Style expert and personal stylist Bridgette Raes has been working with women since 2002 to elevate their wardrobes – especially when they’re experiencing a professional or life transition, or encounter a situation where their image and style isn’t expressing who they are or their goals effectively. She previously worked in retail fashion and spent nearly a decade as a designer after receiving a design degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology.
The best style advice Raes has ever received is, “If you wore it once, you don’t wear it again – at least not the same way.”
Raes loves adding pops of color, including neons, into her neutral-based wardrobe. This season she’s looking forward to adding a touch of Living Coral, Pantone’s color of the year, in small doses as well.
Raes spoke with us and delved into springtime styles, her favorite places to shop and how she’d describe the fashionable look of Carroll Gardens, where she’s lived for the last 21 years.
RHSR: Are there any trends to look out for this spring?
BR: This all depends on what publication you read or whose advice you follow. Some are saying head-to-toe neutrals while also saying brights will be trendy. I always read these trend reports with a grain of salt until I see how they’re embraced on the street. The street often determines which trends rise to the top. So, I’m just as excited as everyone else to see which trends people embrace and which will go by the wayside. I just hope it’s not the bicycle shorts trend that everyone embraces unless they’re going to the gym. The notable trends I have been reading about are: crochet looks, black and white optic prints and polka dots, feathers, florals, surf-inspired fashion, neon, yellow, [and] animal print (as if that ever goes away).
RHSR: What are some suggestions for transitional outfit ideas as we head into springtime?
BR: Taking a little from colder weather and pairing it with spring/summer pieces. A sweater with a pair of cotton crop pants and a sweater and sandals, for example, or always having that trusted cardigan or scarf nearby that you can layer over a summery look.
RHSR: Where are your personal go-to places to shop?
BR: I’m going to rent more and buy secondhand with a goal to be more environmental and to affordably buy better. … I love The RealReal for secondhand luxury and I rent a lot from Rent the Runway for one-off needs. I often shop Soula here in the neighborhood [185 Smith St.] for my shoes because they sell such stylish and comfortable styles, and I’m still mourning the loss of Lord & Taylor. With clients, Saks and MM.Lafleur are two go-to’s because I work with a lot of professional women, and recently, Universal Standard, especially for special sizing.
RHSR: How would you describe the overall style of Carroll Gardens?
BR: I think the style here is really casual and that’s one of the things I love most about living here. Nobody gets gussied up to go out or tries to outdo one another. It’s such a more laidback and unpretentious place in terms of style. I love how I can leave my home and get on with my day without getting bogged down with no makeup or doing my hair if I can’t be bothered.