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Kids may be headed back to school but it looks as though the pandemic will keep many Canadians working from home – at least part of the time. On September 11 The Globe and Mail’s Style News rounded-up brands introducing new product lines and understandably, comfort was a theme. Among them was Espino. Espino is a made-in-Canada luxury label focused on high-end, real silk loungewear that doubles as fashion sportswear.
Luxury Silk Loungewear for Women
The Globe and Mail reports “…new line, Espino (espinosilk.com) is a collection of versatile silk wardrobe essentials. As an alternative to athleisure, its pieces are meant to be worn at home, to social outings and to work.”
Founder, Tara McCarthy began working on Espino during the pandemic because she couldn’t find real silk pajamas pants in a quality of silk that was good enough to wear out. It was also a great way to keep occupied throughout the many lockdowns.
“I was wearing pajama pants at home because I find them so comfortable but it was getting to be too much,” she says. “I needed to differentiate between sleepwear and daywear. I began researching natural silk pajamas to see if I could find silk pants to wear with sweaters and nice silk tops for work-from-home, but they looked too much like pajamas. And they were thin, flimsy silk and a bit see through. I realized what I really wanted was real silk loungewear pants that were substantial enough that I could get away with wearing them out if I wanted to.”
McCarthy collaborated with some of Canada’s top fashion talent to bring Espino to life. It began with the wide leg pant and other coordinating pieces followed. They’re all made from super-premium real silk, unlined with French seams, and hand-washable. Everything is in comfortable, pull-on, relaxed fit styles. The Espino line is made by women, for women. McCarthy recommends another great Canadian, female-founded brand for laundering Espino silk – Soak wash. It’s a super gentle laundry wash that has a unique no rinse formula.
Give sweatpants the day off!
Espino is all about luxleisure, a new concept intended to give women a comfortable alternative to athleisure.
“A lot of women prefer a more elevated aesthetic,” says McCarthy. “They love their stylish athletic wear – when they’re at the gym but are looking for something more elegant to wear when working from home or stepping out.”
The hottest silhouette of the season is the wide leg pant. The Espino silk pant is made with super-premium sand wash, natural silk fabric. This glamorous shape was first made famous by Ginger Rogers, where she wore a satin silk version in films she starred in along side Fred Astaire. The wide leg pant made fashion headlines in the 1970s when the world's most fashionable women – like Diana Ross and Bianca Jagger, were photographed sporting this sexy style.
“This season the wide leg pant is the must-have style,” says McCarthy. “We designed the Espino wide leg to be multi-purpose. We know everyone is used to comfortable clothes after more than a year working from home, so we wanted to make real silk loungewear pants that could be styled to go out. “
Silk Pants, Shorts, Tops & Dresses Made in Canada
The Espino real silk loungewear pieces are in high demand. Certain sizes have already flown off their digital shelves, but not to worry, more are on the way. The brand keeps a waitlist going at all times so clients aren’t disappointed.
“Unlike fast fashion, Espino is a luxury brand that works with high end, real silk – so it’s a slow fashion choice and totally worth the wait,” says McCarthy. “These pieces read luxury. Every time I wear mine I get so many compliments. They really stand out because they’re so beautiful. And, you can feel good about buying them because you’re supporting local makers who are keeping the tradition of fine garment making alive. We’re not a nameless, faceless company that makes products that have to travel 10,000 kms to get to you.”
Espino luxury silk loungewear is made by hand, in Toronto by master garment makers. The fit is designed to flatter women of all sizes. The Espino pant looks just as chic on a size large as it does on a small, and that’s because of months of product development and high quality tailoring. Espino’s pattern maker has decades of experience. She is a master at draping fabric and it shows in the stunning real silk loungewear she helped to produce. When a quarter of an inch can throw off the look of a garment, taking the time and care to get it right pays off with a flattering fit.
“We produce limited quantities because we know our clients want something unique. They don’t want to show up for brunch and see their outfit on others,” says McCarthy. “We design for collectors. People who have high standards for what they put in their closets. Because the world doesn’t need more, it needs better.”
Collectors are the people that really know their personal style. They’re more concerned with choosing very high quality pieces that are unique. Wardrobe items that are collectable and will hold their style for many years to come. It’s all about creating a signature look.
“Many years ago I heard something in an interview with a luxury brand fashion stylist that stuck with me forever,” adds McCarthy. “She said the big brands go out in the streets and look for people with awesome personal style and they interpret some of those looks for the runway. This blew my mind. Here we are buying these big ticket designer items that were actually inspired by someone who was likely mixing high-street fashion with cool thrifted finds to create their own signature style. I loved that and wanted to make a product that they could easily mix into their wardrobes.”
Canadians are more concerned than ever with sustainability and in order to be more sustainable, a shift away from fast fashion is necessary. Looking at the wardrobe as a collection that you will keep for a long time and take care of is one way to be more sustainable. Choosing natural fibres that biodegrade is also important. Synthetic fibres don’t biodegrade and are among the biggest polluters. Being thoughtful about purchases – buy it and keep it, buying local to reduce the carbon footprint and investing in wardrobe pieces that support the local economy also helps.
Espino luxury silk loungewear and pajamas are available at www.espinosilk.com and can be found on Tik Tok and Instagram @espinosilk.