Styling

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.


 

Dark detox – get out of the navy, charcoal and black trap

It’s so easy, isn’t it? Throw on a pair of black trousers and a grey top for an evening out. Pair a navy dress with a navy jacket for work. Opt for the black swimsuit for your holiday. Time and time again we go for the safe dark coloured option without even considering the alternatives. But going for the safe, boring option makes us look and feel just that; safe and, shhh, a little boring. When we feel a little sluggish and dull on the inside, a diet detox makes us look and feel better. If you’re feeling a little sluggish and dull on the outside, having a dark detox is a guaranteed way to refresh the way you look and feel too.

If you’re feeling a little nervous about stepping away from your comfort zone, don’t panic. You don’t need to go out looking like a parrot carrying a cocktail and perched on a rainbow. Just lighten those dark neutrals, add a bit of colour, and enjoy the feeling of looking revived and refreshed.

Try simply swapping dark neutrals for light. It will lift and lighten your outfit (and your mood!) without any scary too-bright colours added in.

Kettlewell items shown: Shawl Collar Wraps in Navy and Cashew, Soft Square Vest in Blue Moon, Jersey Trousers in Navy and in Cream

Feeling a little braver? Go for a light neutral and swap that dark top for a brighter alternative. More flattering on your skin tone and more fun.

Kettlewell items shown: Short Ruched Skirts in Black and Latte, V Neck 3/4  in Dark Burgundy and Poppy, Florence Infinity Scarf in Black and Tassel Necklace in Savannah.

Want to go the whole hog? Swap that dark neutral for a bold beautiful bright and make the light neutral the accent part of your outfit rather than the main event.

Kettlewell items shown: Arabella Cap Sleeve Dress in Bright Navy and Fiesta Orange, Cotton Blazer in Blue Teal and Oatmeal Melange

What’s your Wimbledon white? For every palette

 

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The world’s most famous tennis tournament opens in just a few days, and with it one of the world’s most famous dress codes. Wimbledon states that all its players must wear ‘almost entirely white’; a dress code that has existed since the club’s Victorian origins.

The dress code is believed to have originated in the 1800s, when tennis was a sport played primarily at social gatherings, and unsightly sweat patches were rather an unappealing prospect. The all-white outfits were designed to disguise this social faux pas.

While things have, thankfully, moved forward in the worlds of both technical sports clothing and anti-perspirant, nothing beats a predominantly white outfit for evoking long sunny days, effortless chic and the breezy confidence of one who might get up and do some sport, but in reality is unlikely to need to tackle anything more taxing than a gin and tonic at the end of a hard day’s sitting in the sun.

While Wimbledon still insists on true white (no off-white, cream or silver allowed), the rest of us are allowed to choose the white that works best for our skin tone. For many, true white is simply too stark and ageing, and a slight variation on the shade might be more flattering. If you already know your season, click on the link below to find your best ‘Wimbledon white’. If you don’t know your best palette, why not take Kettlewell’s colour quiz to start you off, or read on for more outfit ideas.

 

 

 

If you don’t know your personal colour palette, you may be sticking to true white when it comes to buying basics, as it tends to be very readily available. However, true white belongs only to the Winter palette, and is too stark for many skin tones, making us look tired and washed out. If you are not confident in looking your best in true stark white, it can be safer to opt for a soft white or a light dove grey shade, to give the impact of white without the potential challenges that true white can provide to the skin tone.

Camisole in Mallard, Mid Cascade Wrap in Soft White, Tassel Necklace in Teal Green – wear with cream jeans and tan flip flops.

Long Camisole in Soft White, Jersey Trousers in Cream, Long Linen V Neck in Silver Birch,  Tassel Necklace in Savannah – wear with tan flip flops.

Simone Cowl in Pebble Grey, Short Ruched Skirt in Pebble Grey, Tassel Necklace in Cerise Pink, Metallic Leather Clutch in Silver wear with silver sandals.


 

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.

Arctic aircon vs sunny afternoons – summer layering sorted

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time you will no doubt have noticed that I have a bit of a vendetta against over-enthusiastic air conditioning, especially in the summer, in Britain. With the best will in the world, it’s not often that it’s so scorchingly hot outside that stepping into an office, store, train or plane cooled to the approximate temperature of an industrial fridge is a huge relief.

However, I gather that my one woman campaign to get the air conditioning turned down to ‘warmer than the actual arctic’ isn’t going terribly well (although I’m pleased to report that Kettlewell HQ has always maintained a perfectly normal temperature), so meanwhile we all need to plan our outfits to manage that endless summer dichotomy of beautiful warm sunshine and chilly air conditioned environment.

Top tips for managing changeable summer temperatures:

  1. Layers are your friend; a sleeveless top  with a cardigan or blazer layered over the top maintains a professional appearance with the ability to cool down when necessary.
  2. Don’t neglect your neck; a luxurious lightweight Cashmere Gauze Stole or a slimline Florence or Willow scarf will easily slip into your bag when you don’t need it, but is an essential defence against that nasty draft down the back of the neck.
  3. When in doubt, go for a dress; pretty, functional, stylish and with no gap between top and bottom when you sit down, a dress with an a-line skirt like the Arabella dress will be flippy enough to keep you cool when you’re out and about in the (possibly) sunshine, but layered up with a camisole and a cardigan will keep you comfortable in the artificially chilled air.
  4. Closed toe shoes; leather or suede will breathe when you go outside, but prevent you getting chilly feet while you’re sat back at your desk, when blood to the extremities can slow down somewhat from lack of exertion.

Start with a Print Arabella Cap Sleeve dress shown here in Cassis/Pink Violet, wear with an Ice Pink Camisole underneath, a Cassis Mid Cascade on top and finish off with an Ice Pink Willow Scarf.

Start with a Soft Square Vest in Blue Moon worn with a Bright Navy Jersey Pencil Skirt. Add a Milan Knit Cardigan in True Blue Marl and a Florence Infinity Scarf in Heliotrope.

Start with a Daphne Blouse in Iced Aqua worn with a pair of Marie Trousers in Silver. Add a Cotton Blazer in Blue Teal and carry a Cashmere Gauze Stole in Soft Aqua.

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

Nautical but nice – the 100 year history of the breton

Bretons are a mainstay of many a wardrobe. Smartened up with a blazer and skirt or thrown on with denim shorts, they are the ultimate dress-up-dress-down style staple. But have you ever wondered where this wardrobe cornerstone originated?

Bretons have been a fashion classic since Coco Chanel introduced them a full century ago in her 1917 nautical collection, but did you know that their heritage runs even further back? In 1858 they were introduced by decree as part of the French naval uniform, and Chanel was inspired by the smart look sported by the sailors on a trip to the French coast.

The original naval breton stripe was a strictly regimented affair – the breton was intended to be long enough to cover the lower back of the sailor, fitted enough not to get caught on rigging, and the stripes were a strict 2cm of white to 1cm of blue (and if the use of centimetres in the 19th Century seems strange, consider that the French actually started using the metric system in the 1790s, and it was adopted by the country as a whole in 1837. Ahead of the game in more than just style staples).

The breton has been sported by everyone from Chanel herself to Audrey Hepburn and Ginger Rogers. In more modern times it was revolutionised by Jean Paul Gaultier, and has been popularised by fashion icons such as Alexa Chung and Olivia Palermo, and the Duchess of Cambridge frequently turns to a classic breton and jeans outfit for less formal engagements. We’ve collected images of famous breton wearers over on our ‘Nautical but nice’ Pinterest board, click image to view.

Of course, the breton in 2017 is every bit the style solution is was in 1917. A few twists and tweaks, and it still has all the fresh nautical appeal of the original, with added wearability. Kettlewell’s version has a slight change on the stripe width, and comes in four flattering colours, so if navy and white isn’t your best look, there’s still an option that looks amazing on you. And if you love the breton stripes but feel the need to wear something other than a striped tee occasionally (I suppose it’s possible that this might theoretically happen to some of you) then look no further than the maxi dress,  which carries the same classic-but-insoucient look of the original breton, brought right up to date.

Stripe Boat Neck in True Red, Cotton Blazer in Iris, Suede Tassel Clutch in Lobelia and Ballerina Pumps in Light Gold – all from Kettlewell

 

Stripe Maxi Dress in Red, Short Cascade Wrap in Azure, Tassel Necklace in Neon and Cream, Suede Tassel Clutch in Cobalt Blue – all from Kettlewell

Cosy Cotton Stripe Top in Deep Sea Green/Grey Marl, Florence Infinity Scarf in Soft Teal, Jersey Trousers in Marine Blue

If you haven’t adopted the breton stripe as a wardrobe staple yet, you probably should.