Last week I asked on Instagram stories what questions you had about Opaline Hue. Here were some of the questions:
“When will you launch your line?”
“How much will the pieces be?”
“What types of clothes will you have?”
These were such good questions! If you want to see my answers, I have them up on Instagram highlights. There was one question that jogged my memory. “How did you come up with this great idea for a clothing line?” I had written this summer in a newsletter about how I formed the idea for Opaline Hue.
Rather than start from scratch, I reworked that post to help illustrate the idea behind Opaline Hue. Originally written in July and reworked for A Life to Embrace.
My backpacking step-dad says he believes his jacket once saved his life on a camping trip. He purchased his down coat from a brand that precisely engineered it to save a human life should it be necessary. One night was so cold, that he believes if he hadn’t had a coat that high quality, he might have lost his life in the storm.
I’ve been thinking lately about how the outdoor adventure community pays so much attention to their clothes. In outdoor focused cities, more people wear clothing in their day-to-day lives geared towards braving rain or snow at any moment. The outdoor community pairs style with functionality, and place a high importance on comfort. Garments are proudly purchased with the belief that they will last a lifetime. The expectation of high quality garments is truly a part of the culture.
City living looks different than residing somewhere with an outdoorsy population. What I need from my clothing is different. I don't need to be prepared with a lightweight fleece for a hike, but I do need to prepare to be out all day - commuting, looking great for work, meeting friends, exploring the city or running errands. For many of my friends with children, their daily schedule looks different than mine but their clothing needs are quite similar. I expect the same level of quality from my clothing as someone who lives for the outdoors. For city dwellers, technical clothing may not be as important as life or death, but great clothes are actually necessary for better ease in all of our responsibilities (Also known as living your best life).
I admire the outdoor adventure consumers for their intention behind clothing purchases. I think what we need as consumers in cities, is to hold our clothing to a higher standard.
What I’ve noticed as a city dweller is this:
We don’t ask for enough from our clothing.
We often buy solely for the style, wearing low quality fabrics that don’t feel comfortable.
Our clothes often aren’t durable enough to last for years,
Nor are they personal enough to survive our closet purges.
As Westerners, we are buying more and wearing less of it. Today, I won’t get into the issues this habit causes for the environment or humans or economies (spoiler alert: serious issues). Rather, I think this highlights the low bar we set for our clothing.
You may be thinking, okay so what should be we asking for?
Well, this is the question I asked myself when designing Opaline Hue clothes.
The purpose of Opaline Hue is to close that gap between technical clothing and daily urban clothing. These garments will serve the unique needs of those living the fast paced city lifestyle. I’ll highlight a few ways I’m designing what we should be asking for:
Technical - I am using this word to describe Opaline Hue clothing. What I mean by this is a few things: The fabric for these garments is made of very high quality materials. The way the fabric is held together is strong. The particular fabric I am *likely* using is a patented technology from the supplier. The garments are intentionally designed and constructed to allow for ease of movement.
Multi Use - I have been using the word minimalist and multi use to describe these pieces. What I mean by this is these are designed in a way that, depending on who you are, these garments will look appropriate across many settings in your life. I say depending on who you are because of course all workplaces are different and I’m not designing pant suits! In general, these are meant to make the wearer look put together, stylish, boss, what have you, in any setting you find yourself in!
Comfortable - The fabric look and contents were important, but just as important is how it feels. I think you’ll agree with me when I say, I want clothes I don’t feel the need to change out of the instant I get home from work. I know those of you raising tiny ones need to be comfortable, but as my friend puts it, “don’t want to look like I’m always wearing pajamas.” If it isn’t comfortable, it usually sits in my closet. So - these garments must be comfortable!
I know the thought of clothes like this gets me excited! How about you?
Opaline Hue is expected to launch in the Spring. If you aren’t yet on the list - join the party! I will keep you updated as we approach.
While the engineering of our clothes may not always be necessary to literally save our lives, clothes are always necessary.
Do yours make you feel confident?
Do yours enable you to move in all the directions your life asks of you?
Are yours built to outlast the years of big living you have planned?
Our clothes are with us all day, every day. Let’s ask for more from them.