LONDON, United Kingdom — It is often cited that a man’s suit is equivalent to body armour, making them feel secure and confident in the fast-paced world of business. Many women see it every morning as their husbands carefully tie the perfect half Windsor and slip their shoulders effortlessly into their tailored suit: he stands a little taller, his chest puffs out and he’s ready to face the day. As equality in the workplace gathers traction how can women gain the same psychological boost?
Several fashion visionaries and couturiers have tried to meet this challenge with a desire to flatter the female form while borrowing essential ideas from the well-dressed gentleman. For example, internationally acclaimed designers such as Yves Saint Laurent dedicated some of their creations to women workers who were part of a world traditionally dominated by men but were slowly gaining a voice as society began to change.
Emerging designers are also making some serious progress in dressing the working woman. STYLAND for example, is a Romanian brand that specialises in ladies ready-to-wear garments including tailored suiting, shoes and accessories. Inspired by male colleagues and following in the footsteps of great couturiers and tailors, Teodora Burz, who has worked for more than 20 years in menswear, created Styland six months ago to represent strong, successful and secure women working in a man’s world.
Teodora’s clients are feminine and smart but crave a powerful look that expresses their own personality. Styland women are those who maintain their femininity but want to incorporate versatile and timeless pieces, commonly found in menswear, into their wardrobes creating a personal style that tells a story.
Reinterpreting Menswear For Confident Ladies
When it comes to elegant and professional menswear, well-dressed gentlemen will favour quality over brand. Men are sold products based firstly upon physical quality and secondly on brand or design, women are pitched the other way around. This doesn’t mean that women value quality less than men, they just associate quality more closely with a brand rather than the specific cloth or construction technique used. “Men have a very good understanding of the quality of suiting,” says Teodora, “they can be more informed than women when it comes to fabrics, construction methods and cost.”
Styland is trying to change this stereotype by focusing first on quality fabrics that are then cut for a great style and handcrafted to deliver a powerful look and feel for a woman. Styland’s female clients expect the highest levels of quality and want to maximise the return on their investment. In order to achieve this, every piece of the collection is produced in-house and can be worn in many different ways and at different times in the day of an active woman. The handwork, craftsmanship and the premium fabrics imported from Italy and England are at the core of each product (Satin Silks, Extra Fine Wools, Natural Fibre Fabrics).
One of the main investment pieces of any professional wardrobe and one of the flagship products of Styland is the formal jacket. Teodora explains: “I believe that just a single, well crafted jacket can change your complete look and entire state of mind. We all need a power jacket that has been reinterpreted and styled in our own personal way.”
Styland’s market research shows that the perfect formal attire has the same confidence-boosting effect on women as it does on men. Women wearing a tailored jacket were found to feel more secure and strong and less vulnerable. “Sometimes women need to feel strong even if they are fragile or vulnerable,” explains Teodora.
I strongly believe that wearing the right suit jacket gives you more power at any age, as each period of life has its own insecurities.
We agree! The moment you step into a room wearing a jacket with the right cut and shape in a great fabric you feel like a million dollars, you forget your insecurities and are able to focus on the task at hand. If your jacket feels in any way uncomfortable or doesn’t quite fit or moves in an awkward fashion, you become distracted and insecure as you fidget with it.
Styland jackets are crafted by hand in the heart of Bucharest, they combine menswear inspired tailoring with feminine subtleties using 100% wool crepe giving them an elegant
and classic character. The jackets are made with a woman’s shape and movement in mind and strike the perfect balance between professional and sensual.
Although they do have a range of products, we can certainly admire the expertise and leadership that Styland is showing by focusing on jackets as they have nailed the importance of doing one thing well. Perhaps focusing on a niche when procuring professional clothing is the future of selling woman’s formal attire and something else that can be learnt from menswear?
The Future: One Stitch At A Time
Styland are a young brand but have already achieved famed and recognition in the Romanian market by impeccably framing the female silhouette through styling services in their sophisticated showroom as well as via their user-friendly online store. Their “See Now Buy Now” approach is captivating the attention of fashionistas and women in search of eclectic colours, sharp cuts and versatile pieces that can become their wardrobe’s core pieces.
As for what a not too distant future holds for Styland, Teodora’s goal is to showcase her latest collection in showrooms around London, Paris, Milan, New York and Hong Kong as well as to develop Styland’s online presence in some of the greatest digital stores around the world. Currently, they are arduously working to enter the American market to attract more buyers and clients who value well-made clothing and for whom comfort and craftsmanship is paramount.