Behind the scenes at a Style Day
Last week I had to dig out some old photos in my pre-colour, pre-style analysis days for a magazine article about dressing for your season. The editor wanted to show the contrast between me now in my vivid Spring colours and the old me in my twentysomething black polo-necks. I have to say it was like looking at two completely different people. Not only was the black doing me no favours (no surprises there!), but the baggy black jumper and jacket were practically swallowing me whole.
Thankfully, I was rescued from a lifetime of monochrome and loose tops when I had my colours done and my style personality analysed. As a Spring I was told I should be wearing juicy brights (eg, apple green, watermelon, orangeade) that complemented my colouring. As an Ingenue, I should be showing off my waist instead of hiding it under baggy tops, and addressing my feminine side with pretty prints and details. It was a revelation.
If you’ve had your style personality analysed with House of Colour this will all be familiar to you – if not, I really do recommend it. By the end of your style day, you’ll have a much better understanding of your own personal style and what suits you best in your wardrobe. You’ll also become a lot savvier shopper in the future, only buying things that truly suit your body shape and lifestyle rather than pieces that randomly catch your eye.
For a little taster of what’s involved, we asked three members of the Kettlewell team to share their experiences of their style day with our resident blogger and House of Colour consultant, Jo Greene…
Product photographer and shoot stylist
Height: 5ft 7in
Season: Burnished Winter
Zoe’s objectives for the day: “To learn more about the styles that will complement my personality, lifestyle and body type. I want to be perceived as authentic, creative and relaxed – like I’m not trying too hard, while still looking a bit put together.
Jo says: Zoe has a really effortless, laid-back style, as well as a fantastic figure, which can take a range of styles. But her clothes don't need to be figure-hugging – I see her in clothes with texture and drape rather than body con dresses. During the style day we talked about her presence in a room, and felt that although she has a lot of energy, Zoe doesn’t necessarily naturally become the centre of attention – she’s much more likely to fit in comfortably. To fit in with her laid-back vibe, medium-scale prints and accessories work much better than either excessively large or too dainty.
Diagnosis: Double Natural – relaxed, laid-back, easy dressing.
Zoe’s verdict: “It was really helpful to get a better idea of the pieces in my wardrobe that work for me. Having taken all my measurements, one of the things that Jo picked up on was that I should avoid glitz, shiny fabrics and too much makeup. And I am better off choosing high necks rather than low necks.”
Styles from the A/W collection that suit Naturals:
Job title: Student and part time warehouse assistant
Height: 5ft 10in
Season: Jewel Winter
Objectives for the day: ‘To help me define and refine my appearance and, learn how to save money by buying only clothes that I really need. I want to make a good impression, and I want to be perceived as authentic and stylish.”
Jo says: “I was immediately struck by Wioleta’s natural elegance. She has an hourglass figure, which combined with her height and sophistication, gives her an amazing presence, but she’s a model of containment and doesn’t need to be the centre of attention to feel confident. Classic styles in rich Winter jewel tones really bring out her natural elegance, as well as accessories and sophisticated florals. Polished looks definitely suit Wioleta best.
Diagnosis: Romantic Classic (grown-up and sophisticated with a classic, timeless appeal)
Wioleta’s verdict: “I’m happy that I’ve now got a better idea of styles, fabrics and textures that suit me best. It’s also good to have a dress code for occasions like interviews and cocktails.”
Styles from the A/W collection that suit Romantic Classics:
Job title: PR
Height: 5ft 7in
Objectives for the day: “To find out the styles I should avoid and use that information to get around to finally sorting out my wardrobe.”
Jo says: “Claire likes to look stylish and put together without being over the top. Her structured body shape looks best with a degree of fit within the outfit rather than loose or drapey. Small touches of texture and accessories and smaller-scale nature-inspired prints and details such as pin tucks work brilliantly to pull her outfits together without becoming overbearing.
Diagnosis: Ingenue Natural
Claire’s verdict: “It was interesting finding out that I should avoid anything low-cut or overly dramatic. We were asked to bring in an item of clothing from home that rarely sees the light of day, and I brought a dress with pronounced puff sleeves. It was an impulse buy, and now I know why I’ve never really worn it. As an Ingenue Natural I now feel I’ve been given licence to wear all the prints and small-scale details that I wasn’t 100% sure suited me.”