Autumn palette

Colours for Life – by Melissa

One of the joys of doing what I do at Kettlewell is being able to see the impact on other people, whether it’s a teenage goddaughter having her clothing personality analysed for the first time or a lifestyle blogger having her colours refreshed  after 25 years.

It takes me back to the first time I had my colours done in my late twenties (John had his analysed first and, assuming I was a Summer too, would buy me beautiful cashmere jumpers in his palette of baby blues, pinks and lilacs, before I decided to try it for myself and discovered I was a Spring). Without putting too fine a point on it, it changed my life. Out went the black and grey, and in came yellow, turquoise and coral, like a burst of fresh Spring air. I’d never had so many compliments.

Since then I’ve convinced almost all my friends and family to get theirs colours done, including my three children, who were eight, six and two at the time (Tasha is a Winter Sprinter, Trixie is Vibrant Autumn and Tom is a Summer). Tom must be one of the youngest people ever to have had his colours done, although in all truthfulness it was more for fun than anything else and we only managed a few drapes before he wriggled away.

 

Recently, for her 18th birthday present, I took my goddaughter Mimi to Battersea in London to have both her colours updated and her style analysed by Rachel at the award-winning style consultancy Red Leopard , to help her avoid expensive shopping mistakes early on and set her up for life with a wardrobe of clothes in colours that genuinely suit and flatter her. Mimi had already been analysed as an Autumn when she was a child, and the minute the warm, earthy Autumn colours were draped around her, her eyes lit up and her skin glowed, and it was plain to see what palette she belonged to.

Just as important as identifying the colours that make you glow is finding styles that highlight your best bits and draw attention away from problem areas, and the fun part of any style journey is finding out your clothing personality. Having analysed everything from body architecture to face shape, Rachel identified Mimi as a ‘Bohemian’ (feminine, sexy, glamorous, yet earthy: think Julianne Moore, Sienna Miller and Sophie Dahl). She also advised her what to wear to a couple of important events in the diary, including bridesmaid at her sister’s summer wedding and an upcoming university interview (if she wanted to wear a jacket for authority, for example, it would be better curved with some texture or pattern, rather than the classic suit look).

Armed with this new-found knowledge, we headed off for an afternoon of shopping at nearby King’s Road and the home of boho chic, Anthropologie. To say that Mimi looked great in everything she tried on is an understatement. From the butter-soft chestnut suede jacket to the sage green ruffle-fronted linen top, one piece after another looked like it had been designed especially for her. The Red Leopard magic had worked.

But the final word goes to Mimi herself, who messaged me later to say how much she had enjoyed her day out. “Thank you for such a unique and thoughtful present – I had so much fun but also learnt so much. I know everything I found out today I will use for many years to come.” I think that says it all.

 

Perfect prints for every palette

While plain coloured clothes can form the building blocks of any wardrobe, prints really can be your wardrobe heroes. Whether you’re highlighting your best bits, camouflaging your, erm, less best bits, trying to find an effortless way of incorporating colour or simply embracing this season’s floral trend, prints can solve a multitude of wardrobe dilemmas.

The other problem with prints after your colour analysis can be deciding whether they’ll work for your palette. simple rule of thumb solution; the more a print aligns with your palette the better, but a bare minimum of 60% of the print falling within your palette will work well enough. Of course, the easiest way to get a print that fits perfectly within your season’s colours is to choose one from Kettlewell, where the colours have been carefully selected to match your palette.

And once you’ve bought your print, how do you wear it? Pick out a colour from within the print for the rest of your outfit, or go off piste and boldly clash? For information on how to wear prints for your season, click below to go to the appropriate post. If you haven’t had your colours analysed yet, why not take our quiz, or read on for more general tips and tricks to perfect your print game.

 

 

 

If you haven’t had your colours analysed and want to get started with prints, stick with either universal colours or ones you feel confident in and follow one of our simple formulas for wearing print. Start with a simple stripe and work your way up!

The stripe is right
Kettlewell items shown: Stripe Boat Neck in periwinkle, Ballerina Pumps in light gold

Keep it co-ordinated

Kettlewell items: Print Jersey Trousers in black/sapphire, Mid Cascade in black, Long Vest in sapphire

Neutral with a pop

Kettlewell items: Print Daphne Blouse in pastel & aqua, Short Ruched Skirt in pebble grey, Milan Knit Cardigan in light silver

Go for the clash

Kettlewell items: Stripe Boat Neck in true red, Short Ruched Skirt in ganzi purple, Ballerina Pumps in silver

Co-ordinated colour clashes

Every few years, another colour clashing trend comes around, and while some of us embrace it with huge confidence, the rest of us tend to sidle around it slowly, keeping our outfits nice and safe and, at most, ‘neutral with a pop of colour’. Well, it’s 2017 and the trend has cycled round again, but this time we’ve decided to make things simple for you by showing you how to pair clashing colours in a way that makes you look and feel amazing.

The rules of The Clash:

  1. It is so much easier if you choose colours from within your palette. Clashing doesn’t need to mean going outside your palette. Think of bright fuchsia pink with bold scarlet, or burgundy with delicate duck egg?
  2. If you want to go outside your palette, keep your outfit down to as few colours as possible, to avoid the clashing colours looking less ‘statement style’ and more ‘got dressed in the dark’.
  3. Unless you’re being super brave and adding a third clashing colour, keep your accessories/any non-clashing clothes as neutral as possible to avoid detracting from the bold colour statement you are already making. Going for a darker neutral makes those non-focus colours recede, while going light can add even more interest, and give a slightly retro feel.

Our favourite colour clashes

Pink and red (Winter, Spring)

cara v neck, short ruched skirt, tassel necklace, love colour tee, rosa 7/8 trousers

Navy and black (Winter)

cara v neck, short ruched skirt, leaf charm necklace

Blue and orange (Spring, Autumn with teal)

pippa top, short ruched skirt, tassel necklace, darcey scoop, rosa 7/8 trousers

Muted and bright pink (Spring, Summer)

milan knit crew, florence infinity scarf, rosa 7/8 trousers, long tie wrap, long vest, tassel necklace, marie trousers

Sky blue and vermillion (Spring)

darcey boat neck, tassel necklace, weekend skirt

Mint and mulberry (Summer, Winter)

milan knit cardi, fine cotton v neck, marie trousers, leaf charm necklace

Violet and pink (Summer)

v neck 3/4 sleeve tee, florence infinity scarf, marie trousers

Terracotta and yellow (Autumn)

milan knit cardi, square neck 3/4 sleeve, rosa 7/8 trousers, tassel necklace

Mustard and purple (Autumn)

mid cascade, davina tee, rosa 7/8 trousers, tassel necklace

Cobalt and ice green (Winter)

daphne blouse, short ruched skirt, coin pendant necklace

Purple and red (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter)

long tie wrap, love colour tee, short ruched skirt

Pink and orange (stepping out of your palette!)

simone cowl, rosa 7/8 trousers, coin pendant necklace

Yellow – the ultimate springtime shade, for every colour palette

Yellow is such a polarising colour. I would say that 75% of clients have strong feelings about it, either positive or negative. Of course, most of those feelings come from experience either of their perfect yellow (a Spring who has inadvertently hit on their perfect shade of canary), or their worst version (usually a Winter or Summer who has been persuaded into mustard or corn by well meaning friends and family). Whatever their relationship with yellow, as a consultant I get the chance to show every client which shade they can wear for maximum effect.

So what is your best yellow, and how should you wear it? If you know your seasonal colour palette, please click below to visit a post written specifically for you. If you don’t know your colour palette, why not take Kettlewell’s colour quiz, or read on for how to wear yellow if you don’t know your palette.

 

 

 

If you haven’t had your colours analysed, yellow can be a tricky shade to risk, as there is so much variation between the warm and cool shades, and it’s hard to find such a thing as a ‘neutral’ yellow, without too much warmth or coolness.

The best solution, if you are lacking in confidence with yellow, is generally to keep it away from immediately under your face (i.e. avoid high neck t-shirts and scarves in yellow). Opt for a lower neck top, with a safer shade scarf or necklace over the top, or a cardigan layered over another colour. In summer, pale yellow cropped trousers can be a cheery alternative to denim or white, and yellow sneakers or sandals can lift an outfit.

(Click to enlarge image)

Spare your blushes-how YOU should wear this season’s must have shade

Pink, in all its many and varied shades, has been a huge part of 2017 fashion news. From pale dusty shades to vibrant fuchsia, pink has been all over high street and high end shops. Perhaps the favourite shade, and certainly the least intimidating for many of us, has been blush pink.

However, it’s a colour that comes with caveats. It doesn’t suit everyone, and if it isn’t your shade, there’s a fair to middling chance it’s going to make you look 10 years older and five shades greyer – not a look even the most die hard fashion follower generally wants to embrace. So can you wear blush pink? And if not, what’s the best alternative for you?

Spring

Your version of blush pink has an undertone of warmth and brightness to make it fit in with your vibrant Spring palette. Go for warm rose shades or softer peachier tones. If you want to go a little bolder, I think Strawberry may be my standout shade of the season (I’ll admit it: as an Autumn, I’ve got colour envy), so give it a go if you’re thinking of going a little bolder.

 

Items shown: Florence Infinity Scarf in Pastel Rose, Simone Cowl in Pink Geranium, Love Colour Tee in Flamingo Pink, V Neck 3/4 in Rose, Milan Knit Crew in Strawberry, Linen Asymmetric Top in Shell Pink

Summer

Blush pink was designed for you. Embrace it, on behalf of the rest of us! All shades from pastel rose and ice pink through to mauve or brighter fuchsia rose look amazing on you. From soft pink knitwear through to cocoon coats and bright summer dresses, this is the year to embrace pink.

Items shown: Cara V Neck in Soft Orchid, Sleeveless V in Rose, Milan Knit Crossover in Strawberry, Rosa 7/8 Trousers in Fuchsia Rose, Florence Infinity Scarf in Pastel Rose, Mid Cascade Wrap in Clover

Autumn

Tread a little carefully if you want to embrace this shade. Dusty greyish pinks can be your worst colour enemy, but choose a version with a hint of warmth to it and you’ve got your perfect pink. Peachy and coral toned pinks are always going to work best on Autumns, or go for full on coral if you fancy a brighter option.

Items shown: Square Neck 3/4 in Mellow Rose, Fitted Cropped Cardi in Light Coral, Print Arabella Cap Sleeve Dress in Biscuit/Coral, Faux Wrap Cap Sleeve in Shell Pink, Tassel Necklace in Rosewood Sparkle

Winter

Your pink needs to be taken to extremes. If you want to go pale, opt for an ice shade, with just the barest hint of pink to it. Alternatively, ditch the blush and go bold with fuchsia rose or a blended print like our diffused floral in mulberry and white to give the impression of a softer shade without compromising your colours. Got the blushes?

Items shown: Butterfly Print Tee in White/Fuchsia, Tasha Top in Iced Lavender, Cashmere Gauze Stole in Iced Lavender, V Neck 3/4 in Hot Pink, Ginny Cowl Top in Mulberry/White, Rosa 7/8 Trousers in Fuchsia Rose


 

Back to basics: neutrals for every palette

When you get your colour analysis, the emphasis can be very much on the colours. Leaf green, cobalt blue, raspberry red, mustard yellow and a host of others; all the colours in your palette can somewhat steal the show from the more sedate dove greys, chocolate browns and navy blues.

However, when it comes to real life (that bit that happens after you leave the stylist’s studio with the realisation that only three things in your wardrobe work for you), the neutrals in your palette will take on new importance. Whether your neutrals are merely the background to your beloved new brights or form the main even in themselves, getting them right will bring your look to life.

As with the brights, the neutrals for each colour palette are different and distinct, and understanding which ones work for you is key to getting your entire palette right. If you’ve had a colour analysis, just click on the link below to find out more about the neutrals for your season. And if you haven’t had a colour analysis (or taken our fun quiz to give you some ideas), read on to find out the best universal neutrals that will go with a range of brights.

 

 

 

 

If you haven’t had a colour analysis, I’ll wager that quite a lot of your wardrobe is either black, or perhaps grey marl, with plenty of white basics. Believe it or not, even though these are the most readily available neutral colours on the high street, there are better options out there for the vast majority of us.

Items shown: Camisole in Navy, Cara V Neck in Navy, Silky Roll Neck in Navy, Mid Cascade in Navy, Knee Length Ruched Skirt in Navy, Marie Trousers in Dark Navy

Items shown: Linen Asymmetric Top in Silver Birch, Faux Wrap Long Sleeve in Soft Grey, Faux Wrap Cap Sleeve in Light Dove Grey, Milan Knit Cardigan in Light Silver, Short Ruched Skirt in Pebble Grey, Weekend Skirt in Light Dove Grey

Items shown: Silky Tee in Soft White, Silky Scoop Neck in Soft White, Long Vest Top in Soft White, Milan Knit Crossover in Cream, Cotton Jersey Shirt in Soft White, Sasha Belted Cardi in Oyster Marl

Items shown: Florence Infinity Scarf in Mink, Sleeveless Cowl in Rose Taupe, Diane Swing Top in Mole, Sleeveless Cowl in Mink, Marie Trousers in Stone, Jersey Maxi Skirt in Mole

 

What to buy after your colour analysis, for every palette

 

If you’ve recently had your colour analysis, you might still be in that post analysis slightly-panicked-and-confused phase, where you’ve been given your season, you’ve looked at your wardrobe and spent a few minutes hyperventilating at how many ‘wrong’ colours you own and you’ve chucked out perhaps three items of clothing that you never liked much anyway. And now you’re not quite sure what to do next.

If you’re feeling a bit stuck, then help is at hand. I’ve pulled together ten essentials, together with five top tips, that will help you begin to move your wardrobe over to your best colours without requiring you to chuck away everything you already own.

If you’ve had your colours analysed, please just click on the appropriate link below to be taken straight to the essentials for your season. If you haven’t had an analysis yet, read on for some tips and tricks to make your wardrobe work more effectively for you even without an analysis.

 

 

 

 

If you don’t know your personal best palette, it’s still possible to move your wardrobe over to a coherent palette of colours that works well on a wide range of skin tones. Shades such as a taupe-grey, teal, navy, soft white and true red look great on almost everyone and can create a stylish wardrobe that isn’t dependent on the boring basics of black and white.

Kettlewell items shown: Florence Infinity Scarves in True Red and Sultry Navy, Silky Roll Neck in Soft White, Cara V Neck in True Red, Silky Scoop in Mallard, Milan Knit Cardigan in Light Silver, Mid Cascade in Navy, Ruched Skirt in Navy, Rosa 7/8 Trousers in Poppy, Stripe Boat Neck in Kingfisher Stripe

Limiting your wardrobe colour palette will also help you, counter intuitively, embrace colour, as it will give you the confidence to wear the colours that are in your wardrobe, knowing that they harmonise well. It will give you more clothing options, as everything you own will mix and match. And if after embracing a bit of colour, you want to know more, why not try Kettlewell’s quiz to find out what season you might be, or click here to find a colour analyst near you?