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Colour of the Month - Orange

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Whether you're revelling in summer freedom to travelling (finally, are we actually allowed to do things? Does anyone actually understand the rules any more?) or planning for 2020 to be the Year Of The Staycation, everyone needs a truly tropical colour to bring out their brighter side after months on end of lockdown, right?

And so for the month of July we're celebrating all things Orange!

Since your best Orange can vary depending on your seasonal palette, I'm going to show you a couple of versions of this most juicy and tropical of tones, and talk through which one will be right for you.

Before we get stuck in, do you know your seasonal palette? If not, why not go and complete our Colour Quiz, then come straight back here and discover which Orange is for you.

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Can I wear it?

Well now here's a divisive subject. For around half of you, the answer is a resounding yes. For a quarter of you it's a resounding no. For the remaining quarter... well, let's just get started and you can find out for yourself.

Springs and Autumns - both warm seasons - can absolutely wear Orange, in its many and varied forms. The one season which indisputably doesn't look great in Orange is Summer - your cool and soft skintone jars with both the warmth and vibrancy of Orange.

But then there are Winters. On the face of it, Orange should look awful on Winters, and on many of them it does, but as a consultant I've come across more than one Winter client who not only adores the brightest, most saturated and most Vermillion of Oranges, but looks actively amazing in it. Something about the boldness and saturation of the tone seems to take away from the underlying warmth of the colour, bringing it into line with Winters cool and sharply contrasting palette - this rarely found 'Winter Orange' comes to life contrasted with Black and White or clashingly bold with Magenta. At Kettlewell we have never been able to create an orange that we would be happy to code for Winters - they always seem just a touch too soft or too warm - but if you're a Winter and you've got that one bright Orange top or coat which makes you feel amazing, please do take this as permission to keep on doing it.

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Orange for Springs

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Style notes: If you're feeling nervous, keep it tonal - simply pair your Orange (in this case I've opted for Hot Coral) with similar shades, especially biscuit and cream neutrals. Take it up a notch by using opposite colours from the colour wheel - blues and aquas - or go for maximum impact with a glorious Shocking Pink/Vermillion colour clash.

Orange for Autumns

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Style notes: As with your Spring friends, you can easily tone Orange down by keeping it tonal - our Sienna, Gingernut and Buttermilk combination takes inspiration from that most classic of combinations - autumn leaves - and looks effortlessly stylish as a result. Contrasting Fiesta Orange with deep rich Laguna gives a still simple but bolder combination, and if you want to go for maximum impact pair it a solid block of a clashing colour like Cassis or Dark Olive.

Summers - your alternative

Well Summers, you don't really have anything even close to Orange in your palette (did I mention how bad orange is for you?!), but don't despair - even in your soft, cool palette, there are plenty of tropical feeling alternatives. Try adding a splash of Shocking Pink, Watermelon or (totally different but so summery) Hawaii to your outfit to add a vibrant summer kick without sacrificing your palette.

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Winters - your alternative

As we've discussed, you might already be rocking Orange, but if you are among the majority and feel that it's just too yellow for you, you can tap into that vibrant tropical feel with your pinks and greens - Hot Pink and Magenta are some of my favourite summertime shades for Winters, and contrasting Emerald Turquoise or Light Emerald with White creates a gorgeously light and bright outfit.

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Why not check out our We Love Orange Pinterest board?


stellatagg on Jul 05, 2020 8:51 AM

i love the autumn colours that you have suggested i have never tried them but i will from now on

Kerriann on Jul 04, 2020 1:04 AM

Of this year's "Colour of the Month" posts, all 7 have included Springs, 6 catered to Autumns, while 4 covered Summers or Winters. Can't help feeling like us cool-toned people are missing out a bit...

Helen H on Jul 03, 2020 11:05 PM

Lovely colour to admire on other people. My niece (Spring) looks great in it. A no-go area for me but I'm compensating by painting some nasturtiums and enjoying their colours. Magenta and Emerald Turquoise are both gorgeous substitutes for a Winter.

Debbie on Jul 03, 2020 7:22 PM

I love orange, its one of my wow colours as a vibrant autumn. I can wear this head to toe without looking like a satsuma lol.