Maison du Soir


So – the dirty secret of working from home (at least my dirty secret!) is that it’s very easy to spend a lot of time in your pajamas. As someone who has always been an advocate of dressing the part, I knew better – but when I was working from my couch, my laziness won out, and I’d spend all day in my workout clothes – if I was lucky – or my pajamas. But – the days that I left the house in the morning – and thus got dressed – were always my best, so the proof was there – dressing like a responsible, productive human being made me act like one.

Courtney Kates created Maison du Soir on the same concept – sleep is arguably the most important thing we can do for our health – and while we sleep we dream and build out our ideas. But most of us sleep in things we’d never be caught dead leaving the house in. We don’t respect our sleep, even though we know it’s incredibly important.

I’ve invested in my bed and bedding, knowing that we spend 30% of our day in bed. But until the last year or so, my pajama drawer was filled with holey, stained, mismatched tees and shorts – many from high school! Every night I had to go through the entire drawer to find something to sleep in, and I never liked anything I found. We make so many important decisions in a day, what we wear to sleep should not be one of them. I ruthlessly attacked my dresser, and now I only have a few items that I love to wear – and I sleep so much better.

My favorites – without question – are my Maison du Soir pieces – particularly the items from Courtney’s newest collection – which, if you are braver than I am, work just as well as separates during the day (out in the real world, not just on your couch!). Read on for an interview with Courtney on the inspiration behind this amazing collection and what she’s learned over the last year! (to learn more about Courtney and MDS, read our first interview here!)



The constellation print was inspired by a vintage map of the stars. Every season I have a mellow, easy print and a crazier, more fun print.  The brighter print this season was the multi colored floral and I love how it’s grounded back to black.


Oh such a tough question…it’s like asking which child is your favorite!!  I love the Begonia dress…it seems to embody the brand values in one style….it can be worn as sleepwear or daywear.  It’s flattering for different body types and simply makes you feel beautiful when wearing it.



The concept of the lookbook/Spring 14 photoshoot was inspired by Sleeping Beauty and was an attempt to evoke a bit of whimsy and fantasy.  Our first photoshoot introduced the Maison Du Soir woman and the second (Spring) was what happens in her dreams.  Eugenia Kuzmina, our beautiful model was given direction to imagine as if she was dreaming and all these colorful butterflies and adorable animals were drawn to her beauty.  Eugenia is fantastic, one of the hardest working and nicest models I have ever worked with.  For photography and concept, I worked with Scott Chebegia.  I can’t tell you how much I enjoy working with Scott.  He is hilarious which always makes for a fun day but he has the ability to take my concepts to the next level…he makes my vision come to life but also brings new ideas to the table. Scott is insanely talented and just simply a wonderful person.



I learned a lot about fit and construction from the first season.  Even though this has been my background for over 10 years, I’ve learned that even with all the knowledge and all the resources , it still takes a season or two to figure out what will make everyone happy.  The first season’s fabric had stretch which made it very difficult to sew. I reduced the stretch this season to keep my costs from going up.  The first season also had a European fit and was more petite…this season, I adjusted the blocks a bit.  We still aren’t perfect but striving to get there. We have a lot of new stuff in the works….new fabrications, more price tiers….I’m looking forward to trying new things and continuing to bringing women comfortable and stylish product to sleep in.  No more ugly jammies!

Thanks, Courtney! Follow Maison du Soir:

The Edit: The Podolls

All of the things I would love to buy with The Podolls coupon code. Use TAE15, good through the end of the month!

Uniform Shirt Chambray | Tie Short Ikat | Slope Tee | Caftan Mini Dress | Lauren Manoogian Linear Cuff | Jessica Niello Small & Large Tea Mug | Gentlewoman Magazine | Clare Vivier Navy Stripe Half Zip Wallet | Skin & Bones Moisturizing Oil | The Podolls x Shawn Burke Clutch –> I picked this up at the shop and LOVE IT!

The Podolls

the-podolls-burlingameI’ve always been obsessed with a story and meaning behind an item or a brand – that’s essentially why I started TAE – but as I interview more makers and designers, I’m starting to become even more interested with the way they combine their business into their lives – the full circle implications of what they do and how they do it. Because if you are working to build an ethical, responsible business, it doesn’t make sense to let your work consume you – we all know that’s not sustainable, but in this case, it is in direct opposition with the ultimate goal.

Josh & Lauren Podoll are my new shining example of partners – in work and in life – who are building a conscious life and business. Alexandra and I visited with them at their store in Burlingame a few months ago and I am so impressed by what they have built. The Podolls is a carefully (gorgeously!) handcrafted apparel line with a flagship lifestyle concept store in Burlingame.

Josh & Lauren met over 10 years ago in California – Lauren was a retail buyer and Josh was an abstract artist and painter who sold a collection of tee shirts to Lauren’s store. They started dating and working together concurrently – moving from vintage patchwork and screen printed tee shirts sold all over the the world to a high end label that they presented at fashion week. Over time, they saw an opportunity to connect their lifestyle and their work and, in 2008, launched The Podolls, focusing on everyday staples made with great materials and interesting details. Since then, they have launched a kids line, podots, to manage scrap waste from the women’s line, and opened their flagship store.

The gorgeous store allows Josh & Lauren to share their overall vision for the brand- they can make special products, such as leather jackets, and sell them without wholesale markup, and they can support their friend’s brands and brands with a likeminded ethos. There is strict criteria for what is carried in the store – as explained on each item’s hangtang – but other than that, they don’t call it out – while shopping, you just think you are in a beautiful, impeccably curated boutique.

Read on for a little question and answer session with The Podolls that proved to me that Josh and Lauren are living the dream – amazing style, surfing everyday, an awesome little kid, and a business that takes an immense amount of hard work but complements and evolves their lifestyle. And on top of that – they are incredibly generous, and are giving TAE readers a discount. Happy Monday!

the-podolls-kids-clothingWHAT INSPIRES YOU?

L: Textiles every season – sometimes we make our own for the collection. The lifestyles of the women I know – how will they wear our clothes and what do they want them to be? We want our brand identity to take a backseat to the clothes working for the people who wear them.

J: Textiles – you see a fabric and you think, “What does that want to be?” – you can’t force it. Contemporary art. Historical art figures. Living in San Francisco.


L: A Goyard tote – everyday. Diamond studs. Boots year round. Our wing blouse in all of the fabrics. RGB nail polish. bkr water bottles. Shawn Burke pouches in a Podolls print. Clare V. Leopard Pouches. A great leather jacket.

J: Engineered Garments jacket. Converse. Raleigh & Imogene + Willie Denim. A short, cropped hair cut. Westward Leaning Sunglasses. Fairends Baseball Caps.


L & J: Blue Bottle Espresso. Our son, Dashiell – who is also why we need so much caffeine.

L: Yoga

J: Surfing – every morning.


J: The Ocean. Whether or not it’s a good day for surfing, you are still in the ocean…with dolphins. You get 100 yards out and and it’s wild and free and amazing.

L: Being in nature and away from this material world we live in. Stay-cations. Discovering something new – like a new neighborhood restaurant.


It is so satisfying to be able to provide jobs and keep people in business. We love to support our local economy and fellow artisans. We appreciate the ability to oversee our manufacturing and quality. Also, the relationships we’ve made are the best part of what we do – there is a human side of manufacturing, and we believe that is translated into what you wear.


The store – it still feels really new. Some exclusive products – including leather jackets! – that we have coming in just for the store. The collection we are currently designing. The physical interpretation of our ideas as our samples come in – it feels like Christmas.


The Podolls have recently launched their new e-commerce site, and in celebration, they are giving TAE readers 15% off the entire site through the end of April! TROUBLE!!! Use code TAE 15 and stock up for spring! Tomorrow I’ll be sharing my favorites from the site… get them while you can! Thank you, Josh & Lauren!!!

Follow along for more fun:


Let’s go is absolutely my M.O. when it comes to travel – as evidenced by my recent schedule! There is no better way for me to learn than by traveling, experiencing new things, and meeting new people – but I’m a little bit overwhelmed by my current lack of routine. I’m trying to embrace it, I know how fortunate I am to be in this situation, but I also hate that I’m missing out on the day-to-day things in my normal life… my regular reading schedule is definitely one of the places where I’ve fallen behind, but the following are articles that stood out to me over the last few weeks:

How History’s Greatest Thinkers Managed Their Time 

I’ll be reading and re-reading this article (and the book!) over the next few months – It has been almost a year since I’ve worked for myself and it is time to figure out a more efficient schedule!

Rules of Style – Ines de la Fressange

“I’m French, but I brush my teeth. Because I’ve noticed that after a while when ladies are not that young, the worst thing they think is their hands or their neck, but it’s not that all. It’s their teeth. My toothbrush is my first mascara!”

Handling Change Online & Offline – Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge on Jess Lively

Truthfully, I’ll read or listen to almost anything by Grace Bonney… but I have particularly admired the way D*S has addressed the change in content consumption in an incredibly matter-of-fact manner on their site – they are trying and testing new things to see what works, just like the rest of us.

Tina + Amy Reunite!

I’d watch this movie no matter what because of my long-term love for both Tina & Amy. But I’m writing this from my parents’ house, that is currently on the market, and it just feels weird that my sister isn’t here this weekend, so it feels even more relevant to me right now.

Meet Preetma Singh, Who Went from Lawyer to Fashion Editor

I’m obsessed with WSJ. Magazine and I loved reading about Preetma’s career from lawyer to R29 intern to her current role as WSJ. Market editor. Her answers throughout the article prove that there is no such thing as an overnight success, and that hard work, sacrifice, dedication, and being humble and nice are what matter and what you can build a career out of.

Have a wonderful weekend! For more frequent updates and travel adventures, follow along on instagram!