“Ilana” dress in “Argyle” print c/o Leota || MaxMara wool and cashmere camel coat (similar) || Stuart Weitzman kitten heels (suede in multiple colors) || Georg Jensen Mobius strip bracelet from my maternal grandmother (yes the house makes more than household goods) || Birthstone necklace from Rachel Jackson || Bottega Veneta crossbody bag
A couple of months ago, as I stood in the checkout line at Whole Foods, vaguely annoyed for no good reason (it happens), I was cheered by a few passers-by. Across our Silicon Valley landscape of All Pants All The Time, suddenly, a flock of jersey dresses. Several young women so attired, moving with a purpose, through the sliding glass doors and past the peaches, in numbers that might indicate a trend.
“Huh,” I thought. And then paid for my groceries. Maybe I was making dal for dinner. I don’t remember.
Not too long thereafter I got an email from a company I’d never heard of, asking me to review their dresses on the blog. You guessed it, jersey!
Made by a small business called Leota, run by a woman. All products sewn in Brooklyn. I don’t often do reviews of gifted product, but, we’ve talked about women’s work wardrobes before here and this seemed relevant. Besides, my daughter in medical school loves to wear dresses under her white jacket, and she thought these were beautiful.
Above, I’m in Leota’s “Ilana” dress in “Argyle.” Below, my daughter’s also in the Ilana, but with a different print. These dresses work across all ages. The fabric isn’t quite as heavy as my Tory Burch, but it’s by no means flimsy, and it hangs really well.
Ilana dress in French Braid print c/o Leota Dresses || Apple watch c/o doting mother and stepfather || Topshop sandals (now available in crinkle gold for such a good price)
Leota helps you find a work “uniform” by allowing you to find colors, prints and silhouettes that you can stick with.
- You can search by print. I wanted something that came in my usual blue/purple/pink palette. I tried a green dress first, yikes, no! Good to experiment, good to abandon the bad direction;).
- Or by silhouette. Full-figure, maternity, cap sleeves, maxi, and so on. This seems a very easy way to grow a whole component of a simple work wardrobe.
Leota does need to revamp their website. Loads slowly, scrolls poorly, suboptimal photo display. But the dresses are lovely in person.
New prints arrive regularly, which is both good and bad. Act fast, the design you like now may be gone tomorrow.
Finding a work uniform doesn’t solve everything, as we have seen recently but won’t discuss now. (Come find me on Twitter if you want to talk or just hear me try to sort this all out.) Women face challenges in the workplace, as we have also seen recently but still won’t discuss now. However, a good dress can help us get out the door. Navigate the commute. Reduce the list of intractable problems once when we arrive.
Sometimes we just have to get going. One foot in front of the next.
And sometimes we can give ourselves a moment to stop and imagine. Keep on dreaming my friends.
Even better, keep on doing. A salute to all the women who work, at home, in offices, in laboratories, on the roads, in the fields, growing our opportunities every day. To say nothing of the opportunities for our daughters. Surely on that we can agree.
Photos of me courtesy my tripod. Photos of my daughter, credit to Kellie Satterfield. Thanks Kellie!
Leota sent dresses to me and my daughter for this review. I also asked them to compensate the young medical student who took my daughter’s photos, and they very graciously agreed. Links to Leota will not generate commissions. Links to other retailers may.