For her stylish, comfortable clothes alone, I would love Eileen Fisher. But there is so much more to this designer and her company that I must ask, how do I love thee, let me count the ways:
Eileen Fisher is one of the few companies with ethical policies about the conditions of its foreign production facilities. (That means they aren't ok with women and children working in abusive conditions just because they live in Asia and need to earn a living.)
Eileen Fisher is a truly woman-owned company. Eileen is a real person who started the company. It is not like the largest chain of fabric stores in the United States that is just branded with a woman's name.
"Green Eileen" is an innovative recycling initiative
created when the company asked customers to bring back their clothes for resale. A fabulously successful initiative, proceeds from Green Eileen go to nonprofits that work to empower women and girls. If you'd like to support this effort and buy gently used Eileen Fisher clothing, they have stores in three locations in New York, and one in Seattle, Washington. www.greeneileen.org
Last, but not least, I love Eileen Fisher because of her use of Ponte de Roma knit.
Somehow, more than any other designer, Eileen Fisher has brought high-quality ponte (pronounced pon - tee) to the forefront in wonderfully comfortable, wearable garments that form a wardrobe that ages beautifully. And I am referring to high-quality ponte made with a rayon blend. You can find lower-priced ponte but this is not the fabric used to create EF's outstanding garments. (take my word for it)
If you have never sewn with ponte, now is a good time to start. Ponte is a double knit with good stability, yet stretches and drapes beautifully. Pre-treat ponte by throwing it in the washer and then the dryer on medium heat. You will find that it launders well.
Eileen Fisher uses excellent ponte fabrics on her classic pencil skirt, pants and dresses. Many sewistas swear that ponte is the ideal fabric for comfortable office wear, since it looks sharp yet provides a nominal amount of stretch. I don't think of it as a suiting fabric, yet I have seen jackets and suits made from ponte and turn out quite well.
On a recent fabric-buying trip I was able to score some leftover, genuine Eileen Fisher ponte to add to www.smugglersdaughter. com this Friday. We will have black, charcoal gray, brown and navy EF pontes this Friday. You won't be disappointed in the quality.