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Greetings, Upper East Siders (and Clos-ette fans far and wide): we've got the low-down on Gossip Girl's most classically chic star. Kelly Rutherford and her glam TV alter ego might share a penchant for Birkin bags, but in real life the Kentucky native has a much more laidback, instinctual approach to her wardrobe. "Over time you realize what feels appropriate to you and what looks good on you," Rutherford tells us. "I tend to look better in more classic pieces." And Rutherford doesn't just know what she likes – she also knows how to store it. "Organization is very important to me," she says. Ah, a girl after our own hearts.
We sat down with the star to talk closet control, shopping strategies, Hermès accessories and more.
First, how would you describe your personal style?
I would say casual and very easy. I have two little kids, so it’s really about being comfortable and at the same time trying to be chic.
How do you organize your wardrobe?
I have three closets where I am now. In one closet, I have my shoes, my dresses, and my pants and my tops. And then in another closet I have all my tennis shoes and yoga gear, and sporty jackets. And then I have my winter closet, where I have my sweaters, my big coats, my boots, and things that I don’t need as often. I kind of move it around seasonally.
What’s your take on clos-ette too’s Signature Hangers?
They’re awesome. I love the felt part, because then the clothes don’t slip off the hanger, and the fact that they’re very thin and narrow, so you can fit a lot in your closet. And I love the Signature Pant/Skirt Hanger with multiple bars. They are great because they don’t take up so much space.
Tell us about your shopping strategy.
I tend to shop a lot more for accessories, and then my clothes are more basic, like J.Crew. I kind of mix high and low. I’ll go to Hermès and buy a new watch or cuff or little purse, and then I tend to mix that with very casual, easygoing pieces from places like Alice and Olivia, J. Crew or Nanette Lepore. I mean, I do shop at other places –I love Bruno Cucinelli and Lanvin – but in my everyday life, I tend to wear a lot casual things and then just do really nice accessories. That’s how I’d rather spend the money.
A look from Nanette Lepore, one of Rutherford's all-time faves.
How do you make room for new acquisitions?
I edit all the time. I’m constantly editing, and I usually give clothes to places locally, or I give them to friends. I go through my closet all the time, and I do the same with the kids – they’re constantly outgrowing things. I don’t have the excuse of outgrowing things, thankfully, but I do weed out a lot.
What would you never get rid of?
I really like my Hermès bags and accessories – anything that’s more of an investment piece, I tend to keep. The rest, I’m not as connected to. I think [I’ll always keep] the investment pieces and the special pieces that have been given to me or that I’ve bought over the years.
What can you never
have too many of?
For me, I can never have too many pairs of good white pants and jeans, because I get them stained with the kids constantly. I love white pants, and I’m always trying to find the most flattering and best-fitting. I think Current/Elliot makes really good ones and DL1961 makes a really good white jean.
Rutherford adores the fit of DL1961's cropped "Kate" jean
How do you store your jewelry?
I have a white patent T. Anthony jewelry box that I love. It’s just really pretty and clean and helps me organize. I’m thinking of getting another one!
[Check out our acclaimed Travel Jewelry Case for the best way to store jewelry on-the-go].
Who is your style icon?
It’s kind of a combination of people like Grace Kelly and Catherine Deneuve – sort of older and classic. I’ve tried to do more funky looks, or go out there a little bit, but classic, timeless pieces always look better on me.