Styling

Cover up or dare to bare? Your essential summer skirt lengths

Effortless summer style is all about mastering the art of the skirt. Find your perfect length and everything falls into place for a breezy summer look.

short – ruched skirt

A great summer length for a huge range of body shapes from apple (you’ll have great legs if you fall into this camp, I guarantee), the more petite among us and, conversely, the longer of limb, as well as curvier types who want something that follows their body shape without highlighting every lump and bump (the ruched fabric disguises a multitude of sins). The ruched skirt looks amazing paired with a relaxed top like the cara v neck or tasha top.

Items shown: Slub Charli Top, Short Ruched Skirt, Tassel Necklace and a Suede Tassel Clutch

knee – jersey pencil skirt or long ruched skirt

Workwear, sorted. The safe skirt length for all of us when it comes to smarter dressing, you can’t go wrong with a gently fitted knee length skirt. Far easier to style than its a-line counterpart, don’t be put off by feeling that this skirt will cling or highlight your flaws – rather the opposite, in that the neat tailoring will elongate and slim your silhouette. For a more formal look, opt for the jersey pencil skirt with a light coloured jersey shirt or daphne blouse, or go slightly more casual in the long ruched skirt with a faux wrap crossover.

Items shown: Daphne Blouse, Shawl Collar Wrap, Jersey Pencil Skirt, Single Wrap Bracelet, Ballerina Pumps

midi – weekend skirt

The length of the moment, the midi skirt can feel old fashioned and tricky to style, but bring it up to date with a crisp breton top and playful sneakers and you’re good to go. If you’re petite, opt for a slim fitting top to avoid looking drowned in fabric, but for everyone else, the gentle a-line shape of the weekend skirt can be worn in a variety of ways to dress it up or down.

 

Items shown: Stripe Boat Neck, Weekend Skirt, Tassel Necklace, Suede Tassel Clutch

maxi – jersey maxi skirt

Wear with care if you’re petite, but a jersey maxi skirt can be a great breezy option for pretty much every body shape. Ideal if you don’t want to bare your legs (because it’s just faintly possible that, like me, some of you aren’t in possession of a pair of legs that feel 100% summer ready yet), a maxi skirt gives that laid back and boho-chic feel with the simple addition of a short sleeved t-shirt and a sunhat.

Items shown: Pippa Top, Jersey Maxi Skirt, Short Cascade Wrap, Single Wrap Bracelet

And to get your legs summer ready, why not check out these Legology products developed by award winning beauty journalist Kate Shapland –  Exfo-Lite sea salt scrub is the perfect prep for summer legs. After a good scrub and soak, finish them off with the genius Sun-Lite, which adds a healthy glow without the hassle or scary orange hue of fake tan. And if you suffer from heavy legs while flying or in the heat, you definitely need to add Air-Lite to your hand luggage. The amazing scent, innovative massage application and powerful active ingredients will put a spring in your step every time you use it.

And don’t forget to enter our competition to win a wonderful holiday essentials package including a complete set of Legology products:

  • A Kettlewell Cashmere Gauze Stole in your choice of Bright Aqua or Green Teal
  • A Kettlewell Stripe Boat Neck Tee in True Red
  • A set of Legology Contouring Leg Care – Exfo-Lite, Air-Lite and Sun-Lite
  • Two signed copies of A Song for Tomorrow by Alice Peterson
  • Two copies of the CD daydreams by Alice Martineau

Competition closes at midnight on 29th May 2017. 

Wedding season ready – add your splash!

It’s that time of year again; The invitations arrive, the outfit panic begins. Wedding season is upon us.

If you’re an experienced wedding goer, you’ll be familiar with the effort involved to simultaneously not spend a small fortune, look like you’ve made an effort, not wear the same thing as you wore to the last three weddings within the same social circle and, often in distant last place on the priority list, actually feel good about your appearance.

Luckily for you, the solution is at hand. Three simple steps to wedding guest perfection…

First

One of the easiest way to boost your wedding outfit confidence is to wear colours that you know make your skin glow and your eyes sparkle. So get your colours sorted pronto. Find your nearest consultant and book in for a colour analysis or, if you’re panicking about a wedding next week, take Kettlewell’s online quiz as a first step to get you on your way.

Second

Buy an investment basic outfit in one of your favourite neutrals, either a simple dress or trousers and top. For ideas on the best neutrals for your season, check out this recent blog post. Keep this outfit simple and flattering – you’re going to be adding the wow in a minute.

Kettewell items shown: Simone Cowl in Pastel Rose and Soft Square Vest in Bright Navy. Other items from John Lewis.

Third

Add your splash! The brights are what people will remember from your outfit, so adding a few carefully chosen brights will uplift and change your outfit for every occasion. And best of all, you can mix and match the basic outfit and the brights within your wardrobe to make a million and one outfits for other occasions in the future.

 

Add a Short Cascade Wrap in Flamingo Pink, a Suede Tassel Clutch in Ginger and a Single Wrap Bracelet in Biscuit/Gold

Add a Mid Cascade Wrap in Canary Yellow, Metallic Leather Clutch in Silver and a Tassel Necklace in Aqua Multi

Add a Cashmere Gauze Stole in Soft Aqua, Metallic Leather Clutch in Platino and a Tassel Necklace in Aqua Multi

Add a Milan Knit Cardi in Strawberry, a Tassel Necklace in Azure Blue, a Suede Tassel Clutch in Cobalt Blue

Or… make the dress the splash!

Go bold with your basic dress. Here we show the Arabella Cap Sleeve Dress in Canary Yellow.  Accessories can be bright or neutral, depending on your mood and the occasion!

Go neutral: add a Milan Knit Cardigan in Cream, a Tassel Necklace in Savannah and a Metallic Leather Clutch in Platino

Go bright: add a Milan Knit Cardigan in True Blue Marl, a Tassel Necklace in Azure Blue, a Suede Tassel Clutch in Cobalt Blue and a pair of Ballerina Pumps in Blue/Neon Coral

 

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

Meet the accessories

I’ve shown you a few sneak peeks, but I thought it was time we took a proper look at the accessories that Kettlewell have added to their essential collection of wardrobe basics.

For me, Kettlewell has always been about providing wardrobe foundation blocks in a rainbow of colours, and I think the accessories are the next logical step in that process. The new range offers a fab selection of accessories which can mix and match with your Kettlewell basics and other pieces in your wardrobe to provide either a splash of colour or a harmonious neutral.

As well as scarves (print and plain), you can now choose bags, necklaces (coloured and plain metal), bracelets and even shoes in your best shades. Getting your core wardrobe pieces in your best shades has seriously never been easier.

While we’re on the subject, don’t under-estimate the impact of getting your accessories right. They can bring an everyday outfit to life, or add the finishing touch to an elegant evening look, and getting them in the right shade will give your outfit that effortless put together look that we all love.

Still not convinced? See what Kettlewell’s capsule accessory collection can add to an outfit…

Items shown: Silky V Neck, Tassel Necklace, Single wrap bracelet, Zig zag scarf, Ballerina pumps

Items shown: Daphne blouse, Jersey Pencil Skirt, Leaf Charm Necklace, Single Wrap Bracelet, Suede Tassel Clutch, Ballerina Pumps

Items shown : Arabella Dress, Mid Cascade Wrap, Coin Pendant Necklace, Suede Tassel Clutch, Ballerina Pumps

 

Better than black

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Way back last year, I wrote a post on how colour analysis can still work even if you are addicted to black, and I promised you a post on some even better options when you felt ready to ditch the black for good. Finally, that post has made it to the top of my never-ending list of post ideas.

Yes, black is ‘timeless’ and ‘a classic’, but the fact is that on most of us it is (a) really rather draining, and (b) unless you are wearing beautifully cut well dyed, non-faded designer black, it doesn’t actually look any more elegant and well put together than any other colour (and I would argue that even that deep black designer piece might look even better in a slightly different shade which allows us to see the gorgeous cut and detailing, rather than hiding it all in a light absorbing swathe of darkness). Even for Winters (the only season to which we ‘give’ true black and white), there are alternatives within the palette, so whatever your season I’m going to try to persuade you away from the black.

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Kettlewell items shown: Silky V Neck in Ice Blue and Soft White, Mid Cascade in Black and Bright Navy, Jersey Pencil Skirt in Black and Bright Navy, Metallic Ballerina Pumps in Light Gold

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Kettlewell items shown: Silky Crew Neck in White and Soft White, Florence Infinity Scarf in Black and Fig

 

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Kettlewell items shown: Sasha Belted Cardigan in Oyster Marl, Long Vest in Black and Mocha, Long Leggings in Black and Marine Blue

raw-winters_bKettlewell items shown: Faux Wrap Long Sleeve in Black and Charcoal, Jersey Trousers in Black and Charcoal, Florence Infinity Scarf in Fuchsia

 

Who you gonna call? Mythbusters!

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Fashion myths drive me bananas. I find arbitrary rules such as ‘blue and green should never be seen’ and ‘everyone looks chic in black’ utterly infuriating, and they instantly make me want to go out wearing my bluest and greenest clothes all at once, preferably in vertical stripes with mismatched textures and a print on my widest part, for maximum offence.

However, rather than doing that I thought it might be more helpful to actually address some of those pernicious fashion myths and show you that actually the most important thing is to choose styles and colours that work for you, not that adhere to some arbitrary set of fashion ‘rules’. Of course, once I started to look into it, there were so many rules that (a) I was left amazed that any of us manage to get dressed in the morning and (b) I realised it was more than I could cover in one post. So today I’m going to deal with pervasive colour-related myths, but keep an eye out for further fashion myth busting next month when I deal with stripes, prints and age related ‘rules’.

Blue and green should never be seen

I’ve always found this rule bizarre, frankly. Anyone who has studied interior design or art knows that blue and green fall into the ‘related colours’ rule on the colour wheel (put simply, these colours sit next to each other on a rainbow or artists’ colour wheel) and therefore look perfectly good together. Of course, hue and value matter too – don’t panic too much about this, just feel confident that if you both colours you are putting together sit within your palette, they will be harmonious, and it’s only when you drift outside your own personal palette with one or other colour that you might run into problems with clashing.

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Kettlewell items shown: Mid Cascade Wrap in Emerald, Cara V Neck in Navy and Ruched Skirt in Navy

No white in winter

Or if you’re in the US, no white after Labour Day (the first Monday in September). This rule made (some) sense back in the days when the only clothes you might buy in white were soft cottons and linens in summer weight fabrics. Nowadays, with the abundance of white denim and knitwear, there’s absolutely no reason why your clothes shouldn’t have a white winter! Of course, stick to your best version of white – soft white for Summers, a slightly warmer cream for Springs and Autumns, and true stark white only for the Winters among us.

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Kettlewell items shown: SPRING: Silky V Neck in Soft White, SUMMER: City Poncho in Oyster Marl, AUTUMN: Alpaca Shawl in Oatmeal, WINTER: Semi Scoop 3/4 in White

Your bag must match your shoes

It definitely should, if you want to look like you got lost on your way to the 1950s. Otherwise, mix and match within your palette for a look that provides contrast without a jarring clash. If you’re feeling low on confidence in this area, try going for a brighter bag and neutral shoes, rather than two bold tones together. I promise that once you get your nerve though, there’ll be no stopping you.

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Kettlewell items shown: Suede Tassel Clutch in Ginger and Rustic Red

No navy with black

I only approve of this rule if black falls outside your personal palette, in which case you shouldn’t be wearing it. Otherwise, ignore it with impunity. True deep black and rich navy looks expensive and elegant paired together, particularly done in a bold colour block way, rather than an ‘I accidentally wore these black shoes with my navy suit’ way. The softer navy of Summer, brighter navy of Spring and marine blue of Autumn all look fairly drab with black, but that’s because they don’t fall into the same colour palette, rather than anything to do with some arbitrary fashion rule.

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Kettlewell items shown: Mid Cascade Wraps in Black and Navy, Soft Square Vest in Navy and Jersey Pencil Skirt in Navy, Sleeveless V Neck in Black and Ruched Skirt in Black

Black works for everyone

No. Just no. If you’ve had a colour analysis, you’ll know full well how many better colours there are for you than black, unless you are a Winter (and even here there are often better options such as charcoal or navy, especially on older skin). In fact, I feel so strongly about this that I’ve got an upcoming post on ‘better than black’ alternatives for every skintone which you can keep an eye out for. And if you really can’t give it up, why not read our guide on how to make it work for you?

Join the club – by Jo

Kettlewell’s silky tops have become a bit of a cult classic in recent years, featured in national press fashion pages and worn and loved by thousands of loyal customers. And with good reason.

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Honestly, if you haven’t tried these incredibly versatile tops, you need to. Slim fitting and fine enough to wear as thermals under winter layers (perfect for ski season!) the great quality and bright colours of these tops means that they are opaque enough to wear as fitted t-shirts in their own right, for both work and casual, and they can be layered up with dresses, cardigans and sweaters for almost infinite ways of wearing. Here’s just four of our favourites:

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The silky roll neck is the fashionista’s favourite, with good reason. It can easily switch from 70s chic to minimalist style to evening glamour. For a cute take on a retro look, pair it with our Peta Tunic and leggings or thick opaques. In warmer weather, just pair it with everything from mini to midi length skirts for a sleek look that just hints at retro.

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The silky tops are great for workwear as well as casual – try pairing a pale coloured silky crew with a bold skirt and cardigan for a modern twist on the office wear classic of black suit and white top.
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You can’t beat a silky top for layering up on comfy lazy days. Try pairing our silky v neck with simple leggings, a cosy scarf, cardigan and sheepskin boots. When the weather gets warmer you can lose the boots and scarf and still feel comfy and casual.

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For effortless elegance on your next lunch date, simply throw a super-chic and super-snuggly alpaca shawl over your silky scoop neck, for style and warmth whatever the temperature of the restaurant. Once the weather gets warmer, just swap the alpaca for cooler cotton knitwear.

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