The former Gossip Girl actress tells PEOPLE that the O.C. alumnus is her "best friend"
When they’re not stepping out for movie premieres, hitting the beach to surf or spending time with their toddler, Arlo Day, the former Gossip Girl actress and former O.C. actor find simple ways to spend quality time together.
“We basically just try to disconnect enough so that we don’t have to talk about logistics,” Meester told PEOPLE exclusively at the launch dinner for her new collaboration with Los Angeles-based sustainable fashion brand Christy Dawn. “We go to dinner. That’s basically all we end up really doing, going to dinner.”
Finding time to spend together will get even easier in the fall when Meester, 33, starts shooting the second season of her ABC sitcom Single Parents. Brody, 39, will return to the show to play her character Angie’s deadbeat ex-boyfriend, Derek.
“It’s wonderful,” Meester said of working with Brody, whom she married in 2014. “It’s just fun to be on set with him. I love being at work, and then having my best friend come and work with me is just like the best thing ever. It’s so awesome.”
Though Meester is loving her time on the show, she admitted that she can relate to the same struggles a lot of working moms face.
“There is a lot of pressure in terms of wanting to feel like you’re doing well in both areas, and sometimes if you’re doing well in one, the other side might kind of fall,” she said. “But, I think having a supportive partner and supportive friends and being your own best friend and giving yourself support and being your own cheerleader and saying kind words to yourself and knowing that you’re doing your best, I think that that is the best possible way to, hopefully, manage it.”
Meester’s new collaboration with Christy Dawn to create a piece called “The Leighton Jumper” — a sleeveless full-length jumpsuit with a bow detail on the neckline and a scoop back — was inspired, in part, by motherhood.
“Very early on, I said that I was interested in making a jumper, even though [Christy] is really well known for her dresses,” Meester said. “And while I totally love dresses, jumpers are much more practical for me. They kind of translate from day to night, and I can wear them having a child. They’re my go-to, really.”
“Christy was saying that her test is always, ‘Can I wear this at the grocery store?’” she continued. “I’m like, ‘What do I do every day?’ I pretty much go to a playground every day. So I’m like, ‘Can I wear this at a playground?’ I certainly can wear it at the beach, which I spend a lot of time at. I can wear it to dinner out at night. I can wear it during the day to some sort of daytime event. It’s really comfortable and just makes me feel put together — that’s what I want as a mom, to be able to throw something on and feel put together.”
As to whether her daughter Arlo is starting to take after her in the style department, Meester said that even at just 3 years old, “she’s very much her own person.”