Clothes, Credibility, and Life’s Priorities
Velvet is the fabric I most recently took the time to handle and contemplate because of its personality and feel. I came upon a swatch in a children’s book and ran my fingers over the nap to experience its softness, its richness. So I am glad to hear from Diana McKinney, Jackie Faught of our retailer Total Elegance Boutique and many others that they find Pretty Brainy Ts soft. Given the complications of the world in which we live, it is something that people would speak up about fabric. And then again, what something is made of has to speak to and reflect the people for whom it is made.
One of my goals in designing Pretty Brainy girls’ printed Ts was to provide this: a Fabric That Behaves like a Girl’s Best, Low-Maintenance Friend. When I first worked on the design nearly 10 years ago, my vision was to bring active, thinking girls and smart women a piece that would take the brain damage out of what to wear to look great, feel confident, and stay focused on what’s important in life.
The clothes you wear contribute to — or detract from — your credibility. And, at the same time, getting dressed and looking great should be easy tasks. They should be a snap so you can take care of life’s greater priorities — work that fulfills you, the people you love, attention to your highest values. So I created a fashion brand for smart girls of all ages so they can engage the things in life that are more important than a fashion brand!
Here Is What Comprises a Fabric That Behaves like Your Best, Low-Maintenance Friend:
- A tiny-rib cotton — 100 percent cotton that, besides its tiny rib, is soft because of being ring-spun and finely combed.
- A garment that minimally shrinks in the washer and dryer. I personally test Pretty Brainy Ts in the laundry, washing and drying them as if my boyfriend were doing the wash, that is, in hot water and on a high dryer setting. In my own tests over the last 13 months, the Peppermint Pink Ts have shrunk slightly more than Pretty Brainy Ts in our other hues of Chocolate, Black Licorice, and Bright White.
- Softness that doesn’t compromise durability. For all the times a girl wears her Pretty Brainy T, our fabric wears well and holds its shape.
- Girls’ apparel that is, in equal parts, beautiful and substantial: that was my goal. I was among the young teen girls who crawled the malls for ′tween fashion and teen girls Ts, seeing that “goods” on the racks for girls were flimsy (even cheap) compared to what was made and marketed for boys.
We tell moms and dads doing the laundry that our Peppermint Pink girls’ printed Ts may shrink up to 5 percent, while each of the other hues may shrink approximately 2 percent when washed repeatedly after purchase.
These are among the qualities that go into appropriate clothes for ′tween girls. Girls play hard, think hard, live out loud, and influence the world every day. And to bring them girls’ apparel in which they can be and be their best is work that fulfills me.
Heidi Olinger is the founder, president & CEO of Pretty Brainy, Inc. She has been a journalist, marketing director, executive director, foster parent, and aunt. “Being pretty brainy,” she writes, “is about believing in your capabilities and locating the self-confidence to act on your ambitions.”