Here is What Happened When I Worked with a Clothing Stylist!

Many of you may read my post the 25 Things that Make Up My Clothing Personality that ran a few weeks ago, if not check it out.  It is really helpful to take a quick assessment of what you like to wear, what you gravitate to when shopping and what you actually wear over and over again.  When your really think about it, we all have a pretty specific style that you might know you have and some of us want to have a style but have no idea how to make it happen.  Having been in fashion my entire life (see my bio), I think I know what looks well on me and I like to wear classic, chic styles to accent my hourglass figure (!).  Fast forward to when I had Alison Bruhn, Style Consultant, in my closet from 10am to 5pm!

Ridgely Brode tells what happened when she worked with a clothing stylist editing her fall/ winter closet on her blog, Ridgely's Radar

ALERT!  This will be a long post. Grab a bottle of water , a coffee, maybe a glass of wine (or two!) and settle in.

When I found out Alison was coming to overhaul – and it was an overhaul – my closet, I enlisted Suzanne, my best friend from College and fellow fashionista, to come to. Best decision ever, Suzanne has followed my style, figure and taste journey from the beginning and she has a similar aesthetic to mine.  Besides she knows how to merchandise a selling floor and that turned out to be one of the best additions to the day! To be fair, we decided in advance that we were both going to have Alison to our closets and I will be Suzanne’s helper next time!

When Alison and Suzanne arrived, we went over our homework. We were supposed to come up with 3 images, tear sheets from magazines, Instagram or a Pinterest board, of things you like to wear, things you would never get caught in and a style you would love to wear, but haven’t the guts to try. I did this post as my homework and shared this board.  I didn’t really do the homework properly, but I think Alison got the memo on my style (wink.. wink).

We went over face shape, coloring, hair texture, body shape, took measurements (yikes!) and discussed colors. In case you are wondering, I am a Summer and I need more pink in my closet, time to revisit this post and start shopping!

Ridgely Brode tells what happened when she worked with a clothing stylist editing her fall/ winter closet on her blog, Ridgely's Radar

Then we got to my closet and I put on every single item in my entire Fall/ Winter wardrobe.  This is not a time to be bashful, but to strip down and get to business. It sounds fun and it was, but it takes a long time to put on and take off everything.  This is where Suzanne came in handy. She zipped, unzipped, folded, hung up, discarded, and organized the keep, sell, toss and thrift piles, all while objectively giving her opinion.  I highly recommend having a close friend come be your assistant.  I think it would have taken double the time without her!   Besides, it was so much fun to do it with her!  Alison took notes, reviewed every single item and was asking me questions along the way.  We started with one category at a time and plowed through to the next; starting with pants, then to skirts (I only had one and it was a leather skirt that I have never worn but I finally fit into since I just lost 10lbs!), dresses, shirts, sweaters and jeans.  Oh MY!  I never thought I was a hoarder or that I had too many things, but I have a pretty big walk-in closet and it holds a lot of clothes!  And I want to remind you I did a HUGE purge last year.  UGH.

Turns out I was holding on to way too many things that I needed Alison and Suzanne to give me permission to get rid of.  Talk about cathartic and liberating.  I now have space between my hangars and everything has a place to return to after it has been worn.  I am so happy!

What I knew, but needed reiterated is that every gal needs a few key wardrobe staples that FIT and work for your figure.  Spend a little more money to have better quality pieces that will last the seasons and make sure to alter if needed.  Then layer in the fun, trendy pieces as you wish.  Here are 9 wardrobe staples worth investing in:

Ridgely Brode tells what happened when she worked with a clothing stylist editing her fall/ winter closet on her blog, Ridgely's Radar


  1. A Tan and/or Black Trench Coat – I have the Icon Trench and wear it all the time
  2. A Classic and Comfortable Pump in black and nude – these are a good looking less expensive alternative
  3. White Silk Blouse can be a button down, sleeveless or maybe a bell sleeve depending on your figure and personality.
  4. Well fitting Black Pants
  5. A run around Black Flat  – these are a reasonable priced ballet.
  6. An everyday Shoulder Bag – I always check here for their latest styles
  7. A Scarf that doubles as a Wrap – I like this tissue weight one that comes in a ton of colors
  8. A Pouch to keep you organized and doubles as an evening bag at night – I love these small wristlets and this fold over leopard one..
  9. A Little Black Dress – this is a classic style that wont break the bank

I have started wearing what I found in my closet and forgot I had.  Moving forward, I will be making an effort to show you what I have in my closet and how I am wearing them.  I can’t wait for Alison and Suzanne to come back to help me with my Spring/Summer clothes!

credit: Closet Images

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail to someoneshare on TumblrShare on LinkedIn

Leave a comment