A Vintage Queen: A Deep Dive into Hannah Ruth
The image of a girl, equal part ’60s queen and woodland fairy, peeks through my computer screen. She seems to hold the aura of someone from another era or realm. A Grace Kelly strolling through an art-deco wonderland; magical, which is exactly how I would describe Hannah Ruth’s style.
“I would say it’s vintage inspired,” says Ruth of her style. “I always try to pull … modern trends into that and a little bit of Victorian inspiration as well. I would say a mix of those three things: Vintage and Victorian meets modern.” I sat down with Hannah Ruth, a the freelance fashion stylist, to talk fashion, styling and her weekly newsletter as well as bond over our love of Bridgerton and zodiac signs. (She’s a Gemini, if you were wondering).
But before Bridgerton graced our screens, Ruth began styling professionally about three years ago when she moved to the Salt Lake City area. Her love for styling began in a fashion club she participated in back in high school. Her grandmother gifted her vintage dresses that she used to incorporate into the yearly fashion shows her school hosted. When Ruth moved from a small farm town, Litchfield, Arizona to Salt Lake City, she realized she didn’t want to stop playing dress up. With that desire in mind she dove into Utah determined to turn her dreams into something more. “I was really new to Utah. I kind of just messaged all the photographers I could find and asked if I could dress their models for free,” says Ruth. “And after a year, it picked up and then eventually people started to ask me [to style their models]. Then I could develop rates which were really nice, and I feel lucky that people can love my style too and see my vision.”
“I would say a mix of those three things: Vintage and Victorian meets modern.”
Ruth’s style is very much loved. Her expertise has garnered her not only Instagram followers but also collaborators. Her Instagram page features dazzling and fairytale-styled shoots—a picturesque scene of Ruth’s mind. For a recent collaboration with Eunice Beck, the outfit included a prairie-like, ruffled peach dress, western white boots and a pearl necklace for the finishing touch. “I usually start on pinterest, for sure, and I’ll make a mood board,” Ruth says about how she draws inspiration. “Because I am a perfectionist, I do have to create an exact collage of what they’ll be wearing, like down to socks and earrings. I’ll just make this creepy cut out of their face and put the outfits along with it.”
Her self-made collages come in handy on the day of a shoot, which usually entails bringing a wardrobe for the models and making sure the outfits fit her vision. “It probably takes a half hour to get models fully styled,” says Ruth. “I usually change my vision on the shoot day, like I’ll switch a lot of things around, so it’ll kind of take me a minute to get people ready because everything kind of has to look perfect and coordinated.”
All of Ruth’s outfits have a fun twist on classics. It comes to no surprise that she’s heavily influenced by television, specifically period series. “I love TV, and I love movies, so I would have to say I love the wardrobe in The Queen’s Gambit and the wardrobe from the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. So good. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, I think they did a great job on the wardrobe. Oh, and Bridgerton, of course. The Bridgerton costumes were so good,” says Ruth.
Ruth’s love of television and film can easily be seen intertwining with her love of fashion, as well. A recent feature found her dressed up as Beth Harmon from The Queen’s Gambit for a week, which resulted in seven-day snapshots of perfectly executed preppy and ’60s-infused outfits that enveloped Beth’s character.
“I’ll switch a lot of things around, so it’ll kind of take me a minute to get people ready because everything kind of has to look perfect and coordinated.”
Although this was featured on her Instagram and received much admiration there, it also graced another platform: her weekly newsletter. “I would describe it as a weekly dose of inspiration, style tips and vintage that you should buy,” says Ruth of her newsletter. “I always try to take on a new trend and just show people how they can do it. And then I try to include what’s inspiring me. I also try to include vintage and a different size range for all sizes and bodies.”
The idea for her weekly newsletter came to her after two realizations: First, that she was receiving multiple questions on where she shopped, and Ruth, being a notorious thrifter, felt empty to simply respond with, “It’s vintage.” She figured a more approachable way would be to include a personal shopping list and style hacks, delivered weekly into your mailbox. The second realization was the inspiration from a recently folded magazine, Man Repeller, where she adored their style recipes and tips.
Although Ruth wishes to use her newsletter to aid in style, she also wishes to use it as a platform of inclusivity. “I love using models of different skin colors, different body types,” says Ruth. “I try to incorporate that in every single shoot I do. The more I style, the more I’ve noticed just how hard it is to find plus size clothing. Even just me, not being plus size, has an impossible time trying to find plus-size clothing, and it’s really sad. I just feel like the more we represent those body types and put those girls out there, brands designers and clothing stores can see the need for them and just welcome them more into high fashion.”
You may be wondering where Hannah Ruth may venture to next, and that is the world of magazines. “I would say my ultimate goal is probably to work for a fashion magazine, having my own segment or just being able to create styled editorials to go into magazines would be really satisfying too,” says Ruth. To see more of her styling, check out and follow Ruth on Instagram @hannahruthstyling and @hannahruthzander.