Frequently Asked Questions

Sustainable Style

We love making our clothes in San Francisco with quality, American craftsmanship. From designing and pattern-making, to cutting, sewing, and draping, it’s all done at our in-house studio and in neighborhood workshops. We work like a family, putting something of ourselves into our products to ensure every design is well made with wearability and sustainability in mind. When you invest in your favorite pieces and live in them longer, you simplify your style, lessen your need to consume, and support your local working community: it’s a win-win-win.

When sourcing fabric for our ready to wear collection, our priority is to find natural and organic fibers. Our goal is that by 2020 our collection will be made entirely of natural fibers that biodegrade at the end of their life cycle - instead of contributing to landfill. 

Our current fabrics include:

  • Tencel lyocell

  • Linen

  • Organic cotton

  • Cotton

  • Cotton blends

Sustainability is about building a healthy relationship with fashion. The current fast fashion frenzy, that many of us fall prey to, is creating chaos in our closets and our climate. Our goal is to share a better story that promotes shopping our values and investing in quality over quantity.  For us, sustainable fashion is high in style, highly versatile, and well made with natural fibers. We're here to create clothes that you'll wear all the time. We also believe in paying fair wages and using sustainable production methods and proper use of our precious resources.

The #1 sustainable thing you can do is take good care of the things you already own. When considering adding a new piece to your wardrobe, here are a few questions we can ask ourselves:

  • Do I need it?

  • Do I LOVE it?

  • Will I wear it all the time?

Also, take a look at our High 5's for being well dressed and less stressed here

Resell. There are some great sites that you can use to sell clothes you no longer wear like The RealReal and Poshmark. This is a great way to give your Amy Kuschel piece a 2nd life. Another option would be to research your local consignment shops.

Swap. Organize a clothing swap with your friends. It's the perfect opportunity to say goodbye to clothes that you no longer wear and extend their life cycle, keeping them out of landfill!  

Donate sparingly. Truthfully, donation centers are overwhelmed with used garments and can typically only sell 15% of what they receive. Unwanted clothing is then sent to other over-saturated markets overseas, essentially ending up in landfill in other parts of the world.

Recycle. Don't throw your worn out clothes in the trash! Recycling centers can down-cycle used garments and turn them into insulation or rags. We encourage you to research your options. And, of course, buy only what you need. 

Fit & Size

We suggest taking a few of your measurements to find the best fit for your figure. Here's a guide to taking your own measurements: 

  • Relax your tape measure. Your clothes should feel comfortable, so no need to pull your tape measure too tight. It’s often easier for someone else to place the tape measure in the proper place, so consider measuring with a friend.

  • Bust: Place the tape measure under your arms, measuring across the fullest part of your bust and shoulder blades.  Be sure your arms are relaxed at your sides when you take this measurement. Remember to breathe out first and relax.

  • Waist: Measure around your natural waist - this is the smallest part of your waist. You can pinpoint it by bending to the side.

  • Hips: With your legs closed, measure around the fullest part of your hips, including your bottom (about 9 inches below your natural waist). Again, be sure you’re not skimping here.

Now that you have your measurements, use our size guide to find the right size. If you're between sizes (most of us are!), consider the silhouette of the garment. If a style is loose in the upper body, you'll have more leeway with your bust measurement. Conversely, a style that is slim through the hips select the size closest to your hip measurement. When in doubt, call or email us and we can help you find the best size.
SizeBustWaistFull Hip
XS / 032.524.536
XS / 233.525.537
S / 434.526.538
S / 635.527.539
M / 836.528.540
M / 10383041.5
L / 1239.531.543
L / 14413344.5
XL / 1642.534.546
Be sure to read each product description as there are times we advise whether to size up or down in a specific style. If an item has a special fit or if there is anything important you should know, we'll mention it there. 
We also recommend having a trusted tailor in your toolbox. Sometimes a simple nip and tuck makes the world of difference to get the right fit. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, we recommend Kirsten Tucker, Yun Yun Wong and Hemster.
Still have questions? Give us a call at the studio or send an email to Hello@AmyKuschel.com.

You can visit our San Francisco studio to try on our ready to wear collection. We also have a few retail partners who carry pieces from the collection - you can find a list of boutiques here.

Caring for your Clothes

Each garment is unique and may require different care. A care label is located on the inside every garment. You can also take a look at the product page for care instructions. Here are some additional tips to reduce your carbon footprint and make your pieces last longer:

  • Dirty is the new clean. Washing your clothes less saves water and energy. Plus, they'll last longer.

  • Spot cleaning as needed and steaming your clothes are great ways to refresh between wears.

  • When you do wash, machine wash cold and line dry to reduce energy, save money and extend the life of your clothes.

  • Save your skin and the environment with eco-friendly, chemical-free detergents made with natural, plant-derived ingredients. We like brands like Mrs. Meyers, Method and The Honest Company. Or DIY... consider making your own natural laundry detergent! 

  • Take good care of your clothes - following the recommended care instructions and our laundry tips (above).

  • Mend, hem and repair damaged clothing - it gives them a 2nd life and keeps them in circulation longer. If you'd like advice on repairing a minor damage, send a photo to Hello@AmyKuschel.com and our team will be happy to share suggestions. 

  • If you're ready for a style update, you can re-purpose your piece by shortening a hem or re-thinking the way you accessorize. Try adding a vintage scarf or brooch - or cinching with a belt to change the silhouette.

Orders

Please take a look at our shipping policy here.

We'll try our best to make any changes before we ship your order. Please call 415-956-5657 or email Hello@AmyKuschel.com as soon as possible, Monday-Friday between 10:00am and 6:00pm PST.

Once your order is placed, you will receive a confirmation email from us. When your order is ready to ship, we'll send you a shipping confirmation with tracking information. You can track the status of your delivery by visiting USPS's website and entering your tracking number.

Feel free to reach out to us at 415-956-5657 or email us at Hello@AmyKuschel.com if you have any questions. We're happy to help!

Pre-Orders

We essentially take orders to crowdfund new designs before going into production. Sometimes we create pre-orders to re-stock customer favorites. In either case, this helps us more accurately plan out quantities and sizes. Products that reach their funding goal are made right here in San Francisco and shipped to you as soon as they are ready. Shipping dates can vary depending on fabric availability, but we typically aim to get you your order 6 weeks after the pre-order closes. The expected ship date is listed on the product page. If we experience any delays, we will notify you right away.

All pre-orders are charged at the time of purchase.

The big picture win for pre-ordering is that we're not making unwanted clothes. Excess inventory often inadvertently sends perfectly good clothes to landfill.

Pre-orders are the antidote for small, sustainable brands like ours who want to do the right thing and not overproduce. Pre-orders are also a great way to help us gauge interest.

For you, the benefits of ordering during our PRE-ORDER stage are:

  • 20% off the pre-order item

  • You get first dibs

  • We get the resources to create just what you need - and we're not making unwanted clothes

Everybody wins: you're happy, we're happy, and our planet is happy, too.

Not to worry, we'll make additional pieces to allow for easy exchanges for size. And, of course, anyone who misses the pre-order window can purchase these styles at full price once they're in stock!

Shipping, Returns & Exchanges

Shipping

Please take a look at our shipping information here.

Returns and Exchanges

Please visit our returns page here.

Wedding Gowns

After 20 years of creating wedding gowns - right here in San Francisco - we've phased our of our custom in-house bridal collection to focus our attention on growing our sustainable ready to wear collection.

Brides-to-be who have their heart set on an Amy Kuschel wedding gown can find our designs exclusively at BHLDN. These designs are made in local, San Francisco workshops with high quality American craftsmanship and the iconic style we're known for. We're thrilled to continue dressing savvy brides looking for elevated style that's also affordable.

Congratulations! Our favorite Bay Area alteration specialists are trusted professionals that possess the skills and expertise to assist you through your alterations process. They are experts at tailoring bridal gowns and they LOVE what they do!

Please find our recommended alteration specialists here

We suggest making a few calls (right away) to see who is available... these talented ladies book up quickly, so be sure to call ahead and set up your initial consultation.

Alteration expenses will vary depending on what needs to be done to your dress. Many brides spend between $400 and $600 for professional tailoring, which is usually accomplished in 3 to 4 fittings. 

Be prepared to discuss your needs and wants with your fitter when you go for an initial consultation. Be clear about your timeline and any specific alterations that you would like done.

If you're planning on losing weight, be sure to communicate this so that fitting dates can be set up accordingly. You might also want to ask if there is a fee for an initial consultation.