Those who have visited Italy know an Italian woman doesn’t leave her house until she is runway perfect, and Anna Castaldi-Roselli, owner of Roma Sposa Atelier in Birmingham, is no exception.
Always dressed to the nines, Castaldi-Roselli credits her culture for teaching her the ways of always looking fabulous. Growing up in Rome, “It’s part of your education as a little girl,” she says. My mother “always looked impeccable,” and “I used to just look at her.”
For example, she says, she would wear a tight-fitting Dolce & Gabbana dress to the grocery store on a weekday. “Wear your special-occasion clothes as everyday clothes,” she says. The feeling that you get when you’re all dazzled up doesn’t have to be just once a week. “Wear that little black dress today, and not wait until Saturday,” she says. Because she travels to Rome, Paris, Barcelona, London, and New York several times a year on buying trips for her store, Castaldi-Roselli has the advantage of attending designer fashion shows, and knowing the trends for the upcoming seasons. “I love to be updated all the time,” she says.
However, if trends don’t work with her petite figure, she doesn’t force it. “You have to wear what is best for you,” she says. “The key is to be comfortable … if you wear the clothes right, you wear it with an attitude. Your clothes reflect your personality.”
Some of her favorite designers include Chanel, Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Dolce & Gabbana. She’s also “attracted more to the unknown brands,” she says. “I will buy regardless of the name. It’s how [the clothes] fit and make you feel.”
She also likes vintage. “There is a story behind each piece,” she says. Most of those items are one of a kind. When abroad, Castaldi-Roselli buys for the future, not the moment. “It’s not necessarily I need it at the time,” she says. “I might need it in the future.” When shopping, she always tries things on; clothes are often surprising when they’re taken off the hanger. Here at home, she frequents MaxMara at Somerset Collection in Troy, where she likes the European fit of the suits. She’s also a fan of Detroit-born Kevan Hall’s designs, which she carries in her boutique.
Castaldi-Roselli’s first-class wardrobe is separated into categories, and placed into different closets. Her shoes are displayed on shelves with her bags and belts. The only shoes that remain boxed are doubles. Suits and skirts are segregated in their own closet, as are camisoles and shirts. That arrangement makes it easier to mix and match, she says. Castaldi-Roselli also suggests doing hair and makeup before selecting an outfit. Your clothes should reflect your current mood, she says, and being done-up helps with the day’s look.
Heeding good advice also helps. She follows a tip from her mother, who advised, “It doesn’t matter if you wear an older dress, but your shoes must be new,” which may explain why she has a closet full of unworn shoes.