Bridgette Raes

Raes grew up in Hasbrouck Heights tieks review, New Jersey and now lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband Frank Mazzola. She studied Fashion Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York and worked for several years as adesigner with clients including Wal-Mart, Barry Bricken and Talbots. Raes returned to FIT to train as an image consultant and, in September 2002, founded Bridgette Raes Style Group tieks review.
Raes is frequently featured as a fashion consultant in magazines, such as Real Simple, Woman’s World and First For Women tieks review, as well as on AOL’s Stylelist.com, MSN and on iVillage. She has been an expert on Glamour Sizing for media outlets including The Boston Globe and Good Morning America. She has also had numerous television appearances on television, including on CNN and The Daily Buzz.
Bridgette Raes really is an inspiring entrepreneur tieks review, and I think this interview teaches valuable lessons. She went through the process of finding what she was meant to be doing with her life, and later opened and developed her business tieks review. She learned the importance of believing in herself, identifying the things she needed help with, getting help and learning how to sell the service she provides tieks review. I hope you enjoy reading and learning more about Bridgette and her business as I did interviewing her.

Bridgette Raes tieks review embarked on a career in fashion design after obtaining her degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology tieks review. Despite the glamorous trappings of her career, from her participation in important events to trips to Europe, Bridgette wasn’t completely satisfied with her work. After a few years in the industry Bridgette realized she wanted more from life, and set out to find a way to combine her love for fashion and style with her interest in making a difference. She found what she was looking for in the field of personal style consultation. She recently went back to FIT to study image consulting, and in September 2002, after ten years as a fashion designer, founded Bridgette Raes Style Group.
Bridgette had learned from her years in fashion design that while most designers realize how challenging it can be for women to get dressed and determine their style  , they don’t do much about it. She no longer could overlook women’s cry for help to figure out their image and style. As Bridgette explains, “Our image and clothes are powerful communicator of who we are, what we want, our goals, how we can achieve them. This is something that shouldn’t be ignored.”
Her ten years of experience, along with subsequent training in image consultation at FIT, gave Bridgette the key to her achievements. Bridgette’s instructors at FIT were fashion industry professionals in the business for over 20 years and successful business owners themselves. By paying attention to what they had to say and at the same time taking in consideration her own personal experiences, Bridgette was able to create her own business concept and mission.
The current crop of makeover shows featured on the airwaves right now, from series such as Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and Extreme Makeover to the makeover features on The Oprah Winfrey Show, are an indication of the public fascination with and interest in personal image development. During our interview, Bridgette mentioned people’s tendency to regress back to their previous image behavior following those makeovers, since there is no education and no long-term change in a makeover subject’s point of view.
In her own business, Bridgette helps her clients to establish lasting changes in their mindsets through a 5-step program she developed. Her program assesses a wide range of aspects of each client’s life and tastes, from her life and goals to her preferred colors. She helps her clients improve their wardrobe by guiding them through each step of wardrobe selection, from understanding what pieces do or do not work for her client to helping them shop. Bridgette also offers smaller programs as well as workshops. She has a roster of trusted professionals to whom she refer clients who need more help in areas such as makeup application, organization, and personal coaching.
The Business
Bridgette recalls that she was naïve as she first started out on her business; she believed the phone would start ringing without much effort. She knew she had a skill, but didn’t know how to market it. She later hired a business coach, who helped her gain more focus through creating a 5-year plan that includes specific goals of what she hopes to accomplish.
The business coaching, along with a few business classes she took at FIT, helped her to more effectively identify her client base and market her services. It opened her mind and changed her perspective on the business and how she presents herself. Building her business took time, and at first Bridgette continued to work part-time as a freelance designer while marketing and growing Bridgette Raes Style Group. But in May 2003 her business had expanded enough for her to work at it full-time, and today it continues to flourish.

Advertisements

Bridgette Raes

Body  Image and how we perceive ourselves can alter how others see us too. Did you realize that? If you don’t like your body people can tell. If you feel good about yourself people will pick up on that too. Women seem to be told by the fashion industry what their shape should and should not look like and we are always moaning over how we just don’t have that shape that’s perfect.This leads us to feel unattractive. One thing I have learned through my life and my job is there is someone for everyone. No matter what you look like there is someone who will be attracted to you. The Key though is loving yourself first, after that finding someone who loves you too is simple.

My awesome friend Bridgette Raes and her co-host Amanda Jornov did a great radio show about body image, with guest, Wendy Shaker, the Author of “The Fat Girl’s Guide To Life”.   Wendy Shaker explains how to  love the body you have now (not the one you wish was smaller) and how to be comfortable in your own skin, with power and a sense of humor. I loved the show and have admired the work of  Bridgette Raes for some time now. (See The Link at the Bottom of this post to listen in and learn to love you just the way you are .)

Bridgette is a style expert and can guide you to fashion made for your body type and taste. Not only does she help you figure out your body type but will show you  the clothes that flatter that type. She has a cool app that will even tell you where to buy these clothes. I’ve had a great time playing with it and recommend you try it for yourself. Go HERE  to  her site and play with her Body  Image and how we perceive ourselves can alter how others see us too. Did you realize that? If you don’t like your body people can tell. If you feel good about yourself people will pick up on that too. Women seem to be told by the fashion industry what their shape should and should not look like and we are always moaning over how we just don’t have that shape that’s perfect.This leads us to feel unattractive. One thing I have learned through my life and my job is there is someone for everyone. No matter what you look like there is someone who will be attracted to you. The Key though is loving yourself first, after that finding someone who loves you too is simple.

My awesome friend Bridgette Raes and her co-host Amanda Jornov did a great radio show about body image, with guest, Wendy Shaker, the Author of “The Fat Girl’s Guide To Life”.   Wendy Shaker explains how to  love the body you have now (not the one you wish was smaller) and how to be comfortable in your own skin, with power and a sense of humor. I loved the show and have admired the work of  Bridgette Raes for some time now. (See The Link at the Bottom of this post to listen in and learn to love you just the way you are .)

Bridgette is a style expert and can guide you to fashion made for your body type and taste. Not only does she help you figure out your body type but will show you  the clothes that flatter that type. She has a cool app that will even tell you where to buy these clothes. I’ve had a great time playing with it and recommend you try it for yourself. Go HERE  to  her site and play with her Virtual Style Guide. Knowing how to dress yourself can go a long way to improve your body image. Bridgette can help you there.
I have a secret to tell you about how I learned a lot about body image. I struggled with my body image as most women have through out my life. Worried I had too much of this and not enough of that. I believed I needed to be thin to be attractive and fought to be that way but still never liked what I saw. In 2003 when I started my online marketing company I began working with niche dating sites. I looked at all the niches and noticed one for Big Beautiful Women. I thought what is this? I have no idea how to market this niche. I thought who will be there?  Just women who are over weight and can’t find a date? No way am a marketing that one because those members won’t meet a match and it wouldn’t be fair. I was encouraged to market it and told it was a profitable niche. I went to the site looked through the members and to my surprise there were as many men as women there. What? I though men only wanted skinny women? Nope, not the case. That was an eye-opening day for me. I built a BBW dating site called Big-Beautiful-Dates.com and had more men than women join. I had men paying me to get the chance to meet a Big Beautiful Woman. To This day it is one of my most profitable sites.image. Bridgette can help you there.
I have a secret to tell you about how I learned a lot about body image. I struggled with my body image as most women have through out my life. Worried I had too much of this and not enough of that. I believed I needed to be thin to be attractive and fought to be that way but still never liked what I saw. In 2003 when I started my online marketing company I began working with niche dating sites. I looked at all the niches and noticed one for Big Beautiful Women. I thought what is this? I have no idea how to market this niche. I thought who will be there?  Just women who are over weight and can’t find a date? No way am a marketing that one because those members won’t meet a match and it wouldn’t be fair. I was encouraged to market it and told it was a profitable niche. I went to the site looked through the members and to my surprise there were as many men as women there. What? I though men only wanted skinny women? Nope, not the case. That was an eye-opening day for me. I built a BBW dating site called Big-Beautiful-Dates.com and had more men than women join. I had men paying me to get the chance to meet a Big Beautiful Woman. To This day it is one of my most profitable sites.

Session with Bridgette Raes

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ve seen that I often link to articles written by style expert, Bridgette Raes. Bridgette is a New York City based personal stylist and blogger who writes frequently about creating a cohesive wardrobe, the power of color and accessories, and how to shop wisely.

I love Bridgette’s witty writing style and refreshing attitude toward fashion. While many other stylists focus predominantly on current trends and continuously shopping to keep up, Bridgette is far more pragmatic and realistic in her approach. I can see why many of her clients have been with her for years and rely on her helpful, no-nonsense advice

After being an admirer of Bridgette’s for several years, I finally took the plunge to hire her for virtual styling help. I had a Skype session with her last week and plan to have a follow-up session sometime next month.

Today’s post is the first in a series in which I’ll share my experience of working with Bridgette Raes to improve my personal style. I will start with the preliminary work I did prior to the session, which is the focus on today’s post. In a post later this week, I’ll write about the session itself and Bridgette’s recommendations for me. Future installments will focus on the ways in which I implement Bridgette’s advice, as well as my report from my second virtual styling session.

After being an admirer of Bridgette’s for several years, I finally took the plunge to hire her for virtual styling help. I had a Skype session with her last week and plan to have a follow-up session sometime next month.

Today’s post is the first in a series in which I’ll share my experience of working with Bridgette Raes to improve my personal style. I will start with the preliminary work I did prior to the session, which is the focus on today’s post. In a post later this week, I’ll write about the session itself and Bridgette’s recommendations for me. Future installments will focus on the ways in which I implement Bridgette’s advice, as well as my report from my second virtual styling session.

 

Bridgette Raes

I’m excited to be introducing Bridgette Raes of Bridgette Raes Style Group as my Stylish Thoughts contributor today. Bridgette is based in Brooklyn New York, tieks review writes a style blog and is also the author of Style Rx: Dressing the Body You Have to Create the Body You Want

What is the secret to great style?

I think my secret to great style is that your clothing should be seen simply as a tool to support and enhance who you are tieks review. What makes clothing beautiful is the person who wears it tieks review, not the other way around. I think the goal with clothing is to use it to create a synergy between the inner and outer you, and to express on the outside what is within.

What is your current obsession?

My current obsession is Prima Donna bras. I will never wear any other bra brand again. They are amazing for all sizes but particularly good for larger busted women. It’s an expensive obsession but well worth it!

Who inspires you?

I’m a fan of the underdog. I am inspired by anyone who has overcome an obstacle and succeeded. I think most of us are dealt a few unfair hands in life, tieks review yet the ones who grow from those hard times or have learned something from the setbacks and have become even greater as a result are the most inspirational to me, tieks review for sure.

Do you have a signature piece or style?

I don’t wear black. This is probably the thing I’m most known for. I don’t own one pair of black shoes and with the exception of a few pairs of black leggings, don’t own any black clothes either. It’s not that I don’t like black, tieks review I just don’t think it deserves all the hoopla it gets and I find it to be very limiting and boring, tieks review vs. versatile and easy like most people think it is. I call women who rely too heavily on black blackcidents.

What’s your secret to making yourself stand out?

My secret is to never have my clothing overshadow who I am and to absolutely love the way I feel. The better I feel in what I am wearing, the more confident and outgoing I am. I want to be remembered for me, not what I wore.

Finish your look. Most women get dressed 75% of the way, meaning that they put on clothes and forget about accessorizing or doing things to their outfits that add flavor. I tend to call these types of flavorless outfits €chicken outfits’ because chicken needs spice and additional ingredients to be tasty. Chicken on its own is quite flavorless and boring. Clothing can be the same way if you don’t add flavor or additional components to make it tasty. The biggest thing I notice about women who don’t love the way they look is they don’t add flavor, tieks review personality or finishing touches to their outfits. Few people dress badly, but most walk around feeling like acceptably dressed nobodies. If these women only realized just how close they were to having an amazing outfit I think they’d feel more encouraged.

What’s the best piece of style wisdom you’ve ever received?

My mom said: €Don’t let an outfit enter the room 10 minutes before you do.€ Despite the fact that I am a so-called fashion and style expert and have been in fashion for 20 years, tieks review I believe that your clothing should enhance you. Although, admittedly, Helena Bonham Carter’s style just amuses me to no end, and lord knows her outfits enter a room days before she does.

Bridgette Raes Style Expert

I am not exactly sure where I came across the advice on how to create a “stylish adult baptism” in November of 2012, but I shared the link with my friend Bridgette Raes, who did a short essay on her very good blog (she even quoted me, which made it better). The tips were taken from Style Network’s show “Big Rich Texas”. I’m not sure the show exists any more (who would really care), and the video clip of the preparations for the event has been turned “private”.

Out of embarrassment, I hope.

There are still a lot of articles to read, but a coherent collection of still images isn’t readily available. Most of the writing on the subject ridicules the whole enterprise of turning baptism into an excuse to wear not one, but two, expensive white dresses, hire a caterer, and spend a boatload of money to produce an artificial “event” that is more about the relationship between a “godmother” and “god-daughter” than it is about God. And of course, to be “boobalicious.”

If anything resonates with my re-reading of Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death, as an illustration that we’ve confused the sacred rituals of religion with the medium of telegenic entertainment, this was it.

In most Christian traditions , baptism is a sacred rite of initiation into the community of believers. It is elevated to the level of sacrament, in which a physical, material thing (in the case of baptism, water) is put to a spiritual use–in this instance, the dying with, and rising again, with Christ. Many Christian denominations call a sacrament an “outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace”. Most agree at least on two sacraments–baptism and holy communion. Some, such as Roman Catholics, have an additional five rituals of sacramental standing (confirmation, penance, marriage, ordination, extreme unction or last rites). A few Christian denominations, such as the Salvation Army and the Society of Friends, also known as Quakers, do not practice sacraments.

But most Christians agree that baptism has a central place in the Christian life. With the exception of those groups who do not practice sacraments, there is a consensus that Jesus himself received baptism and commanded his followers to administer it (although, interestingly, there is no evidence that the 12 disciples were themselves baptized, nor any evidence that Jesus administered baptism to any person during his earthly ministry).

When it is an adult who is professing faith, s/he has usually undergone a period of discernment which may take a year or more, including instruction in the faith and the implications of membership in the church. It is not something to be done ill-advisedly, or under the pressure from another person in your life (although frequently it does happen when a religiously mixed couple decide they both wish to be full members of one church).

Often, adult initiates (called catechumens) are welcomed into the church at the Great Vigil of Easter. In traditions such as the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Anglican churches, this is an ancient service celebrating the Resurrection of Christ, and it is a ritual of great symbolic power as well as visual and auditory drama and beauty–the culmination of the entire drama of the Passion of Christ that is Holy Week.

No Christian can treat baptism as a trivial matter. And the beauty and spectacle that often surrounds adult baptism (in the high liturgical churches, at least) marks it as the serious, yet simultaneously joyful, event that it is.

But it is not produced for the opportunity to make television. And even if the best skills in performing and visual art that a congregation can muster are employed, it is not about entertainment.

Most of the commentary about the Big Rich Texas baptism acknowledges the ridiculousness of the “event”, and to a lesser extent, implicitly questions the religious commitment of both the godmother and the baptismal candidate. It makes thinking people–both religious and non-religious–uncomfortable, even if they cannot fully express why.

I think part of it is that it confuses entertainment with what we are at least inculturated to understand as a holy mystery, even if we are not ourselves “true believers.” As Postman says, “By endowing things with magic, enchantment is the means through which we may gain access to sacredness. Entertainment is the means through which we distance ourselves from it.” (Amusing Ourselves to Death, p. 122)

There is something deep within us, I think, that rebels against such a crass use of sacred symbols–even if they are someone else’s sacred symbols–as junk television (even if, as Postman again claims, junk is the best thing television does). But we need, as he says, that “aura of mystery and symbolic otherworldliness” so that we do not lose the ability to “call for the state of mind required for a nontrivial religious experience.” (Amusing Ourselves to Death, p. 119)

And pretty dresses (even of the non-boobalicious kind), expensive cakes, and releasing doves into the air over your expensive swimming pool, just doesn’t do that.

 

Bridgette Raes

Bridgette Raes brings out the styles of celebrities, CEO’s and regular women everyday. She is the president of Bridgette Raes Style Group and author of the book Style Rx: Dressing the Body You Have to Create the Body You Want. Her witty, down-to-earth advice has made her a sought-after writer, spokesperson and style expert for countless media outlets worldwide.

Bridgette’s style expertise is regularly featured in People StyleWatch, Real Simple Magazine, The Boston Globe, StyleList.com, MSN.com, iVillage.com, and more. Her television appearances regularly include CNN, The Daily Buzz, Good Morning America and well as over 100 appearances on local networks from coast to coast.

In her 20 years in fashion, Bridgette has worked in every area of the industry. She worked in retail fashion while getting her design degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology and spent nearly a decade designing every type of clothing price point and product. In 2002, she decided that her expertise would be put to better use showing women how to wear clothing that brings out their own unique style, rather than simply designing it. It was this revelation that inspired her to start Bridgette Raes Style Group.

Bridgette Raes | Style Guide: The Truth About Men Who Wear Pantyhose

In a follow-up to her Friday radio broadcast, Bridgette Raes posted a great article on Men In Tights on her blogsite, “BRSG”. I will say, as to the double standard she refers to, I’ve often said that it actually betrays a certain residual bias against women that remains in our society even to this day–even among women themselves. Despite the ostensible equality with which women and men are viewed today, you have to ask yourself why there is such a noticeable difference between the way people view it when a member of one sex strays into the fashion territory of the other?

Bridgette noted that a woman can wear clothing ranging from the ultra feminine to jeans, t-shirts, boots and a short haircut and hardly anyone even takes note. Maybe she is even praised as being: strong, “a real go-getter”, or other positive adjectives. But if a man wears even one article of clothing that has typically been associated with women, not only do other men get worked up over it, but women may give him even more flack over it. His manhood might be called into question regardless of how strong and virile an example of masculinity he may otherwise be.

You have to ask yourself if this doesn’t reveal some sort of latent bias against the female? Is it because a woman who co-opts a certain fashion item from men is seen as elevating herself? (BTW, not too many of us are old enough to remember the days when women wearing pants was considered scandalous). If so, by contrast a man adopting anything with a feminine connotation is considered to be ‘lowering’ himself to the level of the less worthy sex and needs to be resisted so as to not betray his manhood.

Of course, when we try to come to terms with all of this, we hope we can be advanced enough in our view on the inherent dignity, and equality, of both men and women that we don’t behave this way. Some–many–men are wearing mantyhose for very legitimate reasons and knee jerk reactions against it have to be examined for what they really reveal about the people making them. Are they unknowingly acknowledging they don’t really view men and women as being equal in dignity? Let’s hope your blog and radio program can help us move beyond that toward true equality. Thank you, Bridgette.

Bridgette Raes Style Expert

For this weeks Fab Find I turn to mother nature or more accurately the way She has been making the East Coast her bitch for the past few weeks for inspiration. I don’t know about you, but it has been SO FREAKING COLD here in New York, I’ve been wearing one pair of shoes outside and they are my fur lined, warm, uber practical snow boots. Man are they ugly. Also they are not acceptable footwear for my office. I’ve written about Footyfolds (and I have a pair which I adore!) and how delightfully they tuck into your purse, sadly there are times only a uber stylish sexy pump, or those cuban heels that are the PERFECT shade of red will do.

Yup that means every day I’ve been picking out the shoes to match my outfit, wrapping them in an old Fairway Market bag and shoving into my already overstuffed purse which thanks to this bitter endless cold, is already overflowing with mittens, ear muffs, throat lozenges and tissues.

Then came a solution so painfully obvious it never would have occurred to me in a million years. Shoe Along, a bag designed to be carried outside your purse. My first thought was “Why do I need this?” But the more I learned about it, I realized “Oh yes I need this”.

First its not IN your purse, its designed to fit along your purse by hooking onto your strap, that means no heel punching through the plastic bag, and spearing a New York Public Library book which you then have to PAY for in order to keep your borrowing privileges!

But I digress. The durable soft stretchy bag is made of nylon lined, neoprene fabric, water resistant and can be wiped clean. No more hidden snow slush destroying that absolutely perfect shade of pink/peach blusher you paid a whooping $23 dollars for and are now watching dissolved into a rose colored smear at the bottom of your purse. Priced at an easily affordable 15.95, it comes in black, chocolate brown and zebra stripes. Save your plastic bags for cleaning up after your pup.

Virtual Styling Session with Bridgette Raes

In my last post, I shared that I recently had a virtual styling session with Bridgette Raes. I highlighted my reasons for doing this, included excerpts from my pre-session questionnaire, and showed some inspirational images of style aesthetics that I appreciate

 

Today’s post focuses on my actual session with Bridgette, including the style advice that she gave me. Please note that the session was really jam-packed with information, too much to include in a blog post, even considering the extra-long posts I often publish. I’m including enough here to give you a taste of what it’s like to work with an expert stylist and how it can benefit those who are struggling to cultivate and express a resonant and appropriate sense of personal style.

I hope you’ll find the information that I share helpful and will be able to glean useful tips to guide you in your own style journey. I hesitated about what and how much to include in this post. I have to admit that I was wary of sharing my outfit photos after my last experience with this, but I’ve opted to do so in the interest of better illustrating Bridgette’s points and the value of my work with her.

Leading Up to the Session

A few days prior to our session, Bridgette sent me a report to review. This report included her overall impressions of my questionnaire, outfit photos, and style inspiration images. She also gave me specific written feedback on each of the ten outfit photos I had sent her. It was great to be able to review and reflect upon Bridgette’s feedback prior to meeting with her, as it helped me to come up with additional questions to ask during the session.

In addition to the pre-session notes, Bridgette also sent me a color combining book based upon my personal coloring. Although she was unable to do an official color analysis remotely, she felt confident placing me in the “Winter” category based upon my coloring, the colors I gravitate towards, and the way I look in the colors in my outfit photos. She told me later that she is able to color type approximately 90% of her virtual clients and send them color booklets.

The color combining book includes swatches for base, accent, and pop colors, as well as a number of examples for how best to combine these colors in my outfits. Since I enjoy wearing black, I was happy to learn that Bridgette feels I look good in that color (as long as I don’t become a “blackcident” by wearing too much of it!). Below are the accent and pop colors that are recommended for me to wear. I was very pleased to see many of my favorite hues in the mix!

Bridge raes style expert

I have some great news!  If you’re not a subscriber to Real Simple Magazine, then go out and pick up a copy of May’s issue, available on newsstands now, because I am one of the experts featured in an article on figure flattering fashion.  About once a year, this publication calls on me to be part of an article on this topic and I’m always thrilled to give my advice to such a wonderful magazine!  I hope you can pick up a copy!!

With the warm weather finally here in the northeast, I’ve been spending time with clients, virtually and in-person, helping them get their style ready for spring!  Prepare yourselves for a lot of neon in the stores!  Here is a photo of some neon shoes that I took at Lord & Taylor yesterday showing that neon can be fun and it can also be a bit crazy…and ugly.
If you’re feeling ready for spring but worry that your personal style and image isn’t up to speed, I am always available for wardrobe consult either in person or virtually.  You can check out my services or drop me an email and we can discuss how to get ready for the warm weather.  And, I promise, no neon…unless you want it!

In the meantime, check out what you’ve missed on my blog from the past week. You can also always stay looped in with me on Twitter, my Fan Page on Facebook and Pinterest, to name just a few.  Look to the right for more ways to connect with me and my advice.