The line: Meghan Evans—business-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 Miller—classic 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 Gods—fusing 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 Schalk—avant-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: Zophia—made-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.