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Judy Foreman: Susan Pitcher’s Dressed and Ready Displaying a Modern Vision of Fashion

Montecito boutique celebrates 10 years in business with an anniversary party filled with loyal customers and friends

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Susan Pitcher, owner of the Coast Village Road boutique Dressed and Ready, marked 10 years in business with a Sept. 26 cocktail party attended by more than 200 guests.

The well-dressed and fashion-savvy crowd was filled with many Dressed and Ready regulars, such as Kendall Conrad, Hollye Jacobs, Jules Allen, Laura Macker Johnston, Lizzie Peus, Tiffany Foster, Lisa Hagerman, Kai Linz, Teri Lebow, Carla Tomson, Daryl Stegall, Cynthia Spivey, Arlene Montesnao, Roxana Solakain, Laura and Bill Levy, Joanna Kerns, Christina Rottman, Lindsey Dal Pozzo, Eileen Rasmussen, Jodi and Johnny Goldberg, Nancy Wall, Dani Stone, Jennifer Zacharias, Kimberly Phillips, Trace Robinson, Maggi Davis, Maryanne Contreras, Ruthy Green, Kyle Brace, Debbie Kass and Pamela Massy Steinman — to name some of the women who started at the beginning with Pitcher.

Renegade Wines, DJ Micheal Ober and food by Elena Wagner set the mood for a party to remember.

No longer the new kid on the block, Pitcher was "dressed" for the occasion in a striking crimson Stella McCartney dress and Carrie Hoffman jewelry. With her stilettos and signature short blond hair, she looked every bit the part of the confident and sophisticated entrepreneur she is.

Along with this important milestone, the stores showed off the remodel of her spaces by Montecito-based interior designer Christina Rottman. Dressed moved to the location formerly occupied by French Lessons and Ready moved into the old Dressed location. When the opportunity presented itself to move next door into a larger space, Pitcher decided it would enable her to broaden her range of designers and price points in each store.

The new Dressed and Ready, 1253 Coast Village Road, will house everything from Givenchy, Yigal Azrouel, The Row and Stella McCartney to Goldsign Jeans, Equipment, Acne, Kenzo, J Brand Jeans, R13 and Veronica Beard. In addition, the stores will offer a new carefully curated collection of designer accessories from Valentino, Givenchy, Proenza Schouler, Jennifer Fisher, Lele Sadoughi, Carrie Hoffman, Franco Ferrari and Denis Colomb, as well as collections from local designers Kendall Conrad, Angela Scott and Kai Linz. Select vintage jewelry and accessories from the likes of Chanel and Hermes will also be showcased.

Ten years ago, Pitcher — a personal stylist, mother of two sons and wife of artist Hank Pitcher — decided to take her  love of clothes into a retail location and opened Dressed in the old Baskin-Robbins location on Coast Village Road. Together with her husband’s aesthetic and handyman abilities and some interior designer friends, in 2003 Dressed opened its doors.

Pitcher’s vision was to introduce the Montecito and Santa Barbara community to the latest in runway fashion without having to drive to Los Angeles or travel to New York or Europe to see the latest and best "ready to wear" collections. Her great taste and keen eye figured out what worked on the runway and in the showrooms and how it translated to her community.

She readily admits that in the early years some of the clothes seemed too urban or far out for some women.

"But I continued to introduce ‘what’s happening in Women’s Wear Daily’ while keeping it wearable," Pitcher said.

Several years later she opened Ready, which was more about street wear such as jeans, T-shirts and accessories for day or night that are still very stylish but playful, affordable and more casual.

With local charities always a part of her business model, on anniversary night, Pitcher partnered with Storyteller Children’s Center, a cause near and dear to her heart.

As a mother of two college-age sons, "being able to provide a good education for my children has been very important to me," she told Noozhawk. "I love the fact that Storyteller Children’s Center works with over 100 families annually to help support a brighter future for children."

Pitcher said she was donating 10 percent of her opening-night and weekend sales to Storyteller as part of the festivities.

Another champion of Dressed and Storyteller is Renegade Wines, which generously donated the champagne and wine for the celebration.

‘We love being a part of this community and look forward to the next 10 years,’’ Pitcher said the next day. "It was amazing to celebrate with all my friends and customers. It was very emotional and heartwarming to see so many familiar faces of people who have been with us since the beginning and throughout the past 10 years who offered their kind words of encouragement and support.

"It was also wonderful to see many new faces I look forward to getting to know. My staff and I will be ‘ready to dress’ them!"

Pitcher’s original vision to bring the epitome of modern, sophisticated fashion from around the world to the style-savvy women of Santa Barbara is alive and well at Dressed and Ready.

"When I get a call from a customer who has gone to an important event and they tell me how great they looked and felt , it really makes my day and keeps me going," she said. "That night I will close my eyes and drift off to sleep with a smile on my face, knowing I'm doing what I love and I'm where I  should be at this time of my life."

Dressed and Ready is located at 1253 Coast Village Road in Montecito. Click here for more information, or call 805.565.1253.

— Judy Foreman is a Noozhawk columnist and longtime local writer and lifestyles observer. She can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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