I’ve thought more about underwear over the course of the past month than I have in my entire 26 years of life combined. The reason for this mental deluge? A new brand called Entireworld, which launched online this past April. I have in my personal possession exactly two pairs of Entireworld underwear, one sea foam green and one pale pink, both composed of organic cotton rib. I like them so much I get sad every time they’re in the wash.
My entry point to Entireworld wasn’t the underwear, though — it was a T-shirt. A plain white one, to be exact, which I spotted on the back of a fellow editor at an event and promptly inquired about its origins. It looked…well…perfect. Not too thick, not too thin. Cap sleeves that weren’t too capped. A simple crewneck. Just what I needed.
I had recently come to the realization that I hardly owned a single “basic” — items like perfect white T-shirts and well-tailored button downs and go-with-everything tank tops. As a person with maximalist-leaning fashion sensibilities, I’ve spent years of time and money acquiring the exact opposite of “basics”: statement pieces! Stuff like dresses that resemble gingerbread houses, lavender jeans, chartreuse blouses and floral-print silk skirts cut on the bias. Pieces that thrilled and delighted me in equal measure but didn’t necessarily provide the sartorial dependability of a tried and true staple.
I Googled “Entireworld” the moment I got home from the event and consumed a handful of articles about its launch. I learned that Scott Sternberg (who founded Band of Outsiders) was at the helm (cool!). I also learned that prices ranged from $15 to $225 and everything was direct-to-consumer (also cool!). I watched what looked, at first, like a scrappy home video in which Sternberg introduces the brand, a self-aware monologue in which he ties together references from vintage clothing ads and movies to establish the beginnings of an incredibly powerful branding initiative — the vintage aesthetic of “old school Ralph Lauren preppy” combined with the utterly current savvy of Supreme and the practical sensibility of Hanes.
A few of the articles I read mentioned the brand’s cult-ish vibe, and having perused the Entireworld website and social media accounts, I get what they mean. I had the distinct feeling of wanting to be indoctrinated. It’s rare that I feel that way about a brand right off the bat, but in this case I understand exactly why I did. All the items are basics in that they are simple, functional, easy to wear and go with everything, but unlike most basics, they aren’t boring. In addition to the classic whites and navys, they also come in enjoyable colors like canary yellow, sky blue and lilac. They feature unique details, like the drop shoulder on this button-down, and the striped under-strap on this bralette (an homage to their men’s underpants). In other words, they’re basics with a twist. Normcore for maximalists! There’s my answer.
Coincidentally, Nicole Cari, the brand director of Entireworld, reached out a couple weeks later to send me some press materials, and I took the opportunity to ask if I could try out a few pieces. She kindly agreed, and I’ve been test-driving the aforementioned perfect T-shirt and underwear, as well as a button-down and bralette, for the past month. Consider me indoctrinated. Each and every piece is so simple, so soft and so satisfying to wear. I wear them like glasses of water, effectively quenching the thirst of my basics-deprived wardrobe.
When I reached out to Scott Sternberg over email to ask about why he was motivated to create Entireworld, he wrote back:
“There’s this high level of creativity, ideas and emotion with great fashion brands like Gucci, and really efficient ways of buying the perfect basic whatevers from all of these tech-driven companies. Somewhere in between is fast fashion, which is literally killing the planet while stealing everyone else’s ideas and, in the process, devaluing creativity and personal responsibility. So I thought about putting some real thought, care, and emotion into making the stuff we live in every day — undies, T-shirts, sweats, button-downs, socks, sweaters — making these items covetable, doing it in a responsible way, and building a rich and engaging story around them.”
I also asked about the relatively reasonable price point, which he explained is made possible by virtue of the fact that Entireworld sells primarily through its site, so there isn’t any additional markup baked in by retail partners. Another cost-saving measure is the brand’s hyper-focus on developing its own fabrics and using them in multiple ways.
Regarding Entireworld’s compellingly cultish marketing, Sternberg said, “Entireworld is about this idea of a building a better tomorrow, a Utopian ideal, kind of like how people saw the future in the 60s, or how great architects think about buildings when they dream them up in their heads. Ideals like optimism, inclusivity, connectivity and a global outlook are very much a part of the Entireworld brand ethos. And certainly there’s this idea of a community, or a cult, that ties it all together.”
I’m a sucker for a great brand story and a great price. I can’t wait to see what basics-with-a-twist Entireworld dreams up next. And yes, I’m wearing the T-shirt as I type this.
Lookbook images via Entireworld. Selfies by Harling Ross.