“I love your dress!”
<warm, fuzzy expression> “It has pockets.”
We’ve all had this conversation. For some reason, pockets aren’t prioritized in most women’s clothing (or even girls’ clothing), despite the fact that we have the same (or more) carrying needs as men. We don’t always want to hide our phone or keys in our purses, and some ladies don’t even carry a purse. That restricts fashion choices considerably. We might choose a pair of jeans instead of wearing a dress or skirt, just for utilitarian concerns.
Svaha is a relatively new company whose clothes eliminate the necessity of this choice. Offering 100% organic cotton clothes, they work to combat gender stereotypes in clothing, and not just in terms of pocket availability. (But all their dresses and skirts have pockets! Huzzah!) They have clothes for babies, kids, and adults (along with accessories and jewelry) that cover STEAM topics like astronomy, chemistry, math, robotics, sports, animals, sea creatures, biology, programming, cars, dinosaurs, vehicles, electronic circuits, music, gears, and books, and they’re always adding new designs to their offerings. I can’t wait to see what they add next.
Svaha clothes come in a wide range of sizes (most dress sizes run size 2 to 4x, or with an even wider range, with skirts running from XS to 4x), and their dresses have different fits and cuts along with different sleeve options available (sleeveless, short sleeves, 3/4 sleeves). They also have a nice Clearance section which, at present, has some amazing clothes for kids.
Over all, Svaha offers dresses, skirts, shirts, infinity scarves, baby bodysuits, and jewelry. There are also a few Mommy & Me pairings, if you and your kids want to wear matching patterns. Most of the items currently available are aimed toward women (with a pleasing lack of pink dominating, though there are several patterns with pink in them, if that’s your thing) and kids, but there there are gender neutral items available as well, and they’re working to expand their clothes to include men’s sizing.
I got to check out four of their products: three dresses, and an infinity scarf.
This is my favorite dress now. I feel like I could live in a whole wardrobe of these dresses. Exceptionally comfortable and flattering, it’s a nice, dark color without being yet-another-black-thing in my closet. The pockets are perfectly placed and sized, and you get the added bonus of the glow-in-the-dark jellyfish. Plus, the jellyfish are placed in a location where you can see them all the time. The length is below the knee on me, but not far below the knee, which still gives it a fun look while being modest and flattering. It’s so comfortable.
The same fit as the jellyfish dress above, this dress had a different feel for me, just because it is a much brighter color. People far away won’t notice, but as they get closer, they’ll start staring at the cool math symbols in the white circles: pi, phi, theta, sigma, omega, and alpha. When I want to be noticed, this would be the Svaha dress I’d wear. It’s red! I love the red/black/white color scheme. Because of the nature of the pattern, though, if you have a large bust, be sure to order a size based on your chest measurement, otherwise the pattern may appear slightly deformed as it stretches.
Among the fits, my favorite is the Fit & Flare dresses. They are somewhat fitted on the top, and then are fitted at a high waistline (not quite as high as an Empire waist), then they flare out below, giving plenty of room for movement and flattering many body types. I love how, once you know a good size and fit for you, you can get different patterened dresses in that size and style, and know they’ll feel and look good.
This dress is on sale right now, with a few, limited sizes left (on the lower end of the scale). It has a different cut and fit compared with the dresses above, making it feel a bit fancier, with a lower neckline and gathered top middle. The colorful solar system (including Pluto!) stands out from the dark background. This one also has a different style of pockets, landing a bit farther back on my hips. If you, like me, still like to wear black in the summer, this dress would be a great option. Perfect for remaining comfortable while looking like you made an effort when the temperature starts to rise.
I have a few pashminas already, but I’d never tried an infinity scarf before. I’m hooked. (Or should I say I’m looped?) The scarf never falls off or gets unwound, and you could use it in so many different ways: as a scarf around your neck for warmth or fashion, or on your head, or as a (very) warm weather top. (I’m just brainstorming here.) The biggest appeal of this scarf to me, though, is that it has infinity symbols on it! I love things that are self-referential. Note: This infinity scarf is a 95% modal/5% lycra blend, which makes it stretchy, smooth, and comfortable. It measures 25″ x 12″, when doubled over.
Things I like about Svaha’s clothes:
- They are tagless. No itchy tags to worry about!
- The fabric just feels nice and of high quality.
- They feel just as nice after washing as before, and they don’t shrink.
- There are many options for dress sizes and fits.
- Much variety of STEAM subjects, plus a variety of colors are available.
- They give back to the scientific community (see the interview below).
- They don’t play into stereotypes. They even have dinosaur underpants for girls.
- Ignoring stereotypes goes both ways. Boys can get t-shirts with butterflies on them!
- Their prices are good.
I was able to interview Eva and Jaya, the founders of Svaha, about the company, the clothes, and the important subject of pockets.
GeekMom: What are the origins of the company? What were your goals, setting out, both for the clothes themselves, and the statement you wanted to make?
Jaya: I came up with the idea for Svaha after I was unable to find a single space-themed shirt for my aspiring astronaut daughter. At the time, major retailers had apparently decided that only boys were allowed to like space. I’ve been an apparel professional for over 15 years and I saw a major missed market. I thought that if I was having this problem, other parents must be too.
When we started Svaha, our goal was to revolutionize the apparel industry. We wanted to change the landscape to show my daughter, and all the kids out there, that it is okay to like anything you want to like without limits. That has consistently been our goal even as we have expanded to clothes for women and babies.
Eva: Our women’s line was the 2nd phase of our company. We were determined to show women that it was okay to love science & tech and still be feminine and that all dresses should have pockets. We also wanted to show women that no matter what shape or size you are, you deserve to look and feel beautiful. We don’t squirrel away plus size clothes into a corner. We don’t have a separate plus section, as we make all of our women’s clothes up to 4X.
GM: Where does the name come from?
Jaya: The company is actually named after my daughter, who was my original inspiration for the line. Svaha is the goddess of fire in Hinduism and it means “something that cannot be destroyed.” [Author’s note: I love this concept so much.]
GM: Where do you get your ideas for new product designs, both in the style of the clothes, and the nerdy things that are on them?
Jaya: We get so many of our ideas from our customers. I may be biased, but I think we have the most awesome group of dedicated brand loyalists out there. We get flooded with suggestions and ideas every day. We attempt to make as many requests into a reality as we can. We review all the suggestions and try to figure out how to make a really cool design out of it. If we think something is going to look good and resonate well with our customers, we bring it to life. We also hold contests on our social channels and let our fans vote on what they want us to make.
GM: Why do you focus on clothes for women, girls, and babies?
Eva: We have made it our mission to support women in STEAM and show girls that it is awesome to want to be a scientist or a coder when they grow up. We saw a big gap in the apparel industry, and we thought the best way to make ourselves unique was to cater to the groups who major retailers were forgetting. However, we have been getting inundated with requests from dads who want to match their daughter’s dresses and shirts, so we are about to launch a men’s line. We want dads who love STEAM to be able to inspire their kids too!
GM: What cool products do you have planned for the future?
Jaya: This year is going to be pretty awesome for us. We are releasing some new humanities-inspired designs, like a book spines print dress and a few linguistics-themed items. We are also creating many more glow-in-the-dark products, including a super cool solar eclipse dress and t-shirt coming out in honor of the eclipse this summer and an octopus design that we know is going to be a hit. As mentioned, we are also going to launch a men’s line featuring some of our most popular prints, such as our glow-in-the-dark bioluminescent jellyfish and constellations designs.
GM: Why do you think so many clothes for women have no pockets, or inadequate pockets?
Eva: There is a pretty interesting history to this and a few books about it. Some claim it is due to sexism, and that is probably accurate. The big factor in why it is still happening is that the fashion industry makes money off it. If all women’s clothes had utilitarian pockets, why would women need expensive hand bags? There is also a cost savings to not offering pockets because you use less fabric when you make a garment without pockets and it takes less time to stitch. It’s outdated and we think it’s time for a change. We want to show that women’s clothes can be awesome and functional!
GM: You mentioned to me previously that Svaha gives back to the scientific community. What kinds of organizations will you be linking up with, and what kinds of products will you be offering to pair with them? What other aspects are related to these initiatives?
Eva: We think it is really important to give back to the scientific community, especially considering the recent uncertainty about funding for the sciences. We launched our Dress for a Cause initiative last month to give back the best way we know how—through clothes! We recently partnered with the March for Science for a fundraiser where we gave a portion of our sales to help support the costs of the march. In a few months, we will be launching a honeycomb print dress and we are going to be donating the profit to Honey Love, which fights to save the honeybees. After that, we are releasing a weather-inspired dress and will be donating the profits to a soon to be determined organization which fights climate change.
GM: Do you have any special deals for your site right now?
Jaya: We do! We offer a 15% off code for any first-time subscribers to our newsletter. However, we since we love GeekMom we are also offering 20% off code for your readers to try us out: GEEKMOM20. But a word of warning—those who shop from us tend to get hooked.
GM: Is there anything else you want to share with our readers?
Eva: We are having a lot of fun with this and we are excited that it has been a continued success. We feel really honored to get to make such fun clothes for you all. We’re hoping to be around for a long time so we can keep bringing you geeky awesomeness!
So, check out Svaha for pocketed, comfortable, affordable, STEAM clothes for your whole family. They would make an especially nice Mother’s Day gift. Be sure to use the code GEEKMOM20 for 20% off! Also, check out Svaha on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Note: I received some samples for review purposes. Also, I do some freelance work for Svaha, but this piece contains entirely my own opinions. I loved their stuff long before I ever did any work for them.