Behind the Seams in Portugal with KULE

Last month, Nikki and Natalia traveled to Portugal for five days. There, they met with some of our current production partners, explored new opportunities, and learned more about ways our production can be more sustainable. Below is a quick recap of their factory visits where they saw how the products are made and the exciting new developments for future seasons 🙂.

nikki kule in rox trench
Nikki wearing the Rox trench, which came quite in handy while in Portugal… it rained every day 🌧️.
nikki kule uniform while in portugal
Because of the rain, Nikki’s daily uniform consisted of comfortable pants, sneakers + KULE tee or sweater + KULE Nelson blazer, all under her trench which, coincidentally, Natalia wore too 🧥💕.

For those who may not know, 100% of our tees and sweats are made in Portugal. There, we have the most incredible partners that Nikki visits every year. Nikki and Natalia’s daily schedule consisted of driving a rental car to the surrounding cities of Barcelos, Braga, and Guimarães using GPS and speaking no Portuguese whatsoever 🤪. At the factories, they went over current production (Spring 2023), worked on future developments (Fall/Winter 2023), and reviewed our overall sustainability practices. Throughout the trip, they visited dye houses, wash houses, and embroidery houses, as well as knitting facilities, with a few cheese plates in between 🧀.

Stacks of rolls of KULE striped fabric for Fall 2022 and current Spring 2023 production.
We use leftover fabric from past seasons to make our patch rugbies, a version of which Nikki put together as a stick figure as seen here 😂.

At the end of every season, Nikki reviews our fabric inventory. She creatively repurposes this fabric into our fun patchwork rugbies, reducing KULE’s fabric waste by giving this leftover fabric a new life.

The Patch Rugby

The Patch Rugby

The Turtleneck

The Turtleneck

The Rugby

The Rugby

The Modern Long

The Modern Long

The Patch Rugby

The Patch Rugby

The Modern Long

The Modern Long

The Rugby

The Rugby

Spring waffle knits seen here on the cutting room floor.

Later in the day, they reviewed our current production’s cutting, sewing and lab dips. We are so excited to show you what the factories are making right now 👀. Stay tuned for Spring 2023!

They go over the color lab dips to make sure the colors all match up to our standards. We take this shade of our KULE “poppy” color very seriously!
KULE brand tabs at factory in Portugal
We love our tabs! You’ll always know it’s KULE. The factory got this machine special for us to make production more efficient ❤️🙂.

One of the highlights was visiting the knitting factory to check out the production of our Malibu featherweight tee to restock for Oprah’s Favorite Things 🙂 (it should be back by the end of November!). Our featherweight tees are truly special, made from a custom fabric by our mill partner for KULE. They are made of the lightest-weight fabric that can be knit into yarn-dyed stripes. Therefore, the fabric is very delicate and must be carefully managed to avoid snags and twists in production. Due to its fine nature, the pattern pieces must be cut by hand so the stripes perfectly match up on your tees.

The machine knitting up the fabric for the Malibu tee.
Oprah KULE malibu tee being cut by hand in Portugal factory
The Malibu tee must be cut by hand. Do you recognize it? 👀.
Oprah wearing KULE Malibu t-shirt from Oprah's Favorite Things 2022
As seen on Oprah! We were so excited when Oprah chose our Malibu tee for Oprah’s Favorite Things 2022 and absolutely thrilled when we saw her wearing it!
The Malibu (back in stock soon!)

The Malibu (back in stock soon!)

The Malibu

The Malibu

The Tissue Turtleneck

The Tissue Turtleneck

The Baja

The Baja

The Baja

The Baja

The Tissue Turtlenecck

The Tissue Turtlenecck

The Baja

The Baja

The Malibu

The Malibu

The Tissue Turtleneck

The Tissue Turtleneck

They also visited the dye house where all of the products are washed and put through an intense process of fabric quality testing. Nikki and Natalia went on a tour to learn about the ZDHC certification process. To be certified, the factory must reuse at least 10% of the water and is always trying to reuse more. ZDHC factories limit hazardous waste from their practices. They work with their local community to clean the water so that the water they’re sending back out is safe. Very few factories are ZDHC certified. This dye house is also partially solar-paneled for as low-impact electricity as possible.

Nikki in front of the dye machines. Each one of those columns has a different color in it.
Our KULE fabric being washed and rinsed. Excess water goes into the drains in the floor of the factory where it is then released into the pools and treated to be cleaned and reused.
kule portugal factory water cleaning pools
One of the cleaning pools at the factory. The water goes through the cleaning process multiple times until it meets ZDHC standards.

A lot of the surrounding factories are on farms that grow vegetables and herbs for themselves, the workers, and to sell. It’s a great use of the beautiful land.

Plants grown in the garden of KULE's Factory in Portugal
Vegetables grown in the garden of KULE's Factory in Portugal

As for new developments… KULE has some really exciting things in the works which you’ll have to wait and see, but here’s a sneak peek…

kule new developments
kule new developments

And it wasn’t all business. Nikki and Natalia made room for lots and lots of great food and sights, too. Portugal is so beautiful.

cheese from Miss'Opo Portugal
Nikki and Natalia loved Miss’Opo a great restaurant that changes its menu daily 🧀.
portugal tile on building
Azulejos (glazed blue ceramic tiles) are everywhere in Portugal. Here is the side of a building in Porto.
portugal singer on street
Carolina Ferro, a very talented singer, performed right outside of Nikki and Natalia’s hotel each night. Nikki took so many videos (she really was amazing).

Overall this trip was very successful. They loved looking at the new developments and all the endless possibilities. Stay tuned for the exciting new product they had the pleasure to see made for our upcoming collections 🙂. Until next year, Portugal! Obrigada! 🇵🇹❤️

TODAY Show

TODAY Show featuring KULE Malibu tee for Oprah's Favorite Things 2022

Read more on TODAY Show…

64 Gifts from Oprah’s Favorite Things List — Shop Home, Fashion and More Under $100 by Shannon Garlin, Jillian Ortiz and Danielle Murphy

‘Tis the season to shop all of Oprah’s holiday finds, from family pajama sets to must-have tech.

Oprah’s Favorite Things 2022 dropped! Each year, we wait patiently for her extensive list of gift favorites to drop — and this year’s 104-item-long list seems to have been worth the wait.

On it, you can expect to see everything from cozy gifts to tech gifts and even food gifts that Oprah can’t get enough of. While a majority of her picks are from small businesses, you can shop all of Oprah’s Favorite Things exclusively on Amazon. Plus, thanks to some Black Friday discounts, you can even catch a few of them on deal.

While you can see the complete list at Oprah Daily, we narrowed down 64 of our favorite finds — all under $100. Keep reading to see what made our list, or you can shop this article by category.

Oprah’s Favorite Things in fashion

Kule The Malibu Tee

Kule The Malibu Sweater

The Malibu Tee

$98.00 AMAZON

According to Oprah, it was “love at first sight” the moment she put on this featherweight tee from Kule. The 100 percent cotton top is said to be incredibly soft and comfortable and is finished with a trendy stripe design with 3/4 sleeves.

Oprah Daily

Read more on Oprah Daily…

A Guide to the 84 Small Businesses on Oprah’s Favorite Things 2022 List by Aaron Radford-Wattley

This year, we’re putting a spotlight on small businesses.

It’s officially Oprah’s Favorite Things season, and you know what that means: Time to get shopping.

This year, we’re celebrating small businesses—think family-run, local makers, BIPOC- and woman-founded, and more! “No matter who you’re shopping for—friends, spouse, favorite teacher, a new grandbaby—we’ve got something that will let them know how much they matter,” Oprah says.

From toys created by a mother who wanted to make sure Black children saw positive depictions of themselves to delicious jams made by a husband-and-wife duo in upstate New York, we have an array of truly special gifts. Here, you can learn the inspiring stories behind the 84 small businesses we’re featuring.

Find the Perfect Gift

Stylish Gifts • Cozy Gifts • Beauty Gifts • Home Gifts • Kitchen Gifts • Children’s Gifts • Food Gifts • Book Gifts • Wellness Gifts • Tech Gifts


Stylish Gifts

Kule

Based in New York and founded by Nikki Kule, this “small but scrappy” company makes classic striped tees, updating fit and fabric, and all with a modern twist and a happy wink. Working with small factories around the world and using 100 percent organic yarns and recycled trims, it produces T-shirts that will make you smile for years to come. The lightweight cotton design of the Malibu Featherweight tee makes it the ideal striped top.

Oprah Daily

Oprah Daily Oprah's Favorite Things Holiday 2022 featuring KULE Malibu tee

Read more on Oprah Daily…

Oprah’s Favorite Things 2022 List Is Here!

Oprah selected 104 gifts for everyone on your holiday list.

This year, we’re celebrating small businesses (think family-run, local makers, BIPOC- and woman-founded, and more!). So no matter who you’re shopping for—friends, spouse, favorite teacher, a new grandbaby— we’ve got something that will let them know how much they matter!


stylish gifts oft

The Malibu 100 Percent Cotton Featherweight Tee
KULE The Malibu 100 Percent Cotton Featherweight Tee

$98 AT AMAZON

“I put this shirt on when I saw it, and that was it—love at first sight. This cotton design is lightweight and soft, and the simple stripes work on anyone, whichever color you go for.”

Also available at kule.com

InStyle

Instyle features KULE for best cotton turtleneck

Read more on InStyle…

These 10 Best Turtlenecks of 2022 That Make Layering A Breeze by Megan McCarty

Now that we’re firmly planted in leaf-peeping, PSL-drinking, and decorative gourd season, it’s time to refresh your fall wardrobe with a must-have classic: a turtleneck. Whether you opt for a tissue-thin fabric made for layering or a ribbed sweater-like shirt to cozy up in, you’ll still look effortlessly cool. 

These days, turtlenecks can take on many roles, from a base layer to a curve-skimming bodysuit, all while keeping your neck warm. There’s a good chance one of J.Crew’s Tissue Turtleneck, our top pick, already lives in your closet — it’s been a bestseller for years, and with its versatility it’s easy to see why. But whether you choose to add another one of J.Crew’s classics to your wardrobe or are inspired by one of our other expert-recommend, researched picks, you’ll be set for cooler temperatures.

Read on for the rest of our favorites.

Best Cotton: Kule The Turtleneck

Kule The Turtleneck

SHOPBOP

View On Kule.comView On Shopbop.com

What we love: This soft-as-can-be turtleneck makes for a utilitarian seasonal transition piece. 

What we don’t love: Some sizes in certain colorways are sold out. 

“This thin, striped turtleneck feels more like a tee than a sweater, making it the perfect transitional piece from summer into fall,” says Cerchione. Lightweight and made from super soft 100 percent cotton, it’s more than your average simple top. This design comes in various striped colorways, like cream and navy as well as navy and poppy (and so many more), in addition to solid gray and black. The relaxed neck gives you room to breathe while the striped pattern leans into an effortless French girl aesthetic. Here’s betting it would become an instant classic in your closet.

Price at time of publish: $98

Size: XS – XXL Color: 11 | Weight: Light | Material: Cotton

What to Keep in Mind

Weight

Turtlenecks can vary widely in weight, from tissue-thin to a chunky knit. While it can be hard to tell exactly how thick a turtleneck will be while buying online, keep a close eye on the description and reviews. Those should give you insight as to its weight. A light, medium, and heavy turtleneck can all have a place in your wardrobe, and one isn’t better than another. Its weight will change how you’re able to style it though, so you’ll want to have a good idea of how it’ll feel before purchasing. 

Material

The material of your turtleneck will determine its softness, stretchiness, and how you need to care for it – all important factors. When in doubt, you can never go wrong with a cotton turtleneck. It offers the breathability, the soft-to-the-touch feel, and just the right amount of stretch. If you want a form-fitting turtleneck or one with a little flexibility, look for one with a bit of spandex or elastane in its makeup. That’ll give you the, well, give that you’re looking for. 

When shopping for knit turtlenecks, first make sure you’re not sensitive to its material – no one likes an itchy experience – and then be sure to commit to properly caring for it. That could mean gentle machine washing, hand washing, or possibly dry cleaning as necessary.  

Fit

However you prefer your turtleneck to fit, ensure the neck has plenty of give. That way you can easily get it on and off without ruining your hair and getting lipstick all over it. More importantly though, you won’t feel like it’s choking you all day. Other than that, you could opt for a body-skimming turtleneck, a wildly oversized one, or something in between. That’s entirely up to you. 

Your Questions, Answered

How do you style a turtleneck?

The good news: there’s no wrong way to style a turtleneck. Think of it as a foundation to any autumn or winter outfit. You can add layer after layer on top of or let the turtleneck stand on its own. What you pair with your turtleneck will vary greatly depending on its cut, thickness, and style, of course, but here’s our advice. Get creative, whether that’s with layering, jewelry, or even with your hairstyle. (A ponytail to give off Audrey Hepburn vibes, for example.) Tuck in a form-fitting turtleneck with a high-waisted skirt, or pair an oversized turtleneck sweater with your favorite jeans. 

“A great base layer is a must-have,” says Barron. “I love a turtleneck as a layering piece under sweaters and dresses or on its own with a pair of jeans and a blazer for a sophisticated and timeless look.”

Why Shop With Us

Megan McCarty is a full-time freelance writer who writes about everything from design, to beauty to fashion. She regularly contributes to outlets like Domino, InStyle, People, Architectural Digest, Bustle, and many more. Aside from using her own expertise and completing lots of research, she interviewed style experts to find the best turtlenecks out there.

Harper’s Bazaar

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These 20 Striped Sweaters Are Actually True Wardrobe Staples by Halie LeSavage

Working in fashion has taught me a certain amount of shopping restraint. I swear by a single button-down shirt that renders all other dress shirts unnecessary. When I found out about a line of party shoes padded with memory foam, I removed all other heels from my virtual cart. But that personal fiscal responsibility and awareness of my apartment’s limited closet space goes out the window when I think about striped sweaters.

Striped sweaters are hardly groundbreaking. Yet somehow, designers at every end of the market have found new ways to show their stripes this fall. There are currently an abundance of striped sweaters—from oversized turtlenecks in black and cream to mohair pullovers in rainbow brights—that are calling my name. Best of all, the latest twists on this classic take a step outside the stripe sweater’s traditionally preppy confines (so there’s enough variety to justify another order).

“Most sweaters can be very flattering and at times even sexy,” stylist Alexis Badiyi tells me. For a striped sweater outfit that’s more nonchalant cool than New England collegiate, she says, “balancing whichever cut you choose with [the right] proportions is key.” Oversized striped sweaters can complement a slim-leg pointe pant and striped half-zips with a cropped hem often demand a front-tuck into billowing trousers.

Across the board, “for something unexpected, I love styling against the traditional feeling of a striped sweater, that to me can feel a bit preppy or buttoned up,” Badiyi adds. And if you want to go the Jane Birkin route with your stripes, new options from La Ligne, Toteme, and Khaite will have you covered. Read on for 20 striped sweaters so essential, you may have to shop more than one. Each to wear a different way, of course.

BEST STRIPED SWEATER FOR VARIETY – KULE, The Betty

From FaceTiming with stylist Allison Bornstein to casually catching up with other editors, Kule’s striped sweaters have a habit of working their way into the conversation. Usually, with lots of praise. It’s half because Kule has one of the widest ranges of stripe colors to choose from, half because they keep their fresh-from the-box quality after dozens of wears. (The same standard applies to its best T-shirts.)