Inside/Outside USA reversible fashion

We all want our clothes to work harder (while still looking terrific). What better way to do that than reversible pieces – wear them one way on a neutrals day, and turn them around on a bolder day. We spoke to two of our most ingenious designers who are flipping traditional fashion on its head.

That margarita? Not so reversible...
That margarita? Not so reversible…

Grace Newman from The Redletter Club

– What inspired you to create reversible pieces?
We have always been inspired to offer women more from their everyday pieces. We are all about functionality and practicality! We also love that the reversible concept encourages women to try fun and different colours they may not have worn. When given the option to purchase a reversible bag, we often find our customers are more daring in their choices because they can always revert back to a classic black or neutral tone if and when they want to! Plus, they are fantastic for woman who travel – being three bags in one. So fab and so much more room for shoes.

– Did it pose any special design and construction challenges?
Yes. Every day! There are many design and construction challenges. One of the biggest is continuing to think outside the box so that our range is reversible, practical and still gorgeous! We want to offer our customers all the functionality of their one-way pieces, which can sometimes be a challenge as we do not have the “inside” of the bag to work with because it is also the outside.

– Are there any products you’d like to make reversible, but haven’t been able to crack yet?
Wallets, wouldn’t that be brilliant! We still haven’t wrapped our heads around that one yet. Although my best friends always joke that I have everything but the kitchen sink in my Madison wallet (Mary Poppins would be proud).

– How do you decide which colours to put together?
We consult the whole RLC team about colours and also listen to feedback from our fantastic stockists and customers. We usually try to give an option of a bright colour with a black or neutral tone. We stick to our essential colour palette that we know our customers love and try to introduce a few key fashion colour trends each season as well. Look out for fairview blue and strawberry in our summer collection launching this August.

– Any advice to customers on how to wear your products?
Make use of those extra pouch bags we include with many of our handbags in our reversible range. This will help you to not only stay organised but will also make for quick and easy reversing (no more dumping everything on the kitchen table!).

Sarah Kocher and Jacqueline Berglund from Cove

We are both driven to succeed in business. It would have been easy to design a poncho in cashmere, manufacture and sell it but we wanted out knitwear to be different, easy to wear and to become a key layering piece that could be used over and over again.

During a brainstorming session when we first met to launch our business, Jacqueline had a eureka moment when she exclaimed: “wouldn’t it be great if the poncho reversed!”. From there the idea developed quickly as we sourced a manufacturer that had the skills to produce what we required. We didn’t want two materials sewn together as this was too clumsy and heavy. We chose cotton cashmere as it hard wearing, easy to wash and drapes beautifully and has a soft handle.

With experience we have learnt what colour yarns work best to achieve the cleanest look on both sides of the poncho. This is what takes the most time when we are developing our range. We have paid attention to the cut so it is flattering for most people and have had to work hard to make the seams neat. Our brand label folds over both sides and our care label is a sticker so it can be removed.

Our bestselling colours are the neutrals as they go with most outfits but our customers do love our breadth of colour. What we find is when someone buys one, they usually come back for another colour and tell their friends too. I call this the “Cove frenzy”. At retail shows we have just stood back and been so pleased to see no stock on the rails as a large crowd of customers are trying them all on!

Last year we started reversing accessories: wrist warmers, snoods and a cute mini skirt. This spring we launched a reversible colour block poncho with sleeves. We have more ideas we are working on for Autumn and 2016…

The key to the Cove look is building up the layers –start with a pair of jeans, trousers or shorts and a good base, that’s why we introduced the long layering tee which pokes above the neckline of our round neck poncho and is long at the bottom. Pop on a necklace or a cove scarf and the look is complete – carefree luxury dressing. As good in the office, to a trip to the shops as to a session after the gym. What colour will you choose?!

Reversible fashion picks from the hardtofind team

Leave the house with your clothes on inside out and you'll still look amazing.
Leave the house with your clothes on inside out and you’ll still look amazing.
  1. Cotton cashmere V neck poncho, $250
  2. Agnetta reversible clutch, $105
  3. Reversible wrist warmers, $68
  4. Reversible messenger bag, $145
  5. Reversible snood in orange/pink, $95
  6. Reversible pouch, $315
  7. Reversible belt, $34.99
  8. Reversible cotton cashmere skirt, $170


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