A conversation with designer Pat Gillespie
CM: What’s new with your design work?
Pat: The latest is our black and white series. I designed these dresses because we’ve found that the most difficult thing for a woman, especially a woman with a career, is finding clothing that reflects her normal style – the kind of thing she would have worn to work when she wasn’t pregnant. As a result, I’ve been designing a series of work dresses over the past few years. I chose a black and white theme for this collection because black and white never goes out of style. It’s easy, clean styling.
CM: It seems like something uncomplicated that you can just throw on but still look polished for work or to go to an event.
Pat: That’s the thing. When I design, I remember something my mother taught me early in my career. She’d say a good design should be able to do more than one thing. That’s something I’ve really held onto as a designer. I don’t believe in filing your closet full of impulse buys. You want to build a wardrobe that has substance, that has quality, that you can go to time and time again and it always makes you feel good.
Going back to my mother, I learned that you don’t buy a dress or an outfit for just one purpose. When you buy something for work, it should be versatile. This is why many women own a little black dress (aka LBD); it’s easy to dress up or dress down. The black and white prints of this current series are a more eye-catching version of the LBD. For example, the shift, paired with a jacket, is a great dress for work. Then, wear it with pretty sandals and jewelry and it becomes the perfect dress for a baby shower. Often in the store, a customer is looking for clothes for work and she’ll say “You know, I also have an event coming up and I think this dress could work for both.” So, clothing being versatile is key to a good wardrobe and it’s even more important in a maternity wardrobe.
CM: Why is versatility so important in a maternity wardrobe?
Pat: In your regular wardrobe, where you have dozens of pieces to choose from, you might wear something once or twice a month. A maternity wardrobe has fewer items so it’s important to be able to mix them around to create different looks. With this versatility, you will wear your maternity clothes – like the shift dress or wrap dress – twice a week, if not more. Clothing that can be worn more than one way adds value to your wardrobe. Style with versatility and value – that’s what this collection from Carry Maternity delivers.