Since March 27, millions of Minnesotans have stayed home to try to stop the spread of COVID-19. As people have adjusted to working from home, a new normal has emerged. In some ways, life can be more simple; a walk can be the most refreshing retreat. But in many other ways, life is incomparably disrupted. Part of the dining room might be a home office space now; yoga studios have been swapped for YouTube and the living room rug; parents have to set up their children with distance learning. While women are working at home, they’re doing so much more than their jobs.
Meg Rohs’ brand, Nine56 Studio, was made with these women in mind. Her minimalistic collection is a swathe of neutral and earth-toned garments featuring wrap tops and wide-legged, elastic-banded pants. “There was a need for comfortable clothing that also made me feel pulled together so I could be productive in my work-from-home routine,” she says.
Rohs had grown up in Eden Prairie, and her first jobs after college were also in the Twin Cities, first as a technical designer at Target and then as a full-time seamstress for Winsome Goods. In the midst of this, she started Nine56 as a small-batch, ready-to-wear brand, but it wasn’t until Rohs got married and moved to Wisconsin that she homed in on its purpose.
In the small, rural town, Rohs’ lifestyle became simpler and more intentional. She learned how to create routines and flexible schedules for herself that worked for her productivity levels, focus, and interest, not others’, and she found herself wanting mindful, sustainable clothes to match that mindset. While “luxury loungewear” might not be the best phrase to describe Nine56’s clothes, it’s the best we have right now—with some caveats.
“I believe that the term ‘loungewear’ isn’t very representative for the category of clothing it describes,” Rohs says. “Especially for women who work from home, we’re doing all kinds of things in our loungewear. We’re in meetings, we’re meal planning, chasing babies around the house. For this reason, loungewear to me is any clothing that is comfortable, functional, and makes you feel pulled together when you’re wearing it … whether that’s after your 9 to 5 job, on the weekends, or your full-time gig.”
Whether we’re in a global pandemic, living mindfully, or both, this might just be Rohs’ philosophy and look might be just what you need.