colour style the stylist

A decade of being a stylist and I've always avoided the term 'colour analysis' In fact in the beginning of my business,  I've wanted to throw away the colour wallets clients have handed to me. 'I can only wear these colours' they would say, and I'd argue it would restrict shopping and make no allowance for change and creativity. It was all rather 80's.

I'm all about re-creating new looks with clients wardrobes, pushing them to try new styles, break rules, break boundaries.  I want to give them a new lease of style, a bit of sparkle!  But, nearly a decade of styling I've learnt, what comes instictively to me doesn't to others.

Clients like answers, directions and dare I say it rules, so getting back to basics and perhaps knowing where you are on this colour wheel will help.


Kettlewell Colours is the rainbow brand of basics, that I regularly refer for clients. It sells fabulous cotton basics, gorgeous quality knitwear and dresses that you can buy in 'your season'. 

I interested to connect with as they based near my home in Somerset.

I visited Kettlewell last December and founder Melissa questioned my season as I walked through the door. (It was as if she couldn't go further until she had her answer!)

'Your too warm to be a winter, winters have cool personalities and your wearing mustard! So must be a warm autumn..'  the conversation developed until I admitted, 'I'm a rule breaker, I wear any colour I want -  its all about the styling with me and how I put clothes together. It just sort of works'. 

And then came the invitation from Kettlewell to have my colours done by their in-house colour stylist Jo. It would be a fun experimental blog for us both.

Owner Melissa Nicholson and myself at Kettlewell HQ in December 2017.

Owner Melissa Nicholson and myself at Kettlewell HQ in December 2017.

Kettlewell Colours was launched after Melissa had her 'colours done', being labelled a Spring but failing to shop her season all year round.

Kettlewell work with House of Colour. Kettlewell invited Jo, a House of Colour stylist with the hope to nail my season.

Jo's knowledge of the colour wheel and depths of colour was really fascinating. She talks about personality with colour too.

It was novel to be the 'client' being directed by the professional as stylists rarely seek advise on themselves.


Then process began by Jo placing drapes around my face. Taking one colour and comparing colour tones from each season. We could both see instantly what worked.

My bright red lipstick got in the way a bit! so we had to strip me bare of that and cover up my breton stripe top.


Jo compared tones of colours to find out what suited me best. You can see below that the dusky soft pink really isn't as effective with my skin tone as the bright fuchsia pink.

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Navy was the big surprise for me. Apart from a navy pinstripe blazer, I don't wear or tend to buy navy but it really worked and I was so surprised. Its a grown, sophisticated softer alternative to black.  I can also wear cool lilac (perfect SS18) and ice blues.


So the results were pretty conclusive - I'm a jewelled winter so strong, cold vibrant colours. 

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When I returned home, it was comforting to see that most of my favourite pieces in my wardrobe were on that colour palette including this fabulous dress by Onjenu - which is my 'go to' dress for meetings and presentations..


So I was happy that I was choosing the right colours for myself but it has helped me to do is to get inside the head of my clients.

(I don't think it will stop me wearing mustard though..but I'm definately buying more navy!)