Autumn palette

Styling Lola

The Lola dress is such a wardrobe hero. Fitted without being overly clingy, stylish but not so distinct that you can only wear it once a year and available (of course) in a rainbow of colours from practical coffee or navy to statement scarlet and turquoise. In short, the Lola dress is your new little black dress, but bolder, brighter and better.

So how do you wear this super versatile number? I’ve styled Lola four ways to show you just how hard one perfect dress can work for you.

Kettlewell Items Shown: Lola Dress in Antique Moss, Cotton Blazer in Laurel, Friendship Bracelet in Autumn Gold and a Starburst Necklace in Gold


Kettlewell Items Shown: Lola Dress in Antique Moss, Cosy Merino Wrap in Marine Navy, Suede Tassel Clutch in Chocolate and a Single Wrap Bracelet in Olive/Gold


Kettlewell Items Shown: Lola Dress in Antique Moss, Alexa Zip Jacket in Fig, Metallic Print Scarf in Copper Camo, Star Wrap Bracelet in Chestnut Sparkle


Kettlewell Items Shown: Lola Dress in Antique Moss, Cashmere Gauze Stole in Dark Olive, Starburst Necklace in Gold and Metallic Leather Clutch in Mars


Beat the winter blues with colour

January is often reported to be the most depressing month of the entire year. By the end of the month new year’s resolutions have been broken, the weather shows no signs of improvement and the festive spirit has well and truly worn off.

Why not fight the blues? Colour is known to have an enormous effect on our mood, with everyone from psychologists to big businesses recognising the importance of hitting the right colour note. Wearing colour is a surefire way to cheer up yourself and everyone around you, so pick your colour to enhance your mood!

Yellow

Energetic, happy and full of vitality, yellow is a brilliant mood booster. It also increases optimism. All in all the perfect shade to get you out of that January rut!

 

 

Kettlewell items shown: canary yellow Mid Cascade, primrose Fine Cotton Tee, soft gold Cashmere Gauze Stole, acid yellow Long Vest Top

Kettlewell ‘We Love Yellow’ Pinterest board found here

Green

The colour of energy, life and the natural environment. Wearing green will help you get up and going in the morning and keep you feeling positive all day long.

 

Kettlewell items shown: apple Cashmere Gauze Stole, mineral green Cosy Cotton Top, leaf Paris Textured Jacket, emerald Merino Crossover

Kettlewell ‘We Love Green’ Pinterest Board found here

Blue

Feeling a little wrung out? Blue is thought to be a calming, serene colour, which will soothe your senses and ease your mood.

 

Kettlewell items shown: cobalt blue Camisole, serenity Mid Cascade, sultry navy Tasha Top, sapphire Silky Crew Neck

Kettlewell ‘We Love Blue’ Pinterest board found here

Red

Increase your energy and confidence with this vibrant shade. Wear it if you’ve got that all important meeting coming up and need to wow!

 

Kettlewell items shown: poppy Long Camisole, cranberry Alexa Zip Jacket, true red Silky Crew Neck, cochineal Cashmere Gauze Stole

Kettlewell ‘We Love Red’ Pinterest board found here

White

The shade for you if you’re trying to keep up motivation for a detox or health kick, as white makes us think of cleanliness, purity and a calm happy medium mood, neither over-energised nor sloth-like.

Kettlewell items shown: soft white Cosy Cotton Top, soft white Cashmere Gauze Stole, antique white Cara V Neck, white Lace Camisole

Kettlewell ‘We Love White Pinterest board found here


 

When Melissa met Gretchen

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting the award-winning American author, blogger and speaker, Gretchen Rubin. Her thought-provoking books on habits and happiness have sold more than three million copies worldwide and consistently top The New York Times bestseller lists, and she was over from the States to give a series of interviews and lectures about her new book, The Four Tendencies.*

As luck would have it, Gretchen was also researching colour as the topic of her next book, and had been pointed in our direction by the fabulous journalist Hannah Betts (read Hannah’s interview with Gretchen in the Daily Telegraph), who had suggested she get her colours done – and be ‘Kettled’ – during her stay in London.

Opportunities like these don’t come round very often (after all, it’s not every day you meet someone who has been interviewed by Oprah Winfrey and had an audience with the Dalai Lama), so after a flurry of emails and some rather skilful schedule reshuffling, I got to meet Gretchen at the new Kensington colour studio in the Valentino Salon, Thackeray Street, run by Red Leopard’s Ilka Dunn.

Following a brief introduction about the science of colour analysis, Ilka used her trusty drapes to find out Gretchen’s seasonal palette, and discovered that she was bright Autumn leaf (moss, amber, kingfisher, rust and deep lime being her most flattering colours). She then finished off the consultation with a few tips on the best eye make-up, lipstick and foundation to complement her colouring, and a mini autumn makeover to show just how good the right colours can make you look and feel (you can read about Gretchen’s London ‘Colour adventure’ over on her blog).

Meeting Gretchen was tremendously fun and inspiring, and rounded off what for us has been a year of highs at Kettlewell – in fact, the most successful since we launched back in 2004. Happily, 2018 looks to be equally exciting, as we prepare to move to bigger and better premises early in the year to accommodate more sizes and styles in your favourite colours.

On behalf of all the team at Kettlewell, I wish you a very merry Christmas and a healthy, happy – and colourful – new year!

Melissa

*Take Gretchen’s Four Tendencies Quiz to find out whether you are a Questioner, Upholder, Obliger or Rebel 

Gretchen’s book The Four Tendencies is available to buy on Amazon.

Your essentials for the party season

Eveline wears the Ava dress in Peacock Blue

I read the other day that most women have their festive season party outfits planned by early November. And wouldn’t you know it, we’re in early November right now. So to help you on your way I’ve put together the party outfits you need to add to your arsenal this December, whether it’s for the work Christmas lunch or the glamorous cocktail party of the year.

This is The Dress. If you only buy one party season essential, this is it. Wear with ballet pumps and an alpaca wrap for everyday luxury, but go with heels and as much sparkle as you can cram into the accessories for a full on party look.

Ava Dress in peacock blue, Metallic Leather Clutch in mars, Stud Wrap Bracelet in light grey – all from Kettlewell.

Rose gold glitter court shoes from Office

The gorgeous velvet faux wrap adds a touch of luxury and glamour to your favourite jeans for an evening out outfit to wow. The skinny velvet scarf adds a modern-retro touch.

Velvet Faux Wrap in cosmopolitan, Velvet Scarf in cosmopolitan, Stud Wrap Bracelet in chestnut gold, Loafers in red sparkle – all from Kettlewell

 

 

Love separates? Elevate them with flounce and print. The alpaca shawl keeps you cosy for the late night journey home (and in case of hosts with a different idea about central heating requirements!) without sacrificing elegance while the silky roll neck lends an air of sophistication to the ensemble.

Flounce Skirt in teal/french navy, Silky Roll Neck in soft white, Alpaca Shawl in french navy, Suede Tassel Clutch in everglade – all from Kettlewell.

Teal court shoes from New Look


Work Christmas lunch beckoning? The super-useful ponte dress will up the ante during party season then behave beautifully as your go to work dress in January. Add a splash of bright with your scarf and a hint of luxury with the new improved merino wrap.

Classic Ponte Dress in purple, Cosy Merino Wrap in marine blue, Cashmere Gauze Stole in red coral, Velvet Ballerinas in petrol, Suede Star Shoulder Bag in mango & teal – all from Kettlewell

This week’s post uses colours from the Autumn palette. Each week we will be choosing a different seasonal palette to illustrate our blog posts – watch out for yours!

A/W colour combinations for every palette

Autumn and winter are renowned for being vibrantly colourful times of year. Fashion has long drawn inspirations first from the reds, golds and browns of trees in full autumn leaf and the the blood red holly, deep green pine and crisp icy shades associated with the colder weather of winter.

This range of colour is bold, beautiful and inspiring, has a huge impact on what’s available in the shops and inspires us to dress in a way that reflects the season, but what are you supposed to do if you don’t fall into the appropriate palette? Luckily Kettlewell has every colour you can imagine available year-round, so finding the colours you need isn’t a problem, but how are you supposed to reflect this period of the year without compromising your best colours?

If you’ve had a personal colour analysis, just click on the link below to go to the appropriate post for your palette. If you haven’t had a colour analysis, don’t panic. You can either make a start on your journey into colour by visiting the Kettlewell colour quiz or simply read on for some great layering looks that will add autumnal shades to your outfit, whatever your skin tone.
 

 

 

 

Alpaca shawl in dark sage, Cara V Neck in lemongrass, Long Camisole in soft white

Dark sage/lemongrass/soft white – this is such a classic combination. We start to feel the beginning of the effects of autumn as deep leaf green blends beautifully with brighter golden yellow, softened off with a hint of soft white. Try layering these shades for a tonal look, and include a mixture of textures for added luxe.


Sara V Neck in bordeaux, Camisole in ochre, Florence Infinity Scarf in biscuit

Bordeaux/ochre/biscuit – a splash of bordeaux mixed with golden ochre evokes the memory of crisp autumn walks and the colours of late autumn. Make sure you add a scarf!

Merino Crossover in carmine red, Jersey Trousers in black, Lace Camisole in ice blue

Ice blue/carmine/black – move into the beginnings of winter with these deeper, more high contrast shades. Icy blue skies contrast with deep reds and black as the soft shades of autumn evolve into the more stark winter hues.

Milan Knit Crew in true blue marl, Silky Roll Neck in black, Florence Infinity Scarf in charcoal

Black/true blue marl/charcoal – layer up the bolder brighter shades of true winter. The deep blue of sloe berries contrasts with deepest blacks and greys as the warm autumn colour is leeched from the landscape, leaving only the strongest cool tones behind. Add a jet black silky roll neck for added cosy, but keep the bright with a true blue marl merino sweater.

Meet our Autumn Ambassador – Ilka Dunn

Ilka Dunn wearing an Alexa Zip Jacket in Taupe with a Leo Print Scarf in Truffle print

We put our Autumn Colour Ambassador, Ilka Dunn, 39, a colour consultant for Red Leopard, under the spotlight to find out how she blends Kettlewell with her own personal style and her favourite piece from the new A/W17 collection

Do you have a casual uniform?
I like pairing skinny trousers in dark brown or dark olive with an interesting top or blouse. For cooler days, I love chunky sweaters. I always wear an eye-catching necklace or a scarf, and a pair of flat ankle boots or high boots.

Favourite dressed-up look for evening?
My go-to pieces are dresses and shoes with a heel because it takes just seconds to get dressed and yet makes a dramatic change. I like to wear slightly darker colours than during the day and I tweak my make-up to make sure that it still looks good when the lights are low.

Ilka wearing a Paris Textured Jacket in True Red, with a Silk Leopard Scarf in Bright Orange Print

Favourite piece from the Kettlewell A/W collection?
It’s not really like me to wear the bright colours of the Autumn palette, but I love the Paris Textured Jacket  in Leaf and True Red. It’s great if you have limited time to get dressed in the morning: paired with jeans and a T-shirt, it will instantly make you look more put together. All you have to do is add the Leopard silk scarf to look perfectly stylish.

Your favourite seasonal colours?
Dark sage and moss – colours that are very flattering on most autumns. I also love coral as an accent colour in a pattern on a blouse or a scarf because it throws a lovely glow on to the face.

Ilka wearing an Alexa Zip Jacket in Forest Green with a Leo Print Scarf in Petrol Green print

Best feature (and parts you prefer to play down)?    
I am slightly narrower at the bust, so this is where I try to draw the attention to in order to visually balance out my proportions. I have a slim waist and try to accentuate that with belts, tops that come in at the waist, high-waisted trousers or high-waisted skirts.

Ilka wears a City Poncho in Indian Ochre over a Silky Roll Neck in Chocolate

How does wearing the right colours for you make you feel?
Life is just easier and more fun when you wear the right colours. They can make you look healthy, energetic, more capable and radiant. When you look great, you feel great. And when you feel great, everything is possible.

I also love that dressing is much easier and faster with my clothes being from the same seasonal colour palette because everything goes so well together. My wardrobe is sorted by colour – it’s like flipping through an Autumn’s colour wallet.

Ilka wears a City Poncho in Chocolate Marl with a Leo Print Scarf in Truffle Print

No outfit is complete without…
…a smile! Twenty years ago I saw a Snoopy cartoon in which he was very beautifully dressed but looked miserable. Underneath the caption read: “The best clothes don’t work if you don’t smile.” It is so true!

With thanks to the Duchess of Cornwall Inn, Poundbury, Dorset

Photographs: Katharine Davies

To book a consultation with Ilka, visit the Red Leopard website.

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.