Summer 2017

Does your season change when you tan?

I think this must be up there in the top ten questions asked of colour analysts. Even the most sunscreen-committed of us tend to see some variation in our skintone throughout the year – from winter’s palest shades through the first hint of colour as Spring appears and then on to our own personal deepest tan by the end of the summer. Personally I experience this in extremes, with my father’s fair Scottish heritage predominating during winter and my mother’s more olive-skinned genes taking over once the sun comes out, so as a client it was top of my list of questions when I had my own colour analysis and which my consultant gave an almost identical answer to the one I am going to give you here.

The – very – short answer is no. Not only does your season does not change throughout the year, it actually remains unchanged throughout your entire life, but that’s further than we need to worry about today. Colouring is determined by genetics, and remains unchanged regardless of (natural) tanning, scars, ageing etc.

Rather than ending there, I suppose it’s only fair to also give you the longer answer too. When you had your colour analysis, the chances are you were given some kind of ‘direction’ within your season, being described as a light Spring, or a deep Summer, or similar applicable adjective. So as well as being given a broader palette you will also have been guided as to what your ‘wow’ colours are within that palette.

When we are at our palest (and therefore often our least ‘bright’, regardless of how bold or muted our personal palette is), we often rely on our wow colours more, feeling less confident in other parts of the palette. However, as we get more colour in our own skin, some of those less good colours seem to start working too. The reason is that tan does some of the work, adding a bit of a glow and hiding some imperfections, so we are able to venture outside our wow colour comfort zone a little more and wear just ‘good’ colours as well as wow ones. As an aside, most people are more comfortable wearing brighter colours when it’s sunny and bright outside, so there is a psychological correlation between feeling confident with the brighter colours in warmer weather too.

So, in summary, a tan will never affect your seasonal outcome, but it may affect how you look and feel in some of the less wow colours within your palette.

A note about fake tan: almost all fake tan is warm (yellow) toned, and can seriously alter the outcome of a colour analysis, because it adds an artificially warm overtone to the skin. This is especially true, obviously, of cool toned people, but can alter the wow colour outcome even for the warmer toned among us.

Which ice cream flavour are you?

It’s summer, it’s hot (intermittently, at least) and, if you’re anything like me, ice cream is featuring heavily in your life in all its many glorious flavours and colours.

There’s something about those pastel-yet-vibrant shades that just evokes an air of  glorious seaside holidays and stress-free living. Why not evoke that retro-beach-holiday vibe in your outfit too, and wear your favourite flavour? From orange sorbet to vanilla ice cream and chocolate to mint, there’s an ice cream shade for every palette.

Spring

So many spring shades sound decidedly edible anyway that it’s no problem imagining them in ice cream form! Keep your shades light and bright, with a sorbet pop to brighten things up.

Summer

Raspberry ripple, strawberries and cream, mint choc chip… All the softest and coolest shades belong in your Summer sundae.

Autumn

Tropical fruity shades, from papaya to orange to kiwi fill your palette, and if that feels a little bright you can always play it safe with coffee and vanilla.

Winter

Contrast icy lemon sorbet or palest mint with bold bright raspberry, strawberry and blueberry. For maximum impact, ripple your shades with bright white.

 

* All images from Baboo Gelato who make our favourite local artisanal ice cream! If you are coming to Dorset, visit them in West Bay or Lyme Regis.

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.


 

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.