Connecticut Country Clothing was born from one woman's frustration in finding quality business dress casual blazers which provided a classy yet comfortable style, a style professional enough for work, chic enough for the evening yet comfy enough for the weekend. She was seeking a truly transitional blazer which could go from the office to the opera to dinner with friends. Having a significant commute to/from work, plus limited time to focus on her wardrobe, she adopted the "uniform" approach to professional wear and became minimalistic with her wardrobe (a sustainable approach). Truly versatile blazers are the backbone to any wardrobe and especially to a uniform/minimalistic one, but she discovered that finding such a blazer proved difficult - especially as a plus-sized woman. In men's fashion, there is an established category for smart dress casual blazers, but this is not the case in women's fashion. Our designer saw a need and Connecticut Country Clothing was born to establish a women's category for smart, polished dress casual blazers. And more than that, a blazer category inclusive of plus sizing and sustainability.
Our founder/designer grew up in the Connecticut River Valley, in a small historic town along the Connecticut River - an easy going place where people stroll down Main Street to the Connecticut River to watch the ducks and sailboats - a place where people often dress nicely yet casually. Katherine Hepburn lived a town over, and it would be fair to say her style fit the locale. These formative years strongly influenced our founder's sense of style - and obviously - our company's name is derived from this time in her life.
A Taste of the Connecticut River Valley (Essex, CT)
Our designs are inspired by the straightforward, classic understated
and minimalist style which began with the original settlers of New England, and which remains to this day, quintessential New England style.
As an adult, our founder spent decades living and working in corporate offices in cities such as NYC, DC, and LA, which gave her a strong sense of what an upscale casual blazer should be - and for certain - it needed to be truly versatile to conveniently move seamlessly between professional and personal life. It needed to be chic, tailored, comfortable and functional. This design goal culminated in our motto: Professional Plus Chic. "Professional" meaning appropriate for the office; "Chic" for looking good at social gatherings, and "Plus" is a play on being plus size inclusive.
Upscale Casual Chic
What is upscale casual chic (also known as "smart casual")? It's when you mix a tailored dressy element, like one of our blazers, with something informal - like jeans. We draw inspiration from Kate Hepburn who embodied feminine strength, who had a strong sense of a unique and relaxed personal style yet who was polished without being fussy - or rather - she was upscale casual chic. To be familiar with Kate's aesthetic is to understand ours. Our pop up collar on the Kate blazer is a nod to Ms. Hepburn's style.
We're All About the Curves
We begin by designing on a full figure woman to ensure fit and style for curves, something women have no matter their size. Most designers begin on a size 6 model and then grade for other sizes. We do the opposite. Women of all sizes have curves, and we want women to feel comfortable and confident in their own skin. Our designs are the alternative choice to unshapely, boxy blazers.
"It's Not Easy Being Green" ~ Kermit
We are an environmentally conscious company using imported fabrics of natural fibers which are ethically sourced (fair trade), sustainable or organic, and dyed with low-impact dyes (which are less toxic and use less water). Sustainability means different things to different companies. Our primary sustainability goal is to be as close to 100% biodegradable as possible. Even our sew to order process (On-Demand manufacturing) is a sustainable method. For more info, please see our page entitled "What is Sustainable Fashion?"
Why Oak Leaves
Through various cultures, oak leaves have represented stability, endurance, humble beginnings, independence, patience and strength. We honor feminine strength and endurance by using oak leaves as our brand's symbol as well as to simultaneously represent our commitment to the environment.
In Connecticut, the Charter Oak tree was an unusually large white oak growing in the city of Hartford from around the 12th or 13th century until it fell during a storm in 1856. The oak became a symbol of American independence and is commemorated on the Connecticut State Quarter.
And lastly, for our international followers.
Connecticut is the name of the southernmost state in the New England region of the United States, and is located just north of New York City. The name, Connecticut, comes from an indigenous American Indian tribe, the Algonquians, and this word means "long tidal river" or "upon the long river" which refers to the Connecticut River. Connecticut was one of the original English colonies and one of the first states of the United States. When you grow up in a New England state, you are surrounded by many reminders of the rich history of the region.