Our resident fashion expert Gail Rolfe shares about her love of loungewear and how to style the perfect outfit.
As a freelance journalist who has worked from home for the majority of the last 25 years, I realised early on that there had to be some rules governing sartorial laziness. Although there is something rather wickedly indulgent in having the occasional “pyjama day,” it is oh-so easy to for that one-off rarity to become an everyday normal occurrence. But does that really matter?
Research has proven that the clothes we wear affect our behavior, attitudes, personality, mood, and confidence, having a profound effect when we are depressed, anxious, fearful or stressed. Remember that the quickest fix for a day when you are struggling to feel your best is a splash of bright colour, as we associate vibrant colours with happiness, summer days and carefree times. For me a vibrant coral red or tangerine orange are my ultimate pick-me-ups.
Making an effort to look good, even if there is no-one there to witness your efforts, can be a game-changer. The same guidance applies even when you are retired, and especially when staying at home for prolonged periods of time.
With the aim being a winning combination of comfort blended with an insouciant chic style, I start with an oversized cashmere cardigan from Zara, a classic T-shirt from Uniqlo, a bold necklace and soft, wide legged trousers.
My new work-at-home choice are both by Mother, (my absolute favourite jeans label). One straight leg pair I has been in my wardrobe for eight years, while the newest pair are flares so that I can indulge my never-ending love of 70’s nostalgia. Throw a soft merino wool sweater around your shoulders like those from the much-talked about knitwear company Navy Grey.
My least dressed up, but ultimately cosy outfit is a grey cashmere hoodie and matching joggers. Mine were a present many years ago, but this season the White Company have a pale grey set that sell for £179 each. Expensive, but versatile, and designed to last.
As loungewear becomes increasingly part of our lives, look to companies such as Me+Em, who have launched an At-Home-Chic collection dedicated to luxury, practical clothes that you can wear all year round, at home and anywhere else. My favourites are the Luxe sweatshirt and matching palazzo pants, e cargo jogger and their pale pink cashmere sweater.
Never forget that those hidden items like underwear, and even socks, exert a powerful influence-enhancing level of self-esteem and confidence. The knowledge that you are wearing something sensual and provocative makes you feel powerful and confident, especially when you are postmenopausal.
This is not a time to feel awkward or guilty about shopping when you thoughtfully replace something you ‘need’ rather than ‘want.’ This is not about that dopamine high from a rash purchase, this can also be viewed as a socially responsible way of supporting small British brands who might otherwise not survive.