There was a dark period in the summer where ~70% of my day job involved coming up with new angles for stay-at-home fashion copy. This evolved into work-from-home fashion copy – in which the concept of wearing statement earrings on Zoom was considered a novelty for longer than necessary – and then into the most puzzling concept of all, ‘dressing up to stay in’. When the city was shut down, my friends and I were drinking wine in jeans and jumpers covered in cat hair. If someone had turned up to our kitchen dance parties in heels and satin, like the audience I was supposedly writing for in my work’s newsletters, the vibe would certainly be… off. All of this is to say that I know I’m late to the party when it comes to writing about Fashion in the Time of Coronavirus. I’ve searched for ‘comfort’ in the thesaurus too many times. However, as the fashion press turns its eye to a post-COVID world of bodycon and cutouts and nothing left to the imagination, it’s nice to remember the joy of comfy clothes.
So, onwards: comfortable favourites for both in and out of the house.
Should you need convincing that luxurious slippers are having a moment, look to Gucci’s reissue of its fluffy Princetown mules. The most Marmite design of Fall/Winter ‘15 is coming back, so you’ll soon see your local influencers trailing bedraggled tufts of lamb fur through puddles once again. I’d rather buy the classic Jordaans for the same price and not worry about getting my socks wet, and perhaps this thought indicates why I’m no longer working in fashion.
If you’re not in the mood for Princetowns either, may I suggest any of The Row’s slippers, which are properly comfortable and pleasingly uncomplicated? It doesn’t matter which pair you pick – all of the brand’s shoes are made without those annoying hard seams at the back, so you’re less likely to get blisters. I have the Bea slippers in pom-pom embroidered cashmere, but they’re not in great shape anymore as I kept wearing them for my allowed daily mental-health walk during Peak Lockdown, traversing my local park. Don’t ask. I learnt my lesson and now live in the shearling-lined Birkenstock Bostons, which are uglier but equally cosy and heaps more practical, with sturdy soles fit for the supermarket run.
Read any Linkedin post about WFH productivity, and you’ll find the same tips regurgitated. Create a routine. Take regular screen breaks. Don’t work in your pyjamas. I’m assuming anyone against the “I-woke-up-like-this” approach to video-call styling isn’t familiar with Sleeper. I received its Party Pyjamas as a Christmas present last year, and since then they’ve been worn for many a Monday-morning standup. In black, they don’t really look like pyjamas,
Other premium pyjama brands to bookmark include Desmond & Dempsey for prints people, Piglet in Bed for summery linen, and Olivia von Halle for satin PJ fans.
My dream knitwear rotation revolves around Alanui, La Ligne, extreme cashmere and Loro Piana, but my budget holds me back. Until things change, I’ll be repeat-buying merino wool from Arket. Its ribbed-knit jumpers proved to be excellent buys during the lockdown slump. I’ve ended up with three of them – in blue, black-and-white stripes and a very Bottega shade of green – as they’re such handy base layers. They’re not exciting, but they have a flattering close fit (perfect for tucking into trousers without any bulkiness), a longer length (good for pulling down over leggings) and cosy thumb holes. Oh, and so far they’ve held up well on the washing machine’s “wool” cycle.
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