Introducing the Pantone Colour of the Year 2018

I look forward to writing this post at the beginning of every year. The colour of the year from Pantone® has such a huge influence on not just the clothes but the art, interiors and lifestyle products we’ll see in shops over the coming 12 months.

And this year’s colour is… drum roll…. Ultra Violet!

In the words of world renowned colour authority Pantone®, “inventive and imaginative, Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come.” The colour experts go on to state that Ultra Violet “suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead and the discoveries beyond where we are now.” Much like, and perhaps even more so than, 2017’s Greenery, Ultra Violet feels somewhat optimistic and adventurous, a marked step away from the safer, less adventurous colours of 2016 (Rose Quartz and Serenity) and 2015 (Marsala).

Here at Kettlewell, we’ve been collecting all things purple over at our We Love Purple Pinterest board  (although we are still in love with all the other colours too!)

Ultra Violet sits in the Spring palette (although very much at the Summer ‘edge’ of it) but, being a shade of purple, needs only the slightest of colour shifts to work well in any of the four seasonal palettes.

To find your best variation of Ultra Violet, simply apply the rules of your season. While Springs can stick to it as it is (make sure it isn’t too soft!), Summers take it slightly softer and more mauve, Autumns need a little more depth and darkness – more of a Cadbury wrapper purple – and Winters need maximum vibrancy and depth.

Kettlewell items shown: Cashmere Gauze Stole, Silky Crew Neck, Lace Camisole, Florence Infinity Scarf, Merino Sleeveless Wrap, Cosy Cotton Top, Paris Textured Jacket, Alexa Zip Jacket

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


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.

Pantone Autumn/Winter colour trends

raw-headerI used to think the Pantone colour trend reports were a bit of fun, some light colour-based entertainment a couple of times a year that had no particular impact on my life. However, since following the Pantone colour reports I’ve really begun to notice the way they reflect what’s available in the shops, both in terms of clothes and interiors. So if you’ve been skipping over my colour reports up until now, this is the moment to sit down, grab a cup of tea and get reading, because these colours will influence what you can actually get hold of in shops over the coming months.

This is a good A/W to belong to one of the muted seasons (Summer and Autumn), although Springs and Winters need not panic as there are a few gorgeously vibrant shades out there. 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.


The first of this autumn’s two blues, Riverside is a perfect denim blue shade. As well as tried and true denim, expect to see it in luxurious textures such as velvet and corduroy. Having said that this was a good season to be an Autumn, this one really isn’t a shade for the warm and muted among us; it is very much a Summer colour, although I’m sure that brighter versions will abound for Springs and Winters.


Airy blue

Airy blue, as the name implies, is a gentle sky blue shade. And, ahem, another one that isn’t going to be great on the Autumns (your time is coming, I promise!). This is a true Summer shade which will pair brilliantly with deep burgundies and greys, and brighter versions will work for Springs.



Almost a shade for every season! Sharkskin is a great neutral grey that will work as a backdrop for a rainbow of colours. Best on Winters, variations on the theme will work on all four seasons.


Aurora Red

More or less a true red, Aurora red is bright, punchy and bold. Expect to see it on lips, clothes and interiors. Although the actual Pantone shade is more of a Spring/Autumn warm toned one, the shade is so warm as to be virtually neutral and I’m sure that versions will abound for every season.


Warm taupe

Now, if there’s a word I probably wouldn’t use to describe warm taupe, it’s ‘warm’. Yes, it is technically warm toned, but it’s hardly a golden yellow shade, is it? This shade is 100% Autumn, but grey and rose tinted versions may appear that will make it appropriate for Winters and Summers respectively. Springs are never going to rock this kind of dull taupe shade, stick to beige if you want a neutral that works similarly.


Dusty cedar

Dusty cedar falls somewhere on that tricky dividing line between Summer and Autumn, so expect to see versions for both seasons. A little more mauvey and it’s the perfect Summer shade, but add a touch of salmon pink to the undertone and it’s a soft Autumn shade. Springs and Winters need not apply.


Lush meadow

The name might lead you to think that this shade might be, ooh, grassy. But no. This is in fact a deep emerald green, the kind of Autumn/Winter palette crossover colour that I’d usually expect to see at this time of year. Rich and luxurious, it will be probably found in the velvet, brocade and military trends that will be seen everywhere this season.


Spicy mustard

Autumn all the way, this one. Spicy mustard really doesn’t fall into any other palette, but its rich golden tones are perfect for Autumns. Expect to see versions from yellow ochre, which might work on some Springs all the way through to deepest browned gold.


Potter’s clay

Warm toned and rusty, potters clay is another Autumn shade, but fractionally brighter and it becomes Spring’s terracotta. There isn’t ever going to be a version of this that doesn’t make Summers and Winters look awful, so stay away if you’re cool toned.




As Pantone themselves say, this isn’t an obvious A/W colour, but this sophisticated pinky purple hue will work brilliantly on Summers, who normally get slightly short shrift in A/W. Between Bodacious and the two blues, riverside and airy blue, it’s looking like a good winter to be a Summer!


Introducing the Pantone Colour(s) of the year 2016

Happy New Year!

It’s a new year, time for new beginnings, a time to look forward to the year ahead. And since what we mainly think about here at Kettlewell is colour, today we’re going to look forward to colour, with the help of Pantone’s 2016 colour of the year.

Before we look at the new colour, it’s worth thinking about the effect that Pantone’s colour selection has on our lives. The 2015 colour, Marsala, was reflected in trends in fashion, interiors, make up, wedding themes and even cutlery.


Suffice it to say, Marsala was big in 2015.


So what colour is going to be affecting our lives in 2016? Actually, it’s not one colour, but two. The colours of the year for 2016 are rose quartz and serenity. Why two? According to Pantone, “As consumers seek mindfulness and well-being as an antidote to modern day stresses, welcoming colors that psychologically fulfil our yearning for reassurance and security are becoming more prominent… Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.” It’s basically the colour version of the classic Miss World contestant line; “I just want world peace.”


Kettlewell items shown:

Silky Roll Necks in Iced Hyacinth and Shell Pink

Cotton Boat Neck in Pink Ice

Cotton Polo 3/4 sleeve in Light Blue Grey

Cashmere Gauze Stoles in Powder Pink and Sky Blue

The good news is that, if 2014’s ‘radiant orchid’ (that’s lilac, to you and me) is anything to go by, the oft neglected Summers will be spoilt for choice this year. The bad news is that it’s going to be slightly trickier for the rest of us – these colours are not forgiving of other skin tones. However, we’ll probably find, as with last year’s Pantone seasonal colours, that versions appear that will work for every colour palette, whether that’s Autumns substituting a softer mellow rose for the rose quartz or paler iced hyacinth in place of serenity for Winters.

How these colours will mix with the can’t-possibly-avoid-it 70s trend that is still a major focus of the high street remains to be seen. It will be interesting to see whether 2016 marks a move away from the retro trend, or whether these colours simply get absorbed into the look.


Pantone 2015 colour trends: Which ones work for you?


pantone-spring-2015I always love looking at the Pantone trend colours. Before I trained as an analyst all of these colours were fairly meaningless in real terms, but ever since I trained I find myself immediately categorising the colours into seasons and working out which of my clients are going to have the easiest time of it for this year’s shopping.

The beginning of the spring/summer season is always a good time for the lighter seasons – Spring and Summer (we always say that it’s easiest to buy your season during your season) but this year is particularly good, with a range of fresh, lighthearted colours to see us through the first part of this year.

We always see the Pantone seasonal colours reflected in the shops, but if you’re not sure which ones will work for you, we’ve broken it down for you, and even included the Kettlewell colours that you need to choose to rock this fresh colour trend.


Aquamarine – Don’t be fooled, this colour isn’t the bright turquoise aquamarine of the Spring colour swatches. This is a much softer, more blue based shade that will work brilliantly on Summers and some high street hue interpretations will work well for Springs too.

Kettlewell dupe: forget-me-not, cornflower


Scuba blue – Perfect for Springs, especially Blue Springs (also called Bright Springs in some classifications). You’ll probably also see this colour brighter, lighter and deeper in the shops, which means we may well see versions that work for every season.

Kettlewell dupe: aqua


Lucite green – Reminiscent of 1950s fashion, this shade falls somewhere between Spring’s apple greens and Summer’s jade, so be careful to choose the right one for your season. Slightly softer versions of the shade will work well on Autumns too.

Kettlewell dupe: pastel jade, light teal, mint aqua marl


Classic blue – Ooh, a great neutral for 2015! Lighter than Winter’s navy (although we will see plenty of that around as a safer alternative), Classic blue is very close to Spring’s bright navy, so if you’ve been trying to stock up this is probably the year to do it. Fractionally more intense versions of this colour will work for Winters, and softer versions will be great for Summers.

Kettlewell dupe: bright blue, oxford blue, breton blue, lapis blue, royal blue


Toasted almond – At first glance it’s easy to see this as a warm toned colour for Springs and Autumns (and no doubt that is how we will often see it interpreted), but this shade also has pinky undertones that will make some versions of it work for Brown Summers too. Winters are just going to have to steer clear of this one though!

Kettlewell dupe: mushroom, sesame, camel, biscuit


Strawberry ice – Pantone claim that the word ice next to the strawberry gives us a cool perspective on a warm colour (or words to that effect), and I know what they mean. This colour is going to be great for Springs who are looking for bright coral and flamingo pinks, but a subtle shift and suddenly it’s a Summer coral red or musk pink.

Kettlewell dupe: flamingo pink, coral, soft orchid, musk rose


Tangerine – Definitely one for the warm seasons, this shade will work for Springs, while the slight softness to the tone means that many versions of it will work for Autumns too.

Kettlewell dupe: tangerine, amber


Custard – Another one just for the warm seasons, this colour sits just into the Autumn palette with its softness, but expect to see lots of lighter brighter versions which work for Springs too. Pull it into the appropriate palette by wearing with very definitely Spring or Autumn colours

Kettlewell dupe: old gold


Marsala – The Pantone Colour Of The Year 2015, this shade is a rich warm burgundy brown, which is probably most at home on Blue Autumns, but I have already seen high street versions in warmer richer versions which will suit most autumns, as well as cool burgundies for Winters and rose browns for Summers.

Kettlewell dupe: mahogany, russet, ruby, pink burgundy


Glacier grey – To me this looks just a touch warmer than Winter’s clear crisp grey (although I’m sure we’ll see plenty of that too), making it a perfect dove grey for Springs. I have also seen a lot of deeper and more yellow lizard grey interpretations (a rare treat, as an Autumn, to find lizard grey so easily!).

Kettlewell dupe: silver, warm grey, dove grey, light grey, silver marl, silver grey

Have you seen any of this year’s Pantone trend colours yet? Let me know where you’re spotting them on the high street and maybe I’ll do a round up at some stage.