What you’ll find: High-style clothes that are pretty, professional, colorful, and — crucially — comfortable. “We create clothing that kind of looks like a woven blazer, but we use knit so it stretches with you,” says Nic+Zoe founder and chief creative officer Dorian Lightbown. “It’s not one of those things that you’re dying to take off after work.” This combination of beauty and comfort is what Lightbown calls Nic+Zoe’s “secret sauce.”
Lightbown was inspired to create clothes for busy women when her children were young and, over and over, she met other professionals who couldn’t find clothes that matched their lives.
“I was interacting with librarians and pediatricians and all these women in professional roles who were raising their arms and teaching or examining patients and there weren’t a lot of clothes for them,” says Lightbown. Or, if women found clothes that fit the bill technically, with comfortable waistlines and fabrics, they were out of luck when it came to style. “Workwear [at the time] was very serious and not very colorful,” she adds. “Women like to wear color.”
What you won’t find: Any shirt that isn’t bra-friendly. “Dorian designs clothes that show things that women are comfortable showing,” says Nic+Zoe CEO, Susie Mulder. Designs are sexy and flattering without requiring baroque undergarments or the nightmare of constantly adjusting a too-revealing shirt.
Who will love it: Professional women who want a feminine style without sacrificing comfort — and those who lack confidence in matching bright colors with more neutral shades. Nic+Zoe offers a full range of sizes, including plus sizes.
Get the Goods: Nic+Zoe opened in October at the Galleria in Edina. nicandzoe.com.