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.

Spring 2020 Consignment

2020 is here, baby! We’re very much looking forward to our first wave of consignment for the new decade. Here are some styles we’ll be looking for from late January to April:

Sterling jewelry 
Pastels and florals (duh)
VINTAGE, VINTAGE, VINTAGE! (50s-70s primarily)
Mom Jeans
Pleated maxi skirts
Day Dresses
Statement belts
Everything in size 12-16
Graphic tees
Bishop sleeve blouses
Crochet/loose knits
Bright, bold, neons
Lightweight Leather
Slip dresses/tops/skirts
Rain boots + jackets
Platform shoes
Mini backpacks
Lightweight sweaters
Fanny packs
Bold, groovy prints
Vintage sunglasses
Basics from more contemporary relative brands like Marimekko, Dansko, Eileen Fisher
Reusable canvas/cloth tote bags
Silk scarves
Natural fibers

As always, items consigned at Raspberry Beret have gotta *POP*. We are keen on providing unique and sustainable pieces that make a statement.

We are leaving boring and blah in 2019!

Cambridge is currently booking appointments into February. Call or book an appointment online today to get in for Spring or Summer!

*Cambridge is very selective with prom inventory. Typically, vintage is preferred to contemporary. Please e-mail us directly with photos before bringing gowns in! Prom dresses are only consigned between February and March.

Getting Acquainted: Julianne Bonfilio a.k.a. Jules

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 Jules, vintage fashion extraordinaire and team member at both our Cambridge and Maynard stores.

Where are you from?

I was born in Waltham (right outside of Boston) but I went to gradeschool in Maynard, where our baby sister location is. You can find me there on Saturdays, styling away. During my time in Maynard, which was most of my life, we did not have a women’s clothing store in town, let alone a sustainable fashion retailer. Growing up in Maynard there wasn’t a single shop for me to buy clothing so most of my time was spent shopping elsewhere on my own!

How would you describe your personal style?

My style is a mix of the decades that influenced my mother (60s, 70s, 80s) and contemporary looks. I like to mix clean lines and structured statement pieces with different textures and unique pieces from the past. 

What are your biggest fashion influences?

Street Fashion, my mom, Stevie Nicks, 90’s Pop Culture.

How did you first become interested in fashion?

I played around with some modeling stuff when I was younger and as long as I can remember I have always had an interest in fashion beyond the norm. 

What do you love about secondhand fashion?

Gosh — I never imagined the secondhand fashion market would evolve the way it has. It used to leave a bad taste in people’s mouths, but now people are embracing it. I knew it was important to me, and I knew I’d attempt to make a living or something out of it, but nothing prepared me for the the idea that thrifting would be as chic as carrying a Bloomies shopping bag. I couldn’t ever afford to carry a big brown bag, and now we live in a time where no one wants to. It’s a bit surreal.

I never thought secondhand clothing would become a platform for income, art, and so much more.  The possibilities I always thought were endless proved to be true in ways I never imagined — now, there are apps tailored to vintage shopping and pickers. I never did this because it was “cool” its a way of life. It has been in my family for generations, and it’s exciting to have so much media dedicated to something I’ve held so dear my whole life.

What are your biggest wardrobe staples? 

Completely outlandish, over-the-top silhouettes and then just the exact opposite; lately I’ve been interested in very simple pieces to layer with.

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

Honestly, I’m always watching bad crime shows, and I love watching anything on Netflix that I can settle into on a cozy day off. Sometimes, depending on the project I’m working on, I will rewatch something from a certain time period for inspiration. For example, this past Halloween my inspiration for some displays were Practical Magic, Halloweentown, The Craft, American Beauty, and Jaw Breaker, so I watched a few to really time travel!

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I am happy to finally say I am settling in nicely to my career specializing in sustainable fashion as well as styling, and I do not see that stopping anytime soon. I am working on some bigger projects for the next year I am extremely excited for as well. 

What is your astrological sign? 


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

hmmm…you tell me! Haha

Rapid-fire Favorites

  • Food: Chicken Fajitas, anything super hot, and ice cream
  • Color: Buttercup Yellow
  • Band: Ugh I love so much music. I have several playlists tailored to each of my crafts. Sometimes when I bartend I really like alternative 80’s — I always love Fleetwood Mac as well as more current stuff like Fever Ray and Saweetie.
  • Movie: American Beauty 
  • Holiday: Halloween and Christmas
  • Designer: Back in the day, I remember falling madly in love with Heatherette. Two guys super ahead of their time rocking a very bubble gum grunge clashed with hip hop street fashion and IT WAS EVERYTHING. But I am a long time fan of Chanel, and recently I have been getting into really small local brands and collaborations. Some of my other favorite spots to shop are Cotillian Bureau in Portsmouth, Global Thrift, estate sales, and Ebay.

Meet Our Newest Team Member

Though we are sad to see our cherished Molly Meador leave the shop, we are excited to introduce our newest hire:

Maria Mendoza

We asked Maria a few questions to help you get to know her.

So, Maria, where are you from?

I was born in Boston but I’ve lived in Somerville for most of my life. I was raised in East Somerville. My family is from El Salvador though!

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

My style is greatly influenced by the 90s, I love researching different outfits that celebrities and my parents wore in the 90s. I am currently obsessed with Julia Roberts, Winona Ryder, and Princess Diana. I also love looking at what my current favorite artists are wearing. I am very much interested in the Hip Hop culture and the new indie wave that’s been very popular amongst the artsy teens these days. I am all about incorporating elements from all sorts of subcultures. I think it definitely allows for the rest of the world to see a different idea of what style can be and how open it can be.

What is it about secondhand fashion that you love?

I love that you can find newfound appreciation for the smallest, most intimate details in beautiful, underrated objects. I love the idea that it has brought me closer to myself and people I find most important in my life. Both my parents were heavily immersed in their own sense of style and I love thinking that I’m allowing myself to embrace and take in what they were instead of merely admiring what they did with their own individuality.

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

I am a queen of re-watching shows that I’ve binged in the past so right now I am re-watching That 70s Show and Gilmore Girls. Both shows have such a special place in my heart and I will always take comfort in the fact that they’ll be there for me when things aren’t always great. I have also recently finished “Easy”, “Heart of Dixie”, and am currently finishing the third season of “Crown”!

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I feel sort of in-between stages in this point of my life so looking into the future can be a little overwhelming for me BUT I still want to have fashion be a big part of my life even if it’s merely playing dress up on the daily. As far as my career goes, I think I’ve always been passionate about Special Education and Counseling so I’d love to have that be something I at least consider within those years. I love creative writing so if i’m able to gain more experience in that department, even if it’s just a side thing that would make me happy. I want to be able to explore all my interests thoroughly and not ever wonder what could have been. Oh, and it would be swell to find me the man at that point LOL. 

What are your biggest wardrobe staples?

Currently LOVE anything corduroy and crazy cool graphic tees such as my bright purple distressed Harley tee and my oversized Coltrane gem (I got a few that I always gravitate towards and they never seem to lose their appeal). I love my 512 Levi’s that I thrifted for like 3 bucks years back and my Bongo jeans that remind me of the series “Carrie Diaries” for some reason. 


Food I’m always down for any Central American dish, pupusas always got my back. I love love ice cream sandwiches, definitely go through an out of body experience when i eat those little guys. 

Color This always changes as the seasons change but I found that turquoise has managed to remain up there for me. 

Season My favorite season has got to be fall for sure, I’m aware that tends to be a common answer but it just warms my soul right up. For some reason I feel the most balanced and in tune with myself during those months.

Band My top genres at the moment are Hip Hop, Rap, and Indie pop. As far as Hip Hip/Rap goes, Mick Jenkins has got to be one of my greatest inspirations for me. Then it’s got to be Frank Ocean, Tyler the Creator, Saba, Smino, Cousin Stizz (the list can honestly go on with this genre). But outside of that culture, I love Men I trust, Billie Holiday, Blood Orange, The NBHD, etc. I’m always down for some motown and soul music though, catch me dancing around in my bedroom to “Try a Little Tenderness” like Duckie in “Pretty in Pink”.

Movie I don’t have any current movies atm but my all-time favorite movies are Goodwill Hunting, Moonrise Kingdom, Garden State, The Fighter, Roma, The commitments, etc. I’m SUPER into boxing movies, that always hits a spot for me.

Designer I’m not a big brand person, I don’t love looking at names when it comes to clothing just because I like to give every piece of clothing a chance with me before I allow myself to get swept up with the tag. But I love what Chanel, Ralph Lauren, Versace and Tom Ford were doing in the 90s! 

Era of fashion I think I can be a little biased with this but the 90s era of fashion has a special place in my heart. Like said before, my parents were super fly back then so I try to do them proud.

Caps, Caps For Sale!

The many faces of owner Rachael Bankey

Hat season is upon us! Always wanted to be A Hat Girl but been too scared or not sure how to style them? Need something for you Halloween costume? Stop by and let us help you pick out a dome piece that’s perfect for you. We have a range of styles and colors to choose from!