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Rachel Pally

Story by Lia Aprile and Photography by Claudia Lucia

Rachel and I met four years ago in a mommy-and-me class. Most of us were still shell-shocked, holding our squiggly newborns and trying not to cry. When it was Rachel’s turn to tell her birth story, she talked about walking through her neighborhood while in labor, with her mom and every other important woman in her life beside her. She smiled her million-watt smile as she described being a part of this “tribe of women.” We have been friends ever since.

So when Rachel asked me if I would collaborate with her on a series of interviews with inspiring women for the Rachel Pally website, I jumped at the chance. I also insisted Rachel be the first subject. In Rachel Pally she has built a business that reflects her sincere desire to make women feel good, and that’s about as inspiring as it gets...

- Lia Aprile

I’ve heard it said that there are two kinds of people in the world, the ones that go step-by-step toward their goals: A, B, C, D. And the ones that roam around, driven by their interests, all over the alphabet. It’s the second kind of person who tends to be more successful. You strike me as one of those.

I’m for sure not an A to D person. Linear? No.

Was there ever a time in your life where you thought, ‘I’m going to be an A to D person’?

No. Someone recently asked me, “How do you do it all so well?” And my response was, “I don’t! I kind of do it all a little bit sloppy, and I’m comfortable with that.” I don’t strive for perfection. Being able to break the mold and go in a lot of different directions ends up being more successful for me. Because I stay engaged the whole time.

Even though you have a higher stakes situation now that Rachel Pally is so successful, you still feel you’re able to maintain that?

Yes. I just have a lot more stress about it! I also have people who are on my team that help keep my flighty-ness in check. So that’s a big help.

You’re a mom to two young boys (Tao, 4 and Luca, 1), do you think your non-linear approach helps you through the chaos of raising kids? 

Multi-tasking is the name of the game, right? When you wear a lot of different hats it’s hard to stay focused and you probably don’t do as good of a job at any one thing, but you still can move forward and do a good enough job.

They say nobody can actually “multi-task,” you can just move very quickly from one task to another.

Well, women can!

You’ve always seemed to me like a woman who is very present in her life—

Thank you. I feel like I’m not always present...I do the best I can.

I also know that you’ve got a lot going on and things can get very stressful. What do you do to recharge? 

The other day my husband and I went outside after the kids went to bed and we did a little Tai Chi. (He studied it in college, I don’t know what I’m doing!) But it was time where there was nothing to do but be next to each other and breathe. Fifteen minutes of that was more recharging than anything.

Do you have a morning ritual?

When all four of us can start the morning out snuggly, that’s the greatest! But this morning my older son was too busy in an astronaut costume at six-thirty in the morning to get in bed. He was like, “I can’t! I’m wearing a helmet!” And the baby was too schpilky to snuggle. So that’s the most grounding way to start the day but...it doesn’t always happen.

{ Rachel is wearing the Brass Luxe Rib Aiva Top }

Okay, let’s get into some philosophical questions.

Let’s do it.

Why do you think it matters what a woman wears?

I think that unfortunately it matters what a woman wears.

I started reading the Hilary Clinton book, and she calculated the amount of time she had spent in wardrobe on the campaign trail and it added up to, I think she said 25 days, of solid getting dressed!! Her colleagues brushed their teeth. That’s it.

They were like, “which one of my identical suits should I put on?”

“What’s clean?” Done. Next.

But, in my industry, where it’s mostly women and we all just do what we do, it’s about confidence. It’s about feeling comfortable. What I used to think was sexy versus my “I’m a mom of two and I’m thirty-seven and I work thirty minutes from my house and I have no spare time,” is totally different.

{ Rachel is wearing the Garland Rosaleen Dress }

What are the things you used to find sexy that you don’t anymore?

Stilettos. Things that involve wearing Spanx.

I just bought two pairs of these Jesse Kamm high-waisted, canvas, wide-leg cropped pants and I think they’re just the cutest pants ever! And I would so much rather have canvas pants I can sit in the park in, and wear with a flat sandal, than wear a gorgeous Gucci heel. That’s just not my reality anymore.

Also, the older I get the more I feel I’m taken seriously looking like a person who lives in this world. I like to dress like a person who has stuff to do!  Now that's attractive!

Do you think every woman goes through that transition, as they get older?

Probably. And it changes when you become a mother. Do you want to be that woman in the park in the heels and a chiffon dress? I think that’s what’s really nice about my line. They are clothes that you can wear. Not clothes that you have to be careful with. You can be both attractive and also comfortable.

You’re taking ownership of this Hilary Clinton phenomenon. It does matter, there is an expectation, but you don’t have to just surrender to Birkenstocks and cargo pants.

No, please don’t! Although...I do love my Birkenstocks.

What is it that makes you feel the most beautiful?

I just got these vintage coveralls. I put them on and my son, Tao, was like (gasps) “Mama! You look so beautiful!” He said, “You look like...a worker!” And that made me feel so amazing...that was his idea of what’s beautiful.

What’s the best thing in your closet right now?

Oh my god, I sound like such a creepy loser that I’m all about my Jesse Kamm pants. They make me feel sexy. They make me feel powerful. They make me feel like I can roll around on the grass. So that’s one.

I also LOVE Maryam Nassir Zadeh's slides.  They have a block heel that is comfortable and easy to walk in.  They are my compromise between flats and the high heels of my previous life!

Also, we’ve been in development for a lot of linen pieces for Rachel Pally and I submitted a bunch of photos for my Instagram recently and realized I was wearing this same linen top in every picture! But, it’s really wearable and comfortable. It makes me feel a little bohemian and also very put together. I’m so into it!

What’s the best thing in your fridge right now?

I made parmesan brodo soup the other day. I save all my parmesan rinds. If you have a bunch you can throw them in and you get just the richest broth! Also, homemade almond butter. I’m going to break my Cuisinart making it. It’s changed my life.

And I always have ice cream in the house. I can’t stop with the ice cream.

Okay, last question. You are having either the best day or the worst day of your life, and you only get one phone call...who’s it going to be?

My mom. Oh, don’t tell my husband! Oh no! It’s for sure my mom. I love my husband, but for sure my mom. First call. But my dad gets on the extension in the kitchen, because he can’t be left out, or it’s on speakerphone. So even though my call is to my mom...my dad is always listening in.

Thank you!

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