Work wear and fashion don’t really feel so synonymous. In fact, when I imagine getting dressed for an office or a board meeting, I imagine picking the most conservative, ill-fitted (usually boxy) suiting I have out of my closet and keeping the accessories super simple. It’s when I think of leaving the office that I add color and texture and fun accessories and wear something that is flattering to my curvy figure.
But Quincy Apparel changed my mind about all of that. From their uber adorable sheath dresses to their colorful and fun suit jackets, I got to see the world of workwear from a different perspective: one where I could express my personal style while still looking professional. Not only that, but I had a double take when I started looking into ordering one of their amazing pieces…they don’t ask you for a size like: 2,4,6,8,10,12,14+, they ask for 3 things:
- Bust size
- Cup size
- Length (Petite/regular/tall)
What? You mean you are sizing your dresses, shirts and jackets LOGICALLY? Crazy talk. This fall they come out with the ‘bottoms’ (pants, skirts, etc) and I look forward to how they size these, too, but for now, I was pretty tickled to see a designer think differently about fit altogether. It was when I met the founders that I realized why they thought about sizing from a different, more logical perspective: THEY ARE WOMEN! From their site:
“Alex and Christina were prepared to throw out the long-held women’s wear standards and right the wrongs of professional dressing—even if it meant bending a few rules along the way.”
Yep. They felt a personal pain point and decided to fix it and, boy, am I happy they have! Alex and Christina have created something very special and I was lucky enough to interview Christina about the idea and evolution of Quincy Apparel. Enjoy!
Q. Introduce yourself and your site
A. Quincy is a brand of professional apparel for young, ambitious women. We’re making the clothes you wear to work more stylish, more polished, and better fitting so you don’t have to be embarrassed to go straight from your desk to dinner. Why can’t you love the things you wear to work as much as you love your weekend wardrobe?
Tell us a little bit about the history of your site. Why did you decide to launch Quincy?
We decided to launch Quincy because my co-founder and I had worked in professional and client-services jobs for a while and absolutely hated what we had to wear every day. We were fun, stylish, dynamic women outside of work, but felt like corporate lemmings wearing the same black / grey / ivory combination from the same three brands as every other woman in our office. We wanted fashion! We wanted office-appropriate versions of our favorite trends! And we wanted it to FIT our bodies and our bank accounts. We couldn’t find such a brand so we created it instead.
What is your favorite items from your store?
I am seriously loving our Ansley dress in knit ponte and our Kennedy peplum top in stretch crepe. The dress is as comfortable as sweat pants and has survived more than one red-eye flight, yet looks crisp and polished when I need to head to meetings or events. It really does rock that fine line between business casual and casual cocktail (much like men’s navy blazers do) so it’s perfect for those events where you’re not sure if you should be in a suit or a sheath. And the peplum top is our take on one of the biggest trends this season, but totally flexible and appropriate for the office — high neckline, elbow-length sleeves, fitted but not too tight. And even better — both are machine washable. I mean, really, what more could you want?
Who are your fashion icons?
Is it too cliche to say Kate Middleton and Michelle Obama? Seriously though, those women have to look put together *every single day*. And while they do have a bigger closet than I do, they are critiqued for every move they make — who the designer is, what the price point is, is it too mass market, is it too high brow… it’s unbelievable the effort that goes into what they wear every day and yet they both look beautiful, appropriate, and powerful. If they can do it with every photographer trained on them, surely I can too.
Describe your personal style
Creative, unexpected, feminine. I couldn’t be more thrilled that colored denim is in right now, and somehow I end up rocking cobalt in one way or another nearly every day. (Seriously — ask my team. I don’t know what to say. I’m a redhead — I look good in cobalt!) I love accessories but abide by the rule that you should remove one piece before you go out the door. And although I love a good arm-party in theory, bracelets tend to scratch up my Mac and get in the way of serious typing so I stick to statement necklaces and earrings. Lastly, my shoes all follow the same basic pattern: high heels with a serious WOW factor, whether detailing or color or cut.
What is that one thing in your closet you would consider a staple?
My retro Timex boyfriend watch. It’s not expensive and it’s not flashy but that’s why I love it. I wear it nearly every day and it makes it easier to keep track of my busy schedule without checking my iPhone every ten minutes. I’ve got the surreptitious watch-glance trick down to a science!
What has your experience on Buyosphere been like?
It’s a bit addictive really. I started by reading threads that were for things I needed too (a laptop bag that doesn’t look like a laptop bag for under $200, nude pumps that are classy instead of the oh-so-trendy stripper heels) and then wandered over to threads for things I knew I had a great suggestion for… the next thing I know four hours have gone by, I’m still only wearing one shoe, and I totally missed my spinning class!