Colour analysis

A week in the sun: a wardrobe for every palette

Michelle wearing the T-Shirt Dress in Azure

After what feels like the longest winter since the last ice age, spring is in full flower and summer is finally beginning to hint that it might actually arrive one day. With the arrival of summer, of course, comes summer holidays. And with summer holidays comes a total panic over how to dress oneself in a hotter climate, maybe with the limitations of carry on luggage, and still look and feel amazing.

The solution is a well thought through, flexible and flattering capsule wardrobe where not only each individual piece makes you feel great but the whole lot works together to make holiday dressing a breeze.

The foundation of a good flexible capsule wardrobe packing solution is, naturally, the colour palette. Choose well, and your holiday dressing will be a dream come true. Choose badly and you’ll face a week of stressed mornings and compromise outfits. A colour palette that not only ties together and harmonises well with itself but also makes your eyes brighter, your skin clearer and your smile whiter is the holy grail here, and knowing your own seasonal palette is the key. If you have had a colour analysis and already know your palette, simply click on the link below to be taken to the seasonal post (and holiday wardrobe!) for that palette. If you don’t know your palette yet, why not take our colour quiz to get you started? Or read on to find a capsule holiday wardrobe which uses some of the most universally flattering colours we have at Kettlewell.

 

 

 

 

The trick for a holiday wardrobe is to seriously limit your colour palette (while making sure you don’t end up with only boring neutrals). Start with a dark neutral, a light neutral and, crucially, two core bright colours, and maybe add in a splash of one or two more brights as you get the basis of your holiday packing established.

When it comes to deciding which pieces to actually pack, you can’t beat the 5-4-3-2-1 rule…

bright navy gigi top, chalk white eveline blouse, jade everyday cotton v, true red pippa top, purple soft square vest

Choose five tops to start off your holiday wardrobe. Make sure you include at least one neutral and a couple of your favourite brights. Take at least one top which can double up for evening, and a lightweight long sleeved top in case of sunburn.

 white shorts, cropped jeans, white jeans, red and soft white stripe weekend skirt

Choose four bottoms which match your tops. Neutrals are often easiest here as they go with everything, but don’t be afraid to inject a splash of colour!Take three pairs of shoes – flip flops for the beach, a pair of evening-appropriate sandals and comfy shoes for sightseeing.

 

soft teal t-shirt dress, true red lola dress

A beach cover up and a smarter option that will take you from nice lunch to glamorous cocktails.

Teal bikini and navy one piece

Two swimsuits mean no squeezing into a wet swimsuit when you decide to go for an early morning dip.

 riviera blue suede shoulder bag

You only need one handbag. Make it comfortable and make sure it goes with the rest of your holiday wardrobe.

true red cashmere gauze stole

A cashmere gauze stole is perfect for covering up against any unexpected air conditioning chill as well as doubling up as a cushion on the flight or an evening wrap.

ink alexa zip jacket

A simple relaxed biker jacket will go with everything and won’t add too much weight to your packing – dress it up for evening with sandals, or dress it down with jeans and flip flops for sight seeing chic.

How to dress for your shape

Annabel from Country Wives, Melissa and Jo from House of Colour

It’s always fun getting together and discussing colour and clothes with Annabel Simons from the much-read blog, Country Wives. Over the years we’ve loved finding out her favourites from each new collection and discovering how she makes Kettlewell work with her existing wardrobe. As a Summer, with a penchant for pastels from duck egg through to pale lilac and pink, Annabel is a great advertisement for ditching the black after 50 and letting fresh colour into your wardrobe.

Last week we had the pleasure of welcoming her down to our Somerset studio to do a vlog on a topic that lots of women will find invaluable: finding the right clothes for your individual body shape. As few of us are blessed with a supermodel physique, it can be a real challenge finding clothes that actually suit us and make us feel comfortable and confident, rather than self-conscious and exposed. But it’s not all about hiding what Mother Nature has given us – often it’s a case of showing off your assets, or at the very least working with them to best effect!

Thanks to our three lovely volunteer models – Louise, Annie and Teresa – we were able to demonstrate how wearing the right shapes and employing some clever dressing tricks can really make a difference to the way you look and feel. Watch the first of Annabel’s body image videos (with Louise) on the Country Wives website www.countrywives.co.uk, followed by Annie and Teresa over the next couple of weeks.

 

COLUMN SHAPE

Louise, 47, professional singer

Size: 14 and 5′ 9″

Season: Winter

Style: Dramatic Natural

The challenge: To find clothes with structure that don’t cling to Louise’s middle.

The solutions:

Lulu Layered Top in Pansy – Loose around the tummy with a fitted under layer to shape, lift and enhance.

Tasha Top in Neon Yellow with Long Cami in Nimbus and Florence Infinity Scarf in Navy – Skims rather than clings with its longer length and flattering curved hem.

3 Cotton Ribbed Jumper in Chinese Blue with Long Vest in White – Slim on the arms and a boxy fit to camouflage the tummy.

4 Long Rio Wrap in Cassis with Breton Stripe Top in Navy Stripe – Breton stripes distract the eye away from the middle while the long cardigan creates drama.

You can watch the first part of Annabel’s video featuring Louise here and then to make sure you catch all three of the Country Wives body image videos, sign up to their newsletter at http://www.countrywives.co.uk/newsletter-signup/


PEAR SHAPE

Annie, 68, semi-retired health professional

Season: Summer

Size: 14 and 5′ 1″

Style: Gamine

The challenge: To find clothes that don’t swamp Annie’s narrow shoulders and short stature, camouflage bigger hips and define the waist.

The solutions:

1 Alexa Jacket in Ink and Everyday Cotton V in Iced Hyacinth and a Florence Infinity Scarf in Amethyst – Wearing colour around the face forces the eye upwards.

 

Swing V Neck Top in Aqua Green and Cashmere Gauze Stole in Dutch Blue with Ponte Leggings in Sailor Blue – Fitted over the bust and waist then skimming over the hips creates a slimmer silhouette for pear shapes.

3 Faux Wrap 3/4 Sleeve in Rose Madder and Camisole in Soft White – Flattering side ruching defines the waistline.


HOURGLASS SHAPE

Teresa, 50, quality controller at Kettlewell

Season: Spring

Size: 12 and 5′ 0″

Style: Natural Romantic

The challenge: To accentuate Teresa’s hourglass figure (GG cup), and find styles that work with her short frame.

The solutions: 

 

1 Ponte Peplum Top in Light Emerald – The peplum enhances the waistline, while front darts give shape to the bust. Soft scooped neckline adds length to torso.

2 Betty Cowl in Tropical Pink – Cowl neckline provides soft, visually minimising drapes.

3 Short Cascade Wrap in Periwinkle and Everyday Cotton V in Azure – Flattering V neckline + bright Spring colours = winning combination!


 


After a colour analysis to find your best colours, you can go on to learn how to identify styles that suit your body shape and your personal style. If you would like more information, you can find a colour stylist near you here.

To make sure you catch all three of the Country Wives body image videos, sign up to their newsletter at http://www.countrywives.co.uk/newsletter-signup/ 

 

Neon for everyone

I am so in love with neon this season. A huge trend for 2018, neon shades pack a huge fashion and colour punch; a combination I am always pleased to embrace.

Whether you’re a dedicated follower of fashion or someone who likes to tread their own path, neon gives you the chance to add a little individuality to an outfit, to wear a colour pop like no other, and to play with a brand new shade.

Believe it or not, neon colours, like every other shade, can be divided up into the four seasonal palettes. There are neons for Springs, neons for Summers (well, sort of. More on that later), neons for Autumns and neons for Winters. If you know which palette is yours, simply click on the links below to be taken to a personalised post for your neon. If you don’t know which palette is yours, why not take our colour quiz to start discovering your colours, or keep reading for neon styling ideas for everyone.

 

 

 

 


Kettlewell items: Silky Tee in Soft White with a Cashmere Gauze Stole in Limeade and an Everyday Cotton Tee in Tangelo and a Tassel Necklace in Neon & Cream

In the hot seat

For some people, finding out their seasonal palette comes as a huge revelation (I’m thinking here of my friend Lucy, who was as surprised as I was when she found out she was a Winter and not a Summer like her mum). For others, who might have had an inkling and have been wearing a certain palette for years, it comes more as a confirmation of what they already suspected, rather than a lightbulb moment, with a few happy surprises along the way.

This was the case the other week when the wardrobe consultant and stylist Natasha Musson came to Kettlewell HQ to have her colours done. Natasha runs the Secret Stylist from her Somerset home and has been pointing her clients in our direction for years, as well as owning a fair few pieces of her own. With her jet black hair, pale colouring – and penchant for high-contrast black, white, fuchsia and cobalt blue – we had a good idea that Natasha was a Dramatic Gamine Winter. But it wasn’t until our colour consultant Jo (author of the weekly Kettlewell blog) was able to see the drapes against her skin and discern what worked and what didn’t that were we actually able to say for definite she was a Jewel Winter.

While shades of blush pink, moss green and pale yellow were instantly draining against her skin, punchy Winter hues from charcoal and indigo to electric blue, fuchsia, carmine, dark emerald and navy looked amazing. Iced lavender also looked fantastic on Natasha (giving her instant permission to go out and buy that M&S coat she had spotted in the same shade!).

Natasha’s surprise revelation of the morning? That navy, which she had always avoided in the past for fear of looking too ‘grown-up’, was actually rather amazing – chic, sophisticated and great teamed with the crisp ice whites in her palette.

“In the past year or two I have been more conscious of the colours I’ve been putting together but having my colours done professionally has been good for understanding what really suits me,” Natasha told us at the end. “I’ve always worn black in the past and steered clear of navy but now I can see how good it looks on, I’ll definitely be investing in a navy blazer and mixing it up with bold colours.”

That’s the beauty of a colour analysis. There’s always some lovely colour surprises waiting round the corner.

If you would like to have your colours analysed, click here to find a trained colour consultant near you .

Introducing SS18

Drum roll, please – the wait is over! The SS18 collection has landed on the website and we couldn’t be more excited. What we hadn’t anticipated was that the launch would coincide with a Siberian weather front but not to worry – spring is just around the corner and there are plenty of layers and scarves to choose from to keep the chill at bay.

People often ask me when a new collection launches which styles and colours I will be adding to my new-season wardrobe. As a Spring I always love a yellow and this season we have so many shades on offer, from freshest ice lemon and zingy neon to a lovely warm shade of corn yellow.

Above LTR: Cashmere Gauze Stole in Canary Yellow, Pocket V Neck in Ice Lemon, Breton Stripe Top in Neon Yellow, Everyday Cotton V in Corn Yellow

 

I also love the new Bretons. I used to think stripes were a bit classic or tomboy for me but I’ve since discovered that you can create a prettier, softer look by choosing colours like this juicy shade of watermelon and wearing with skirts or adding a necklace or scarf.

Above: Breton Stripe Top in Watermelon, Weekend Skirt in Capri Blue,  Starburst Necklace in Gold, Starlight Necklace 

 

For some reason I seem to feel the cold more than most, so the Milan Knit Crew was the most-worn item in my wardrobe last spring (I can’t have been the only one as it became one of our bestsellers!). I know I’ll get a lot of wear out of this new Milan Knit Crew in Apple green – it’s such a fresh, crisp colour and the perfect way to usher in spring.

If, like me, you can’t get through the season without buying a new scarf, you’ll love these new metallic ones, which are a quick and contemporary way to update your wardrobe. It’s impossible to see from the photo how good they look and feel but they’re soft, lightly textured and easy to throw on, and the metallic threads really lift the colours.

Above: Milan Knit Crew in Apple, Metallic Print Scarf in Copper Camo, Friendship Bracelet in Spring Gold

 

One of my favourite pieces – which I can see becoming a weekend classic – is the new Eveline Blouse in 100% cotton slub, a new fabric for us, which will appeal to all you cotton lovers. It has a bit of texture and is not at all clingy. I like to wear the front tucked in to show a bit of waist and then to leave the back long.

At this time of year when you don’t know what you’re going to get in terms of weather, everyone needs an extra layer or two. I’m wearing a Lace Cami + Silky Scoop under my Eveline Blouse, and finishing it off with a Cashmere Gauze Stole (which never leaves the back of my chair in the office!). Last but not least I can’t resist these neon pompom necklaces – such a great, fun colour pop.

Above: Eveline Blouse in Light Aqua, Pom Pom Tassel Necklace in Coral, Lace Camisole in Flamingo Pink

And just one more thing – the orange and gold wedge-sole floral trainers. Not only are they colourful, substantial and beautifully made, they also make me smile. All the ingredients, in fact, for a happy wardrobe!

Patterned Sneakers in Coral

 

The white t-shirt – your best version of a wardrobe classic

The white t-shirt is indisputably an iconic piece of clothing. There is simply no item of clothing that more fully expresses effortless style than the humble white tee.

The origins of the white t-shirt hark all the way back to medieval times, when a simple T shaped garment of wool, linen or silk would typically be worn under outer garments. This garment later became an all in one ‘union suit’ before being split once again at the end of the 19th century into long johns and a t-shirt, still to be worn under outer garments.

It wasn’t until the US Navy issued a white t-shirt as part of its uniform around the turn of the 20th century that this simple undergarment began its transformation into a mainstream item of clothing, symbolising practicality, simplicity and effortless style. Worn by icons of 20th century style from Marlon Brando and James Dean to Jane Birkin and Kurt Cobain and the models of Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel, the white tee established its place among fashion’s elite – a position it has maintained for the better part of a century.

Why not check out our Time for Tee  Pinterest board?

The downside of this iconic piece of clothing is that, well, to be honest, it doesn’t look all that amazing on all of us. Yes, it’s simple, stylish, minimalist and sleek, but if it doesn’t suit your skintone, it’s also going to make you look washed out, tired or grey, meaning it’s not completely without its issues. Which is why, for 2018, we want you to incorporate your version of the classic white t-shirt into your wardrobe. Keep it simple, keep it light and neutral, keep it in a colour and style that works with everything from denim to evening wear, but above all make sure it’s in a shade that makes you look amazing.

If you already know your personal colour palette, simply click on the link below to discover your best version of the classic white tee. If you aren’t sure which colours work best for you, simply read on to find some alternatives to the classic which will look even better than the original on you.

 

 

 

 

If you don’t know which colour palette (and therefore light neutral) works best for you, your best bet is to stick to a soft white. Almost universally flattering, and less stark than true optic white, soft white has a slightly chalky finish, especially in matte fabrics and knitwear.

 

Introducing the Pantone Colour of the Year 2018

I look forward to writing this post at the beginning of every year. The colour of the year from Pantone® has such a huge influence on not just the clothes but the art, interiors and lifestyle products we’ll see in shops over the coming 12 months.

And this year’s colour is… drum roll…. Ultra Violet!

In the words of world renowned colour authority Pantone®, “inventive and imaginative, Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come.” The colour experts go on to state that Ultra Violet “suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead and the discoveries beyond where we are now.” Much like, and perhaps even more so than, 2017’s Greenery, Ultra Violet feels somewhat optimistic and adventurous, a marked step away from the safer, less adventurous colours of 2016 (Rose Quartz and Serenity) and 2015 (Marsala).

Here at Kettlewell, we’ve been collecting all things purple over at our We Love Purple Pinterest board  (although we are still in love with all the other colours too!)

Ultra Violet sits in the Spring palette (although very much at the Summer ‘edge’ of it) but, being a shade of purple, needs only the slightest of colour shifts to work well in any of the four seasonal palettes.

To find your best variation of Ultra Violet, simply apply the rules of your season. While Springs can stick to it as it is (make sure it isn’t too soft!), Summers take it slightly softer and more mauve, Autumns need a little more depth and darkness – more of a Cadbury wrapper purple – and Winters need maximum vibrancy and depth.


Kettlewell items shown: Cashmere Gauze Stole, Silky Crew Neck, Lace Camisole, Florence Infinity Scarf, Merino Sleeveless Wrap, Cosy Cotton Top, Paris Textured Jacket, Alexa Zip Jacket