Twitter logo


Fashion myths drive me bananas. I find arbitrary rules such as 'blue and green should never be seen' and 'everyone looks chic in black' utterly infuriating, and they instantly make me want to go out wearing my bluest and greenest clothes all at once, preferably in vertical stripes with mismatched textures and a print on my widest part, for maximum offence.

Rather than doing that, I thought it might be more helpful to actually address some of those pernicious fashion myths and show you that actually the most important thing is to choose styles and colours that work for you, not that adhere to some arbitrary set of fashion 'rules'. Of course, once I started to look into it, there were so many rules that (a) I was left amazed that any of us manage to get dressed in the morning and (b) I realised it was more than I could cover in one post. So today I'm going to deal with pervasive colour-related myths, but keep an eye out for further fashion myth busting next month when I deal with stripes, prints and age related 'rules'.

Blue and green should never be seen

I've always found this rule bizarre, frankly. Anyone who has studied interior design or art knows that blue and green fall into the 'related colours' rule on the colour wheel (put simply, these colours sit next to each other on a rainbow or artists' colour wheel) and therefore look perfectly good together. Of course, hue and value matter too - don't panic too much about this, just feel confident that if both colours sit within your palette, they will be harmonious, and it's only when you drift outside your own personal palette that you might run into problems with clashing.

Kettlewell items shown: Mid Cascade Wrap in Emerald, Cara V Neck in Navy and Ruched Skirt in Navy

No white in winter

Or if you're in the US, no white after Labour Day (the first Monday in September). This rule made (some) sense back in the days when the only clothes you might buy in white were soft cottons and linens in summer weight fabrics. Nowadays, with the abundance of white denim and knitwear, there's absolutely no reason why your clothes shouldn't have a white winter! Of course, stick to your best version of white - soft white for Summers, a slightly warmer cream for Springs and Autumns, and true stark white only for the Winters among us.

Kettlewell items shown: SPRING: Silky V Neck in Soft White, SUMMER: City Poncho in Oyster Marl, AUTUMN: Alpaca Shawl in Oatmeal, WINTER: Semi Scoop 3/4 in White

Your bag must match your shoes

It definitely should, if you want to look like you got lost on your way to the 1950s. Otherwise, mix and match within your palette for a look that provides contrast without a jarring clash. If you're feeling low on confidence in this area, try going for a brighter bag and neutral shoes, rather than two bold tones together. I promise that once you get your nerve though, there'll be no stopping you.

Kettlewell items shown: Suede Tassel Clutch in Ginger and Rustic Red

No navy with black

I am completely down with this rule, just as long as you're not a Winter and therefore aren't ever going to look terribly good in black anyway. Otherwise, ignore it with impunity. True deep black and rich navy looks expensive and elegant paired together, particularly done in a bold colour block way, rather than an 'I accidentally wore these black shoes with my navy suit' way. The softer navy of Summer, brighter navy of Spring and marine blue of Autumn all look fairly drab with black, but that's because they don't fall into the same colour palette rather than anything to do with some arbitrary fashion rule.

Kettlewell items shown: Mid Cascade Wraps in Black and Navy, Soft Square Vest in Navy and Jersey Pencil Skirt in Navy, Sleeveless V Neck in Black and Ruched Skirt in Black

Black works for everyone

No. Just no. If you've had a colour analysis, you'll know full well how many better colours there are for you than black, unless you are a Winter (and even here there are often better options such as charcoal or navy, especially on older skin). In fact, I feel so strongly about this that I've got an upcoming post on 'better than black' alternatives for every skintone which you can keep an eye out for. And if you really can't give it up, why not read our guide on how to make it work for you?

Jackie Worrall on Sep 08, 2017 2:32 PM

I agree! I wear my bright greens to cheer up navy and brown...because I hate navy and brown, the remind me of my mother's clothes. And creams, soft whites and pinks all work just as well in winter as they do in summer. I always head for the brights, whatever time of year

Stella on Mar 10, 2017 4:41 PM

I love blue and green together too!! Have you heard of Fashion Feng Shui where people dress by their element fascinating for example blue,green and brown are wood element and the colours are expressed in nature and the season linked to this is Spring. You know when you see certain colours together and they look divine.

I love the kettlewell concept it is amazing and your blog too 🤗

Kate on Mar 10, 2017 6:38 AM

The original 'blue and green should never be seen, except in the clothes of a fairy queen' came from not annoying the fairy folk, and was a superstition rather than a fashion statement, lol. Those colours together were supposed to be worn by magical beings, not human ones! My grandmother, who was deeply superstitious, used to quote it at me often. And she was excellent at colour analysis generally, so it was nothing to do with offending her eyes, lol.

Barbara on Feb 18, 2017 5:46 PM

I wear my soft whites and creams all year round and I love green and blue together.

KathyBW on Feb 16, 2017 6:13 PM

I love the combination of green and blue and I am wearing it today.

Sue on Feb 15, 2017 7:53 PM

Love blue and green together I never got that rule the blog, more more more please

Pauline Wiles on Feb 15, 2017 2:49 PM

Would love to see more blue and green ideas - the ones you showed are wonderful.

ArtistHelen on Feb 15, 2017 12:39 PM

I agree totally about blue and green. As a Winter, I find dark blues are wonderful mixers in their part of the spectrum. They make a welcome change from the black + bright norm.

Love the way you include a little third pop of colour to the mix.

Great blogs - and a real colour education.