Ask most people what they picture when they think of New England style, and their minds’ eyes will go straight to Polo shirts and Bean bags. Yeah, we got that. But it’s not the only thing we offer when comes to getting creative with clothes. Here in the Ocean State, we’ve got pin-up-inspired babes, cutting-edge musicians, and 1970s-loving ballerinas all strutting their style sensibilities. Of course, when it does come to preppy, we’ve got that nailed, obv. To get a look at the best of what’s out there, we’ve rounded up our favorite Rhode Island-based Instagrammers – follow them all for a dose of fun, fashion, and flair across the style spectrum.
1. Jess Kirby @jessannkirby
After working in New York and LA for a human relations consulting firm, Jess Kirby moved back to her hometown of Newport. By day, she’d work for her clients, but in any spare moments, she was toiling away at her blog, Prosecco & Plaid, with her boyfriend and photographer Craig McKay (@craigsmckay). Today, it’s her full-time job. But unlike most fashion bloggers, she’s not in a big city – that majority of her shoots take place here on Aquidneck Island – or wearing luxury brands, which she says, makes her “realistic, attainable, and appealing.” Her pared down style is modern, classic, and pretty. “I believe in wearing what makes you feel good and what makes you happy,” says the blogger. “At the end of the day, if you feel great, beautiful, and confident in what you’re wearing, nothing else matters.”
2. Marial Maher @seasickmama
A photo posted by Marial Maher | SEASICK MAMA (@seasickmama) on
Singer, songwriter, photographer, and marketing creative Marial Maher is crazy talented and super-motivated — somehow she manages to do all of these things at the same time. The creative marketing director for Libby Kirwin Real Estate also runs Visual Manor, a brand-building agency. Between those gigs, she recorded her third album, which will be released this summer. Her Instagram account, @seasickmama, supplies a refreshing dose of striking photography and a sexy sense of humor. Marial admits that she took more style risks while living in New York City; back in Newport her personal style “is more relaxed and neutral.” But don’t be fooled: It’s never boring. “I have become obsessed with curating images,” says the sharp-eyed talent. “I’m still trying to decide if I’m OCD or just being great at my job.”
3. Sarah Vickers @sarahKJP
Newlyweds Sarah Vickers and Kiel James Patrick have built a small empire around their preppy looks and good-times photo shoots, while selling adorable clothing and accessories through the Kiel James Patrick brand. With her girl-next-door looks and friendly charm, Sarah documents her adventures and romance with KJP in gorgeous photos on her blog, Classy Girls Wear Pearls, and social platforms. Yes, this is the same New England you live in, but Sarah and her squad have a knack for capturing all of the amazing moments in it, and they’re always conveniently dressed to kill.
4. Kiel James Patrick @KJP
A photo posted by Kiel James Patrick (@kjp) on
Every girl’s crazy ’bout a sharp dressed man – which explains why Kiel James Patrick is a dude that made this list. Kiel, who started selling T-shirt and vintage finds to his friends during high school, has expanded his offerings to jewelry, shoes, and apparel — all made in America. From his black watch plaid tuxedos to making retro Christmas sweaters look good, Kiel’s got an eye for nostalgia, a lifestyle of adventure, and an eternal smile.
5. Melanie Bliss Watson, a.k.a. Miss Bliss @the_vintage_ginger
Some people develop their style over time, but others are just born with it busting out of them completely formed. Melanie Bliss Watson appears to be one of the latter. The self-described “vintage dud loyalist” doesn’t limit her wardrobe to any particular era, instead she chooses pieces on gut instinct. “Basically, vintage clothing makes my butter churn,” she explains. With her pinup hair-dos and I-Love-Lucy smirks, Melanie’s photo adventures and #ootds are way fun to follow. Need some sass in your wardrobe? Miss Bliss sells clothing and accessories from the 1940s through 90s – think Gunne Sax blouses, 50s housewife dresses, and Nirvana tee-shirts – under the moniker Vintage Gingers Closet from The Armory Antique Marketplace in Newport, The Vault Collective in Providence, and her Etsy shop. (Follow the shops’ Instagram, @vinatgegingerscloset, to see what’s on offer daily.)
6. Camilla Bradley @ckbradley
A photo posted by Camilla Bradley (@ckbradley) on
Known early on for her fun and flirty party dresses, Camilla Bradley has an eye for classic silhouettes and colorful patterns that have kept preps from Newport to Palm Beach looking good and having fun for nearly two decades. Today, her namesake line, CK Bradley, offers swim trunks, pom pom hats, totes, and home textiles that continue to forge ahead with Camilla’s “design for an inspired life.” Follow her bright and fun adventures (ZOMG – those babies!) on her Instagram feed to see what life is like beyond the sewing machine.
7. Tara Gragg @bowlinestyle
Driven by a commitment to sustainability, Tara Gragg started her vintage brand, Bowline Style, as a remedy to fast fashion. “It’s easier, in a way, to create a flattering look because you’re wearing styles that have already withstood the test of time,” says Tara, who is also a ballerina with Island Moving Company. “The 70s is my favorite decade for fashion inspiration,” she adds. “The clothing is often tailored yet feminine and a little whimsical.” Love what you see? The RISD Museum did — they purchased a handful of dresses from Bowline to display in their permanent collection. To add some affordable vintage pieces to your closet, check out Bowline’s Etsy shop, where you can tap into Tara’s stylish sensibility.