Shopping

6 Washington Designers Making Dresses That May Solve Your Wardrobe Problems

Whether you have a long torso, need pieces that pack well, or want something one-of-a-kind.

Photograph courtesy of Zophia.
Made in DC 2019

About Made in DC 2019

This article is a part of Washingtonian’s Made in DC feature. Local artisans are creating bourbon and beauty products, handbags and hot sauce, clothing and jewelry. We found the coolest things being made here right now.

The line: Meghan Evansbusiness-casual garments in regular and tall sizes.

Founded in: 2017.
Designer: Meghan Evans, 32.
Designs in: DC.
Why: The five-foot-ten former lawyer struggled to find tops and jackets that fit her: “There are few options for tops, dresses, and blazers that fit women with longer torsos. I didn’t get into design simply to make clothing but to solve a personal problem.”

The line: Mimi Millerclassic pieces with modest, wearable cuts.

Founded in: 2015.
Designer: Mimi Miller, 26.
Designs in: Manassas.
Why: “There’s a misconception that ‘modest’ is frumpy. I aim to provide silhouettes that are longer and looser while not sacrificing style. My dresses and skirts are a few inches above the ankle, a length I think is flattering. Everything has sleeves, and the fabrics never require a camisole or slip, one of my pet peeves.”

The line: Sun Godsfusing bohemian styles with traditional African prints.

Founded in: 2017.
Designer: LaShawn Kenley, 34.
Designs in: DC and Maryland.
Why: “I wanted a brand that represented my culture in an ethical and beautiful way, as well as to show a representation of black and brown women who enjoy the bohemian-chic lifestyle.”

The line: Kim Schalkavant-garde garments inspired by art and architecture.

Founded in: 2012.
Designer: Kim Schalk, 53.
Designs in: Alexandria.
Why: At local boutiques, she wasn’t seeing the kind of one-of-a-kind pieces that spark her imagination. “My clients are usually artistic-minded—many are architects. I love construction: How can I make the most pared-down, most minimalist, most innovative? I might use origami, geometry, and a lot of trial and error.”

The line: Zophiamade-to-measure pencil skirts and dresses.

Founded in: 2010.
Designer: Betsy Cohen, 33.
Designs in: Takoma Park.
Why: Cohen—who loved wearing garments made by her grandmother—offers custom clothing not only so clients get a proper fit but also to fight what she sees as the wasteful inventories of fast fashion. Plus, she says, “it’s that beautiful experience of building a relationship with the person that makes your clothing.”

The line: Virginia Dare Dress Co.versatile dresses that aren’t trend-driven.

Founded in: 2016.
Designer: Rebekah Murray, 32.
Designs in: Leesburg.
Why: While working as a traveling wedding photographer, Murray says, “I kept feeling a lack of the kind of dress I wanted to take with me that was high-quality, flattering and feminine, but simple enough to be worn different ways.”

This article appears in the December 2019 issue of Washingtonian.

Keep Up on DC’s Latest Fashions with Our Shopping Newsletter

Fashion finds and deals, and the latest trends for you and your home.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.
Assistant Editor

Hayley is an Associate Editor at Washingtonian Weddings. Previously she was the the Style Editor at The Local Palate, a Southern food culture magazine based out of Charleston, South Carolina. You can follow her on instagram @wandertaste.