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Startup uses Mathematics to Revolutionise the Little Black Dress

Manchester sisters Rachel and Laura Beattie apply Mathematics to create a first of its kind dress, the perfect black dress, for all women


Laura and Rachel Beattie

Growing up, I remember always stealing my sisters clothes…” says Rachel Beattie, Co-Founder of Careaux, “I always found I wanted to change something about each dress, but I couldn’t!

This insight stayed with Rachel who, when she was fourteen, had a dream of a dress that could adapt to each woman’s unique shape and different style preferences. The dream continued to develop into reality when Rachel was studying Maths at the University of Manchester. She delved deeper into the Mathematical principles behind Careauxcombinatorics (abstract algebra) to study the size, fit and style  of dresses, and the size and shape of women; finding patterns to match the two much better than conventional fashion.

Rachel and Laura  wanted to address the longstanding issue that has faced so many women, namely the issue of a dress that they love just not fitting them. For years, women have had to struggle with the one size fits all mentality whilst many of the fundamental aspects of fashion (particularly cut and fit) have remained unchanged for decades. But now Careaux is here to change that with  the Careaux magic – a concept never seen before that creates something unique, innovative and beautiful; giving the little black dress a new DNA.

“I love Rachel and Laura’s passion for Maths and fashion which they’ve used to reinvent the little black dress in such a clever way!  For any woman with a top half bigger or smaller than their bottom, their idea solves the ill-fitting dress problem in a stylish and comfortable way – well done girls!”
– Rachel Riley, TV Presenter and Mathematician.


The Careaux Dress

The Careaux dress has a zip around the waist that enables the garment to separate into a top and a skirt, or be worn as a dress.  This enables the dress to have a different or same size top and bottom, and allows you to interchange the tops (sleeveless and ¾ sleeved) and the skirts (pencil and skater) to create up to four different dress styles.


Handmade in Manchester, our dress speaks to the fact that women are all shapes and sizes and rarely fit into the ‘standard’ fits in most stores.Says Rachel, adding,We also realise that women want different styles for different situations and occasions, but don’t want to compromise on quality…”  

Rachel, now 22, is a Mathematics graduate and part of the Entrepreneurial Spark Accelerator Programme, and sister Laura, 29, have now made the Careaux Black Dress a reality. Combining Rachel’s love of Mathematics and fashion, with a touch of Careaux magic, the next generation of classic black dresses begins.

As Laura explains, …the Careaux Black Dress truly adapts to the wearer’s unique shape, size and style. When customers buy online they will choose their top and bottom size and style along with their waist size. This is to solve the issue that most women are a different size top to bottom and look for versatility combined with timeless style.

The Careaux Black Dress aims to democratise fashion including offering any size. No matter what the wearer’s age, shape or style – every one of our dresses becomes the wearer’s own piece of Careaux magic.

It really is the dress for life, a dress for your life” to represent the different parts which make you – to adapt with you, to be there for all your big and little moments in life, when all your dreams come true.