accessories

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

Ever tried to fly hand luggage only in cold weather?

Well let me be the first to tell you, it’s a challenge.

I am currently trying to plan and pack for a weekend away in Edinburgh which will require me to (a) not die of hypothermia, (b) look appropriate for a black tie dinner on the Saturday night and (c) fit all my luggage into a hand luggage bag that weighs less than 10kg, because I am far too tight to pay extra for hold luggage.

Making all of this happen has tested even my capsule wardrobe skills. Turns out it is far easier to pack a titchy little lightweight suitcase for a week in the sun than one for 72 hours of really quite chilly weather. While this problem is all rather me-me-me, I thought the solutions I found during the packing process might be of interest to those of you attempting a similar feat some time this autumn/winter.

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The lowdown on hand luggage only travel to cold destinations:

  1. Plan your wardrobe around as few items as possible. If I didn’t have the black tie do, I could easily have got through the weekend with just my travel outfit and the swing dress to give me a change on Saturday. But it’s nice to have options, and my careful weighing shows me that not only can I take my formalwear, I can even fit in an extra jumper and scarf.
  2. Stick to a super-limited palette. I actually started the packing process with the entire weekend based around denim, red and cream, but was able to add in the couple of teal pieces to offer a bit of light relief when I still had some space after the core essentials had been packed. Start with two neutrals and a colour and work your way up.
  3. Wear your heavy stuff to travel in. Seriously, layer up. I am intending to check in wearing my wool overcoat and long merino cardigan on top of a layered vest and t-shirt. I’ll also be wearing my lightweight cashmere scarf and have my hat and gloves stuffed into my coat pocket. I might gently overheat for a few minutes, but it means none of that heavy outer wear is going to be included in my baggage allowance. I’m not suggesting you wear your entire wardrobe, but if you can layer one or two heavier items for travelling it means a little more space and weight allowance in your case.
  4. Minimise your shoes. Again, if it wasn’t for the party clothes I would be getting through the entire weekend on one pair of ankle boots. Choose the right pair and they can genuinely see you through from dawn to dusk and beyond – choose neutral, well made, not too high a heel and in a style that works for you and you’ll be sorted.
  5. Go for pieces that mix and match. Even if you have your outfits carefully planned, one soup disaster and your plans are scuppered. If all your tops and bottoms go together, crisis can be averted.
  6. If you have space, add more accessories. The first extra I went for when I realised I had extra space was another cashmere scarf. Jewellery can help too, although I am intending to wear my big gold cuff with the swing dress out for dinner on the non-formal night, so I’ve even managed to minimise my jewellery requirements. Multi-purpose accessories are great too – I will wear my deep sea green cashmere gauze scarf as a stole at the black tie function.
  7. Try to carry a multi-purpose handbag. That way you can carry it on the journey and you don’t need to worry about packing another. If you really can’t find one bag that will cover your entire weekend’s needs, pack as tiny a clutch as you can manage for any more formal occasions you’re likely to encounter.
  8. Travel sized wash stuff. Whether you like it or not, you need travel sized liquids for airline hand luggage because of security, but also they will save weight and bulk in your bag. And also, I can’t be the only one who loves buying little miniatures of their favourite skincare and shampoo.
  9. Buy hand luggage you love. A nifty little wheelie suitcase in a colour you love that fits the size requirements of the majority of airlines or a sleek rucksack or holdall that you can sling over a shoulder and go will have you feeling all jet set and glam before you even leave the house. There is absolutely no requirement for it, but it makes a weekend away just that bit more exciting, right?

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Details of all items can be found on the Kettlewell Polyvore page as usual.

 

 

 

Adding colour: a beginner’s guide

pop_main_imagePicture the scene; you’ve finally been brave and had a personal colour analysis, you’re standing with wallet in hand, you’re staring at a wardrobe stuffed full of grey, navy, black and white and you’re vaguely wondering where on earth you go from here…. Sound familiar? So often I get a panicked email from recently analysed clients who feel that every single colour in their wallet is just too much, too scary, too bright and just too much darn colour.

Sometimes, once the initial enthusiasm of a colour analysis has worn off and you realise that actually you probably won’t actually be dressing from top to toe in tangerine and apple green, it can be a little tricky to work out how to actually incorporate your new colours into your life in a way that feels approachable and safe and won’t scream ‘LOOK EVERYONE I HAD MY COLOURS DONE! LOOK HOW COLOURFUL I AM!!!”

Believe it or not, it’s actually pretty simple. Incorporating colours into your life doesn’t need to mean bright blue trousers with a fluorescent pink top and a green cardigan (although it can, of course, if you want it to). It might just mean a pink scarf over a grey outfit, or a bright t-shirt and contrasting nail polish with your jeans.

Still feel like you need a little help? Here’s my favourite eight ways to add colour, and I promise that none of them are scary (well, apart from number eight, perhaps):

  1. Nail varnish. No one will even bat an eyelid at coloured nail varnish – the only difference is that now it’s going to make your hands look younger and more elegant rather than giving you instant old lady fingers. Possibly the easiest way to add colour ever.
  2. A scarf. Yes, it’s a cliche. Yes, we say it to every single client that walks in the door, but honestly, adding a coloured scarf to any monochrome outfit will instantly brighten your face and make your whole look more ‘intentional’ and pulled together. Everyone knows I’m a huge fan of Kettlewell’s cashmere stoles, but I also love the florence infinity scarves for an easy lightweight summer look.
  3. Necklace. Even more subtle than a scarf, but a few coloured stones or one of Kettlewell’s coloured tassel necklaces will brighten up your look and get just a tiny bit of that new flattering colour up near your face. Every little counts!
  4. Shoes. Yes, they’re miles from your face and no one’s going to suddenly enquire if you’ve been on holiday or why you’re looking so well, but just wearing something from your new colour palette will start you thinking in the right way, and give you a starting point for more colourful outfits in the future.
  5. A flash of bright vest under a v neck. So much more interesting than plain white or black, gets a good colour in the top half of your outfit (part of the ‘communication zone’ that your consultant may have mentioned during your consultation, the area where wearing your colours will start to gain you the most compliments) and has the benefit that you’ll see it every time you look in the mirror, so you’ll start to see a bright colour as a (tiny) part of your outfit and begin to feel more confident in upgrading to number 6 below. I have dozens of the long camisoles for layering, but regardless of your style there’s a vest for everyone!
  6. Bright t-shirt with dark trousers or skirt. Again, no one is going to start throwing their hands up and shrieking ‘colour analysis, look!’ if you happen to don a light blue top one day instead of your usual grey or white. I’m not going to try to go through all of Kettlewell’s endless range of t-shirts here, but if you only get one, make it the Cara v neck.
  7. A hat. If you’re not generally a hat wearer, it might get the odd comment if you suddenly show up in a bright purple fedora or something, but come winter a bright knitted woolly hat is just perfect for lifting your look, even if the rest of your outfit is based entirely around the colour grey (winter staple of the British nation; sometimes I think it’s more popular than black these days).
  8. A dress. OK, I know I said beginners guide and wearing top to toe colour isn’t exactly beginner, but next time you’re shopping for a party dress or a statement summer dress, just try one in your colours. Please. For me. Thank you. I’m team Lola, but maybe you’re more of a Peta, or perhaps a Sammie.

Click on an image below to enlarge:

SPRING

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SUMMER

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AUTUMN

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WINTER

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Kettlewell items shown:

Cashmere gauze stole, Florence infinity scarf, long vest, long camisole, faux wrap cap sleeve, silky crew neckcara v neck, sammie dress, lola dress and the peta tunic.

All other items can be found on the Kettlewell Polyvore page.