Colour

Meet our Summer Ambassador – Annabel Simons

From the perfect party dress to the essential dinner party top, our Summer colour ambassador and lifestyle blogger Annabel Simons from CountryWives reveals the pieces on her Christmas wishlist this year…

 Annabel wears an Alpaca Shawl in French Navy with a Pink Fiesta Three Way Scarf

What are your daytime essentials for work and weekend?
In winter, it’s jeans or leggings with a pair of Chelsea boots and something like a Silky Rollneck and Cosy Merino Wrap, which I’ll have hanging over the back of my chair when I’m writing the blog from home (your thermostat starts to go haywire when you get older so this is the perfect coatigan for shrugging on when you get chilly, just adding a Gauze Stole Scarf if you need to head out). I used to wear a lot of skinny jeans in the past but nowadays I find straight-legged jeans more flattering and work better with boots.


Annabel wears the Ava Dress in Iris Bloom, she also has a Leather Star Makeup Bag in Aquagreen and Grey

My perfect Christmas party outfit?

A great va-va-voom dress like the velvet Ava Dress if I’m going to a Christmas party or smart trousers and a top, such as the lovely new silky-feel Lulu Curve in Cherry, if I’m out to friends for a dinner. The Lulu Curve is double-layered and the lining means it hangs so much better and shows fewer lumps and bumps than a normal T-shirt. I always like to dress up because I think it’s nice for the hostess if you make an effort, and I’ll always make sure I finish off the look with earrings, scarf and a decorative necklace.

Annabel is wearing a Lulu Curve top in Cherry and has a Light Grey Paris Textured Jacket over her shoulder. She has added a silver Multi Star Necklace

Favourite piece from new winter collection?
It has to be the Ava, but I also love the Velvet Scarves for a bright pop (the Peacock Blue one is fabulous). The Cosy Merino Wrap is also great. I like the fact that it works equally well over a dress and trousers – it’s the kind of item that I know will get plenty of use this season.

Here, Annabel wears the Sofia Dress in Teal and French Navy, with a Velvet Scarf in Peacock Blue and a Cosy Merino Wrap in Bright Navy.

Your favourite Summer colours?
Pastel shades from pale blue and duck egg, through to pale lilac and pink (I wear a Cashmere Gauze Stole in Peony all the time). I also love red, especially a pop of it for a scarf or necklace.

Best feature?
My hair. Only because I know that everyone in the hairdressers is always asking for my hair colour! Everyone thinks it’s dyed until they meet my sister and realise that she has exactly the same colour hair. Feature I’m not so keen on? My neck – it’s very long and a bit wrinkly, so I don’t like it at all.

I also hate the fact that as you get older you put on weight in all the wrong places (although I don’t want to get skinny as that doesn’t actually suit me, either). I’m starting to come to terms with the fact that no matter what you do, you have to just accept your body, within reason, and then dress accordingly. Oh, and always look at your back. French women never forget to check what they look like from behind!

Claire (Autumn) wearing Cypress Green, Annabel (Summer) in Iris Bloom and Melissa (Spring) in Cosmopolitan Velvet Faux Wraps!

How does wearing your colours make you feel?
Wearing colour, particularly round my face, makes me feel better and gives me an instant uplift. As you get older your skin loses a lot of its dewiness and freshness, and without painting yourself like something out of the circus, it’s far easier to put on something close to your skin in a great colour.

Since I was first introduced to Kettlewell, there has been so much more colour in my life. If you’d  looked in my wardrobe three or four years ago, you’d have found white, navy, grey, brown and black. Now it looks like a Summer wardrobe and is so much better for it, particularly as I tend to live in a uniform of jeans, jeans and more jeans. Even just having a sweater in my right colours can make all the difference.

Annabel wearing a Merino Tunic in Bright Navy with her favourite peony Cashmere Gauze Stole

No outfit is complete without…
A scarf. As you get older, you get colder, so putting something round your neck is immensely useful. I wear scarves all year round; even in summer when I go off on holiday I’ll pack a couple of scarves to drape round my shoulders in the evening. Nowadays I find that you don’t need a really thick scarf, even in winter: my Peony Cashmere Gauze Stole and Dusky Rose Florence Infinity Scarf are all the cosiness I need.

You can follow Annabel (and her friends Grace and Ellie) over on the CountryWives website.

The colour rules you should be breaking

There are so many ‘rules’ that I hear around wearing colour. Sometimes I’m amazed that any of us manage anything other than top to toe grey! I thought it was about time to bust some of the myths and misconceptions that I hear about wearing colour, and share what the one real rule is that matters when it comes to wearing colour.

Black looks chic on everyone

There is no good way of saying this: it just doesn’t work on everyone. If you want the slimming, sleek silhouette effect without the skintone draining downsides, go for navy, charcoal, dark olive or petrol blue instead, whichever works best for your skintone. You’ll look more chic and more well rested.

Our models are wearing the Paris Textured Jacket.  Eveline (Autumn) wears Leaf , Sophie (Spring) wears Light Grey,  Georgia (Summer) wears Marine Teal and Violet (Winter) wears Black.

Redheads can’t wear pink

You so can. The question is, which pink. If you have a warm complexion, you might better off in coral hued flamingo pink or soft mellow rose, but if you have a cooler skintone, maybe musk rose is more your specialty, or even a bold fuchsia. Whatever your skintone or hair colour, there is a right version of almost every colour for you. Take the colour quiz to start learning what that version is.

Spring: flamingo pink Long Sleeve Tee, Autumn: peach melba Camisole, Summer: rose Long Vest, Winter: fuchsia Silky Roll Neck

I can’t wear green

Well, now you can. There is a shade of green for everyone. The chances are, if you’ve been struggling so far, you’ve been picking the wrong shade. Too cool, too warm too bright or too muted and it’s all wrong, but get it right and you’ll look bright eyed, glamorous, bold and stylish. It’s all in the tones.

Spring: apple Long Camisole, Autumn: tree top Semi Scoop 3/4, Summer: tropical teal Fine Cotton Tee, Winter: pine Lulu Curve

You can’t mix gold and silver

Actually, you might be able to. If your skintone lies in a more neutral space – ie you still fall into a seasonal palette (we all do!), but you are at the less extreme warm end (for Springs and Autumns) or cool end (for Winters and Summers), a mix of metals might work really well with your colours to set off those more ‘neutral’ (in terms of warmth, not brightness) shades.

 

Tiny Star Necklace in Silver, Multi Star Necklace in Silver and Gold, Davina Tee in Latte

It all comes down to one rule…

As far as I’m concerned the only rule that matters is this one: wear the colours you love and that love you.

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!

Meet our Spring Ambassador – Amy Mulcrone

Nothing beats a pop of colour on a grey winter’s day, says our new Spring Colour Ambassador Amy Mulcrone, jewellery designer and creative director of Chambers & Beau.

What are your daytime essentials for work and weekend?
Jeans and ankle boots in the winter; jeans and trainers in the summer  – so easy to throw together and dress up or down. My weekend look tends to be the same as my work look as I’m a jewellery designer and work at home, so I’m generally alone in the studio with no particular need to dress up. But I’m a sucker for a handbag and I love scarves (although they do cover up my jewellery, so I may need to rethink that!).

Go-to dressed-up look for evening?
A pair of heels and plenty of bling. A pair of statement earrings has the same effect as popping on your favourite heels.

Favourite piece from the Kettlewell A/W collection and why?
The new Alexa faux-suede biker-style jacket is totally gorgeous. The colours are lovely and it is the perfect piece for that layered look. Only problem is working out which of my seasonal colours I love best!

Favourite colour and why…
I have only recently had my colours done and discovered I’m a Blue Spring, so for a long time I tended to stick to neutrals. But I’ve always loved red and been complimented whenever I wear it, and as it’s one of my ‘wow colours’ and this season’s key colour, I am totally going with it. I also love Kettlewell’s Royal Blue and Hot Coral, which work really well on me.

Amy wears the Alpaca Shawl in Hot Coral

Best feature (and parts you prefer to play down)?
My upper body is much better than my lower half. I have good shoulders and toned arms so I get them out whenever I can. I hate my legs, so I keep them tucked away ­ hence the jeans wardrobe.

How does wearing the right colours for you make you feel?
It has made such a difference and has really changed the way I dress. I love seeing pops of colour, especially during our drab grey winter. I won’t be saving them for holidays and sun-kissed skin any more.

No outfit is complete without…
Lashings of Chambers & Beau jewellery, naturally!

You can see all of Amy’s jewellery on her website Chambers and Beau.

Photographs by Katharine Davies

Thanks to Cherryade Life Store, Poundbury, Dorset

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.

Up your workwear game

Feeling a bit flat in your workwear recently? Bored with the same old dark skirt, light top, nondescript shoes uniform?

It’s time to re-inject the fun into workwear dressing. Don’t under-estimate the power of feeling confident and stylish in a work environment – just imagine how much more you might achieve by feeling fabulous instead of flat five days a week!

Keep the same level of formality but up the confidence by a factor of ten simply by adding your best colours. Stick with traditional shapes but go for something unexpected like canary yellow or bright green to maximise the wow factor.

Items shown: Milan Knit Cardigan, Grace Pencil Skirt, Darcey Square, Silk Leopard Scarf

After a decade in the fashion wilderness, the suit is back in fashion with a vengeance this season. Play with the traditional idea of a suit by going for one in comfortable but smart fabric like the amazing herringbone effect Grace suit. Add a bold basic top underneath and luxe flats for maximum impact.

Items shown: Grace Jacquard Blazer and Trousers, Sleeveless Mock Turtle, Leo Print Scarf, Velvet Ballerinas

You can’t beat a classic dress for easy work dressing, right? Actually, you can. Go for a classic dress in an unexpected but still formal shade like royal purple, then layer up with a bright jacket for immediate impact.

Items shown: Paris Textured Jacket, Classic Ponte Dress, Tiny Star Necklace

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

Meet our Winter ambassador – Helen Noel

Our Winter Colour Ambassador, Helen Noel, 48, who runs her own creative agency Brand+Soul, shares her wardrobe secrets – from the top she can’t live without to the best confidence-boosting colours for meetings

 Helen wearing a Merino Tunic in emerald with a Studded Scarf in sapphire

Do you have a casual uniform?
Striped Breton, long cardigan, scarf, skinny jeans and boots. You can’t go wrong.

Helen wears a Cosy Cotton Stripe Top in Navy/Fuchsia under a Grace Jacquard Blazer in Navy

Favourite dressed-up look for evening?
Something simple, like a maxi wrap dress with a slightly 1970s vibe – no necklace but statement earrings. And always heels! I love deep colours, such as black and cassis (I’m actually hankering after a deep green or emerald evening dress).

Favourite piece from the Kettlewell A/W collection?

So many favourites, how to choose? The entire Merino collection – the wool is beautifully soft and the colours are just amazing. The Alpaca Shawl will be a constant friend in the office (no central heating!). And because you can never have too many stripes in my book, I would go for the Cotton Stripe Boat Neck for work and the Cosy Cotton Stripe for weekends.

Helen wearing a Greek Blue Alpaca Shawl over a Stripe Boat Neck in Indigo Stripe

Your favourite seasonal colour?

Royal Blue. It just works, always.

Here she is wearing a Grace Jacquard Blazer in Grey over a Silky Crew Neck tee in White and a Cashmere Gauze Stole in Winter Lobelia

Best feature (and parts you prefer to play down)?  
Not sure about best feature – can I say dimples? I definitely like to play down my tum ­ and I’m not overly fond of upper arms, either!

How does wearing the right colours for you make you feel?
It sounds a bit dramatic but having my colours analysed really transformed my understanding of what works for me. Knowing the colours that suit me best makes shopping easier (particularly when spending out on an investment piece), gives me more confidence in client meetings and presentations, and makes choosing clothes and getting dressed a pleasure rather than a minefield. Even after a bad night’s sleep, popping on the right colour can perk up your complexion and hide a multitude of sins.

No outfit is complete without…

…a scarf – preferably in Fuchsia cashmere!

 

Photographs: Katharine Davies

You can contact Helen at Brand+Soul creative agency.

Special thanks to Hardy the dog…