Get Dressed

Wardrobe whiz Rhonda Ruhland on what to wear, how to shop, and when to turn a sweater into a throw pillow


Every closet could use a little help from Rhonda Ruhland. For most of her nearly 30-year retail career, Ruhland managed and bought for local fashion destination Len Druskin. Today she’s the style specialist for Galleria and the owner of Retail Consultants. Usually she charges $75 an hour for closet organizing, wardrobe consulting, and personal shopping. Here, her advice is free. »

1. Your closet should be organized like in a store—so you can see and find everything.

2. Just because you paid $500 for something doesn’t mean you should hang onto it. If it’s worn or pilling, if it’s got great big shoulder pads, if it’s oversized, it’s not worth altering or keeping.

3. Sometimes people have great style and will buy great clothes, but they forget to have them tailored to fit their body.

4. There are ways to do most trends in a way that’s flattering. It’s about knowing your body and what you can wear. Whether you’re a size 0 or 22, there’s something out there for you.

5. Style often comes down to the accessories. If you have a few key pieces you’ve spent a lot of money on—black pants, a suit—making them work for you might just be a matter of updating the shoes or belt.

6. Please don’t go out and buy something new and then wear it with your old shoes or ratty jeans.

7. If something has sentimental value but you no longer wear it, consider finding a new use for it. I put my wedding dress on an antique dress form in my vintage-inspired spare bedroom.

8. Before purchasing anything new, ask yourself what’s already in your closet. If you’re eyeing a leopard-print blouse and you already have one, reconsider the purchase.

9. Your closet is only so big. If you’re out buying a new pair of black pumps, that’s your cue to get rid of a pair of black shoes you no longer wear.

10. There’s no junk drawer at my house.

11. Men, in particular, need to separate their work and play clothes. Don’t wear your nice pair of going-out jeans to do yard work.

12. When I hang on to something that I know is wrong, I’ll wear it one more time but that will be it. I will literally get home and put it in the giveaway box.

13. When you put on a pair of pants and the waist is up to your ribcage, it’s time for them to go. High-waisted pants might be back in, but the shape has changed.

Ruhland can be reached at 612-481-6968 or