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Colour rules to break!


There are so many ‘rules’ that I hear around wearing colour. Sometimes I’m amazed that any of us manage anything other than top to toe grey! I thought it was about time to bust some of the myths and misconceptions that I hear about wearing colour, and share what the one real rule is that matters when it comes to wearing colour.

Black looks chic on everyone

There is no good way of saying this: it just doesn't work on everyone. If you want the slimming, sleek silhouette effect without the skintone draining downsides, go for navy, charcoal, dark olive or petrol blue instead, whichever works best for your skintone. You'll look more chic and more well rested.


Our models are wearing the Paris Textured Jacket. Eveline (Autumn) wears Leaf , Sophie (Spring) wears Light Grey, Georgia (Summer) wears Marine Teal and Violet (Winter) wears Black.

Redheads can't wear pink

You so can. The question is, which pink. If you have a warm complexion, you might better off in coral hued flamingo pink or soft mellow rose, but if you have a cooler skintone, maybe musk rose is more your specialty, or even a bold fuchsia. Whatever your skintone or hair colour, there is a right version of almost every colour for you. Take the colour quiz to start learning what that version is.

Spring: flamingo pink Long Sleeve Tee, Autumn: peach melba Camisole, Summer: rose Long Vest, Winter: fuchsia Silky Roll Neck

I can’t wear green

Well, now you can. There is a shade of green for everyone. The chances are, if you've been struggling so far, you've been picking the wrong shade. Too cool, too warm too bright or too muted and it's all wrong, but get it right and you'll look bright eyed, glamorous, bold and stylish. It's all in the tones.

Spring: apple Long Camisole, Autumn: tree top Semi Scoop 3/4, Summer: tropical teal Fine Cotton Tee, Winter: pine Lulu Curve

You can’t mix gold and silver

Actually, you might be able to. If your skintone lies in a more neutral space - ie you still fall into a seasonal palette (we all do!), but you are at the less extreme warm end (for Springs and Autumns) or cool end (for Winters and Summers), a mix of metals might work really well with your colours to set off those more 'neutral' (in terms of warmth, not brightness) shades.

Tiny Star Necklace in Silver, Multi Star Necklace in Silver and Gold, Davina Tee in Latte

It all comes down to one rule...

As far as I’m concerned the only rule that matters is this one: wear the colours you love and that love you.

Kathleen on Mar 26, 2018 3:05 PM

This is a useful article; I especially like the examples shown, as they offer alternatives instead of just saying "Nope!" and the explanations show that it's not arbitrary but for a reason.

I'd like to second the rest for clothing in bigger sizes; a large percentage of the population is larger than a UK 16 and we've come here already fed up of being treated as if we're huge, grotesque, and cannot possibly expect clothes to be pretty AND fit us.

Chris on Jan 13, 2018 7:45 PM

Hi, just wanted to say that I have just had my colours done and have been told that I am Spring.

Love your site but nothing in a size 20.Please,please make bigger clothes.

Kerry on Nov 21, 2017 2:16 PM

Great article, thank you. I was just hoping for a little advise. I have been told that I am cool and soft, ( soft summer). When I look at the colours on Kettlewell for those analysed as soft, a lot of them seem to be suitable for Autumns as well. This confuses me, as I do not suit colours that have much warmth to them? My colours need to be soft and cool, so just wondering what my best options would be?

Kettlewell Colours: The tonal directions (rather than seasonal) system has a wider range of colours for each single direction (cool, warm, soft etc), but requires the second 'direction' in order to fully narrow down the colour selection. If you know both tonal directions, it's simplest to just click on the 'shop by colour' and the appropriate palette (in this case the Summer palette) rather than using the tonal directions option. We hope that helps!

Catherine Holland on Nov 20, 2017 1:24 PM

This is such a helpful article, really spelling out the alternatives, and demonstrating with pictures.

Sarah McRobert on Nov 18, 2017 4:32 PM

I was ‘diagnosed’ as a Winter 35 years ago & loved wearing black; however for the last 10 years or so it has drained me & I feel I look batter in bitter chocolate... however the jewel brights still suit me so can I be a Winter with Autumn ‘traits’?!

Kettlewell Colours: Often we find that Winters find black trickier as they get older. A bitter dark chocolate brown may work, but you'll probably find charcoal or mole even better, as they have the same lower intensity of dark brown but with the coolness that your skintone needs

Kate on Nov 15, 2017 4:37 PM

More articles like this one please. I'm a summer but I feel as if I've lost my way. have been addicted to black, my go to colour but i realise it is too harsh. I'm a bit scared of colour.