It is 2017 (nearly 2018) and if you have trouble finding something to wear to work that is a serious problem. Before you panic, I have two words for you…Of Mercer. Are you familiar with this very chic brand? I had the pleasure of visiting their NYC store and I fell in love with their design and high-quality fabrics used. I had to have a quick interview with Of Mercer to learn more about their brand and what they are doing for women everywhere!
Get to Know Of Mercer with Co-Founder Dorie Golkin Smith
Natasha: What is the story behind the company name?
Dorie: The word “mercer” refers to a trade association in 13th century London, The Company Of Mercers, dedicated to distributing textiles and fine cloth. Of Mercer is meant to evoke the same sense of timeless professionalism, while affirming our own mission to create clothes with 21st century appeal.
Dorie: It was kind of a no-brainer. Research shows that women perform better in their jobs when they’re wearing something that gives them confidence. We want all women to look and feel their best every day, and there is no reason why that should stop at size 14. We did a lot of research in developing the styles to make sure we created styles and fits that truly worked for plus size women.
Natasha: Some people can find dressing for work can be so tedious for some women. What are go-to pieces in the collection that make dressing for work easier?
Dorie: I have always loved wrap dresses because they’re so flattering on all body types, but I had to wear a camisole underneath to make it office-appropriate. We engineered our Sutton Dress to wrap above the bust, so no pesky safety pins or undershirts are required!
Natasha: I am a big fan of pieces that are great for day to night functions. Which pieces fit the bill?
Dorie: To be honest – most of our collection! But my personal favorites are the Beacon Dress and the Stanton Dress. They’re bold, modern, and have chic silhouettes that transition seamlessly from the boardroom to cocktails.
Natasha: What are your thoughts about shopping by body shape? Do you have pieces that work better for apple shaped, circle shape, pear shape, rectangle shape or hourglass shape?
Dorie: Yes, definitely! While every piece won’t work for everybody, we have at least a few styles that will work for everyone. On our website we put as much information as possible to make the online shopping process seamless – for example, we’ll call out what a style is “good for”, e.g., boobs, bellies, petite, hips, etc.
Natasha: As winter approaches, are there certain trends or colors that women should be on the lookout for?
Dorie: We’re seeing a lot of deep pinks and reds. We love incorporating these colors into our collection because they’re seasonless, office-appropriate, and let you stand out from the crowd of black. Glen plaid has always been one of our favorite non-boring neutrals, and we’re seeing a lot of that on the runway.
Natasha: What were some surprises you learned as you developed your extended size collection?
Dorie: The first realization was how underserved the market is, and the biggest issue we identified was quality. Many of the offerings utilized cheap fabrics, and almost none were made in the USA. Additionally, some brands didn’t re-fit their straight sized clothing and just graded up to plus size. The fit gets so wonky when you do this. So we fit our extended size on a size 16W fit model to ensure the proportions are correct.
Natasha: What advice do you have for women currently struggling to find workwear that she feels comfortable in?
Dorie: Find a few basics that you can wear at least once a week – a great black dress, a slimming pencil skirt, or ultra-comfy skinny pants. If you find a piece you love that doesn’t fit perfectly, get it tailored! It is always worth the extra $40 to have a piece that looks like it was tailor-made to your body.
Natasha: If you had to describe Of Mercer in 5 words, what would they be?
Dorie: Chic, Bold, Thoughtful, Effortless, Polished