Don't call us lazy; we just love a versatile piece of clothing that we can wear, well, all the time. Enter Gus Sloan, a Canadian brand that creates the kind of little black one-piece garments we could literally live in. Check out our interview with founder Lauren Dary, and enter to win a special-edition Gus Sloan denim LBJ! —Noa Nichol
Hi Lauren! Tell us a bit about yourself and Gus Sloan to start!
Gus Sloan is a slow-fashion brand with a focus on one-piece garments we like to call the Little Black Jumpsuit (the LBJ). The brand is deeply rooted in empowerment, confidence and self-love. We truly want the wear-er of our jumpsuits to feel their absolute best. We strive to make all of our garments versatile, comfortable and easy-to-wear. We want the LBJs to be re-worn and worn in different ways—to be a sustainable piece. A true closet staple with the versatility to wear in any situation, from work to play and beyond. It really goes back to when I was a young girl. For a long time, my body never really fit into "standard" sizing so I had a difficult time finding things that I liked. I was ridiculed a lot for my size. I remember thinking how amazing it would be if I could design and make the clothes I actually wanted to wear. As I got older, my body eventually started to fit into the standard sizes. That eventually led me away from the desire to make my own clothes. I still ended up following a creative path and became a professional photographer in Edmonton. Fast-forward to a few years ago—I turned 30, took a seminar on personal styling and it triggered this "aha" moment for me. It was now or never to pursue this dream that had been left inside of me so long ago. On a whim, I decided to apply to fashion design school and was accepted! I was thrilled and, just like that, a fire re-ignited within me. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t make full-time school work at that time—not with two small children at home, a mortgage, a photography business to run and everything else that comes with "adulting". But I refused to ignore this dream for the second time, so I gave myself 12 months to learn as much as I possibly could about design and sewing. I read textbooks, I did online courses, I read blogs and found mentors—I put in the work with any spare minute I could find. It was a grind. I spent evenings and weekends and toddler nap times learning as much as I possibly could. 13 months later, I launched Gus Sloan.
Why the name Gus Sloan?
Gus and Sloan are the two names I wanted for children but they were never used. I have two boys, but my husband didn’t let me name either of them Gus and I never had a girl to name Sloan. So when it came time to name the business, those two names were front of mind and I knew the second I said them out loud together that it was right!
And why is a "little black jumpsuit" the perfect wardrobe addition for fall?
The LBJ is the perfect addition for every season! It just makes things so easy—one garment, no need to think about putting together an outfit (it’s done for you!). For fall, there are endless ways to layer the LBJ—my favourite way to layer it is to wear a long-sleeved cropped shirt underneath the jumpsuit. It is such a seamless look and makes it easy to take on and off. Layering with sweaters and cardigans over the LBJ is another great way to wear for fall. Because, really, aren’t we all secretly craving oversized sweater season?
How, and why, do you think the so-called #sleeptostreet fashion movement evolved?
Comfort. I think we all just want so badly to feel comfortable in our own skin. And when we don’t feel comfortable in our clothing, it’s near impossible to feel confident in ourselves. The tricky part is finding those comfortable outfits that can be worn with confidence to whatever our demanding lives throw our way. We need to be able to wear our comfort to work, board meetings, dates, etc. That’s where the LBJ comes in—it truly is a comfortable outfit that can be worn in any situation. It’s been designed to be incredibly versatile without sacrificing comfort. We just want people to feel good in the skin they’re in!
Tell us about your ethical design and production practices, as well as your commitment to size for all bodies.
We design with a variety of body shapes and sizes in mind. We want our jumpsuits to work for as many different people as possible. We choose fabrics with this in mind and every design goes through a process to ensure we are doing our best for people’s bodies. We are introducing a size 3X and 4X in September and we also have a made-to-measure option for a more customized fit. It’s incredibly important to me that we are inclusive. If someone wants a jumpsuit, I want to make one for them. I truly want Gus Sloan to be accessible for all bodies. We also pride ourselves on our ethical and intentional production. Our jumpsuits are made locally by our team of "sewists" in Edmonton. They work from their home studios and earn a living wage. We make our garments on a made-to-order basis to keep our waste as little as possible. Our fabric is sourced from a Canadian company and is cut locally, in Edmonton, at a garment factory. My hope is to keep production local for as long as we possibly can.
Tell us about this limited-edition jumpsuit!
I’m so excited about our upcoming Special Edition DENIM LBJ! It’s been a work-in-progress for a while and I knew that it would be great for spring. It has a wrap-style front, short sleeves, pockets, is a straight leg and will come with a sash for the option of tying around the waist. The fabric is a beautiful light-weight stretch denim. We bought the fabric in limited quantities, so we will have a limited number available for pre-order in both black and blue denim!
In a typical day, what do YOU do in your little black jumpsuit?!
My typical LBJ day involves errands (lots of errands), toddler activities (usually a park or play-gym), work meetings, sample creating in my home studio and cooking dinner. It is also the first thing on my packing list for any trip. It is so easy to wear in different ways by changing up accessories, shoes and layers!
Win! A $215 Gus Sloan Special-Edition Denim LBJ!
One lucky Canadian winner will receive a $215 Gus Sloan special-edition denim LBJ in their choice of size and colour (black or blue)! To enter, follow @vitadaily.ca on Instagram and like and leave a comment on our LBJ post. Contest opens September 12th, 2019, and closes September 19th, 2019. Contest rules and regulations here. Good luck!