trends

Silk square 101

I adore this new addition to Kettlewell’s repertoire. A bold and beautiful silk scarf adds sophistication to almost any outfit you care to name. If your jeans and t-shirt feel a little lacking, add a silk scarf. If your work outfit is lacking a little impact today, add a silk scarf. If your raffia beach bag is looking a little dull, add a silk scarf.

Kettlewell’s silk scarves have been designed with the four seasonal palettes in mind, so no need to worry about whether enough of the print fits with your colours. And they feature so many colours that they’ll go with an almost endless range of colour and clothing combinations.

As well as wearing with endless outfits, there really is no limit to the number of ways you can tie these silk square, but to start you off, here’s a few of our favourites.

SHAWL

Couldn’t be simpler. Simply fold in half and drape over the shoulders. Great for adding a splash of colour to a simple outfit. Secure with a brooch or scarf ring if you’re worried about it flying off.

FRENCH CHIC

A classic tie for a silk scarf and perfect for a Parisienne look. Fold diagonally, then fold or roll until you have a long strip. Wrap either once or twice round the neck (depending on whether you want tails) and tie off to one side.

WILD WEST

Silk scarves are surprisingly warm, and this tie really works to keep a chill out, as well as making your silk square work with more relaxed outfits. Fold diagonally. With the large point facing downwards in front of your neck, drape the long ends around the back of your neck, cross them over and bring them back to the front.

Want more inspiration? Try searching on YouTube for silk square tutorials, there are literally thousands.

Pantone autumn/winter colour trends

You might remember being introduced to Greenery, the Pantone Colour of the Year for 2017, especially if you’re an Autumn, since it was basically designed for you. However, Pantone also does a fashion update for Autumn/Winter, showing the key palette of colours for the coming season. And the good news is, there’s something in there for everyone.

Regardless of whether you are a slavish fashion follower or prefer to do your own thing, the Pantone colour trend reports are a great way of finding out which colours are going to be available in the shops for the coming season, in terms of both in clothing and interiors.

The good news is that, unlike last autumn/winter, this season’s forecast has a few colours for every palette, so whether you are warm or cool, bright or muted, there’s going to be something for you. And, of course, Kettlewell has your version of each of these shades available, so even if the high street lets you down, the 150+ shades available at Kettlewell won’t.

Grenadine is a warm bright red, perfect for both of the warmer palettes. Get the look with Kettlewell’s poppy. This is a great vibrant shade to add as a splash of colour or wear top to toe. If you belong to one of the cooler seasons, simply swap that tomato-tone for a slightly more cherry one.

Kettlewell items shown: Semi Scoop 3/4 sleeve and Long Camisole

Tawny Port translates as one of those ever-so-clever neutral burgundies which seems to work well on both Autumns and the cooler seasons. Kettlewell’s versions, have the same magical powers.

Kettlewell items shown: V Neck 3/4 sleeve, Camisole

 

Pretty in pink, this delicate pink shade offsets many of winter’s deeper and brighter colours beautifully. One for the cool seasons only, it pairs brilliantly with charcoal and navy for a formal look, as well as with tawny port above for a more unexpected look.

Kettlewell items shown: Silky V Neck, Long Camisole

Butterum initially seems like a strange contender for autumn/winter, but once you start mentally pairing a cashmere sweater in this colour with Spring’s navy or Autumn’s deep olive (Summers and Winters need to stick to cooler stonier tones, such as light dove grey) it begins to make sense as a timeless look.

Kettlewell items shown: Davina Tee, Darcey Boat Neck

Let’s all give a hurrah for Pantone predicting one or two truly sensible and realistic shades for the season. Navy peony is, to all intents and purposes, light navy, making it an excellent wardrobe basic for Springs, Summers and Winters (although the latter needs to make sure it is running at full intensity, not softened off). Autumns should head for a more teal version.

Kettlewell items shown: Diane Swing Top, Soft Square Vest

 

What’s this? Another sensible neutral? Surely not. Dolphin grey will make a super-simple neutral this season, paired with everything from pink ice to burgundy. Ideal for Winters and Summers, Autumns and Springs are better in a lighter, warmer shade.

Kettlewell items shown: Short Cascade Wrap, Cotton Blazer

Shaded Spruce is a perfect match for deep teal, another multi-season shade. Too dark for Springs, it nevertheless works well on all three other seasons. Look for a really deep sea green shade, such as deep teal.

Kettlewell items shown: Milan Knit Cardigan, Lace Camisole

This colour belongs to one season and one season only – it’s just for the Autumns. A brilliant saturated moss shade, find it in silk or cashmere for vibrant winter luxury.

Kettlewell items shown: Tasha Top, Long Camisole

Just to make the rest of you feel better, this shade definitely doesn’t belong to the Autumns. Ideal for Springs and Summers, this cheery shade will be a welcome relief from all the usual dark winter colours.

Kettlewell items shown: Fine Cotton Tee, Semi Scoop 3/4 sleeve

Very definitely a warm tone, this gorgeous tanned-orange shade will bring vibrancy and depth to any cold weather outfit. Autumns can wear it as a brighter splash, while Springs can use it as a neutral next to bold yellow or green.

Kettlewell items shown: Short Cascade Wrap, Semi Scoop 3/4 Sleeve


 

Green – for every palette

Green, the colour of renewal, of nature, of life. It’s an uplifting shade and goes with a multitude of other colours. It can range from palest mint through to darkest pine, from softest olive to vibrant emerald. And you know what else? Most people hardly ever wear it.

You may or may not remember that Pantone’s colour of the year this year is Greenery. Unlike 2015, when the colour of the year, Marsala, was absolutely everywhere, Greenery hasn’t made quite the same impact. People just aren’t as brave with green, in my experience.

I’d be willing to bet that this is because most of us have been put off by a negative experience with green, because when it’s wrong, it’s really really wrong. The right green can brighten and lift, whereas the wrong one will drag you down, add shadows and insta-age the skin.

So which green should you be wearing, and how do you identify it? If you’ve had your colours analysed, just click on the seasonal links below for more information about your best greens and how to choose them. If you haven’t had a colour analysis, why not start with Kettlewell’s quiz, or read on for more information.

 

 

 

If you don’t know your personal colour palette, your safest green is always going to be one with a hint of teal to it, which makes it a more universally flattering shade. If you want to go greener but you aren’t sure if it suits you, just keep the colour away from the area directly under your face, or add another safe universal colour to help balance out any negative effect from the green you have chosen. The chances are, when it comes to green, you’ll be able to see whether it works or not. If you try one and it doesn’t, do persevere, as the right green is like wardrobe magic!

A safe feeling blue with a hint of greenish teal is a great tentative step into the world of greens. Go for Mallard, a universal shade that flatters almost all skin tones.

Kettlewell items shown: Short Cascade Wrap, Soft Square Vest, Suede Tassel Clutch

Light olive shades are usually everywhere in the spring/summer, so another easy green to try, as it won’t stand out as a ‘look at me, I’m wearing green!’ shade. Pair it with a soft white tee, a fairly safe shade for most skin tones.

Kettlewell items shown: Mid Cascade Wrap, Silky Tee, Tassel Necklace

Ready to go bright? Pair a grass green with nature inspired neutrals to keep it boldly tropical but 100% stylish.

Kettlewell items shown: Mid Cascade Wrap, Fine Cotton Tee, Short Ruched Skirt, Tassel Necklace


 

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.

 

Saluting the sunshine hues by Melissa

Did you spot Kettlewell in The Times this week? T2 had dedicated the front page and a double-page spread to our favourite topic, colour, and specifically how to wear it this summer. Fashion Director Anna Murphy was telling us all to move beyond blacks and neutrals and embrace the season’s sunshine hues, and for those overwhelmed by all the colour choice on the high street right now, Kettlewell was the place to go to find the colours that work best for you. It’s always great to get a mention in the national press and to take part in any conversation about colour, so we were thrilled to be included.

Talking of summer colour choices, we’ve been poring over Pantone charts and mood boards in the studio this week, choosing colours and prints for our Spring/Summer 2018 collection.

With Pure Zen, Living Garden, Drawn Botanicals, Mystical Tribes and Neon Tropics among the predicted style trends for 2018, it was a case of assessing a range of potential prints to identify ones that would best work for our styles and fabrics, as well as, of course, our customers. Then it was down to the serious business of choosing new colours, with each of the four seasons, Spring (me), Summer (Sarah), Autumn (Claire) and Winter (Anna) selecting the shades for their respective palettes from literally thousands in the Pantone charts. It’s rather like a group of people in a restaurant intently viewing the world’s longest menu, imploring the next person to go first before making their own choice.

The key is to leaf through the Pantone charts, colour by colour, and hone in on the shades that you are instinctively drawn to, with an eye on the style it would suit. With 150 shades already in the range, it’s no easy task to find ‘new’ colours.  Winter is the hardest season to work with, as the colours have to be spot-on:  intense and vibrant or icy and sharp, with no shades in between, but the three others have plenty of variation either side. After hours of intense colour scrutiny, we had whittled it down to our favourites.

Heliotrope, blue jewel, shell pink, dove grey, azure and pink geranium have been our bestselling colours this summer, with the apple butterfly print and red and white Breton stripe among our most popular prints. It’ll be interesting to see which of the shades we’ve just picked out will be topping the charts this time next year.

Yellow – the ultimate springtime shade, for every colour palette

Yellow is such a polarising colour. I would say that 75% of clients have strong feelings about it, either positive or negative. Of course, most of those feelings come from experience either of their perfect yellow (a Spring who has inadvertently hit on their perfect shade of canary), or their worst version (usually a Winter or Summer who has been persuaded into mustard or corn by well meaning friends and family). Whatever their relationship with yellow, as a consultant I get the chance to show every client which shade they can wear for maximum effect.

So what is your best yellow, and how should you wear it? If you know your seasonal colour palette, please click below to visit a post written specifically for you. If you don’t know your colour palette, why not take Kettlewell’s colour quiz, or read on for how to wear yellow if you don’t know your palette.

 

 

 

If you haven’t had your colours analysed, yellow can be a tricky shade to risk, as there is so much variation between the warm and cool shades, and it’s hard to find such a thing as a ‘neutral’ yellow, without too much warmth or coolness.

The best solution, if you are lacking in confidence with yellow, is generally to keep it away from immediately under your face (i.e. avoid high neck t-shirts and scarves in yellow). Opt for a lower neck top, with a safer shade scarf or necklace over the top, or a cardigan layered over another colour. In summer, pale yellow cropped trousers can be a cheery alternative to denim or white, and yellow sneakers or sandals can lift an outfit.

(Click to enlarge image)

Time for tees – by Melissa

There’s something about the arrival of spring, the sun shining, the birds tweeting and that hint of warmer summer days to come, that has got me excited about wearing T-shirts again, this time unencumbered by winter cardis and jackets.

As well as being one of the most useful pieces in my wardrobe, tees for me are bound up with nostalgia. They remind me of sunshine and happy holidays as a child in Cornwall and Brittany; of ice-creams and seaside and being together as a family. They also remind me of being at school in the 1980s, sporting my favourite oversized bright orange tee with the words ‘Relax’ from Frankie Goes to Hollywood emblazoned across the front, and then later, when I moved to London and started working for a fashion mail-order company, buying a 100% cotton Ralph Lauren tee for the princely sum of £45 (what seemed to me like a small fortune for a T-shirt 20 years ago), which felt fabulous.

Tees have followed me right through life and, as you probably know, are the reason John and I started Kettlewell in the first place, wanting to provide this simple basic to the very highest quality and in a range of colours that had never been done before.

The first Kettlewell catalogue from 2005

I also love the fact that few other items of clothing have such a long, cool and varied past – something my daughter, Tash, and I discovered a couple of years ago when we went along to the History of the Tee exhibition at the V&A. Did you know, for example, that the T-shirt is 106 years old, originating from underwear and only officially becoming outerwear in 1913 when it became regulation uniform for the US Navy? It grew in popularity as sport became a common activity, and was a teenage staple in the 1950s, due in no small part to the dashing screen icons of the day like James Dean and Marlon Brando, and in the 1960s the T-shirt became a pop art canvas for boutique designers. Flick through any fashion magazine today and you won’t be able to turn for images of the slogan tee, saying it loud and proud. The tee has certainly earned its place in fashion history.

From a design point of view, people tend to assume that nothing could be simpler than a tee, but as we have come to realise over the years, the basics can often be the most difficult to perfect, as there’s no hiding from the shape, fabric and stitching. The hard-working tee must accommodate the tall, short, straight, curvy, broad shouldered, narrow shouldered, busty and flat-chested among us (I’m always amazed by how many different body shapes actually fit into a size M), as well as those who like a smooth fabric, a thick cotton or one with stretch. Then there’s the question of how short or long do you like your sleeve, which colour to choose from your seasonal palette (if you’ve had your colours analysed you’ll know about wearing your best colours close to your face), and what sort of neckline flatters your shape, from v and crew to scoop and boat. Who would have thought that such a simple basic could throw up so many choices?

Style considerations aside, the T-shirt has always been a wardrobe stalwart for me – versatile, feminine, hard-working, super-comfortable… and always, at the back of my mind, evoking memories of childhood holidays and ice-cream. Roll on summer.

Melissa’s Four Favourite Tees:

1 Stripe Boat Neck (True Red Stripe)

2 Butterfly Print Tee (Apple/Soft White)

3 Love Colour Tee (Flamingo Pink)

4 Silky Tee (Blue Jewel)

 

To see our Pinterest board ‘Time for Tee’ visit Kettlewell on Pinterest