Evie Lou traces its love for Prairie Underground back to a chilly summer day in Chicago, long before the boutique even opened.
“I was in Chicago at a conference,” says Evie Lou owner Kim Crow. “It was freezing cold — I don’t know why, it was the middle of summer! — and I had only brought summery things to wear.”
During a break from judging a news contest at the heavily air-conditioned conference, Kim ran into a few stores in the city for a warm cover-up.
“I tried on this hoodie, and I absolutely loved it,” she says. “But it was $250. I’d never spent that much on an item of clothing before in my life. Since then, all hell’s broke loose, but at that point I was like, ‘I have to have this hoodie! The car payment can wait a couple weeks!’ ”
She split the purchase between two credit cards and returned to the conference.
Three days later, she went back and bought another one in a different color — the piece had resulted in countless “have you lost weight?”’ comments at the conference. Kim was hooked, and Prairie Underground became one of the brands the Evie Lou boutique opened with.
“In fact, one of the reasons I wanted to have the store was to carry as much of their line as I could,” Kim adds.
There’s no denying the luxurious feel of Prairie’s pieces. Super-soft and cozy knits are coupled with silhouettes and cuts flattering for all figures. It’s utilitarian, but still stylish. Comfy outfits still look feminine. “Everything feels great,” says Kim, adding that the fabrics that brand uses are what women respond to most. “That’s what keeps you coming back [to the brand],” she says. “Yes, it’s a cute style, but it just feels so good when you’re wearing it.”
And the clothes fit. The skinny denim girdles that suck you in in all the right places. Organic cotton tanks that stay tucked in because the length allows for it. Extra long cuffs that ensure tall women can cover their wrists, which are also easy to roll up and adjust on the run for those who are more petite. Pant inseams run the gamut, so no woman’s left behind. Regardless of height, width or even age, Prairie works.
It’s easy to literally and figuratively feel good when you’re wearing Prairie because of the brand’s values. The designer-founders behind Seattle-born Prairie Underground place the highest standard on the textiles they source, favoring renewable crops like organic cotton and hemp, as well as a proprietary, plant-based material harvest from wood pulp called TENCEL, and REPREVE, a recycled fiber produced from salvaged materials that’s been melted into yard. Here, recycled plastic bottles find a home in fashion.
From the environmentally-friendly textiles they use to their manufacturing policies — the label’s ethos is based on the idea that ”creation itself should be a sustainable practice” — sustainability is paramount.
Read more about the brand’s sustainable fashion in our Q&A with the founder.
“They’re very environmentally conscious and they manufacture in the US, which I really respect,” says Kim. Since the brand’s beginnings in 2005, all of their clothing has been produced within fifteen minutes of their Seattle warehouse.
Prairie’s efforts to manufacture ethically and reduce waste in the fashion industry extend to consumption — they support integrating secondhand clothing into your wardrobe, provide suggestions on how to do so with Prairie pieces, and recently introduced vintage clothing into their collection, hoping to “tell a greater story about apparel design and manufacturing.”
In addition, the brand supports numerous women’s causes, donating a portion of proceeds yearly and collaborating with female artists on special prints for pieces.
Besides clothes that do good, and the iconic cloak hoodie that started it all, check out some of our Prairie favorites made exclusively for Evie Lou (“because some things we can’t get enough of, and want more colors!”). Or, shop the rest of our Prairie Underground collection.