Maybe it’s growing up in the Midwest where we experience all four seasons, with winters that mean business, but for some reason I’ve always craved great sweaters when the temperatures drop. I seriously love the chunky sweaters, the cozy cowl necks and all the amazing cardigans that I can get my hands on. But not to sound like a broken record, but *most*of the sweaters that have ever been in my closet have been one of two things: either A.) a men’s sweater (ugh) or B.) too short and little (double ugh). Does anyone else ever scroll through Pinterest and save tons of looks and styles that ultimately, they never replicate because they can’t find those types of styles in the proportions that we tall girls need? Not to mention a huge saved folder of outfits on Instagram…
But in all sincerity, we do want to create styles that are both well-fitting, versatile and on par with the styles that you see out there in the general market. Before we start to hone in on the specific styles that we want to create for a season, we put together a huge mood board based on everything that catches our eye on various websites, social media and browsing in stores. So our inspiration is always current and it’s always functional. We strive to find the right balance between fun statement pieces, and more importantly styles that are going to make sense for the vast majority of lifestyles our customers have. Every previous season that we launch teaches us a ton of good lessons, and we willingly take those lessons and apply them as best we can to future collections (especially as two girls without any formal training in this world). Those lessons include everything from fit adjustments, types of styles that we produce, the colors/patterns picked and so on and so forth. Colors and patterns are always one of the haaaaaaaaaardest elements to decide on! We know all of our customers have different preferences for what they like to see and wear, and there’s definitely Team Color vs Team Neutral.
And that all brings me back to this collection launching tomorrow! There are 4 new tall girl styles hitting the website and each bring a unique vibe to the table. There’s a mix of bold color, a fun little twist on a neutral color and a mustard color that you wouldn’t believe if I told you how many times we resampled until we felt we got it right, LOL! Thank goodness our manufacturer is patient. But overall, we are thrilled with the mix and excited for it to go live! Before it does, let’s chat through each of the styles individually for just a second.
Mock Turtleneck in Poppy
Many years ago, my grandmother told me when I was a little girl that red was my color and I’ve never forgotten it. This color immediately made me think of her and that comment. I think it’s such a universally flattering shade on any skin tone and plus, it’s a very festive pop that just feels right this time of year. It doesn’t always seem immediately obvious as to how we can incorporate strong colors into the season of blacks, navys and soft neutrals, but this one just worked and we both immediately loved it. Plus, we both really wanted a sweater that had a fun chunky knit to it. Our initial round of sampling didn’t include a side slit, and after working through the fit and all the ins/outs of it, we decided to incorporate it. There’s a very practical and functional reason for including it, it can help with the comfort of a style over the hips, as well as the ability to tuck in portions of the front. But it just also adds a little bit of aesthetic. Our vision as to have a soft mock turtleneck construction that allowed for people to have options. If you aren’t someone that loves a lot happening around your neck, it easily folds under to give you some more breathing room. But, if you are the opposite than you can just wear the neck extended all the way up and it is just as cute. You can wear this color with any of the Blakely skinny jeans and even throw on the striped shirt underneath for a little extra pizzazz!
Knit Cardigan in Mustard
Probably about three years ago (when we were still in a brick & mortar store location), we had a long mustard cardigan that we kept having to reorder and reorder because it was a customer favorite! We were a little surprised at the time because we could see mustard being a color that potentially was a little polarizing, but of everything in our store at the time, that was FAR & AWAY the most popular. So it was always in the back of our minds to do it again down the road. Other fun fact: cardigans in general are always insanely popular for us and the more we do, the more request we get to keep doing more. 😊 And we couldn’t be more on board with that because we ourselves reach for them all the dang time! This particular style is the same as the knit cardigan in grey that we launched earlier this fall. It’s a little oversized/boyfriend style and has a fun, soft texture to it. As I mentioned already, we were maybe a tad picky on accomplishing the perfect mustard shade – we didn’t want anything too deep, too gold or too bright. And when this one hit our mailbox, we were all in. It was exactly what we had in mind! We tested it with every wash of our Blakely skinny jeans and loved it with each wash, as well.
Cable Knit Sweater in Dusty Purple
I’m going to be honest – this one is MY (Amy) personal favorite of this collection launching. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of them ….but there’s something about this style in this color palette that I’m so freakin’ pumped about. First of all, I love the tradition cable knit vibe and I couldn’t be more into the full turtleneck situation if I tried. Typically, these styles come out in the traditional whites, camels and black colors but we saw an inspiration sweater of a style in this dusty purple color and instantly thought, ‘THAT IS A GOOD TIME!’ The funny thing is, I never tend to gravitate towards any sort of purple anything! For whatever reason, it’s just not a color that usually resonates for me. But consider this one to be the exception to the rule! It’s soft, feminine but not TOO feminine, if that makes sense. And as noted twice above, we tested it again with our washes of denim and loved it with every single one. To us, it’s just a fun little twist on the standard neutral palette. Fun to mix it up a little bit!
Last but not least – the long awaited Teddy Jacket!! Last year, we did a fleece jacket that was our best seller and we actually sold out of it in most sizes fairly quickly! After that, we received a bunch of messages asking us to do another release of it. We didn’t want to necessarily recut the same thing (we didn’t think), and actually we put it out to our customer base in the form of a survey and many of the messages reiterated what we were already thinking! 😊 There was a huge amount of interest in another fleece/Sherpa style but the vast majority wanted something new from last year’s release. Challenge accepted!! Without a doubt, inspired by so many images we saw of traditional teddy coats, we steered the ship that direction. Everything about this piece is modeled after the traditional and comfy teddy coats that we see in the market. We wanted to do a deep cocoa color and wanted it to have the hoodie and drawstrings, as well, to play into the comfy and cozy vibe! Everything from the body length to the sleeve length to the room across the shoulders & back was reworked for this teddy coat to be the proper fit for our tall girl niche, and we can’t wait for you to try it!!
Winter is not so bad when you have fun and well-fitting styles like these to throw on!! And rest assured, even though we mentioned it specifically for the teddy coat above, all the styles have been thoroughly reworked and vetted to provide the ample torso and sleeve length that we as tall girls and women need, not to mention additional room across the back and shoulders. We can’t wait to see them all on you! Do you have a favorite? We would love to hear what it is below!