Two months ago, I introduced a new monthly series that will run until next September, 2012, the month that my company, Bridgette Raes Style Group will celebrate its 10th year in business.This feature is called “In Their Own Words” which will feature an update from a past client and some reflection on their experience of working with me and my company.
This month, I am featuring past client Marcela Landres. What I loved most about working with Marcela was her openness and enthusiasm about working with me. From what you’ll read about her experience it will be clear that she had no reservations around making changes to her wardrobe and style. Marcela was always positive and ready to let go to embrace new. It was an absolute pleasure to spend time with her during this transformation.
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Year worked with Bridgette Raes Style Group: 2006
“Despite the economy, work consistently flows in to me. Many of my clients hire me because they heard me speak–in some cases, several years ago–at a writer’s conference and remembered me. I am convinced that part of the reason I made such a positive and lasting impression is because of my Bridgette-ized image.”
What made you decide to reach out to BRSG for image and style help? I went from working in midtown for a large publishing company to launching a freelance business from my home in Brooklyn. My life had changed, and my image needed to follow suit.
Did you have any hesitations about reaching out? If so, what were they?
None. Bridgette was actually one of my clients, having hired me to critique a proposal for a book idea. I was so impressed by what I learned by reading her proposal that I decided to hire her to edit my closet.
What was the greatest challenge you were struggling with in your wardrobe at the time you called to book an appointment?
Almost everything I owned was black, white, or gray, with a few red pieces here and there. I avoided color because I was so busy building a career I didn’t have time to coordinate. I wanted more choices.
What was going on in your personal life at the time you made your appointment? What goals were you working towards or life situations you were dealing with?
There was a disconnect between my professional and personal life and my closet reflected this. I had an abundance of suits that were appropriate only for work, and very few casual clothes as I had made very little room in my life for fun. I needed a wardrobe that could naturally transition from play to work and back again.
What did you learn from the consultations with me that were most memorable and that you still find yourself using today?
I use what you taught me every single day
My favorites are: skin-colored shoes worn with skirts and dresses elongate my legs; my shoulders are one of my strongest features, so I should wear tops and dresses that show them off; and the supreme importance of investing in a good tailor. Before I worked with you, the hems of all my pants were cut way, way too high.
How would you describe the experience of working with BRSG?
If I had to choose one word, I’d choose confidence. Working with Bridgette gave me the confidence to walk into any store and know that I was capable of choosing the best pieces for me.
What was the most surprising thing you found about working with BRSG? What did you get out of it that you weren’t expecting to?
I was most surprised to discover that the color purple is my best friend. Nearly every shade of purple flatters me. I’m a big fan of feng shui, and purple is associated with abundance, so I assiduously use purple in my home and work environments–but I’d never really worn purple.
How has your life progressed since working with BRSG?
My husband and I bought an apartment some years after I worked with Bridgette. Before we moved in we had some work done on it, including a new paint job. Bridgette had taught me I was a summer, so I decided to paint the entire apartment in summer colors. Everyone who enters my home comments on how happy and positive it feels and I’m convinced it is due in part because my decor reflects my style–the style Bridgette helped me excavate.
Despite the economy, work consistently flows in to me. Many of my clients hire me because they heard me speak–in some cases, several years ago–at a writer’s conference and remembered me. I am convinced that part of the reason I made such a positive and lasting impression is because of my Bridgette-ized image.
Do you think there is a stigma around reaching out for style and wardrobe help? If so, why do you think that is?
Some people assume stylists are expensive. Not so. In the long run, hiring a stylist is actually more cost-effective than buying clothes you don’t like or don’t wear. Depending on your situation, you may even be able to write off the cost of hiring a stylist. Working with a stylist will also save you time; if you work for yourself, as I do, time is money.
What would you say to someone who is thinking of calling BRSG for style help but may have hesitations?
I divide my life into two parts: BB and AB. In other words, Before Bridgette and After Bridgette. Before Bridgette I would spend an entire day going from store to store looking for clothes and come home frustrated and empty-handed because I couldn’t find anything that flattered me. (I’m 5’2″ and am short-waisted; the fashion industry generally doesn’t make clothes with my body type in mind.) After Bridgette, I now know which specific designers, colors, patterns, fabrics, and stores are right for me and which I should avoid. Bridgette has saved me countless hours and dollars, and she can do the same for you.
What five words would use to best describe your experience with working with Bridgette Raes Style Group
Transformative, empowering, invaluable, practical, confidence-inspiring.