Body Shapes: Do you know what clothes work best for you?

HERERecently I went down to the headquarters of Kettlewell Colours to have a chat with Melissa Nicholson, founder of Kettlewell, and Jo, their colour stylist, about body shapes.

Annabel, Melissa & Jo / Dressing different body shapes / Fashion
Annabel with Melissa of Kettlewell Colours & stylist Jo

At The CountryWives, we often receive emails asking what clothes would work on different body shapes i.e. those that are not a classic UK size. Perhaps they are shorter than average with wide hips or they have a large bust or broad shoulders, but whatever their shape we decided that it is clearly an issue for a lot of women.

As we grow older our bodies change shape and sometimes we do not know how best to dress these body shapes; to highlight the good points and to keep the bad parts concealed! If you are a classic shape then you do not need as much help as most clothes ranges are designed within the standardised sizing parameters. However if, like me, you have lost your waist sometime between baby 3 and baby 4 then a chat with a stylist like Jo from House of Colour will really help. It will also save you money as you won’t buy clothes that may look nice in the picture but are not going to work on your body shape.

I chose Kettlewell Colours to help me with this dilemma as we have worked with them many times before and we are always so happy with the results. Kettlewell Colours often work with House of Colour stylists because the latter are the experts at determining the right ‘season of colours’ for each client. The House of Colour stylist will also analyse the client’s body shape. Finally with all of this information they will then show the client, using the Kettlewell Colours fashion collection, how this all comes together. Kettlewell Colours have a comprehensive range of styles which come in over 150 colours. When you click on a style they are broken down into the colours that will work for you. It is such a good tool as I am so often tempted by colours simply because I like them, but, put them next to my skin and they may not work. The Kettlewell way means I am not tempted!

A section of a Summer colour palette / Dressing different body shapes / Fashion

The above picture is just a tiny selection of the colours for my own season, Summer. There are over 157 in my colour palette. If I click on any one of them it will show me the items available in that colour. This is styling made so simple and is such a help in making the right choice.

Many of the clothes at Kettlewell colours are quite fitted, in slinky fabrics, and this can put potential clients off as they think this will highlight the bad parts of their body shape. In this series of videos you will see that this theory is completely overturned. Jo convinced two women, who do not buy from Kettlewell Colours, which of the styles will work well for them. The third woman, an hourglass shape, does buy from Kettlewell but Jo sized her down so each piece was more fitted than she was used to and the result was very flattering. As we made the videos I was impressed at how each of our ‘models’ was transformed and how their confidence was given such an uplift. There is nothing like knowing you look good in an outfit.

This first video shows Louise, who juggles being a busy Mum with her professional singing career. She is a Column shape and her seasonal colours are Winter. She was honest about her body shape, telling Jo all the bits she likes to keep covered however you will see that the Kettlewell Colour clothes enhanced her shape and, combined with the perfect colours for her skin tone, she looked absolutely fabulous.

Subscribe to our newsletter by clicking on the link HERE, so that you don’t miss our next two videos on different body shapes; next week’s (4th May) model is Annie who is semi-retired, 5′ 2″ and a pear shape. The final model is Theresa, a grandmother who works part-time as a quality controller, and is an Hourglass (video to be published 11th May).

To view the Kettlewell Colours full range click HERE.

To find a House of Colour stylist near you click HERE.


  1. Hi,
    I am on the Kettlewell Colours mailing list but so far have only bought one or two items where length does not matter. I would love to go for their dresses but I’d have to chop about 8 inches off them! I have not seen any sign of a Petite range. Have I missed it? I wish they would do one because I am a Summer and love all the summer shades they produce their clothes in.

    • I will pass your comment onto Kettlewell and I am sure that they will post a reply. Next week’s body shape video is with Annie who is 5’1″ but we did not put her in a dress so I am not sure how the dresses would have worked. However do have a watch as you may see a style that you like when you see Annie wearing it.

    • Hi Veronica,
      I have noted your comments about lengths and will see what I can do. You might like our new t-shirt dress:
      We’ve also got a tunic dress planned for September in Sweet pea colours so do keep checking in to see if there’s something for you. We specialise in colour (which means a lot of stock as you can imagine) but we also try to cater for different body shapes, heights and sizes wherever possible.
      Best Wishes,
      Melissa from Kettlewell

  2. Country Wives I do so enjoy your blog, I have been following you for a number of years and for me as a sixty something you cover topics , fashion and beauty etc on just the right level for over 50s.
    I was sorry you didn’t win at the Blog Awards I do think there should be an award for the mature over 50 category, Although Notdressedas lamb won again for me personally her style is to mish mash of clashing colours. She looks a delightful lady and works hard at her blog, but I want an older styled Classy Chic blog where I can relate to, Midlifechic blog is stylish but to marketing oriented, but I enjoy the blog nevertheless
    There are a few American blogs I like such as JlJ back to classic, Susan over 60 which used to be Fifty not Frumpy again these are more orientated to the mature woman who likes classy style with a bit of whimsy added.
    With all said and done Grace, Annabelle & co keep up your fab blog as my Saturday morning coffee is a treat for me with your on ‘line’ interesting magazine.
    Stay happy and healthy,
    Pamela from lovely Wales. X

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Yes of course we were disappointed to not win but thrilled to be shortlisted as one of the five finalists and it was great to meet the people behind the other older women blogs. At the end of the day the best award is to hear such lovely comments as the one that you have taken the time to write. Our readers are the best judges as they read our blog each week and know us better than anyone. So once again thank you very much.

  3. My friend Val is looking forward to the pear shape info, she says I am a column. I felt a bit left out not being a food so she said I could be a cucumber 🙂

  4. Will you be posting a video for those of us who are ‘apple’ shaped and so carry most of their weight around the tummy and boobs?

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