Kettlewell colours

Meet our new Colour Ambassadors

There’s something about September, that fresh-start, back-to-school feeling that comes with this time of year, that feels right for new launches. So hot on the heels of the arrival of the A/W17 collection, we are excited to introduce our new colour ambassadors – four inspiring women who will be flying the flag for colour and demonstrating how they blend Kettlewell with their own inimitable style.

 Spanning the four seasonal colour palettes, Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer, as well as all ages and body types, our Colour Ambassadors will be joining us for the next six months, sharing styling tips as they put together a series of great wearable looks and showing us how they incorporate colour into their everyday lives, from work to weekend. We hope you enjoy meeting them!

Would you like to be a Colour Ambassador for SS18? If so, we would love to hear from you. Please email us a photograph and a brief description of why you love to wear colour to press@kettlewellcolours.co.uk

 

Next week: Our Autumn Colour Ambassador Ilka puts together looks from the A/W collection

 

Photographs by Katharine Davies

biker chic

Biker jackets crop up in 95% of capsule wardrobe essentials lists, and with good reason. For 95% of you, a biker jacket, especially one as versatile as Kettlewell’s, will open up a whole host of styling options for you. Faux suede, buttery soft and cut to fit and flatter, and available in six fabulous shades, this jacket almost certainly needs to come and live with you.

Biker jackets have magic powers – your favourite one will add edge to a pretty outfit, or a touch laid back chic to a more dressy one. Conversely, you can use it to smarten up a relaxed jeans and tshirt look or make a daytime outfit evening-ready. Magic. The downside is that nine times out of ten, bikers come in variations on the theme of black and grey, so the choice of a whole range of colours is a luxury not to be ignored!

Just add jeans…
This one’s a classic. Pair a biker with your favourite jeans and tee for instant laid back style. To keep it casual, play with lengths by pairing a slightly longer tee with your biker.Spring: Alexa Jacket in PralineMaddie Tunic in Aquamarine & Soft White
Summer: Alexa Jacket in InkMaddie Tunic in Hyacinth & Sultry Navy
Autumn: Alexa Jacket in TaupeMaddie Tunic in Antique Moss & Latte
Winter: Alexa Jacket in InkMaddie Tunic in Emerald & Black


Just add a dress…
Even the most feminine of dresses, like the beautiful Sofia dress, play nicely with the buttery soft faux suede of the Alexa jacket. The saturated shade and gentle drape add a luxurious-but-edgy hint to the outfit.Spring: Keira Dress in Poppy & BiscuitAlexa Jacket in Praline
Summer: Sofia Dress in Cassis & CharcoalAlexa jacket in Cranberry
Autumn: Sofia Dress in Teal & French NavyAlexa Jacket in Forest Green
Winter: Keira Dress in Navy & SilverAlexa Jacket in Royal Blue


Just add workwear…
The biker jacket also does double (triple? quadruple?) duty as workwear. Pair it with a pencil skirt or work dress for smart-but-cool office wear.Spring: Classic Ponte Dress in Galaxy BlueAlexa Jacket in Royal Blue
Summer: Classic Ponte Dress in CharcoalAlexa Jacket in Cranberry
Autumn: Grace Pencil Skirt in Marine TealSoft Square Vest in Soft WhiteAlexa Jacket in Praline
Winter: Grace Pencil Skirt in NavySoft Square Vest in WhiteAlexa Jacket in Forest Green

Grey for every palette

When I trained in colour analysis, the colour we were told to expect to be asked the most questions about was black. And yes, people do ask about it a lot, but these days I find an increasing number of clients who know that black isn’t right for them (or even if it is, wanting something a little more subtle and modern feeling) and wanting to know whether they can still wear greys in every hue from dove to charcoal.

Because the class always ends up focused largely on the bold, bright and beautiful colours that each client looks amazing in, that discussion about greys can sometimes take a bit of a back seat and clients end up some months down the line unable to remember just which shades work for them.

Step forward, Kettlewell. With greys for every single palette, there’s a solution for every season. And the variety you can wear might just surprise you. So which grey should you be wearing, and how do you pick it out from all the ones that make you look grey instead? If you’ve had your colours analysed, just click on the seasonal links below for more information about your best greys and how to choose and wear them. If you haven’t had a colour analysis you could start with Kettlewell’s quiz, or read on for more information.

 

 

 

 

If you don’t know your own personal best palette, your best bet is to go for those greys which suit the vast majority of skintones, as there is less chance of things going horribly wrong. As a general rule of thumb, greys with a slightly stone or mole undertone, rather than stark pure grey, will be more universally flattering.

If you desperately want to wear darkest charcoal or pale ice grey, another option for making it ‘safe’ for your skintone is to choose a more universally flattering colour to pair with it up, such as true red, teal or soft white. Wearing one of these colours up near your face will reflect a more flattering light onto your skin and make you look and feel fresher and brighter.

Grey makes a grey smart work look that’s a little less terrifying (and unflattering) than black. Pair it with softest nimbus grey for a seriously smart look, or add a bright pop of colour for less formal days.

There’s a reason 75% of loungewear comes in grey. Easy on the eye and, in the case of Kettlewell’s amazing alpaca shawls, every bit as cosy as it looks. Add a splash of something bright to make sure you don’t feel drab while you’re relaxing.

Kettlewell’s taupe bike officially makes every outfit better, and when the starting place is as good as this maxi skirt and cashmere combo, you can’t go wrong.

Back to school (uniform)

Many of us swear never to wear our school uniform colours again once we finally escape after anything up to fourteen years wearing the same outfit day after day, so when a client discovers that her old and much despised school uniform colour falls within her palette, there is often a moment of utter disbelief.

Obviously if your uniform doesn’t fall within your palette, feel free to carry right on with the dislike. But if your uniform colours are part of your palette, it might be worth revisiting them and injecting new life into those once loathed colours.

It’s impossible to cover every single uniform colour combination in the UK (I encountered a few memorable combinations while researching this article. Bright green, primrose and purple, anyone?), but I’ve restyled a few of the most common colour combinations below so you can see that your previously tiresome uniform colours could soon be reinvented as your new wardrobe staples.

 

 

Look 1: Grace Jacquard Blazer in PralinePippa Top in Lemongrass
Look 2: Camisole in Soft WhiteLong Tie Wrap in True Red
Look 3: Mid Cascade Wrap in Iced AquaSleeveless Mock Turtle in Cassis
Look 4: Silky Roll Neck in Soft WhiteMerino Sleeveless Wrap in Bright Navy Marl
Look 5: Star and Bead Necklace in Gold BronzeClassic Ponte Dress in Pine

 

 

New season top picks

 

Above: Sofia Dress in Teal & French Navy

Yippee, it’s that time again! I love new season time at Kettlewell. So many new colours, new styles, and new opportunities for incredibly easy shopping.

Every season, my problem is what to leave out for my five top picks, rather than what to choose, and this season was even harder than usual, with the ever increasing range of products and fabrics that Kettlewell offer, from necklaces to shoes and jersey to boucle and faux suede.

However, I have forced myself to pick only my very favourites, the ones that I predict will be hanging around for approximately 23.8 seconds after they are launched in early September.

Alexa jacket

Now this is right up my street. Buttery soft with a hint of edgy styling, this jacket will take you everywhere this autumn/winter and beyond. Add a biker edge to a pretty dress, or smarten up a basic tee and jeans.

Look 1: Alexa Jacket in PralineKeira Dress in Poppy & Biscuit
Look 2: Alexa Jacket in TaupeLove Colour Tee in Wisteria

 

Grace blazer, trousers and pencil skirt

OK, so this is technically three things, but it’s the fabric I’m excited about here as much as the style. I don’t know a single person who has touched this fabric who hasn’t gone ‘oooooooh’ at its magical properties. All the style and smartness of a herringbone tweed, but with the comfort, hold-you-in effect and ease of wearing of stretch jersey. Needs to be tried to be believed.

 


Look 3: Grace Jacquard Blazer in Marine TealGrace Pencil Skirt in Marine TealSleeveless Mock Turtle in Shaded SpruceStar & Bead Necklace in Gold Bronze
Look 4: Merino Crossover in Marine BlueGrace Jacquard Trousers in Praline

 

Cosy merino sweater

If, like me, one of your summer heroes was the effortlessly stylish cotton/cashmere mix crew neck sweater, than breathe a huge sigh of relief, because the winter weight version is here. Created from sumptuous pure merino in a slightly chunkier knit than the summer weight sweater, this neat crew neck will resolve a multitude of outfit conundrums.

Look 5: Cosy Merino Sweater in GlacierTiny Star Necklace in Silver

 

Maddie tunic

Is it an animal print? Is it a heart print? Whatever you decide it is, this easy to wear tunic will up your casual outfit game no end. Layer up with the Alexa biker above for cool chic, or add a jersey wrap and pretty necklace for a prettier look.

Look 6: Maddie Tunic in Hyacinth & Sultry NavyMerino Sleeveless Wrap in Bright NavyTassel Necklace in Pink Mulberry SparkleSuede Satr Shoulder Bag in Tin & Soft Berry

 

Sofia dress

This is the dress you’ll turn to this winter when you need an instant confidence hit. The swirling print, long sleeves, faux wrap front and clever ruching on this dress all work together to highlight your best features and conceal any bits you’re not so keen on. Add some edge with an Alexa biker or make it work-ready with a Grace blazer. It’s another one of those things that Kettlewell does so well – a dress-up-dress-down wardrobe essential.

Look 7: Sofia Dress in Periwinkle Blue & Bright NavyAlexa Jacket in Royal BlueTiny Star Necklace in Gold

As well as my favourite styles, here’s a look behind the scenes, of Melissa’s recent trip to the factory to check on the progress of the new season styles as they go into production. Lots of obsessive trying on, measuring and fine tuning takes place until each and every new piece is absolutely perfect and ready to go into a full production run for the coming season.

How to care for your wardrobe

From moth solutions to the best hangers, we asked Julia Dee, founder of Total Wardrobe Care, to share her secrets for keeping your clothes pristine all year round

 What would you recommend for tackling a moth problem?

A few moths flying around is not an epidemic. But for the price of a lunch, a moth box, which is a sticky pheromone moth trap, monitors the problem and should be kept in each room throughout the year. The moth season is May to October but once the moths have got a hold they will happily live throughout the year in your wardrobes. They eat keratin in natural fabrics and fibres, which include your clothes, carpets, blankets, upholstery and fur and sheepskin. If that happens to have skin and hair particles, a bit of food or baby sick combined with dog hair then it’s a smorgasbord of delight for the moth. The female is programed to eat mate and lay eggs preferably in a dark and undisturbed area with a food source. The male just wants to mate. Then the baby (larvae) eats his way out of his cocoon and chomps into your clothes.

So….

Keep clothes clean and protected.

Keep wardrobe and drawers closed.

If it’s a walk-in wardrobe keep doors and windows closed.

Put jumpers into knitwear bags.

Add natural fragrances to the wardrobe to repel, i.e. hanging moth sachet (the female moth doesn’t like strong smells.)

Keep a sticky moth trap in every room.

If you start to get more than five or so moths in your moth trap… call us and we can talk you through the next stages.

 Is it best to organise a wardrobe by colour or outfit? 

In my experience, the easiest way is to put clothes into happy families – i.e. trousers together, jackets together, etc, and then colour coordinate. If outfits are put together you may miss a new and interesting combination. So when you open your wardrobe in the morning to get dressed, you may think I really want to wear that skirt, then you take it out and match it up against tops and jackets and something different may jump out at you. Then it always goes back in the same place.

What hangers should I use? Are there specific ones for different items of clothing?

Hangers are very important to keep your clothes pristine in the wardrobe, so that even after six months of hanging there, once you pull them out to wear they won’t need ironing and there are no funny creases in the middle of your skits or lines across the knees of your trousers, or stretched areas in the sleeve head of your Kettlewell top.

Jackets need a wider shoulder area to fill out the sleeve and mimic your shoulders.

Trousers ideally should be hung from the waist with peg hangers. If you don’t have the hanging length in your wardrobe then a trouser hanger with a good padded hanging bar so you don’t get the knee crease.

Skirts also need the peg hanger, and should definitely not be hung from the hanging loops at the sides, as the skirt will dip in the middle and be squashed and have horrible yawning creases down the front.

What are your tips for caring for cashmere?

Try to keep it as clean and protected as possible.

Gentle hand wash.

Put in to shape and dry flat if possible. Light steam iron if necessary.

Use the cashmere comb to de-bobble, don’t use scissors or an electric de-bobbler as these can both slip and, ooops, a hole!

 

If they are to be hung use the rubber non slip coat hanger that is 38cm wide and curved so that it doesn’t leave misshapen shoulders.

If they are not being worn, then store out of season knits in a knitwear bag.

Is there any wardrobe maintenance I should be doing throughout the year?

Twice a year, in spring and autumn, have a mini detox. Take everything out, re-evaluate, get any repairs done, take to charity or sell anything that is not wanted. Check everything is hung correctly on the right hanger and that everything is in order. Have a big clean of the inside of drawers and cupboards, then spray an anti-moth linen spray on the wood and replace all anti moth scented sachets,

 Can you share any helpful ironing tips?

  • Invest in a good steam iron.
  • Test on the inside of the garment for temperature.
  • Do read all care labels before you cut them out.
  • To stop shine, take a tea towel and wet it and wring it out so its damp all over, put this on top of the garment and then press gently, this will stop any shine.
  • To steam only, hang the garment on a hanger and on a hook, then put the iron into the upright position and gently guide the steam over the garment, almost stroking it, this can help gentle fabrics drop their creases.
  • Let the garment cool before it’s folded or put back into the wardrobe.

 What should I do with any unwanted clothes?

Find a local charity shop. Visit them before landing on them with a large box to see what they are collecting. If the clothes have a well-known desired label, try selling in a second- hand shop, or on ebay. If it’s an expensive designer piece, try Rebelle, Hardly Ever worn it, Vestiaire, or ShonaMac – websites that have a good following and might achieve a better price. Then any money raised can be put towards a new key piece or be given to charity.

 Is it best to leave alterations to the professionals or is it ever worth trying yourself?

I have run an alterations business for 25 years and this is how I learn about my clients’ needs for wardrobe-care products. A good seamstress is like a good hairdresser or beautician – hang on to them. It’s best to get a personal recommendation.

Try to get the garment fitted by the alteration professional – sit down, wear the correct shoes and underwear and ask to see the back view.

There is nothing to stop anyone doing their own alterations if they have good sewing skills. You know who you are!

 How should I go about doing a wardrobe edit? How do I decide what goes and what stays?

The first step is an image overhaul. Find a good consultant to do your colours and style, which will give you the blue print for your wardrobe, a job that is quite daunting and hard to do on your own. I would also recommend taking advice from a wardrobe buddy (or your stylist). Commit to do it for each other – get rid of the kids, switch off the mobiles, get the rations in and then go for it. It will need your best buddy to say to you, “How many ugly cardies do you really need?”, “How many gardening jeans is it necessary to have?”, ‘Really would you want the man of your dreams seeing you in that matted old dressing gown?” A friend will ask pertinent questions you know deep down. It’s also worth reading Marie Kondo’s Magic Art of Tidying. My rule is: Does it spark joy? Or as William Morris said: “Do not have anything in your home that you do not believe to be useful or beautiful.”

What is the best way to store shoes? 

This really depends on space. Oh, for a lovely shoe cupboard built with slightly slanting shelves or drawers that pull out. Most people don’t have this luxury, so other options include the bottom of the wardrobe, under the bed, or perhaps even an old book case.

 I never seem to get it right when it comes to packing for a weekend break. Any words of advice? 

This really depends on where you are going and what you are going to do. Is it a quick weekend city break in Europe with 10 kilos or packing the car and driving off?

I have invested in a collapsing two-foot garment rail from Morplan. Then I hang all the clothes I really want to take and then cull, until you have the correct number for the days and nights. Bearing in mind that garments can be worn twice or more and rinsed out.

There are lots of lovely packing lists on line to get you going!

Any other tips for prolonging the lifespan of my wardrobe?

I think if possible have a good mix of some investment key pieces and some cheap and cheerful which can be updated every season. Then general care, dry clean or launder, alter or repair and a good hanger.

 Total Wardrobe Care is offering Kettlewell customers 20% off products on its website until September 30 2017 using the code TWC17