Classic New England Style
whether it's architecture, beach houses or fashion
is understated and minimalistic.
Connecticut Country Clothing was born from one woman's frustration in finding quality smart casual blazers with a great fit and a classy relaxed style, a style professional enough for work, chic enough for the evening yet comfy enough for the weekend. She was seeking a truly versatile blazer to go from the office, to dining out, to weekend activities. So many blazers in her closet looked like they strictly belonged in the office, while the two more casual blazers she owned had gotten so much wear the linings disintegrated - they needed to be retired (sadly). It was the retirement of these blazers which began her search for replacements - and that search proved futile, especially as a plus sized woman.
Design concepts began swirling in her head, and over time she melded together a number of wants and needs:
1) the style needed to seamlessly transition from work life to personal life;
2) be available in a large range of sizes;
3) look good on different body types and sizes;
4) have an amazing fit for one and all;
5) be figure flattering (no boxy blazers - blah!);
6) versatile style features to change up the look;
8) true convenience, such as two inside breast pockets; and
9) be fair trade, sustainable/organic with biodegradable fabrics and buttons;
10) and provide a bespoke lining choices.
In short - it needed to be highly versatile, stylish, comfortable, unique and offer real convenience to a busy woman who didn't have time to ponder her wardrobe choices every morning. When your life is full, your work day long and you have a commute - an easy mix and match wardrobe is a life saver - and blazers are core mix and match staples.
After a couple of years researching and speaking with women about their likes and dislikes, some complaints became apparent.
a) The number one complaint was that blazers were too tight through the upper back. We've addressed this by adding more width through the back between the shoulders.
b) The number one style request was for a blazer to be shapely. Women didn't want to disappear into an unflattering box or look manly. We've addressed this by using princess seams, a flair hem and a soft cloth belt on our signature blazer styles.
c) The number two style request was for a blazer to be longer and not cut straight across at the hip line. To address this, we have focused on designing blazers which are longer as opposed to shorter. For awhile - all you could find in stores were short blazers. Short blazers aren't for everyone.
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 ducks and sailboats - a place where people dress nicely yet casually. Katherine Hepburn lived a town over; it would be fair to say her style fit the locale. Classic New England style - whether it's architecture, beach houses or fashion - is understated and minimalistic. These formative years influenced our founder's aesthetic sense - 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 understated 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 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 stylish at social gatherings, and "Plus" is a play on being plus size inclusive.
What is upscale casual (or "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 had a unique, strong yet relaxed, style. She was polished without being fussy. The pop up collar on our blazers is a nod to Ms. Hepburn's style.
We're All About the Curves
We begin by designing on a full figured 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. A design for a size 6 woman often doesn't flatter a size 16 woman, so we do the opposite. Women of all sizes have curves, and we want women to feel comfortable and confident in their own skins. Our designs are the alternative answer to the unshapely boxy blazer.
"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.
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 and to simultaneously represent our commitment to the environment.
And lastly, for our international followers.
Connecticut is the name of the southernmost state in the New England region of the United States (the north east), and is located above 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 numerous reminders of the rich history of the region.
Sentient Beings LLC dba Connecticut Country Clothing