accessories

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.

From work to evening out – styling the Daphne top from day to night

It’s a bit of a cliché, but it’s a cliché for a reason. Going straight from office to an evening out is a perennial dilemma, and one which often seems to result in a morning clothing crisis and a dozen discarded garments, before giving up and toting an entire additional outfit to work.

Wouldn’t it be lovely if a genuine day to night outfit existed? One where you really could just change an accessory or two before heading out for the evening? Well, funnily enough, I’ve found the solution (because it would have been a little cruel to lead you on this far and then tell you you’re on your own, wouldn’t it?).

Step forward, the Daphne blouse. Silky, lightweight, super-flattering and available in a selection of vibrant colours and delectable prints. Of course, it takes more than just a blouse to make an outfit, but with our simple style rules, transitioning from day to night will not longer mean half an hour spend hopping round the ladies loos trying to squeeze into an entirely new outfit.

Kettlewell items shown: Cotton Blazer in Oatmeal Melange, Print Daphne Blouse in Pastel & Aqua, Jersey Pencil Skirt in Bright Navy,  Cashmere Gauze Stole in Soft Aqua, Multi Wrap Bracelet in Pastel Aqua, Metallic Leather Clutch in Silver.

Kettlewell items shown: Mid Cascade Wrap in Flamingo Pink, Daphne Blouse in Pastel Rose, Short Ruched Skirt in Pebble Grey, Ballerina Pumps in Light Gold, Cashmere Gauze Stole in Peach Blossom, Zig Zag Scarf in Multi Brights, Metallic Leather Clutch in Platino.

Four simple rules to make your Daphne blouse your day-to-night hero:

  1. Pair it with a pencil skirt – the fitted style will look super sleek with the silky Daphne blouse, and will suit either a work or a party environment.
  2. Layer up with an easy blazer and simple flats for office chic. Adding an extra layer is a great way to add authority and impact for work, as well as protecting against the inevitable arctic office aircon.
  3. Come 6pm, remove the blazer, grab your clutch out of your laptop bag (which is staying locked in the office for the evening – you can manage one night without checking your emails at home, right?), add some heels and off you go. A cashmere gauze stole is another ideal extra if you’re worried about an evening chill later on.
  4. Enjoy your newfound mastery of day to night style.

Wedding season ready – add your splash!

It’s that time of year again; The invitations arrive, the outfit panic begins. Wedding season is upon us.

If you’re an experienced wedding goer, you’ll be familiar with the effort involved to simultaneously not spend a small fortune, look like you’ve made an effort, not wear the same thing as you wore to the last three weddings within the same social circle and, often in distant last place on the priority list, actually feel good about your appearance.

Luckily for you, the solution is at hand. Three simple steps to wedding guest perfection…

First

One of the easiest way to boost your wedding outfit confidence is to wear colours that you know make your skin glow and your eyes sparkle. So get your colours sorted pronto. Find your nearest consultant and book in for a colour analysis or, if you’re panicking about a wedding next week, take Kettlewell’s online quiz as a first step to get you on your way.

Second

Buy an investment basic outfit in one of your favourite neutrals, either a simple dress or trousers and top. For ideas on the best neutrals for your season, check out this recent blog post. Keep this outfit simple and flattering – you’re going to be adding the wow in a minute.

Kettewell items shown: Simone Cowl in Pastel Rose and Soft Square Vest in Bright Navy. Other items from John Lewis.

Third

Add your splash! The brights are what people will remember from your outfit, so adding a few carefully chosen brights will uplift and change your outfit for every occasion. And best of all, you can mix and match the basic outfit and the brights within your wardrobe to make a million and one outfits for other occasions in the future.

 

Add a Short Cascade Wrap in Flamingo Pink, a Suede Tassel Clutch in Ginger and a Single Wrap Bracelet in Biscuit/Gold

Add a Mid Cascade Wrap in Canary Yellow, Metallic Leather Clutch in Silver and a Tassel Necklace in Aqua Multi

Add a Cashmere Gauze Stole in Soft Aqua, Metallic Leather Clutch in Platino and a Tassel Necklace in Aqua Multi

Add a Milan Knit Cardi in Strawberry, a Tassel Necklace in Azure Blue, a Suede Tassel Clutch in Cobalt Blue

Or… make the dress the splash!

Go bold with your basic dress. Here we show the Arabella Cap Sleeve Dress in Canary Yellow.  Accessories can be bright or neutral, depending on your mood and the occasion!

Go neutral: add a Milan Knit Cardigan in Cream, a Tassel Necklace in Savannah and a Metallic Leather Clutch in Platino

Go bright: add a Milan Knit Cardigan in True Blue Marl, a Tassel Necklace in Azure Blue, a Suede Tassel Clutch in Cobalt Blue and a pair of Ballerina Pumps in Blue/Neon Coral

 

Meet the accessories

I’ve shown you a few sneak peeks, but I thought it was time we took a proper look at the accessories that Kettlewell have added to their essential collection of wardrobe basics.

For me, Kettlewell has always been about providing wardrobe foundation blocks in a rainbow of colours, and I think the accessories are the next logical step in that process. The new range offers a fab selection of accessories which can mix and match with your Kettlewell basics and other pieces in your wardrobe to provide either a splash of colour or a harmonious neutral.

As well as scarves (print and plain), you can now choose bags, necklaces (coloured and plain metal), bracelets and even shoes in your best shades. Getting your core wardrobe pieces in your best shades has seriously never been easier.

While we’re on the subject, don’t under-estimate the impact of getting your accessories right. They can bring an everyday outfit to life, or add the finishing touch to an elegant evening look, and getting them in the right shade will give your outfit that effortless put together look that we all love.

Still not convinced? See what Kettlewell’s capsule accessory collection can add to an outfit…

Items shown: Silky V Neck, Tassel Necklace, Single wrap bracelet, Zig zag scarf, Ballerina pumps

Items shown: Daphne blouse, Jersey Pencil Skirt, Leaf Charm Necklace, Single Wrap Bracelet, Suede Tassel Clutch, Ballerina Pumps

Items shown : Arabella Dress, Mid Cascade Wrap, Coin Pendant Necklace, Suede Tassel Clutch, Ballerina Pumps

 

Flawless festive style, whatever your palette – by Jo

header_aAre you a dresser upper or a dresser downer? A Boxing Day walker or a firmly glued to the TVer? Is your New Year’s Eve all sparkles and champagne or tea and  Jools Holland’s Hootenanny? Whatever your plans, having a great (and comfortable) wardrobe of outfits over the Christmas period definitely puts the holly on the Christmas pudding. However, so many of us find ourselves stressing about how to dress up for Christmas dinner while still feeling comfortable, feeling confident while facing 3,000 family members at the annual boxing day lunch or looking our best at a glamorous New Year’s Eve party.

If you know your personal colour palette, simply click on the links below to go to your own seasonal inspiration post. If you don’t know your personal colour palette, you can still have an amazing Christmas rocking your best outfits, just keep reading below for inspiration for all.

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Sticking to the more universal colours and neutrals will give you a fabulous and flattering festive wardrobe, even if you don’t know your exact palette. Go for true reds, navy blue, mole, pebble grey, soft white, teal and aqua. Aim to base your outfits around one or two neutrals and a bright colour, or go top to toe bright.

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Christmas Day

Christmas Day is all about mixing glamour with comfort (assuming that you, look me, intend to eat your own body weight in roast dinner and then again in chocolate in front of the TV). I love mixing Kettlewell’s sparkle tops with super comfy bottom halves.

Wear a Sparkle Tunic in Silver, Bella Trousers in  Dark Navy, Tassel Necklace in Midnight Crystal – all from Kettlewell. Add some silver ballet flats for that final shimmer.

Boxing Day

Off for a walk to burn off some calories? Keep cosy and stylish in a Jenna Merino Swing Tunic in Chocolate Marl worn with a Florence Infinity Scarf in Mallard and top off with an Alpaca Shawl in Oatmeal worn with jeans and boots.

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New Year’s Eve

The one night of the year when we can go for full on glamour! Wear a Sparkle Crossover in Silver with a Ruched Skirt (available in two lengths) in Fig, add a Metallic Leather Clutch Bag in Tin and add some killer heels and you are good to go.

New Year’s Day

If you feel like having a relaxing day after all the festivities, there’s nothing nicer than slipping into a Cosy Cotton Stripe Top (shown here in Lipstick Pink and Grey Marl) and some Jersey Trousers in Bright Navy, top off with a Florence Infinity Scarf in Lobelia and a pair of sneakers.

 

If you want to know a little more about the colours that will work for you, you can either find a consultant or take our free colour quiz.

Perfect party wear

 

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I always make a big point of mentioning on any capsule wardrobe or outfit post that the strength in Kettlewell’s clothing is as the basis of a wardrobe, not its entirety – you need other pieces to add texture and interest alongside the colour that Kettlewell brings.

Well, ignore all of that. When it comes to party season 2016, Kettlewell is officially your one stop shop. The jersey party dresses are as flattering and forgiving as ever, I love this season’s foray into seasonally coded accessories, and Kettlewell have also thoughtfully introduced the ultimate elegant evening cover up. And if your Christmas party is more office lunch than cocktail party, there’s even a little something I can throw together for that. In fact, I reckon I can solve 99% of party outfit crisis points by using 99% Kettlewell products this season, which is rather pleasing (and makes life very simple). You may have to provide your own shoes though (although… watch this space in 2017 for exciting news on that front).

The All Out Evening Do

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Kettlewell items shown:  Lola Sparkle  Dress in Black worn with Coin Pendant Necklace in Silver, Wrap Bracelet in Silver, Metallic Leather Clutch in Tin and an Alpaca Shawl in Dark Grey Marl.

The Annual Office Lunch

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Kettlewell items shown: Botanical Arabella Dress in Magenta and Teal worn with a Silver Leaf Charm Necklace, Silver Metallic Leather Clutch and a Merino Sasha Belted Cardigan in Blackberry Marl.

The Mince Pies and Mulled Wine Open House

 

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Kettlewell items shown: Sparkle Tunic in Antique Teal Sparkle with a Crystal Teal Tassel Necklace, Silver Wrap Bracelet, Suede Tassel Clutch in Fig and a Cashmere Gauze Stole in Deep Seagreen.

pssst: and if you want to get ahead on party dressing, there’s 20% off sparkle here!

This is officially the most versatile skirt ever

I’ve always been a huge fan of Kettlewell’s ruched skirt, but it’s just got even better; now available in two lengths and even more colours, this flatters-every-body-shape skirt is without a doubt the most useful item of clothing you will buy this winter. AND it’s basically as comfortable as wearing your pyjamas, thanks to the super stretchy fabric and soft waistband.

If the idea of a stretch jersey skirt clinging to every last lump is faintly horrifying, panic not. The ruched fabric means that the skirt, rather than highlighting every flaw, gently smoothes and disguises any bumpy bits, giving a flattering silhouette which can be paired with a huge range of fitted or slouchy top halves.

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Styling the ruched skirt is a piece of cake. Ankle boots are always an easy win with a ruched skirt to keep things feeling modern, whether you go for flat chelsea boots or skyscraper heels. Keep your boots, tights and skirt all in similar shades for an elongating effect, or go for contrasting tights if you want to add a bit of fun. Add a slouchy top, either tshirt or knitwear, for effortless casual, or go a little more fitted for sleek workwear. Going super-fitted on top will really amp up the drama for evening as an alternative to a more draped look.

In short, you need to try one, whatever your body shape and style. The short length is great for, well, shorter people, and for putting together a more casual look (especially with boots and opaques in winter), while the longer one is great for (shocker) those with more height as well as for more formal outfits.

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Items from Kettlewell: Cashmere Gauze Stole in Blue Mist, Long Ruched Skirt in Navy, Wrap Bracelet in Silver

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Items from Kettlewell: Tasha Top in Neon Yellow, Ruched Skirt in Black, Wrap Bracelet in Navy

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Items from Kettlewell: Tasha Top in Cobalt Blue, Ruched Skirt in Cobalt Blue, Sasha Belted Cardi in Charcoal, Tassel Necklace in Starlight Grey

Details of all other items can be found on the Kettlewell Polyvore Page