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What are universal colours and how do I wear them?

Whether you're a brand new Kettlewell customer or you've been shopping with us for years, you'll no doubt have noticed that some colours are coded for just one seasonal palette (Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter), some colours are coded for more than one, and some are coded for all four of the palettes.

If you've had a colour analysis, you might be wondering how that can possibly be - surely with four distinct palettes, it's impossible that one colour could cover all of them? The answer is both yes and no. The four palettes operate not as four individual blocks of colour which sit miles apart from one another, but as a spectrum, where each palette meets another as it reaches its coolest/warmest/softest/brightest extremes. So while it is true to say that there is no overlap between palettes, it is also true that at the edge of each of the palettes lie colours that are so similar to the neighbouring palette as to be indistinguishable to the human eye. And, of course, there are the points where all four palettes meet, which gives us those colours which work on all four seasons.

With these universal colours what makes them work is not which side of that dividing line they fall, but how they are worn. Pair brand new shade True Teal with deepest grey and fuchsia pink and it belongs very firmly to Winter, but swap that grey for cream and the fuchsia for coral and suddenly you have a much more Spring outfit.

When we make a colour universal, we spend a long time assessing whether it genuinely suits all four palettes - we have experts in colour belonging to all four seasonal palettes working at Kettlewell HQ, and as well as looking at the colour in relation to the four palettes there is always a long debate about who would wear each colour before it can be 'passed' as belonging to any season, never mind all four of them.

As well as old favourite universal colours like true red and nimbus, which are perennially popular with our customers, this season we've introduced three new universal colours, each of which can be styled with all four seasons. Don't believe us? Have a look at the outfits below.

Anna Roberts on May 06, 2019 9:12 AM

My first Kettlewell purchase was about 15 years ago after being styled as a warm Autumn. Always happy with my purchases and being brunette at the time, confident with the colours. I am now grey and I keep being drawn to that hair colour rather than my skin tone, therefore not so confident . I loved my earthy colours but they no longer seem to compliment. Can you steer me in the right direction please?Unfortunately I lost my colour swatch when my handbag was stolen so am fumbling a bit.!!

Many thanks

Kettlewell Colours: This blog post might help...

Alex on May 03, 2019 7:08 PM

I love it when you show different colour combinations for all types. I would never be able to come up with ideas and match the colours on my own. Thank you for doing this.

Janet jackson on Sep 06, 2018 7:05 PM

Really helpful info as I'm often drawn to colours in the 'wrong' seasons palettes & this advice give me more leeway to choose colours that will still suit me. Thank you.

Judith Makoff on Sep 06, 2018 12:47 PM

Good ideas but I'd love more seasonal looks put together! Bought items in True Red for example, and can't pluck up courage to wear them yet! Putting colours together in the right way isn't always easy. I also love Dark Olive but what do you put with it to prevent it looking dull?

Kettlewell Colours: True Red and Dark Olive look great together! Most of the brighter Autumn colours such as mustards/yellows, oranges, lime greens and if you're feeling brave, Neon Yellow or Electric Lime will look good with Dark Olive as it is considered one of Autumns neutrals.Hope this helps :-)