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by Meredith Stoecklein

I love Sundays because they’re always a day of relaxation for everyone, but for me, they’re just like any other day (which is a blessing and a curse). I work a lot on the weekends - having my own business, it's hard for me to check out and force myself to relax. I take my work very seriously, but I try really hard to make Sunday a day for myself.

I'm the founder and designer of LEIN, my bespoke and ready-to-wear collection which I founded in 2016. It's been an incredible journey and I've learned a lot about myself and what I'm passionate about. Working with women to make sure they’re feeling their best, hunting down specialty fabrics, and dreaming about future designs make me so happy. My designs are meant to be incorporated back into your wardrobe even beyond your wedding day, and not to sit in a box to  gather dust. 

I just finished my new FW20 collection and introduced gowns. I fell in love with a soft, luxe tulle from France. It's sheer and lightweight but has a silkiness to it - the opposite of what you think of when you hear “tulle.” Even though they can be "aisle style," my pieces never feel too "bridal," which is important to me. I also designed a gown with a very special Italian cashmere lace, and let’s just say it's not your grandmother's lace!

In general, I'm lucky to have the flexibility to work out before a call if I want to or push meetings when necessary. I make time to decompress and relax throughout the week to keep myself sane; this usually means a game of tennis or a Pilates class, but that also means my weekends morph into the work week. I have friends that suffer from the Sunday Scaries so I know how brutal it can be! I feel lucky to be able to dodge them for the most part.

Every Sunday morning, I kick off my semi-strict skin routine. I wake up and put on Biologique Recherche mask. I mix their Vivant and VIP Oxygenating Mask—this has literally changed my skin. Following a mixture of their serums, I use a jade roller to really help everything soak in. I keep masks in the fridge so they're super cooling when I apply; it’s calming and makes my little routine feel a bit more spa-like. I spritz on Le Labo Rose and mix it with a musk scent. Then I’m ready to go.

I start the day with a homemade iced Americano coffee with oat milk, and I like to  sprinkle cinnamon on top for its medicinal benefits. In the winter, I go with an espresso. Then I'm off to Uptown Pilates in Greenwich Village, which is just around the corner from my apartment - convenience is the only way I get myself to work out! Plus, a good workout look never hurt nobody! My go-to is a pair of ALO high-waist airlift shorts and an oversized sweatshirt. I'll wear Darner or Vetements socks paired with cool Nikes to "make it fashion."

I see breakfast as a prime opportunity to catch up with friends. It's always a treat to see my friends who own their own brands too, like Roxi Sternerud of Darner Socks or Abigail Tananbaum of Matek. Breakfast is a time for us to dish on the details of running our own businesses. It’s a tough industry so to have women to lean on has been crucial to figuring it all out. One of my favorite breakfast spots  is La Mercerie in SoHo. I love their French crepes - absolutely divine. After a bite, I can't resist a stop at the Guild. It's hard to leave without something to go home with, like a French linen tablecloth or a new piece of stemware, which both make great additions to my collection of tableware because I always like to have friends over for dinner on my back patio.

Throughout the day, you'll always find me with my earbuds in (unless I forgot to charge them), listening to a mix ranging from Brenton Wood to Beyonce and Lykke Li to Chance. During the week, I commute to work on the train. Sunday is a treat because I can walk everywhere and people watch—NYC has the best people watching. Later in the evening, I either chill out at a park or leaf through my cookbooks to figure out what I'm making for the night. Next stop is the grocery store and wine store. My local spot for natural wine is Terry's in Greenwich Village. I tell them what I'm going to make for dinner and they recommend a wine to make the perfect pairing.

I like Sunday nights to be cozy. I cook at home or plan a movie night at a friend's house. My go-to meal is a big green salad, inspired by Via Carota. For a main, I make a mean roasted olive oil and garlic chicken. I like simple recipes - nothing too over the top. Alison Roman has the best simple and delish recipes. Sundays are meant to be relaxing above all else, so simple is good.

It's important to note that I love a good pajama set. My favorite right now is a cute original 90s baby tee by Pretties out of Venice. They have a pop-up shop down the street from me in the Greenwich Village, so they’re making it too easy for me to pop by for a new set. I wish I could say I was a candle person, but I always forget to blow them out so I use a Tobacco-scented oil diffuser from Coqui Coqui that's hazard free. I’m also obsessed with bedding and love sleeping in linen because it's cooling, and then I just drift right off into a new week.

Meredith Stoecklein is founder and designer of LEIN: a bespoke and ready-to-wear collection for your wedding day and every day, designed and hand-crafted in New York City. Follow her journey @lein_studio