More than a polished leather “investment” handbag or a pair of clacky high-heel pumps, nothing, to me, says adult-with-her-shit-together like a crisp white shirt or a buttery-soft silk blouse. Even if you’re just wearing jeans, there’s something transformative about swapping out the good old tee every now and then for a button-down or a “fancy” (read: probably dry-clean-only) top—I highly recommend the strategy for meetings, interviews, or any other situation where you want to feel just a little bit more like a boss.
Designer Ammara Yaqub has a similar affinity to an outfit’s upper half, and her new line, AMMARA, specializes exclusively in it—piped silk pajama-style blouses; short-sleeve white shirts with billowy pleated backs; luxurious leather shells. Launching today, the brand is direct-to-consumer—meaning no department-store markup and an open line of communication between customer and designer—and online only, with price points ranging from $275 to $595 (the latter for a silk-lined leather tee).
And while that may be not be a bargain, consider that the pieces are produced by the same Manhattan factory that makes shirts for some of the top luxury designers in the city—which ones, exactly, I’ve been told I can’t divulge, but let’s just say theirs’ll run you a good four figures.
Bringing that kind of quality to a level well below not-even-at-a-sample-sale prices was a top priority for Yaqub, a Harvard MBA with more than a decade of experience in the fashion industry, including several years at the helm of her previous eponymous line, a more traditional label that retailed through wholesale stockists including Saks Fifth Avenue (and, yes, included pants and dresses).
Currently, AMMARA offers 12 styles and will be adding two to three per month based on customer feedback—an actual possibility with the brand’s quick six-week turnaround time.
Looks like our new definition of “power dressing” might not include dresses after all.