning turned down to ‘warmer than the actual arctic’ isn’t going terribly well (although I’m pleased to report that Kettlewell HQ has always maintained a perfectly normal temperature), so meanwhile we all need to plan our outfits to manage that endless summer dichotomy of beautiful warm sunshine and chilly air conditioned environment.

Top tips for managing changeable summer temperatures:

  1. Layers are your friend; a sleeveless top  with a cardigan or blazer layered over the top maintains a professional appearance with the ability to cool down when necessary.
  2. Don’t neglect your neck; a luxurious lightweight Cashmere Gauze Stole or a slimline Florence or Willow scarf will easily slip into your bag when you don’t need it, but is an essential defence against that nasty draft down the back of the neck.
  3. When in doubt, go for a dress; pretty, functional, stylish and with no gap between top and bottom when you sit down, a dress with an a-line skirt like the Arabella dress will be flippy enough to keep you cool when you’re out and about in the (possibly) sunshine, but layered up with a camisole and a cardigan will keep you comfortable in the artificially chilled air.
  4. Closed toe shoes; leather or suede will breathe when you go outside, but prevent you getting chilly feet while you’re sat back at your desk, when blood to the extremities can slow down somewhat from lack of exertion.

Start with a Print Arabella Cap Sleeve dress shown here in Cassis/Pink Violet, wear with an Ice Pink Camisole underneath, a Cassis Mid Cascade on top and finish off with an Ice Pink Willow Scarf.

Start with a Soft Square Vest in Blue Moon worn with a Bright Navy Jersey Pencil Skirt. Add a Milan Knit Cardigan in True Blue Marl and a Florence Infinity Scarf in Heliotrope.

Start with a Daphne Blouse in Iced Aqua worn with a pair of Marie Trousers in Silver. Add a Cotton Blazer in Blue Teal and carry a Cashmere Gauze Stole in Soft Aqua.

Tropical colour combinations – for every palette

Whether you’re off to a sun soaked beach to sip pina coladas or simply making the most of the great British weather (we can live in hope), nothing says ‘hurrah, it’s summer!’ like bright, bold and beautiful colours. Like most countries that endure a somewhat soggy and cold winter, most of us forget that colourful clothing even exists from about October to June each year, but we get a glimpse of the sun and suddenly we’re reminded that we too can embrace tropical brights.

However, embracing the tropics can bring up all kinds of clothing anxiety; ‘I don’t think I can wear yellow,’ ‘will everyone laugh at me for sporting aqua?’ ‘is orange really the new black, or is that a TV series?’ Knowing which colours work for you and make you look amazing will give you the confidence to embrace your tropical side, so if you’ve had a colour analysis already, just click on the links below to see the best tropical colour combinations for your season. If you haven’t yet had an analysis, why not make a start with Kettlewell’s quiz, or read on for some combinations for you to experiment with.

 

 

 

 

If you haven’t yet had an analysis, try a few different combinations and see which one makes you feel your best. If you’re going bright, you need to have the confidence to carry it off, so pick a combination that you feel good in and that makes you want to show off your bold bright colours!Kettlewell items shown:

Image 1: Fine Cotton Tee in Mint Aqua, Short Ruched Skirt in Savannah, Cashmere Gauze Stole in Bright Aqua, Suede Tassel Clutch in Chocolate

Image 2: Tasha Top in Seaspray, Willow Scarf in Periwinkle, 3/4 Length Leggings in Navy

Image 3: Long Camisole in Emerald, Tasha Top in Neon Yellow, 3/4 Length Leggings in Black

Image 4: Slub Charli Top in Saffron, Short Cascade in Hot Coral, Short Ruched Skirt in Savannah