As fans ready themselves to mourn the end of Parenthood, actress Joy Bryant isn’t getting sentimental—yet. She’s far too busy growing Basic Terrain—the classic and casually chic line of outerwear, dresses, and pants she launched with her husband in June. On a recent afternoon at NBCUniversal (where Parenthood tapes), Bryant invited us to her trailer to talk comfort, inspiration, and why two sizes actually fits all.
Glamour: The Eden pant launched Basic Terrain’s collection, but it comes in only two sizes. Why shouldn’t we be afraid of that?
Joy Bryant: The pant is based on the classic tie fisherman pant, which comes in a one-size-fits-most. There’s no hardware, so it’s very generous for many sizes. Everyone can tie it differently, and it will look differently on most. We also offer it in a lightweight denim. Many sizes can wear it. So it comes in a size 1 and a size 2, but that doesn’t mean what you think it does.
Glamour: OK, explain!
JB: Size 1 is petite to small, and size 2 is medium to large. We’ve taken that philosophy and applied it to our other pieces, like shirts or bottoms. We’re not a plus-size clothing company, but we offer pieces that a lot of women can wear, up to size 14. We’re also going to offer a size 0, which really is just an extra petite. It will speak to many sizes and look comfortable and chic at the same time.
Glamour: Where do you recommend wearing the Eden pant?
JB: You can wear it to yoga, you can wear it on a date. Pair it with a heel and dress it up. Or wear flats or sneakers. I like something that goes with everything, and then you can dress it up or down. I love the versatility. You get more from your money and more for your life.
Glamour: The harem jumpsuit is next in your collection, and it might be the easiest piece of clothing one can put on.
JB: Yes, and it comes with a belt, so you can tie it high, tie it low. You can wear it if you’re a size 2 or a size 14. Our goal is to keep it as simple as possible.
Glamour: The material is so airy and light, but if you don’t live in Southern California, how can you make it work in other climates?
JB: We’re working on our fall 2015 collection now, so we’ll have more pieces for colder weather. But you can always layer any of these pieces. You can put a sweater over the jumpsuit, or pair tights or leggings with the shorts.
Glamour: The material is so beautiful, but I’d imagine you don’t want to put it in the dryer. Should you get it dry-cleaned?
JB: After washing you can actually hang it in the shower, or buy a steamer. I’ve found some great affordable ones at Target. Because of that the pieces also travel really well too.
Glamour: What was your inspiration for starting a clothing line from scratch?
JB: My husband [Dave Pope] is actually a stunt man, and a couple years ago said, ‘Hey hon, I think I want to get back into sewing.’ I had no idea he could sew, and we had been married for a while when he told me this! He bought a sewing machine and wanted to make snowboard pants. And I was so excited, because I was like, ‘I don’t have to buy anything anymore!’ I remember pulling out some pants that I got from Cambodia, and loving the style and feel, so we went to JoAnn’s Crafts & Fabrics, and that’s where it all started. Obviously we then started working with other materials, and that’s not to knock on JoAnn’s, but that’s what helped us experiment and get started. I actually set out wanting to do snowboard clothing, luggage, and travel accessories. We spent a year just talking to people and learning the business. I knew my name could get us in the door, but it was harder because I had to prove myself even more. There’s always a super critical eye on what you’re doing.
Glamour: How would you describe the personality of someone who wears Basic Terrain?
Joy: Aside from someone who wants comfortable, chic, cool, easy, effortless clothing, I don’t know what that personality is. What inspired us with the line is our love of travel and the outdoors and adventure but also laid-back living.