Men’s gift guide by Ridgely Brode

We asked fellow industry insider, mother of 2 boys and new blogger Ridgely Brode to guest edit a men’s gift guide for KiC. At work, Ridgely is a partner and co founder of the p.r. powerhouse Paul Wilmot Communications. But off duty, this working mother is all about her family. I spied a guy’s gift post on her blog Ridgely’s Radar and begged her to do one for us too.

Let’s face it, shopping for the men/boys in our lives can be difficult. Ties and sweaters are a big yawn and our men don’t want fancy doodads either. A chain saw? Hot Sauce? You bet! My husband wants everything on this list.

Thank you Ridgely!

Ridgley's Gift Guide for men

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VALENTINO

The rockstud leather point-toe flats

ISABEL MARANT

Lace-up cotton-blend waist belt

LOEWE

Hammock leather and raffia tote

ISABEL MARANT

Lace-up cotton-blend waist belt

BALENCIAGA

Small textured-leather tote

Mother Of Pearl

Cotton-blend tweed hooded top

The Row

Strapless smocked stretch cotton-blend poplin midi dress

TOMAS MAIER

Silk crepe de chine and ribbed-knit dress

BURBERRY

Stretch-knit boots

THE ROW

Cotton-blend poplin trench coat

THE ROW

Cropped cotton-blend straight-leg pants

MICHAEL KORS COLLECTION

Poplin midi dress

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The extra effort

Lee Radziwill

The Saturday after Thanksgiving our dear friends hosted a casual dinner that boasted no turkey. The group invited consisted of couples, singles, partners- some we have known forever and a few just met. The food was delicious, the wine plentiful and everyone was relieved the holiday was over.

The conversation flitted from funny survival stories of visiting relatives to how to navigate the upcoming Art Basel Miami. I looked around the table at the relaxed group and was impressed by one woman in particular. Most of us were in jeans and sweaters or a nice blouse but my friend had put in a little extra effort. It really struck me that even just lipstick can be a game changer. My friend shone compared to the rest of us. She was not in leopard Louboutins or a statement piece. Her hair was not “done” but it looked tended. She looked put together.

I was reminded that it does not take much and often less is best. Groomed and pretty trumps overtly sexy and elevates every look this holiday season.

Karen Graham

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A run-around staple

J. Crew Downtown jacket

 I (and my daughter and many of my friends) own and love this jacket. It is a great and less expensive version of the Barbour.  I have both colors and it fits true to size even with a light sweater worn underneath.

Today only it is on sale.

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Lauren duPont

Lauren photographed at home for KiC by Marko MacPherson

We have known Lauren for years beginning when we were all at Vogue in the 90s. We love Lauren for her irreverence and devil-may-care attitude, her feminine, grown-up style (she loves fashion but is no slave), and her warmth and generosity. These days she juggles being a mother of three, wife of artist Richard duPont, serving as the Creative Director at Jack Rogers and a creative consultant to Aerin Lauder’s soon-to-launch line, AERIN.

We had such a laugh while shooting her picture, reminiscing about the (sometimes) good old days as struggling editors and discussing kids’ camps and other issues that are now forefront on our minds.

Lauren duPont's favorite things

4 Essential wardrobe items: A printed Dries Van Noten I bought at Barneys that I can wear for evening or during the day, a long printed Elizabeth & James skirt that is long and flowy and looks great with a boyish sweater, and two Comptoirs des Cottoniers dresses that look like sweaters with a skirt but are actually one piece–one is black sweater on top with polka-dot skirt, the other all plum. They are great and make getting dressed idiot-proof, great for weekends or work.

Rediscovered in my closet: A Pringle camel hair v-neck sweater that my Dad gave me when he was cleaning out his closet a few years ago. It’s big so it looks good with jeans and long skirts. I’ve also been pulling out my old fishermans sweaters that I used to wear back when I was a teenager. An Ann Demeulemeester black oversized boyfriend jacket that I bought in the late 90s (looks great with skinny pants and jeans). A Martin Margiela denim jacket with knit collar and denim skirt. Both timeless but until recently, shoved to the back of the closet.

What inspires you: Art, interiors, vintage fairs, estate sales and my crazy friends.

Home obsessions: William Morris wallpaper. I just wallpapered two bedrooms in my house in Connecticut in them. I could have done the whole house! I am obsessed with glass wear. I honestly can’t stop myself. The best finds are in Maine at the auction that comes to town and estate sales in Connecticut. Fabric is my other obsession, vintage and current. I buy bolts of things I love, even if I have nowhere to use it. One day I will use them, by then those fabrics will probably be discontinued.

Holiday hostess gift: Sweet Revolution caramels and the Alberto Pinto book on table settings. These are go-to gifts for people who have just about everything.

Holiday hostess outfit: To be honest, I am rarely a hostess. I have three children and entertaining makes me nervous.

Favorite holiday tradition you do with your kids: Opening boxes of ornaments and decorating the tree together. Last year every ornament and garland was felt (last year I went a little bonkers at the gift show).

Where will your next trip take you? Hopefully to the Mayflower Inn in Connecticut for a quiet weekend with my husband.

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I walked the talk

Photo by Marko MacPherson

In an earlier post I confessed that I love bottle green right now.  I don’t buy everything I love but this time I went outside my (neutrals only) comfort zone and bought the above tote. I cannot tell you how many people have stopped me to compliment the color of this bag.

If you are heading to the stores or shopping the sales online today, I recommend an accessory in a great color. When items are 50% off, this is the time to buy something fun.

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Food

Second time’s a charm (hopefully)

Ina Garten’s roasted turkey roulade

Once again it is the day before Thanksgiving and I am the designated cook. I am a terrible cook (no one will contradict me on this) and yet I alway end up shopping for and making Thanksgiving dinner.

Last year I was inspired to make Ina Garten’s stuffed turkey breast and made the mistake of buying the largest breast possible (leftovers anyone?). It looked hideous before it was cooked and was borderline inedible when it was done.

Last weekend my oldest daughter came home from boarding school and announced she is a vegetarian thanks to the film Food inc. and my younger one is a pasta-tarian at best. Not wanting to cook a full turkey where 80% will go to waste, I have bravely decided to try the above recipe again.

You would think Americans were all serving our last meal ever by the crowd at Whole Foods yesterday. But I made my way and bought 2 very small organic free-range boneless (ridiculously expensive) turkey breasts. And who knows, I may get it right this time.

 

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Happy Feet

Photo Marko MacPherson

Recently vogue.com ran a piece on Belgian Shoes. Long a devotee of the worlds most comfortable loafer, I own every (neutral) color on offer and live in them. When I posted on them over a year ago some of my fashion friends snarked at me but I didn’t care.

But things change. I started to feel that there was a hole in my shoe wardrobe and that my constant go-to shoe lacked a little pizzazz. On a bit of a Valentino binge I ordered the above skimmers. These are going back I declared. But they didn’t and boy, am I glad.

My beloved Belgians are practical, these are fun! Honestly they make me smile and dress up even my oldest jeans.

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White is right cont.

Courtesy of Paris Vogue

A few weeks ago I did a post on white as the (non) color du jour and concluded that white jeans are great but I don’t wear them in the winter. After seeing these pictures in the November issue of Paris Vogue I may change my mind. Paired with a fisherman knit sweater and shearling jacket, this is a very chic look.

 

Not such a silly idea after all

 

A few years ago I read an article in the NYTs about a woman who made 100 million dollars making and selling Christmas themed sweaters. Shocked and awed, I decided right then and there to go into business. If someone could succeed making what I considered a laughable product, then I could certainly come up with a profitable idea.

But who is laughing now? The style pendulum has swung and everywhere I look I see reindeer, snowflakes, penguins and polar bears! Ho ho, the joke is on me. Continue…

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Christiane Mack

Photographed at home in Brooklyn by Marko MacPherson

Christiane is one of those women- accomplished, super smart, gorgeous (imposingly just shy of 6′), mother of 2 and one of the best friends you could ever hope for.  I have been a pebble in her shoe since the launch of KiC wanting to profile her chic somewhat laid-back and very personal style.

We met almost 20 years ago at Vogue and today Christiane oversees Vogue’s editorial development and special projects. Born in Denmark, early years in Pakistan and Boston and a teen in Pasadena, California, Christiane’s style is a worldly mix of high-low. From her Birkins and collection of print dresses to her clean-lined brownstone in Brooklyn, her style sensibility is as individual yet modern as she is. Wife of the adorable photographer Marko Macpherson and juggling 2 small children with a big job, we are thrilled that this uber busy working mother was willing to be profiled and answer our questions! Continue…

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