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Idina Menzel is stepping into a new role. The Broadway and film icon may live forever in our hearts as Wicked’s Elphaba and Frozen’s Elsa, but she’s taking a cue from those two adventurous characters and leaning into a new adventure — this time as a fashion designer. Menzel is launching Encore by Idina Menzel, a size-inclusive clothing line that’s available — starting today! — exclusively at QVC.
As Menzel tells SheKnows exclusively, the idea for the collection started as a sketch on a napkin for what’s now called the Swing jumpsuit — a super-versatile, go-anywhere wardrobe staple named after the theater performers who understudy multiple roles. “I’ve never seen myself as a designer, or a real fashiony kind of person outside of costumes and red carpets,” she says, admitting: “I get overwhelmed by my closet sometimes.” The idea of a comfy-but-stylish one-piece that could literally take her from bed to her 12-year-old son’s school drop-off to an evening event was appealing — and the rest of the collection evolved from there.
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Encore by Idina Menzel – Swing Jumpsuit
Size inclusivity was a must from the start. Encore items are available in petite and regular sizes ranging from XXS to 3X. “I want everyone to feel like there’s a place in it for them,” Menzel explains. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve shown up to a photoshoot [where] I told them my actual sizes, and there’s a sample size sitting there that I have to squeeze into, that they have to add on a whole panel in the back and then they put the camera in front of your face and you’re supposed to feel good, feel beautiful?”
With that in mind, she’s designed Encore’s pieces for all body types, and with thought behind elements like how armholes fit and whether a V-back allows for a bra strap to stay hidden. “I have a bust, and I hate that my bra straps are always showing,” she explains. “And I’m not so into my arms these days, so [sleeves] aren’t going to be tight-fitting. But then I thought, ‘Okay, this line can’t just be for you and all your insecurities.’ So I asked my friends, and knowing their different body types and what things they like, what they need, and colors and stuff like that — it’s been really fun.”
Menzel may not consider herself a fashiony person, but she exudes a comfy-cool style that’s the backbone of Encore. At the launch event for the line, she debuted another jumpsuit from the line — this one sleeveless, with the aforementioned bra-friendly V-back — paired with the matching Call-Time cardigan and a pair of high-heeled boots. But she’s just as comfortable, and maybe even more so, giving it a more street-style edge.
Encore by Idina Menzel – Call-Time Cardigan
“My mom style is, like, one of these rompers and my son’s Air Jordans or my Doc Martens and a jean jacket,” she says, adding that now that she lives in L.A., she’s blending her tough-girl style with a more relaxed, beachy vibe. “Hopefully,” she says, “the whole line is a culmination of both of those sensibilities.”
Stylish but comfortable foundation pieces that can be dressed up or down with a touch of toughness or a hint of Coastal Grandma? It sounds a lot like a style sensibility we can get behind — and a recipe for the type of wardrobe longevity that, frankly, mirrors Menzel’s own career staying power.
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