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Wednesday 3 February 2021

Our Lives in Colour Part 1


Today's post is a big two-part extravaganza about colour  (using the UK spelling). Two reasons. I've been enthralled for the last few weeks by what I've seen in the Kettlewell Colour Club on Facebook, and I'm personally keen to experiment with colour contrasts.

The FB group was formed in 2020 and is the most vibrant (in all senses of the word) gathering you could hope to meet. Very uplifting and inspiring, with women from the UK, US, Europe and Australia sharing their outfits and taking part in colour challenges.

What unites them all is knowing which colours suit them, either through colour analysis or taking the online quizzes at Kettlewell.  This British company was launched in 2004 by Melissa and John Nicholson.  Melissa, below,  says:  "I had become increasingly frustrated over the years at not being able to shop my Spring colours all year round. I could buy all my gorgeous greens, pinks and yellows in May, but I couldn’t find them anywhere in the winter. I thought, “If I feel this way, surely other women do too”, so John and I took the plunge and launched Kettlewell."

Melissa Nicholson from Kettlewell Colours in her trademark spring colours for Is This Mutton's post about bright colours

During the pandemic, women increasingly turned to colour for comfort and happiness.  Melissa says her company had never been so busy.  "Colour was flying out the door! If there’s one thing we learnt over the pandemic, it’s that people want colour in challenging times. They want to be uplifted with feel-good shades and to project hope and positivity through their choice of clothing. 

"I know a lot of our Colour Club members found it frustrating not to be able to have a face-to-face appointment with a colour consultant during lockdown, but it didn't have a discernible impact on our business. Many women used Zoom sessions and the Kettlewell online Colour Quiz".

I'm not going to cover my own colour analysis experiences in this post - I did cover it a little here.  Instead, I'm going to focus on three amazing women who all represent a different season and wardrobe of colours. Next week I will share some of my Kettlewell buys over the years and how I'm experimenting with colour contrasts.

Regan Davidson, from Birmingham, Alabama, in the US, is a retired 50 and over influencer and blogger- - her website is nifty50andfabulous.com

Regan had her colours done in the 80s by Color Me Beautiful and was told she's a winter. At that time, the consultants didn't go into much depth but now there are different versions of each season and tonal differences.  Regan has done her own analysis and veers towards the colours of Jewel Winter. 

She had always been drawn towards those colours but last year made a concerted effort to get out of a comfort zone which included too much black. 

She says: "Before 2020, half of my wardrobe was black, 1/3 white and the rest some odds and ends. I ended up doing a major purge of my closet, removing items that did not fit my body type and those that were not in my color palette. By really concentrating on the Winter Seasonal Colour Palette I have been able to create a wardrobe that I can mix and match, easily creating outfit combinations that will look good on me."

In the top picture Regan is on the left in acid yellow and sapphire. Here she is in black, white and fuchsia. Fuchsia is her happy colour. 

Regan also understands well her how to dress her shape, which is another service that colour consultants offer. She says she is a Petite Pear, carrying most of her weight in the hips and thighs. She  uses black to draw attention away from this area, and color to bring attention up towards her face. Her  style is minimalist. " I like clean lines and simple layering.  Too much detail can overwhelm my small frame," she explains.

Siân Rowland from South London is a freelance education adviser, trainer and writer. She had her colour analysis in 2019 by Colour Me Beautiful. She was analysed on their tonal scale as soft, cool and light, which is roughly equivalent to soft summer in seasonal analysis. In the top picture Siân is in the middle, wearing pink - a "wow" colour on her, but initially one she was horrified about. 

She says:  "I had been studiously avoiding pink for years and didn’t own a single pink item. I don’t like the way pink has been co-opted as a ‘feminine’ colour and even things like women’s trainers and bike helmets are in pink! So it seems odd to admit that I’ve grown to love my range of pink shades."

Siân had always been convinced she was warm toned and inclined towards the autumnal shades. "I had spent most of my adult life in boring black with accents of warm red and orange. When I looked at myself in the mirror that day with a cool, orchid drape across my shoulder I suddenly saw how it lit up my face, even with no make-up on. I floated out of the analysis with the wallet of swatches in my hand realising I needed to start again colour-wise."

Knowing your true colours often means big changes to your make-up too. 

Siân says she always opted for a fairly soft overall look but the biggest change has been with lipstick. She was forever searching for the perfect red - "but I always looked like a child who had playing with mummy’s makeup bag. I’ve accepted now that darker lipstick overwhelms me. For my colouring it’s better to keep my look harmonious. I love Mac’s lip colour in Faux as it’s a perfect natural pink."

Another woman who was surprised by her colour analysis result was Cheray Gant  from Southlake in  Texas. Cheray, on the far right of the top picture, was analyzed back in the early 1990s  and both she and her mother were told right away they were autumn, without any of the usual scarf draping. 

This was a common mistake because redheads were nearly always told they were autumn. For several years Cheray dressed in autumn colours but she never felt "right." Then she read how House of Colour type people according to skin tone. "My curiosity was piqued because I had never been a typical freckled-faced redhead, my skin is more of a porcelain pink with minimal freckles, so I decided to see if there was a consultant in my area. Lo and behold I found Ginny on the House Of Colour website and reached out to book an appointment!"

Cheray then found out she was a Paintbox Spring, and suddenly all the bright colours she had been drawn to were making sense. 

Dressing in bright colours is not only good for her mood, but influences others around her.  Cheray is a medical assistant and the doctor she works for lets everyone choose their own scrub colours. Says Cheray: "Needless to say, I immediately went out and bought scrubs in ‘my’ colours and it has been so amazing to see patients' reactions when I greet them wearing shades like lime green, coral, or turquoise! 

"Just seeing their eyes light up and a smile cross their face is fantastic. Even the male patients will mention how bright and cheerful I look! Dare I say wearing those ‘happy’ colours seems to put them more at ease. That makes my day and it makes me happy knowing I'm wearing the most flattering colours for me.

Quick Fire Questions 

What are the favorite colours in your palette?

Regan:  Fuchsia, sapphire, and Chinese blue. Having always believed that I should stay away from yellow, I have added an Acid Yellow to my wardrobe.  Just yesterday I received a package from Kettlewell with some emerald green. 

Siân: Colours like dusty orchid and fig go so beautifully with various shades of green and grey which keep them looking sophisticated and grown up rather than Barbie-esque. I still refuse to be coerced into buying pink trainers though!

Cheray: That is a tough one as I love all of them! I think I'm drawn to the pinks, greens, purples and red shades. Red was a new one for me as I had always been told to stay away from it being a redhead. Now it's one of my favorites!

How many pieces do you have from Kettlewell?

Siân: I now have three infinity scarves, five wraps, a merino sweater and various tops. Most are new but a few are pre-owned or pre-loved too. I make sure each item works hard for me so I feel I’m getting the best value for money from it.

Cheray:  Ahhh...too many to count! In all honestly, my wardrobe has nearly been totally replaced with Kettlewell items! You just can’t beat them for quality basics and they offer colours and styles that can't be found anywhere else. The only downside is that is takes two to three weeks for delivery!

Regan: I am new to Kettlewell, but I have been on a shopping spree.  The quality of the pieces is far better than many of the items in many retail stores.  I own about 70 pieces including scarves.  My favorite pieces are the Sleeveless V, Faux Wrap Top, Darcy V Neck Top, Short Cascade Wrap, and Shawl Wrap. 

See more from Regan and Siân: 

Regan:  Facebook, Instagram 

Siân: Instagram - @summer_soft_journey; Pinterest - @sian1728 

Directions for 2021

And finally, what can we expect for 2021? The Pantone colours of the year, as I showed in my post last week, are ultimate grey and illuminating yellow.  Melissa has many shades of grey and yellow in the Kettlewell library of over 300 colours.  She says:  "SS21 is all about mood-enhancing colour – pastels for peace and calm; brights for optimism; gentle earth tones to connect us with nature, and this season the emphasis is on comfortable, easy-to-wear styles that suit the ‘new normal’. 

"I don’t want to give too much away but we’ve got some lovely new knitwear and lightweight jackets and some gorgeous wide-legged culottes and loose print blouses that I think our customers will love."

For 2021 I want to get more adventurous with colour and wear more contrasting colours.  I tend to gravitate towards monochrome (all one colour) or tonal dressing (several tones of the same shade). So in next week's post. I'll show you some of my experimentation.

Sharing this post with: #OnMondaysWeLinkUp at Glass of GlamTop of the World Style at High Latitude Style, Chic & Stylish at Mummabstylish, #LinkupOnTheEdge at Shelbee on the Edge, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings, Thursday Moda at Elegance and Mommyhood, Turning Heads Tuesday at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish,  Style with a Smile  at StylesplashStyle Six at Coast to CoastTFF at Doused in Pink, Fancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style,  #iwillwearwhatilike at Not Dressed as Lamb,  Lizzie in Lace  and Confident Twosday at IDoDeclaireBeauty by Miss L, Rena at Fine WhateverFabulous Fridays at Lucy Bertoldi,

Now it's time for #WowOnWednesday, where bloggers find new readers, and readers find new blogs to read!

Last week's favourites - most clicked - were: Laurie from Vanity and Me with her YouTube post "Bedroom makeover. The reveal! But did it turn out ok?"

Suzy Turner from The Grey Brunette looking fabulous in black with her post "Black is beautiful - the Fab40s Gals are Styling All-Black Outfits." 

My favourite post was by Mary Katherine from MK's Adventures in Style. I love it when bloggers share stories behind their outfits which MK did in her post "A piece that makes an outfit, and the story to go with it- Part 1."

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


  1. What a nice read. It's always nice to read about experiences other wonen have with their looks. Have a great day Gail.

    1. Thanks Nancy - these are the posts I enjoy writing the most!


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