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

25 Things That Make Up My Clothing Personality

I have been on a roll!  Besides cleaning and organizing my desk, I got a little extra energy and went through my whole bureau (after my initial PURGE HERE) and it still looks pretty much like those pictures – LESS a ton of things I never wore and my husband (Yes – he helped!  He was watching a movie and would look up whenever I had a question of fit, style, etc.)  and I agreed were not really me.. Lots of bad stripes that didn’t work with my chest!
I have a little confession to make, I am getting ready to have Alison Bruhn, an amazing Style Consultant, come to my house to help me with my closet!  EEEK!  It is so exciting to have someone I trust help me look objectively at everything I have and see what needs to go and what I am missing.  I am hoping she can narrow down what looks well on my figure and for my lifestyle.  I feel I have a good sense of style and know what I like, but I think we can all use a little edit and tweaking from time to time. No?  I can’t wait to share her visit with you and give you a peak into my closet.. the good, the bad, and hopefully, not too much ugly.  I decided to make a list of 25 things that make up my clothing personality to help her get to really know my likes and dislikes.  It is a really fun exercise and you might like to do it too.. if you do, please share it in the comments.  I would love to get to know you better too!  Well here goes.. I hope this doesn’t scare you Alison!
Ridgely Brode makes a list of 25 things that make up her clothing personality and shares them on her blog Ridgely's Radar

25 things and what they say about my clothing personality

1.  I hate red – ok that is extreme – I do not gravitate to it and only have one red top for July 4th – with one exception, red shoes are a must (see No. 6) and I keep trying on red dresses to then put them back on the rack.. Maybe you can change my mimd??

2. I love all things blue, but am seeing some pink start to trickle into my wardrobe.

3. I have a ton of black pants from Theory that I bought probably 10 -20 years ago and can’t seem to get rid of..but probably should.

4. I have, maybe, 2-3 skirts – I really have a problem matching a top to a skirt and got rid of every skirt I wasn’t wearing. The ones I have are just so I can say I own a skirt.  I am not wearing any of them.

5. I have a lot of dresses – and not necessarily are they all right for me – but they are the only way for me to get out the door and feel put together.

6. I try to keep all my dresses to go with black shoes or a fun colored or metallic shoe ( I love so many here)

7. I do not buy Brown – Camel Yes – Brown No

8. I have a bohemian side..

9. I wear classic, simple lines..No frills, No ruffles (like this and this)

10. I wear white ribbed Old Navy Tanks under my jackets

11. I only have White, Navy, Grey T-shirts (these short sleeve and these long sleeve)- only 3 have words on them

12. I wear flats because I walk to and from the office (and have a ton of heels underneath my desk but only change into them for meetings)

13. I LOVE colored and embellished high heeled shoes – I wear these at night and to parties. (See No. 6 and below for some of my favorites)

14. I wear mainly solid but love a good print (especially in the Summer)

15. I will buy a party dress to “save” for the next big invitation. Nothing is worse than trying to find a dress for an event and you can’t!

16.  Blazers take up a big portion of my closet.  My favorite are these from Veronica Beard

17. I have very few sweater.. Hence this post on sweaters..

18. I also have a lot of coats, but in the Winter seem to wear the same one very single day (I have one similar to this one) and still want to buy one of these

19. No turtlenecks… I do not like how they feel on my neck

20. I have a lot of scarves / wraps (the best is this one!) and I never leave home without one because I don’t like being cold around my neck and shoulders (see No.19)

21. I like big chunky necklaces

22. I wear al kinds of earrings, but I stick to mainly small earrings, or large gold hoops for the office.

23. I do not wear bracelets during the day because I am at a computer all day long and do not like the clink/clang of the noise.

24. I have a thing for stripes

25. I like finding vintage dresses.. I gravitate to the  ladylike classic and bright fun loving mod styles.

Ridgely Brode makes a list of 25 things that make up her clothing personality and shares them on her blog Ridgely's Radar

Click through for more of my favorite things:

Getting Organized: Cleaning Out My Desk

There is nothing better than getting organized, purging the clutter and bringing in new things that make sense for your life and closet. I am going to be sharing what I do to stay on top of my mess; some are once a year, others are every season or quarter and many are once a month or even once a day (!) depending on the task at hand.  For me, Week One is all about my desk and computer  Being organized and starting out the New Year with a new calendar, updated files and a cleaned out Inbox is the best feeling.  It is a fresh start and I work better when I have everything stored in its proper place.  I don’t know about you, but December is a crazy month for me, so when I leave the office and our home for our vacation after Christmas, I have let all my good habits fall to the wayside and every where I look there is piles of junk;  my drawers, my desktop, and my files (in and out off my computer). Ugh!  And lets not get to my bathroom, closet, bureau, pretty much everywhere… it is overwhelming and makes me crazy! Once I have Christmas put away (yes, I edit before I put it away!) , I start to breathe a little easier and then I take one task a week to get myself reined in.

This weekend will be my time to clean out my desk, computer and phone.  I put together my 6 Tips to a Clean and Organized Desk and you can get it by subscribing HERE or below in the POP UP BOX on the RIGHT.  That way you can print it out and go at your own pace.  It is a lot to do and, depending on your space, it can be best to take it in small time increments that work for your schedule.

My current desk is in the kitchen and I really need to remove myself from the action to be more productive.  I am going to set up a new space and try to make it my own.  I would like to get a few supplies to be my reward for tackling a big clean out..,I am looking at these hand bookends, these letter opener and magnifying glass, I have been wanting this acrylic tape dispenser and stapler, and think this Buckle Magazine Caddy is so chic and there are so many more goodies pictured below!  Happy Organizing!

Ridgely Brode is getting organized, starting with her desk, computer and phone and shares her tips to get it done on her blog Ridgely's Radar

to buy: 1. Kate Spade New York Mega Agenda  /  2. Skeleton Clips  /  3. Acrylic Business Card Holder  /  4. Sugar Paper Brass Ruler  /  5. Wood Name Plate (I’m Hustlin)  /  6. Cell Phone Stand  /  7. Sugar Paper Desk Calendar  /  8. Gold Plated Scissors  /  9. Wooden Round Desk Clock  /  10. Kate Spade New York Acrylic Paperweight  /  11.  Cupcakes and Cashmere Stacked Ball Table Lamp  /  12. U Brands Stacking Letter Trays  /  13. L’Object Chevron Box  /   14. Pining for Pineapple Limited Edition Art


 Click to shop more ideas below:

The 12 Most Popular Books Among My Readers

Its been over 5 years (!!) since I started this blog and I have written about countless things to buy, read and make.  In all, I have written over 1000 posts.. That is a lot of work! I have been taking a look through the reports I get at Amazon for what people actually buy and it is really interesting to see what books have been the most popular among my readers in the last year.  The one book I still have not read that popped up on this list is Delicious and now that I see it was so popular, I am definitely going to get to it this Summer. Take a look and see if you agree.  Leave a comment if your favorite book from the last year is included or, if not, let us know what it was.  Interestingly enough the most purchased cook book was The Meatball Shop Cookbook (from this post) and I have to agree with all of you who purchased it, it is one of our favorite cookbooks.

Ridgely Brode shares the 12 Most Popular Books Among her Readers of her blog Ridgely's Radar

In order of Popularity:  1. In A Dark, Dark Wood  /  2. The Life changing Magic of Tidying Up   /  3. My Paris Dream   / 4. The Nightingale  /  5. Delicious  / 6.  After You  /  7. The Cuckoo’s Calling  /  8. Circling the Sun   / 9. Secret Sisters   /  10. The Swans of Fifth Avenue  /  11. Outlander Series  /  12. Career of Evil