Getting Acquainted: Rachel Higgins

For all of us who work at Raspberry Beret, secondhand clothing is more than just a job — it’s a way of life! We may vary greatly in our tastes, but we share the same enthusiasm for sustainable style and great vintage finds. And we think it’s time we shared a bit about ourselves with our awesome customers and consigners.

Meet Rachel, reformed emo kid, Spaghetti-O enthusiast and captain of the USS Cambridge Raspberry Beret.

Where are you from?

I grew up on the north shore, in a crummy town called Tewksbury. There’s no reason to go there or look it up.

How would you describe your personal style? What are your biggest fashion influences?

….All over the place! It’s kind of like Joan Jett and Liza Minelli had a baby and that baby looooooves Post Malone. Lots of leather, sequins, and chains. Growing up, I took a lot of inspiration from style icons such as Avril Lavigne and the preppy girls who bullied me. A lot of my style from yesteryear has carried over to the present day, but I’ve definitely refined the edges a bit. I’m still wearing band tees and jeans and converse, but now I might throw on a blazer or a silk scarf and I’ve swapped out my bottle cap liner bracelets for sterling rings.

How did you first become interested in fashion?

Well, for my fifth birthday, my aunt gave me a big tote full of dress up clothes (feather boas, sparkly shoes, dresses, jewelry, yadda yadda) and I think it just kind of snowballed from there. Fashion, as a career, was not something I really considered until I landed at Raspberry Beret. I worked for a few years as a product photographer for an online estate sale auction house, where I got my first real taste of the buying-selling-vintage sort of world. Being a left-brained gal, I’ve always seen fashion and personal style as an art form, a way to express yourself, and that’s always been really important to me.

What do you love about secondhand fashion?

As an aggressively sentimental person, secondhand fashion (secondhand anything, really) is very special to me. Being able to continue the legacy of Aunt Jo’s favorite Levi’s or so-and-so’s dress coat from the winter of ’82 is just sort of … lovely to me. It’s sort of like borrowing your mom’s clothes and feeling like you’ve got her energy running through you. It’s true that somebody’s trash is another man’s treasure. You never know what you’re going to find at a secondhand store. The thrill of the hunt is also really exciting, and knowing that you have stuff that probably no-one else does. Secondhand fashion is unique, it’s emotional, it’s good for the planet … and it’s a nice little way to tip your hat to the folks before us who bought that souvenir t-shirt at Margaritaville or that dope leather jacket with the fringe that they wore every day while they were dating Todd, the most beautiful man they’d ever seen.

What are your biggest wardrobe staples? 

Mom jeans. Chelsea boots. Lots and lots (and lots) of rings. Vintage tees, my gold bamboo hoop earrings with my name spelled out across them, my yellow wool Brixton fisherman’s cap, and a jacket to match every outfit.

Is there anything that you’ve been binge watching lately?

Well I’ve just finished The X Files for like the sixth time, and I’ve been watching a lot of This Old House and Criss Angel. I don’t watch a lot of TV, it’s mostly for when I go to bed. I am looking forward to streaming all of Joe Pera Talks With You when that’s available.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I’ve always hated this question. I never know! It’s becoming more and more clear to me that I think I’d like to open my own shop someday, selling housewares, knick knacks, and apparel. Who knows if that’s something that will happen in the next five years (probably not) but I definitely see myself either at The Beret or finally deciding I’ve had enough of Boston and getting the hell out of here. That’s TBD 🙂

What is your astrological sign? Which traits of your sign (if any) do you most embody?

I’m a Gemini >:) Everybody’s favorite! I’ve always identified with the “many personalities” aspect of being a gemini — it’s especially evident in my wardrobe. Gemini’s are also known for their independence, charm, and impulsiveness. Check, check, and check!

Rapid-fire favorites…

  • Food the regular beef/spicy chicken shawarma plate at Garlic N Lemons in Allston with rice pilaf, garlic sauce (two kinds!) and Greek style veggie salad. I am salivating just thinking about it.
  • Color Red 🙂
  • Band Good Charlotte, Blink-182, Fleetwood Mac, Post Malone. He counts.
  • Movie Willy Wonka, The Lost Boys, every Austin Powers… I could go on, it’s hard to choose.
  • Holiday I’ve really grown to dislike holidays, due mostly to capitalism and the immense societal pressure to have The Most Fun Time but still, Halloween has always been my #1.
  • Designer Honestly…Liz Claiborne, Alfred Dunner, and Bill Blass.

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