The dress you need (that isn't a dress)

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If you've spent much time here you'll know I'm a big fan of clothes that mix and match to create endless outfit possibilities. Of course, knowing your seasonal palette improves the mix-and-matchability of your clothes by orders of magnitude, but that doesn't mean there isn't still even more flexibility possible within your wardrobe.

And that's where the Vinny Skirt and Floral Print Ruched Crossover come in. These two little wardrobe heroes really want to help you create endless outfit combinations with clothes you already own, without needing to add dozens of pieces to your wardrobe. These two really are all you need to add to your wardrobe right now.

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Not only are the print colours carefully selected to sit entirely within your seasonal palette, but they also work when paired with both neutrals and brights - either picking out colours from the prints or choosing totally contrasting shades from the same seasonal palette. This means they can be styled over and over again, for completely different looks. And as if that wasn't enough, the clever tummy disguising ruching on the top means it layers over the skirt without an obvious join line, so that you can pair them together as a dress for maximum prettiness without sacrificing an ounce of style.

Before we get onto outfits, you'll want to know which colour floral print you're going to be going for, so if you don't already know your seasonal palette, head over to the Colour Quiz to get started with your journey into colour!

Start at the bottom

The Vinny skirt is such a pretty style - along with the retro-inspired floral, it features a gentle A-line shape and fluted hem to add a feminine flip. Styling it with a neutral top half really allows the print to shine and keeps the whole look smart enough for more formal occasions. However, switch out those neutrals on top for something bright and beautiful and you've instantly got something totally different and whole lot more fun.

Vinny Skirt with a Neutral Top 

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Spring: Soft White Darcey Scoop | Dutch Blue Cashmere Gauze Stole

Summer: Nimbus Silky Roll Neck | Pink Ice Cashmere Gauze Stole

Autumn: Oatmeal Hetta Pima Long Tee | Sea Green Cashmere Gauze Stole

Winter: White Darcey V | Ice Blue Cashmere Gauze Stole


Vinny Skirt with a Bright Top 

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Spring: Hawaii Pippa Top | Bluebell Chloe Jacket

Summer: Cashmere Rose Faux Wrap 3/4 Sleeve | Greystone Roxy Shirt jacket

Autumn: Sunflower Betty Cowl | Light Birch Chloe Jacket

Winter: Magenta Scoop 1/2 Sleeve | Rich Navy Roxy Shirt Jacket


Head for the top

The Floral Ruched Crossover is such a hero piece. The ruching over the tummy disguises all manner of lumps and bumps, making it surprisingly forgiving for a smarter fitted top. It can also be worn with and without a camisole underneath, depending on your proportions. Paired with neutrals the top speaks for itself, with enough interest in the print to make even the laziest outfit days a breeze. Add a splash of colour though, and the floral print really comes to life, with the colours in the print picked out and emphasised.

Floral Ruched Crossover with Neutral Bottoms

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Spring: Soft White Camisole | Bright Navy  Jersey Maxi Skirt

Summer: Pink Ice Camisole | Beaujolais Ponte Pencil Skirt

Autumn: Soft White Camisole | Safari Lauren Jersey Trousers

Winter: Ice Blue Camisole | Dove Grey Jersey Maxi Skirt


Floral Ruched Crossover with Bright Layering

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Spring: Aqua Chloe Jacket | Victoria Blue Reiko Chinos

Summer: Pink Ice Winona Jersey Blazer | Cherry Marie 29" Lined Trousers

Autumn: Ginger Roxy Shirt Jacket | Deep Ocean Marie 31” Trousers

Winter: Silver Moon Chloe Jacket | Magenta Rosa 7/8 Trousers


Dress it up

This is my favourite thing about the Vinny Skirt/Floral Ruched Crossover combination - instant party dress!

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Spring: Imperial Blue Vintage Collar | Platino Metallic Tassel Bag

Summer: Heather Vintage Collar | Raisin Leather Tassel Bag

Autumn: Soft Spruce Vintage Collar | Rust Leather Tassel Bag

Winter: Powder Blue Vintage Collar | Silver Metallic Leather Clutch


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Virginia Quant on Jan 29, 2020 6:15 PM

The top and skirt or trousers combos you show are probably great if you are a slim and shapely pear shape, but please could you give some options for us apple shapes? Chopping us in half and drawing attention to thicker middles is not a good look! Come on, Kettlewell, give us a few more options! Many thanks, Gina10

Kathy on Jan 29, 2020 11:41 AM

This is my favourite kind of blog; full of ideas for how to multiply possibilities with the addition of just one or two pieces. This is the really ace side of a colour-based wardrobe, and the beauty of Kettlewell is that I know in advance that whatever I buy will go with everything else. The outfits shown in this blog really do show how much can be added with just one or two new pieces. Thank you!

Catherine Holland on Jan 25, 2020 9:27 AM

I love these combination outfits that Kettlewell do. I have several and they are often admired.

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