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

There is nothing better than Seersucker in the Summer

I almost did not want to post about these gorgeous seersucker dresses so I can keep them all to myself, but then I can’t help myself because they are so cute and I know you will love them too! I am such a sucker for seersucker! It feels so good when you wear it and it is just right fabric when it is really hot…you look and feel cool, crisp and so summery!  I am going to order one of each to see which one works best, but in the mean time I will be working double time on my arms to make sure they are toned and trim when it is time to wear them!

There is nothing better than Seersucker in the Summer and Ridgely Brode shares several great looking seersucker dresses on her blog Ridgely's Radar.

There is nothing better than Seersucker in the Summer and Ridgely Brode shares several great looking seersucker dresses on her blog Ridgely's Radar.

There is nothing better than Seersucker in the Summer and Ridgely Brode shares several great looking seersucker dresses on her blog Ridgely's Radar.

to buy: Seersucker dress  /  One-Shoulder Ruffle  /  Strapless Dress

What do You Think About this Dress?

Spring Break is right around the corner, I can feel it! I ordered a few things to try and see if they are hits or misses.  One such item is this stripe dress. I love the colors and how crisp it looks, but is it too diaphanous?  I kind of love that it is loose, off-the-shoulder and easy, but it is not very figure flattering.  I would love your opinion, so please let me know what you think..

What do you think about this dress? Ridgely Brode bought it for spring break and wants your opinion on whether it is a keeper or not.

What do you think about this dress? Ridgely Brode bought it for spring break and wants your opinion on whether it is a keeper or not.

What do you think about this dress? Ridgely Brode bought it for spring break and wants your opinion on whether it is a keeper or not.

What do you think about this dress? Ridgely Brode bought it for spring break and wants your opinion on whether it is a keeper or not.

What do you think about this dress? Ridgely Brode bought it for spring break and wants your opinion on whether it is a keeper or not.

What do you think about this dress? Ridgely Brode bought it for spring break and wants your opinion on whether it is a keeper or not.

What do you think about this dress? Ridgely Brode bought it for spring break and wants your opinion on whether it is a keeper or not.

Loving Gucci…from Afar

I am loving all things Gucci right now!  OMG..  I think the double G’s are so chic and I love how they look with jeans to dresses. It doesn’t help that every blogger I follow is sporting them everywhere I look.  So I will continue to love them from afar and one of these days I may have one for myself..

 

Ever love something but can't have it? Ridgely Brode is in that same boat as she shares the Gucci's she is loving from afar on her blog Ridgely's Radar.

top to bottom: Marmont Belt  /  Marmont Handbag  /  Marmont Fringe Flat  /  Marmont Pump

Great Finds for the Gal on a Budget

I went shopping today at the mall for the first time in a very long time,  I can’t tell you the last time I went to the Westchester Mall…maybe 10 years ago.  I just never have time to stroll through the stores, I am usually racing around on my free days and shopping at a mall is not on my list. I usually buy everything on-line and for someone like me who loves to shop and find the perfect pieces, I have to say it was really nice to roam around all day by myself. I tried on a million things and found some really good buys.  It was Presidents Day, so I had that going for me.  I loved this Lace Up Sweater, so cute with jeans or the cropped kick pant.  This moto jacket was great looking and fit really well (so much better than the pictures on-line – shows you have to see in real life to know what it is really like!)  I love their heels – they are so comfortable and no one would ever know they weren’t a more expensive label.  This Split Neck Tunic was really good looking and chic on, give it a try.  I always find things at J. Crew and they did not disappoint. My favorite is the Cropped Trench with the navy collar.  Love it! It was a fun day and now I am exhausted and ready to lie back and watch The Bachelor!

to buy: 1. Wool Cashmere Lace Up Sweater  /  2. Bell Sleeve Silk Blouse   /  3. Esme Tassel Wrapped Heels  /  4. Split Neck Tunic  / 5. J. Crew Cropped Trench  /   6. J. Crew Signet Bag  / 7. Cap Sleeve Body Suit  / 8. J. Crew Toothpick Grey Jeans

 

What a Day at the Beach!

Wow! It couldn’t have been a more beautiful day!  With temperatures in the 60’s we went down to our local beach and enjoyed the sunshine.  It was just what we needed, the sun warming us as we enjoyed the view.  I would love if it could be like this every day!  I broke out my white jeans and threw on this long topper to keep me warm.  It is so soft and cozy, perfect in the shade and was just the right weight for today.  I didn’t want the day to end!  I hope you are enjoying your long weekend!

Taking advantage of the warm temperatures Ridgely Brode goes to the beach to enjoy the day on her blog Ridgely's Radar

Taking advantage of the warm temperatures Ridgely Brode goes to the beach to enjoy the day on her blog Ridgely's Radar

Taking advantage of the warm temperatures Ridgely Brode goes to the beach to enjoy the day on her blog Ridgely's Radar

Taking advantage of the warm temperatures Ridgely Brode goes to the beach to enjoy the day on her blog Ridgely's Radar

Taking advantage of the warm temperatures Ridgely Brode goes to the beach to enjoy the day on her blog Ridgely's Radar

Taking advantage of the warm temperatures Ridgely Brode goes to the beach to enjoy the day on her blog Ridgely's Radar

Taking advantage of the warm temperatures Ridgely Brode goes to the beach to enjoy the day on her blog Ridgely's Radar

to buy: Telluride Topper in Black   /  Stretch Perfect Striped Shirt  /  Flawless Five Pocket White jeans  /  Prada Sunglasses  /  Sam Edelman Suede shoes  / Sony Mirrorless Camera