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Melissa's top picks for AW21

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Melissa wears the Connie Sweater in Pumpkin

So here we are in September, summer almost at an end, and a whole new season of gorgeous colour ahead of us. It’s been a busy couple of months leading up to the new collection, so as a last hurrah to summer, I headed up to London for a special ‘colour lunch’ at the restaurant, Spring (could the venue be more fitting?!) with the newspaper columnist, Hannah Betts and Head of Colour at the London College of Style, Jules Standish. A Jewel Winter and Spring respectively, Hannah and Jules are two of the most colourful women I know and a font of knowledge on the subject. From the moment we got together the talk over lunch was of colour, colour and more colour, with a side order of colour. As you can imagine, it was pure bliss!

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Jules, Hannah, Melissa and PR Claire at Spring restaurant, London.

And now to my top picks from the new AW collection and how I’ll be styling them. With so many exciting new styles and colours to choose from it hasn’t been easy narrowing it down, but here are the pieces that will definitely be earning their place in my wardrobe. I’d love to hear your choices too, so let me know which rainbows will be jumping into your basket this season.

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Alice Skirt in Neon Ditsy

This skirt ticks every box for me: beautifully wearable A-line shape, substantial jersey (lined to the knee) and fun and contemporary print. It’s a midi on me (I’m 5ft 10in) but easy to alter if you need it shortened. Such a great transitional piece.

How I’ll wear it: with Silky Scoop in Chinese Blue and Roxy Shirt Jacket in Hot Coral.

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Phoebe Blouse in Neon Ditsy

There’s plenty to love about the new Phoebe blouse (the pretty gathered sleeves and neckline for starters) but what’s really great about it is its versatility: pair it with the Alice Skirt and it becomes a dress; wear it with a plain skirt or jeans and you’ve got an outfit for work or weekend. And it goes with so many Spring shades: turquoise, coral, orange, purple, yellow… I’ll be adding the Celia tank top in Blue Jewel for warmth when it gets cooler.

How I’ll wear it: with jeans and Leather Belt in Aquamarine.

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Connie Sweater in Pumpkin

If, like me, you love skirts, you’ll find the Connie a really useful addition to your wardrobe. It’s designed to be neat rather than loose-fitting, is the perfect length and has a rib around the hem which accentuates the waist. Made of seven-gauge merino, this one will be keeping me cosy all winter long.

How I’ll wear it: with a Jersey Maxi Skirt in Bright Navy and pair of white trainers or tan suede ankle boots.   

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Hetta Pima Long Tee in Fresh Green

There’s a reason we nicknamed this top the ‘Hetta Hug’ – the mix of Pima cotton and modal makes it the softest long-sleeved top you’ll ever own. It’s named after my sister-in-law Hetta, who I’ve known since we were teenagers. It is great for layering and for in-between seasons. And I love this Fresh Green – I think you’re going to be seeing a lot of me in this shade this season!

How I’ll wear it: with a Rachel Jacket in Soft Camel and North Star necklace in Gold

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Tabitha Dress in Tan Tiger

Despite being all about the vibrant Spring colours, there are times when I just want to wear neutrals, which is why I’m loving this tan and cream tiger-print Tabitha Dress. Great for when you want to look smart, I’ll be wearing it one of two ways – either all neutral with gold and pair of coral earrings and lipstick, or mixed up with a colourful jacket.

How I’ll wear it: with the Rachel Jacket in Seaspray (perfect for subtle Springs) and long suede tan boots.

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Monaco Stripe Top in Light Grey Marl and Acid Yellow

I’ve never worn a Monaco before, so this is a bit of a wild card for me, but I can’t resist the light grey and acid yellow.  I’ll be sizing down as the fit is generous and sporting a half tuck to show my waist – good excuse to add a colourful belt!

How I’ll wear it: with jeans and a Cashmere Gauze Stole in Dutch Blue.

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Olwen on Nov 21, 2021 9:32 PM

Please, please, please can we have a piece on skirts looking like dresses? This would be invaluable with Christmas and New Year parties coming along! Basically, taking a skirt and putting the different style but matching colour tops with them. I have two Geri Skirt and I am looking for another skirt ... But, it needs to be useful as a dress too! Help! Olwen

Hetta on Oct 06, 2021 12:16 PM

I absolutely love my new Hetta Pima long Tee in Acid Yellow.. I want more! They are gloriously soft and a perfect (XS) fit for me, a 5ft2 gamine. I really love the neck and a great sleeve length too. Thank you Kettlewell, Hetta xx

Helen H on Sep 22, 2021 9:58 PM

I just love those maxi skirts! They can be styled so many different ways. I'm looking forward to the arrival of my Dark Amethyst and Shaded Spruce - this year's additions to my (increasing) Winter collection. What a fabulous combination of colours on you, Melissa!

Olwen on Sep 18, 2021 8:33 AM

I must admit that I am hitting the KW merino collection hard this year. Would love to see a piece on the different sweaters and cardies for ideas on what to put them with. I have been hovering over the Connie for a while .... As an aside, please consider bringing a petite model on the next shoots (under five feet four) so the 50% of the female population is better represented - it gives us much better ideas of whether we can wear things! By the way, you look sensational in that pumpkin colour.

Catherine Holland on Sep 18, 2021 8:23 AM

Thank you for showing us all these lovely combinations! I think Springs are generally the least catered for in Autumn and winter clothing collections.

Mary White on Sep 17, 2021 1:32 PM

Lovely choices Melissa, I am struggling a bit more this autumn, perhaps I was spoiled for choices this summer! Anyway, I am keeping on trying items and waiting to get my colours reassessed sometime soon.

Una on Sep 17, 2021 12:13 PM

Love the above photo, the look and that long blue skirt on you!