“Jewel Toned is body-positive shapewear without the shame.” — Jewel Toned founder Rachael McCrary
When most of us think of shapewear, the same image comes to mind: nude-colored, spandex-like, granny panties. Tell me I’m wrong … I’ll wait.
Lets face it, most of these garments aren’t created to look good. They’re created to keep everything flat and to be worn underneath your clothing. Luckily, one woman is changing not only that, but has set out to completely change the way we see shapewear.
Rachael McCrary founded Jewel Toned in 2013 out of her apartment. Yes, she created an entire line out of her apartment. Color me motivated and jealous.
Jewel Toned has the essentials: dresses, underwear, skirts and shorts. Ranging from $12-$44, the pieces are all game changers.
Flattering to all sizes, this shapewear isn’t just stylish, it’s comfortable and affordable. More importantly, it works! It hugs your figure to create an hourglass shape.
Clothes shouldn’t make a person, but if they’re able to make you feel good about yourself, that’s amazing. That’s Jewel Toned.
Below is a Q&A that Living Out Loud – Los Angeles did with McCrary. For more information and to do some shopping, visit shopjeweltoned.com.
Living Out Loud – Los Angeles: Discuss the style at Jewel Toned. How would you classify it?
Rachael McCrary: Our focus is on making pieces that work with anyone’s unique sense of style – including our own version of a smoothing LBD. We create new classics that fit seamlessly into anyone’s wardrobe. Take a look at our Instagram account (@jeweltoned), where we post pictures of our customers wearing our garments. Some women wear our Major Mini Dress under an old band tee, others wear it under a full lace gown or even on its own as their entire outfit. We are firm believers in not following the “rules of fashion.” Everyone should have fun and express themselves in their own way.
LOL-LA: How do you go about designing each piece? Is it a team effort?
RM: So far it’s been me. I started the company out of my apartment about a year and a half ago, and we’ve been growing slowly ever since. We’re still a small startup, but we now have an office and showroom in West Hollywood. As I design pieces, we all try them on and send to our friends to try on. We gather feedback and adjust, adjust, adjust until we have a garment we truly believe in.
LOL-LA: Tell us about your mission/vision statements at Jewel Toned.
RM: As a lingerie designer, I’m always talking to my girlfriends about their underwear. I noticed they all had one thing in common – no matter what size they were, they hated their traditional shapewear. Something that’s designed to compress you down to a smaller size is just never going to be that comfortable. That plus the unflattering beige color really made my friends feel bad about themselves. I knew I could create something new to solve this problem.
Jewel Toned is body-positive shapewear without the shame. We feel that every size is the right size, which is why our garments will not compress you too much, but just smooth things out. They’re comfy, supportive and stylish, and only come in black and bright colors because they’re meant to be seen.
LOL-LA: What’s your fave item that’s currently available, and why?
RM: The Major Mini Dress is our best-selling and most innovative product. It’s our favorite because it’s so versatile, there are endless ways to wear and style it. We’ll see tagged photos on Instagram, and we’re constantly surprised and delighted by all the ways women are wearing this dress. It really makes our day.
LOL-LA: What do you suggest women look out for in terms of fashion/style this summer?
RM: This summer, and every season, I just advise women to dress in what makes them feel comfortable and confident in. You can’t go out feeling uncomfortable or like you don’t look your best. If you go to the party of the summer in something you don’t feel great in, you’re going to be focused on that the entire time and it will show up in your selfies!
LOL-LA: How did your overall passion for fashion/style come about?
RM: My mom said I was pretty picky about my outfits starting at age 2. I started my first company at 16 years old, making dresses out of my parents home because I didn’t like the shopping options in my home town in North Carolina. People started asking to make a dress for them as well, and my early days as an entrepreneur began! I’ve always loved helping someone find an outfit they’re obsessed with. When a woman finds an outfit she loves that embodies the point she’s trying to make, it shows through in her eyes. To me, this is one of the greatest feelings in the world.
LOL-LA: Where do you see Jewel Toned in five years?
RM: Our goal is to keep expanding the line and grow into a go-to lingerie and shapewear brand. We want to be huge, and we want to make this new category of shapewear a real option for women. Right now, because body-positive shapewear is such a new concept, we have to explain a lot about our products. Hopefully in the near future, women will know what we’re all about and know that we’re the next generation of shapewear, without the shame, the compression, underwires or boning! We are creating something big, meaningful, colorful and different.
LOL-LA: Anything else to add?
RM: We have so many exciting new things happening in the next month. Including the launch of a completely new website and new products! New colors, new fabrics (including lace) and new styles (including a great bodysuit). Plus we’re really excited about some exciting things coming this Fall and look forward to sharing with everyone through social media!