Getting dressed used to be so simple didn’t it? I’d have my office attire for work days, casual clothes for the weekend and stylish outfits for dinners with friends. Thanks to COVID-19 however, the rules have changed. With so many of us working from home – and socialising there too – what are we supposed to wear now? The sartorial solution, it seems, is ladies loungewear. The undisputed star of lockdown fashion, loungewear sales have risen exponentially in 2020. And I don’t think it’s hard to understand why. Don’t we all want to feel cosy, comfortable and cosseted these days? It really makes no difference whether you’re dining at home in your kitchen or settling down in front of Netflix. But 24/7 pyjamas should not be an option . In fact, I feel that ‘getting dressed’ is a ritual we need to preserve! I think the right choice of loungewear can help you look and feel pulled together. This way, you’ll feel ready to face pretty much whatever the world chooses to throw at you. Ladies loungewear involves just the right amount of effort don’t you think? So you can invest in a “Goldilocks” third wardrobe that’s suitable for work, rest and play.
What exactly is loungewear?
I think ladies loungewear means different things to different people… But, broadly speaking, it’s defined as casual clothes that are suitable for relaxing in and spending time at home. Tracksuits, onesies, hoodies, super-soft knits and leggings are some of the most popular examples. Think stretchy, slouchy, separates that cocoon, not constrict, without compromising on style.
A fabulous option to explore if you’re keen to create a quality, loungewear capsule wardrobe is The White Company. I adore almost every item in their current collection. There are tops, t-shirts, jumpers, hoodies, trousers and joggers, with selected clothing available in a very exclusive 4-18 size range. Think soft, draped silhouettes in cashmere, cotton and silk blends. I like to mix and match versatile neutrals with pretty pastels. My go-to outfit recommendation from here is a beautiful grey ensemble. This combines cotton-silk joggers, a wide-rib cardigan with cashmere, and an organic cotton t-shirt.
The beauty of Boden
No blog on ladies loungewear would be complete without a peek at yummy-mummy stalwart Boden. Featuring both sets and separates, Boden’s loungewear also incorporates an attractive activewear collection. I think it’s as perfect for Pilates as it is for popping to the shops. Dull, grey days call for bold, bright colours, and this canary yellow puff sleeve sweatshirt delivers an instant mood boost. I like the neat ribbing, the relaxed shape and the subtle stretch. In fact, so much, I’ve bought one! It pairs perfectly with these cuffed navy jersey joggers. The waistband drawstring is super forgiving if you’ve overdone the lockdown banana bread. I also like the stripy cuffs for a clever pop of pizzazz.
Betty knows best
Sweaty Betty might be best known for its bum-sculpting leggings…but there’s much more to this brand than just specialist fitness apparel. Did you you know everything is designed by women for women by an all-female team? Over the years, its clothing collection has evolved to include new prints and fashion pieces that fit and flatter.
If you’re looking for ladies loungewear with a sporty twist, look no further. One of my favourites pieces is this after class sweatshirt in misty rose pink. Made from soft, lightweight organic cotton, this boxy design with side splits really is the perfect post-workout layer. I think it looks amazing with joggers, or teamed with these Power 7/8 gym leggings. They’re super stretchy, sweat wicking, and even include a handy back zip pocket.
Putting the luxe into loungewear
Luxury loungewear might seem like a contradiction in terms. What is the point, you might think, of splashing serious cash on everyday items that potentially nobody will even see? To which, I suggest a clothing recalibration.
First and foremost, why not consider cost per wear? To work this out, you need to divide the price of an item by the number of times you wear it. This is a great formula to evaluate whether something is (or isn’t!) worth a hefty price tag. Pre-COVID-19, most of us wouldn’t hesitate to buy an expensive dress that might only be worn once or twice. I’ve done this and these outfits tend to then languish, unloved, in the back of my wardrobe. Why, then, are we reluctant to invest in some top-quality ladies loungewear? After all, it’s highly likely to be worn week in and week out, which will more than justify its outlay?
Another element to consider is the mood boost we get from treating ourselves to something special. 2020 has been a difficult year for almost all of us. If a little self-care, in the form of a super-premium ladies loungewear set, helps to keep the horrors of coronavirus at bay for a while, quite frankly, I’m all for it.
Hooray for Olivia von Halle
Billionaires’ playground Monaco might be out of reach for most of us right now. But, luckily, this Missy Monaco loungewear set from Olivia von Halle at Harrods is only a few clicks away. At £1,195 it’s certainly not a budget option. But it is a sumptuously soft cashmere-silk blend with stylish stripes and a touch of stretch. I must confess, right now there’s nothing I want to wear more!
In praise of Chinti & Parker
Another luxury loungewear option is this gorgeous grey duo from Chinti & Parker. The heritage striped sweater (£275) is knitted from a super-soft blend of wool and cashmere. I love how the striped detailing offsets the charcoal grey colourway. Team with the coordinating grey heritage striped track pants (£295) and some on-trend trainers for an elevated off-duty aesthetic.
Rainbows pictures thanking NHS workers for their efforts were a familiar sight during this year’s national lockdown. It’s a motif that’s echoed in Wyse London’s Ella Rainbow Tie Hoodie (£220). I think this gorgeous luxury loungewear piece that’s sure to brighten even the dreariest of autumn days. Knitted from 100% cashmere, it features a useful front pocket and a colourful rainbow tassel. Mix and match with existing separates, or wear with the Aurelie Rainbow Stripe Lounger (£210).
Looking for a stylish face mask to wear when you’re out and about? Then you must check out my blog on Best buys: stylish face masks