Colour conversation with Edith Verhoef, honorary brand ambassador
During lockdown, Edith Verhoef has been an inspiration to colour fans everywhere – posting her style tips and daily outfits on our new customer-focused Kettlewell Colour Club Facebook page. Find out a little more about our new honorary brand ambassador in the latest in our series of Colour Conversations…
Firstly, thank you for being such a tonic in these difficult times on the Kettlewell Colour Club page. Can you tell us why you joined and what you personally get out of being a member?
Before the Colour Club launched I would often read product reviews on the website and wish I could see pictures of the reviewers wearing their new clothes. When I saw just before lockdown that Kettlewell had launched a new Facebook group, I joined straight away, and in no time, I was hooked!
I love how everybody helps each other and gives positive advice – it’s like we’re all friends! It's great to be able to share your love of colour and also learn from one other. It is such a wonderful group of women with a lot of knowledge and humour. With colour you learn by practising – no matter how silly it feels to take pictures of yourself, I think it’s the best way to look at the whole you and try to see what feels ‘off’ and what feels ‘right’.
I started taking pictures of myself wearing nice outfits a little over a year ago, and would send them to my best friend who lives thousands of miles away. She would do the same (although not every day since her life is quite busy). It was our way of saying ‘Good morning, how are you? I miss you and I’m thinking of you.’
Tell us a little about yourself…
I was born in the Netherlands but have lived in Gran Canaria since 2015. I had an accident some years ago when my hand was caught in a wood chopping machine and I received the wrong medical treatment. Ever since, the cold weather and moisture has given me pain, so Gran Canaria is the perfect climate for me; together with a healthy lifestyle, it means I don't need strong medication.
I live here with my Scottish boyfriend, whom I met on the island (it was love at first sight, although it took us three months before we started talking!), and we rent out a few apartments. Before that I worked in IT and in the medical profession.
How did you first discover Kettlewell?
Through a style Facebook group. I immediately Googled Kettlewell and that was the start of it! What I love about Kettlewell is that all the designs are so clever. I really don't understand why so few clothing brands pay attention to these things! For me, Kettlewell is not just about colour, it’s also about timeless designs. You often see members of the Colour Club showing off pieces they purchased years ago. Where else do you see that?
Have you always been a big fan of colour or have you become more adventurous over time?
I've always been intrigued by colour – what it does to your mood and energy, how it influences other people around you. I've tried to make black work for me and failed every time, and it’s the same with pastels. As a Spring, I feel like a stranger in those colours.
Have you had your colours analysed?
About 20 years ago I heard about colour analysis and got ‘draped’. I thought it was a brilliant system and dragged two of my sisters along, as well as a niece and friend. I turned out to be a light Spring and felt so understood, but I had the worst time trying to find clothes in my right colours. I’d buy some nice tops but wouldn't be able to find a cardigan or pair of trousers to go with it.
Then last year I had my colours analysed again but in a different system. I turned out to be a ‘zesty’ Spring with warm, light and vibrant colours in my palette. In this system they believe you do change over the years because we all lose pigment in our skin, hair and eyes. So not just your wow colours change but your whole swatch. I have an amazing swatch that I can fan out and hold up to clothing to see if it blends in with my swatch or stands out.
What colours do you love from your palette?
Before I would just have said orange and blue but it’s impossible to say now because Kettlewell has so many beautiful colours. I love corals, aquamarine, neutrals like camel, beiges and cream, soft colours like peach and salmon (I really love the Peach Melba from Kettlewell) and orange, which is my happy colour (I'm Dutch, so it’s a no-brainer). I also love teal (it’s my version of black) and I even have lots of pinks in my palette that don´t make me look like a seven-year-old girl dressing up as a princess!
What I love most of all is creating balance by wearing the colours in the right proportions and the right shapes with the help of pretty or simple accessories. I love challenges and always want to learn. It may sound a bit obsessive, but to me it’s a hobby.
Your daily OOTD posts are so well put together – and always get a great response on the Colour Club. How do you keep your outfits so fresh?
I get bored easily so I like changing things up. I´m an option girl so I have a lot to choose from and the colours always lift my mood.
What are your favourite pieces from the Kettlewell collection?
That´s almost impossible to answer! It’s great where I live to be able to have different styles of sleeveless tops (Sleeveless V, Pippa, Betty Cowl, Long Vest, for example) that are smart and comfortable and, above all, not sweatily synthetic. The Short Cascade Wraps are great for covering up when it gets chilly, so they go with me almost everywhere in a bag. Over here the temperature can differ by more than 15 degrees just 20km away.
Of course, I also love all the beautiful scarves: the Infinity, the Confetti Infinity and the Cashmere Gauze Stole. I get cold easily because of my medical condition and these complement an outfit so well. I also absolutely love the Joanna Dress; it’s so comfortable and stylish.
Who is your style inspiration?
I really like Jennifer Aniston’s style. I like simple, relaxed, natural, classic and effortless styles that are comfortable.
Do you surround yourself in colour in your home?
My boyfriend has had a big influence on it (I'm sure he's a Summer). Together we've made the house our home with colours like aqua, grey, white, beige and even some pink.
Favourite style tips?
- Look at the whole picture, not just your top half.
- Always keep an open mind and embrace the new – sometimes it takes a little while to appreciate something and start to love it.
- A few little changes, such as nice shoes, the right colour handbag and good quality belt, can make a big difference. Invest in a few items that you can wear over and over, rather than something you'll only wear once or twice.
- Take photos of your whole outfit and look at them as a whole and also look at the details. What feels right and what feels wrong.
- Create ‘beauty bundles’ – earrings, necklace, belt, shoes, handbags and at least three items that go together well, and then photograph them, so you can find them quickly and easily.
- If you want to look slimmer and/or taller wear an inner or outer column of colour
- Think about proportions: one colour makes up 60% of an outfit, another colour 30% and the final colour 10% (it could be an accessory). It´s pleasing to the eye.
- Often the darkest part of your face (eyebrows, for instance) is how dark you can go, some say the colour of the white of your eye is how light you can go optimally.
- If you like or even love something for fit or style but it doesn't work for you in colour see if you can make it work by painting, dyeing or bleaching it. Accessories, shoes, trousers, bags, you name it.
- Above all, don´t be too hard on yourself. Other people don´t look at you that way, they are just happy you’re not perfect either!
And, finally, how does wearing your lovely Spring colours make you feel?
More confident, positive and relaxed, more me. Without Kettlewell I would still be struggling to find the right colours, especially on a little island like this where it’s either unaffordable designer clothes or fast fashion that falls apart after a few washes and always in the wrong colours.