Evelyn is the co-founder of Pivotte, making beautiful, technical clothes for work and beyond. Pivotte is women-owned, sustainable, and NYC-made. Amen! We were excited to interview Evelyn because her mission is so aligned with Rebecca Allen; Pivotte is helping women build wardrobes that inspire confidence. Pivotte believes that confidence is the fuel that drives goals and successes, and ultimately, a fulfilling life. We whole wholeheartedly agree.
And! Rebecca Allen customers and readers can receive 20% off with code PivotteXRA.
Below, we turn it over to Evelyn to hear how this entrepreneur and Brooklynite designs her day. Read on!
Where do you reside and what is your favorite local spot close to home?
I live in Park Slope, Brooklyn – which I love! My favorite local destination close to home is Prospect Park where I go running a few times a week. Another favorite spot is Le French Tart - for their baguettes (THE best in the entire city, seriously)!
It's breakfast time on a weekday, where are you and what are you eating?
If it’s breakfast time on a weekday, I’m at my office in South Park Slope. I have breakfast a bit late - around 10am - because I eat after my morning activities: I go the gym, prep for my day, check emails, then head in and eat at the office while I catch up on more emails, reading, notes from the previous day’s meetings, etc. My breakfast is usually a smoothie that I make myself and Wasa crackers with jam. I NEVER skip breakfast. Mostly because I’m starving after a workout. Also - I just really enjoy it - it’s a way for me to ease into the day.
It's dinner time on a weekday, where are you and what are eating?
This is harder to answer than breakfast because I do not have a consistent dinner schedule - neither time nor place. I could be out with friends, having dinner with my boyfriend in the city or making it at his place, at a networking thing, dinner at a friend’s apartment, by myself on the run, by myself at home - it’s never the same. For the most part, I eat the same kind of breakfast and lunches - and I make those myself. Dinner is just an up in the air situation day to day.
Describe your workwear style.
My workwear style is classic with modern details, versatile and prepared for anything. I need to be able to dress my outfit up and down on a whim. I usually wear elevated basics - then use makeup and shoes to change my look from activity to activity. My favorite brand is, of course my own - Pivotte, which fulfills the needs above.
I need versatility because day to day, even hour to hour I am doing completely different things. And because there is so much variety in my schedule and I’m running around a lot - I need my clothes to be comfortable. I can go from visiting a factory and going through inventory, to meeting someone at The Wing in the city, going to my office in BK, then going out for dinner.
My daily formula: Pivotte bottoms + A tank or sleeveless shirt + the Pivotte cardi or a leather jacket, A GIANT leather bag, and shoes I can run around in. I might have to carry an extra pair for meetings - so I toggle between cool sneakers and heels (nude being my favorite, but sometimes black).
In the summer, I mix it up a bit because the weather is nice enough to wear dresses, so that goes into the mix.
Some brands I love besides my own:
- Bags: Senreve and Caraa for bags (Disclaimer - I don’t have bags from either - but only because I purchased new bags before I found out about them!). I do really love my All Saints Kita Handbag to Backpack Convertible bag.
- Silk Tanks or Tees (my fav thing to wear on top): Tibi (less so now, but I have about 10 of them), Club Monaco,Theory, Helmut Lang
- Shirts: J.Crew white collared shirts, Rag & Bone Shirts
- Sweaters or Cardigans: Our own Good-to-go Cardi, Vince and Helmut Lang
- Jackets: Vince, Helmut Lang, Theory and I’m eyeing an All Saints one.
- Pants - The entire line of Pivotte pants
- Dresses: Rag & Bone, Carven, old Helmut Lang, Elizabeth and James, Iro, The Row. I am less brand loyal here - because I love dresses and use them for a variety of occasions, so I need different designs.
The question about what messages I'm trying to communicate through clothing is really important. There is no denying that clothing projects a certain image - you wear something different if you want to communicate authority and expertise over fun and the life of the party.
At work, I want to communicate respect, authority, expertise, and a certain sense of practicality and directness. I want to show that I can pull it together for a meeting with senior level people, but if need be, pitch in and help with other office tasks like moving furniture for an event.
I don’t really try to infuse too much of my actual personality into my clothing because the aforementioned qualities are my priorities. However, I do think that some aspects of my personality inherently comes across in what I choose to convey those things, and the combination of all distinct outfit pieces. I’m rather obsessed with the intersection of form and function - and pieces I choose reflect that.
Do you have a favorite workwear item that you can't live without?
The Jet Black 24/7 Pants are my “can’t live without” item. They are absolutely the best pants I’ve ever owned.
The advanced, custom Swiss fabric is extremely stretchy - but retains shape - which amounts to complete comfort. They are tailored and sleek enough to pair with heels, and cool enough to cuff and wear with my favorite shoes - Nike flyknit racers.
There are many pockets (yay!), and because of the water and stain resistance - they are worry free. First of all, you can get by with less frequent washing given the fabric’s technical qualities. Then when they do need to be washed - you can throw them in the washing machine!
A story to sum it up: I once wore these to work with heels, changed into sneakers for a plane ride, then went right into the Ecuadorian amazon rainforest in the same pants.
How do you prepare for a big presentation or meeting?
I start prepping the minute I know I have the meeting or presentation. I prep by asking a lot of questions to make sure I develop something in line with what the audience needs and their expectations. I build out a deck that will be revised right up until the deadline - continually asking for feedback if that’s an option. I do practice giving the presentation out loud, but never as much I should. I make sure I know the information I’m presenting inside and out, and I try to anticipate questions from all angles. I make sure to always include a summary in the beginning, and a “next steps” or action-based thought at the end.
What constitutes a good day at work?
A good day at work means the tasks were varied, there was alone and team time, an aspect of creative work in there (brainstorming, working with graphic designers, writing, etc), some to-dos were crossed off, and problems were solved or a path was outlined to solve them. Unexpected positive news, connections, new cool opportunities, feedback make it even better. It also feels great when something significant is completely finished - like an event.
How do you unwind and turn work off?
I’m not one of those people that has to force myself to turn work off - but that is probably due to the fact that the way I work is very fluid. If I absolutely need to get more done / finish a task - I do it. If I have more to do, but it’s not pressing and I want to go do something else for a bit - I do it and go back to work later. If I need to work on the weekend - I do it, but I also make sure I have something to look forward to later on in the night.
The thing that is non-negotiable is my morning workout time. This is my self-care, and I start most days of the week with it. It’s part of my morning routine - which I guess you could say is a sort of an overarching ritual. I like to get up, clean around my apartment a bit, workout, prep for the day, then have breakfast and coffee while I read. I basically do the same pattern every morning.
Other things I do to unwind are schedule social time and go to interesting events. I never used to watch TV, but occasionally now I turn on Netflix after work. I also write letters - like snail mail letters - to friends. Oh - and I read. Everyone should read the biography, Catherine the Great. It deserves the Hamilton treatment.
Regardless of whether your work is your passion or your path to the weekend, what is your favorite thing to allocate time to outside of “the office?”
I don’t have a favorite thing because I like variety and going with whatever I’m in the mood for. I think it is really important to have activities outside of work - beyond work life balance - I believe participating in other activities or following other interests make your work stronger. This is why we at Pivotte design clothes for “work and beyond.”
Outside of working, I socialize with friends and spend time with my boyfriend, work-out, walk around the city or a park. I have people over with some frequency and either make dinner or host potlucks. I’m very activity driven, so with friends and/or my boyfriend, I like to go to shows (comedy/broadway/off-broadway), try new places to eat or drink, walk around, try a new fitness class - or any type of class (I am taking a cooking class soon).
When I have longer period of time beyond a weekend, I travel.
If I had to sum it up, ultimately, I like having new experiences and trying new things with the people I am close to.