Bridgette Raes is one of the most seasoned personal stylists and workplace image experts in the country with a career that has spanned 20 years. She started her company, Bridgette Raes Style Group, in 2002 after leaving her 10-year fashion design career. Her company is one of the most established and longest-standing personal styling companies in the United States. In addition to her business, her witty, down-to-earth advice has made her a sought-after speaker, and writer. Bridgette is also the author of the book Style Rx: Dressing the Body You Have to Create the Body You Want.
Bridgette began her career in the industry nearly 30 years ago after receiving her fashion design degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology. In 2002, she decided that her expertise would be put to better use by showing women how to navigate fashion for themselves and choose clothing that brings out their own unique style, rather than simply designing it, and pivoted her career. It was this revelation, along with a mission to empower women, that inspired her to start Bridgette Raes Style Group which now has clients on every continent and in just about every state in the U.S. BRSG’s client base is primarily women in professional leadership.
Bridgette’s popular blog has been called “The thinking woman’s guide to style.” Through her blog, she is able to deliver her decades-worth of fashion knowledge, which was once reserved exclusively for her clients, to a larger audience of women. Bridgette’s blog doesn’t just address fashion-know-how and style tips, Bridgette often dives deeper with contemplative posts and often ties deeper meaning into the clothing we wear and why.
Being one of the few fashion industry professionals to have both a decade’s worth of experience in both fashion design/product development and the consumer side of the industry as a personal stylist, in addition to her personal styling business, Bridgette has been called on in the past to help retailers and brands more efficiently serve their clientele, increase sales and create a more robust and personalized experience with their customers. Bridgette has consulted with brands and retailers from small niche retailers to global companies including Amazon and is a regular speaker at UBM MAGIC, the top fashion trade show worldwide.
As an expert on style, Bridgette’s expertise is regularly featured in People StyleWatch, Real Simple Magazine, The Boston Globe, and more. Her television regularly includes CNN, The Daily Buzz, Good Morning America, and over 100 appearances on local networks from coast to coast.
Her book, Style Rx: Dressing the Body You Have to Create the Body You Want (Perigee/Penguin 2008) was written to relate to the “everyday woman”, including realistic advice and over 250 photos of real women with real bodies, many of whom were clients, not professional models. It was groundbreaking for its time and executed on a small budget. Bridgette’s commitment to the project came from the idea that the only way women could begin to accept their bodies as they are would be to see that it’s the clothing, not their bodies that aren’t working. By using actual photography of women who were relatable to the reader, along with side-by-side examples to illustrate the differences, it was her hope that women could see how the same body could look different with a simple change in the proportions of their clothing.
In addition to her own book, Bridgette has contributed her expertise on image, style, and wardrobe management to many other books, including Some Nerve: Lessons Learned While Becoming Brave, by Patty Chang Anker, Tweak It: Make What Matters to You Happen Every Day, by Cali Yost, and Big Career in the Big City: Land a Job and Get a Life in New York, by Vicki Salemi.
A dynamic, engaging, and entertaining speaker, Bridgette has been called on by many corporations, organizations, and colleges to speak on topics specific to professional image. Past speaking engagements have included The Protocol School of Washington, JP Morgan Chase, Ernst & Young, Barnard College, University of Buffalo Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, White Plains Hospital, and The Hartford.
As a writer, in addition to her blog, Bridgette is a former writer for About.com and Answers.com, worked as the Style Contributor for Vogue Patterns Magazine, and writes regularly for other print and online publications.
Bridgette believes service and giving back should be a part of life. She volunteers at her alma mater, The Fashion Institute of Technology, as a design critic and industry mentor to fashion design students. In honor of her father who she lost in 1997, has chosen Melanoma and skin cancer awareness as her charitable platform, often planning fashion-related fundraising events on behalf of the Melanoma Research Foundation. She is also involved in the Unitarian Universalism prison ministry program, Worthy Now, and she and her husband are ongoing supporters of Africa’s oldest wildlife charities and leading conservation organization, the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, which plays a vital role in protecting Africa’s threatened wildlife and conserving habitats in addition to running the most successful elephant orphan rescue and rehabilitation programs in the world. Bridgette also brings attention to a different fashion-related cause or organization in her weekly Style Update newsletter and gives an opportunity to her readers to donate to each one. Lastly, in support of mothers who have chosen to devote time to raising families, while not a mother by choice, when possible, Bridgette tries to hire moms at home with kids who are looking for flexible hours and encourages bring-your-babies to Zoom meetings.
Bridgette lives in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn with her husband, Frank, and their two rescue cats, Clementine Buttons and Titus Sexyface. An avid knitter, when she isn’t working with clients or clacking away at her laptop, she can be found working on her next project.