Colour Combinations

Green – for every palette

Green, the colour of renewal, of nature, of life. It’s an uplifting shade and goes with a multitude of other colours. It can range from palest mint through to darkest pine, from softest olive to vibrant emerald. And you know what else? Most people hardly ever wear it.

You may or may not remember that Pantone’s colour of the year this year is Greenery. Unlike 2015, when the colour of the year, Marsala, was absolutely everywhere, Greenery hasn’t made quite the same impact. People just aren’t as brave with green, in my experience.

I’d be willing to bet that this is because most of us have been put off by a negative experience with green, because when it’s wrong, it’s really really wrong. The right green can brighten and lift, whereas the wrong one will drag you down, add shadows and insta-age the skin.

So which green should you be wearing, and how do you identify it? If you’ve had your colours analysed, just click on the seasonal links below for more information about your best greens and how to choose them. If you haven’t had a colour analysis, why not start with Kettlewell’s quiz, or read on for more information.

 

 

 

If you don’t know your personal colour palette, your safest green is always going to be one with a hint of teal to it, which makes it a more universally flattering shade. If you want to go greener but you aren’t sure if it suits you, just keep the colour away from the area directly under your face, or add another safe universal colour to help balance out any negative effect from the green you have chosen. The chances are, when it comes to green, you’ll be able to see whether it works or not. If you try one and it doesn’t, do persevere, as the right green is like wardrobe magic!

A safe feeling blue with a hint of greenish teal is a great tentative step into the world of greens. Go for Mallard, a universal shade that flatters almost all skin tones.

Kettlewell items shown: Short Cascade Wrap, Soft Square Vest, Suede Tassel Clutch

Light olive shades are usually everywhere in the spring/summer, so another easy green to try, as it won’t stand out as a ‘look at me, I’m wearing green!’ shade. Pair it with a soft white tee, a fairly safe shade for most skin tones.

Kettlewell items shown: Mid Cascade Wrap, Silky Tee, Tassel Necklace

Ready to go bright? Pair a grass green with nature inspired neutrals to keep it boldly tropical but 100% stylish.

Kettlewell items shown: Mid Cascade Wrap, Fine Cotton Tee, Short Ruched Skirt, Tassel Necklace


 

Do your colours work for your style?

Whatever colour palette you wear, whether or not you’ve had your colours analysed, the chances are you’ve had a time when your own personal style seemed to be in conflict with the colour palette you choose to wear. Whether you stick to soft colours and sometimes like to look dramatic or wear bolder colours but favour a more natural look, there will be times when it feels like your palette is working against, rather than with you.

Whatever palette you wear, rest assured that you can make any style work for you. To see how to work ‘against’ the natural tendencies of your own seasonal palette, just click on the links below. If you haven’t had your colours analysed why not take Kettlewell’s quiz, or read on for more inspiration and ideas.

 

 

 

Even if you haven’t had your colours analysed, the chances are that sometimes you’ve struggled to put together your clothes into the look that your trying to achieve, because the colours just aren’t playing together as you want them to. But whether you stick to a more bright and bold palette or a softer more muted one, it is possible to have fun with mixing up the look of your outfit to work ‘against’ the palette. If you want to style more muted colours in a higher impact way, the trick is to layer up dark colours or neutrals (embrace your inner goth, but resist the black if it doesn’t suit you!), perhaps adding a pop of neon colour to add contrast.

Alternatively, sticking to the natural and neutral end of a bright and bold palette is an easy way to embrace a more easy going nature inspired look without losing the colours that you love to wear. If you want to add a pop of bright to lift things without losing the tonal look, add a little lipstick or swap the necklace for a brighter one.


 

Top tips for a colourful workwear wardrobe

Summertime, and the livin’ is easy, as the old Ella Fitzgerald song goes. But what about the dressin’? Somehow, getting that right can feel anything but, especially when you throw all those summer events into the equation. At this time of year, the question we’re repeatedly asked by our customers is what to wear to summer occasions, such as weddings , Christenings and garden parties, as well how to put together a holiday wardrobe (our customers always seem to be going on holiday, and I’m all for that – long may it continue!). Thankfully at Kettlewell, holiday wear is one thing we’re not short of – all our vibrant tops and tees and cool summer dresses means that you are only ever one click away from the perfect outfit, and of course there’s the colour combinations gallery if you’re in need of some tonal inspiration.


We’re also frequently asked for advice on what to wear to work, whether it’s returning to the work place after having a baby, embarking on a new career or simply finding out what works best when the mercury soars, as it has in the past week or so. Our customers want to know how to appear smart, put-together and crumple-free – and, yes, summery – without losing their professional edge.

So for this week’s blog post I’m stepping behind the camera to share my tips for injecting colour into your work wardrobe. Don’t worry, I’m not going to suggest you dress in head-to-toe yellow for that client presentation, or turn up at the office a vision in tangerine, but rather team neutrals with a colour pop or two in your seasonal palette that will help getting dressed that little bit easier in the morning and provide a talking point over the water cooler. In a good way, of course.

Tropical colour combinations – for every palette

Whether you’re off to a sun soaked beach to sip pina coladas or simply making the most of the great British weather (we can live in hope), nothing says ‘hurrah, it’s summer!’ like bright, bold and beautiful colours. Like most countries that endure a somewhat soggy and cold winter, most of us forget that colourful clothing even exists from about October to June each year, but we get a glimpse of the sun and suddenly we’re reminded that we too can embrace tropical brights.

However, embracing the tropics can bring up all kinds of clothing anxiety; ‘I don’t think I can wear yellow,’ ‘will everyone laugh at me for sporting aqua?’ ‘is orange really the new black, or is that a TV series?’ Knowing which colours work for you and make you look amazing will give you the confidence to embrace your tropical side, so if you’ve had a colour analysis already, just click on the links below to see the best tropical colour combinations for your season. If you haven’t yet had an analysis, why not make a start with Kettlewell’s quiz, or read on for some combinations for you to experiment with.

 

 

 

 

If you haven’t yet had an analysis, try a few different combinations and see which one makes you feel your best. If you’re going bright, you need to have the confidence to carry it off, so pick a combination that you feel good in and that makes you want to show off your bold bright colours!Kettlewell items shown:

Image 1: Fine Cotton Tee in Mint Aqua, Short Ruched Skirt in Savannah, Cashmere Gauze Stole in Bright Aqua, Suede Tassel Clutch in Chocolate

Image 2: Tasha Top in Seaspray, Willow Scarf in Periwinkle, 3/4 Length Leggings in Navy

Image 3: Long Camisole in Emerald, Tasha Top in Neon Yellow, 3/4 Length Leggings in Black

Image 4: Slub Charli Top in Saffron, Short Cascade in Hot Coral, Short Ruched Skirt in Savannah

Colour conversations with Fiona Douglas from Bluebell Gray

At Kettlewell, we are always excited to discover people who share our passion for colour. In the first of a new series of Colour Conversations with colour champions we admire, Fiona Douglas, founder of the Scottish design studio Bluebell Gray, famous for its exquisite watercolour florals, tells Melissa about her adventures in colour – and why the future has never been brighter…

Your watercolour florals are beautiful. How did you start designing them for the home? 
I’ve always loved home things. As a teenager I begged my mum and dad to let me paint my room bright lime green and orange, and I covered the walls in all sorts of things and pictures I had made – flowers featured everywhere. Our home growing up was colourful and full of interesting things, so I think interiors have always been something that has been around me. My prints are usually quite large scale so they lend themselves well to interiors. When I was starting out, cushions seemed like the best, and simplest, way for me to transfer my designs on to textiles.

Where did the name Bluebellgray come from?
Bluebells are my favourite flowers. I love seeing them carpet a beautiful wood in springtime, and they always make my heart happy. The word ‘gray’ refers to the fact that I print on to a lot of linen cloth that has a grey tone to it.

How does colour make you feel? 
It really uplifts me, and it definitely affects my mood. I love using it in a positive way. Wearing something colourful reflects me and what I do; it’s an important part of who I am. So much of my identity is wrapped up in colour – it’s a big part of my life.

Where do you find your design inspiration?  
I find inspiration everywhere. I love just soaking up experiences and the world around me. It could be something as simple as looking at the leaves in the light on trees that line my street, the colour of the ocean when I’m on holiday, or the colours that are left over on my palette when I paint that feeds my creative mind. I do plan specific inspiration trips as well, though. I usually go somewhere twice a year with my creative team to spark some new ideas and feel inspired.

Describe your design studio.
It’s in a beautiful old townhouse in the West End of Glasgow, with huge ceilings, lots of period detailing and big double-aspect windows that let in lots of light. The space I work in is really important to me and how I work. I need light and space and walls to hang images. I love having inspirational things around me; it all feeds in creatively. The floors are whitewashed wood and the walls are painted in various colours that change quite frequently depending on what I’m working on. We often do our photo shoots in the studio as it’s such a beautiful space, so we always need to freshen the colours. Right now I have a deep dusty rose-pink wall and an amazing deep, almost cobalt blue, on the walls.

Do you have a favourite Bluebellgray product? 
The ‘Abstract’ design always has a special place in my heart. It was so new at the time when I launched it; there was nothing else like it around and it’s become the design people really associate with the brand, which is lovely. The punchy colours and fun nature of the design really sum up my design style.

Abstract design

How much has colour made its way into your wardrobe?
My wardrobe is absolutely filled with colour! I adore clothes. I wear colourful things every day. I actually had my colours done a few years ago and I’m a Summer, which fits me so well as I love pinks, blues and turquoises. I wear a lot of blue jeans and then colourful tops and jackets. I usually add a colourful bag and earrings too – that’s my go-to look. I have a jumper I got given as a gift recently which is an amazing aqua blue – it looks hand-knitted and has big belled-shaped sleeves. It’s a really special piece that a love wearing.

Colour is everywhere right now, from homeware to fashion. Do you feel beige has had its day? 
I think the amazing thing about this point in time is that there are so many options for people! When I was in my late teens/early twenties it was right in the middle of the trend for minimalism and everything being black. I really struggled finding my clothing identity as I just couldn’t find what I wanted to wear; it just didn’t exist. The thing I love so much about now and the trend for colour is that it’s given people options and choices, there is no one overriding trend, so people can choose from an amazing variety of colours and designs that are on the market.

I’m just so happy that there is so much colour out there to choose from in homeware and fashion. It really lets people choose things that make them happy. I don’t think people will ever want to go back to times of less choice and colour. I think it’s here to stay.

 

Last great colourful buy?
I bought a beautiful Anya Hindmarch tote bag. It was an investment but I use it almost every day and the colour works with everything in my wardrobe.

And finally, do you have a favourite colour? 
I find it so hard to choose just one! I love pink, blue and turquoise all equally and in all their shades.

What’s your bouquet?

Chelsea Flower Show is almost upon us. Does anyone else view Chelsea Flower Show in much the same way they view a good cup of tea, the Queen and complaining about the weather? A gloriously comforting British institution that rolls around each year, reliably and without drama, and reminds us of the good things in life.

Of course, unlike the tea and the weather, (but a bit like the Queen, to be honest), Chelsea Flower Show is vibrantly, proudly colourful. Whether you are an avid horticulturalist or just like to glance admiringly at a bunch of florist prepared flowers on the windowsill, no doubt you will have caught a glimpse of the rainbow of colour that makes up every view at the show. Every angle is filled with colour, with even the most minimalist gardens proudly boasting dozens of shades of soothing green and the boldest gardens a riot of bright shades.

In honour of Chelsea, we’ve turned our very favourite bouquets into an outfit for each season.

Autumn

Kettlewell items shown: Look 1 Long Linen V Neck in Acid Lime, Jersey Trousers in Cream, Florence Infinity Scarf in Pecan, Look 2 Milan Knit Cardigan in Sunshine Yellow, Long Camisole in Indian Spice, Short Ruched Skirt in Savannah Look 3 Mid Cascade in Flint, Davina Tee in Almond, Rosa 7/8 Trousers in Poppy

Spring

 

Kettlewell items shown: Look 1 Mid Cascade in Canary Yellow, Long Vest in Rose,  Jersey Trousers in Cream Look 2 Milan Knit Cardigan in Cream, Long Camisole in Poppy, Short Ruched Skirt in Savannah Look 3 Mid Cascade in Soft White, Darcey Scoop in Kiwi, Ruched Skirt in Ganzi Purple

Summer

Kettlewell items shown: Look 1 Mid Cascade in Clover, Long Camisole in Crushed Berry, Short Ruched Skirt in Antique Teal Look 2 Cotton Blazer  in Iris, Silky Scoop Neck in Hyacinth, Marie Trousers in Light Navy Look 3 Short Cascade in Silver, Lace Camisole in Pink Ice, Jersey Pencil Skirt in Mulberry

Winter

Kettlewell items shown: Look 1 Tasha Top in Neon Yellow, Marie Trousers in Light Navy, Tassel Necklace in Cerise Pink Look 2 Mid Cascade in Charcoal, Lace Camisole in Deep Claret, Rosa 7/8 Trousers in White Look 3 Fitted Cropped Cardigan in Black, Sleeveless V in White, Short Ruched Skirt in Cobalt Blue

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