The Fold is a London-based company that focusses on women’s corporate wear. The founder and CEO, Polly McMaster, started the brand after being dissatisfied with women’s business attire that was offered at retail. Silhouettes were pricey, inferior quality, and lacked imagination. As a woman in business, McMaster understood the demands that a workwear wardrobe needs to fulfill. So she created an impeccable, luxe, and contemporary wardrobe for corporate women.
Like many retailers these days, The Fold has ongoing sustainable and ethical initiatives. They champion slow fashion by making great quality pieces that last. Currently, their clever crepe and ultimate wool suiting is washable, crease-resistant, stretchy, breathable, and made of sustainable fibres that are ethically sourced. The Fold supports Smart Works, a charity that helps unemployed women get back into the workforce through mentoring, coaching and styling. They are looking for ways to recycle excess fabric, utilize suppliers with circular manufacturing techniques, and aim to be plastic-free by 2022.
As I browse the collections, the quality and craftsmanship jumps off the page. Silhouettes have flair, and are a lot more charming and modern than what I’m used to seeing in the career wear section. I’m loving the emphasis on comfort and relaxed elegance through A-line and flared silhouettes, pristine knits, stretch fabrics, dressy denim, and dressy flats. The range of colour is lovely too. The vibe is professionally chic, yet easy and fluidly structured. In these designs you can comfortably run for the bus, commute on foot, and have dinner with friends after work.
The Fold’s design sensibility reminds me of Nordstrom’s (now discontinued) house brand, “Classiques Entier.” Many of my clients lament the absence of the house brand, and rightly so. I do too. High quality, and contemporary-looking professional attire that goes the distance simply isn’t as available anymore. Classiques Entier was offered in straight, plus and petite sizes, and was therefore a lot more size-inclusive than The Fold’s assortment, which goes up to a US12. This aspect of The Fold disappoints me and my hope is that they become more size-inclusive in future. Another drawback is that they are quite pricey.
There is an interesting section on the site called The New Workwear Code where the company and its customers discuss the role of the right attire for corporate women in a COVID and post-COVID world. They share how their styles have adapted to new normals, and what it means for their style as workwear becomes even more relaxed, permits casual attire, and many continue to work from home. You can participate by taking the survey.
The Fold has a store in London, and for the rest you can order online and pay a flat rate for shipping. Browse the assortment, and let me know what you think in the comments section.