The year comfy clothes came into their own

— by Alyson Walsh

Photos: Claire Pepper

Someone asked me recently if lockdown has changed how I dress. Not really. Feel-good clothes have always been factored into my life, even in the days when comfy was a dirty word (or two). Finally, this year the rest of the world has caught up. The elasticated waist is having a fashion moment. Comfortable clothes are cool at last. Over the past few months we have all reconsidered how we dress, what we wear and why we wear it. Restrictive clothing and ill-fitting faff-y garments have been furloughed. Comfy clothes have come into their own. But, regardless of what anyone says about luxury loungewear and designer sports gear – I’m still not convinced. No matter how many times I read about Working From Home (WFH) in silk pyjamas, embracing the ‘nap’ dress or game-changing cashmere joggers, I’m sticking to my uniform (not yawniform). I want to be comfortable, relaxed and Just Smart Enough.

While the sale of leggings has soared, I only wear them on my bicycle or when perfecting my Downward Dog (still doing Yoga With Adriene, whoop), WFH and too relaxed doesn’t work for me. An outfit has to have some kind of structure, I can’t be the only one who is desperate to get back into my tailored jackets (?) For me, it’s all about the contrast. Teaming a lovely cashmere jumper with a pair of workwear-inspired trousers; or wearing my scrumptious corduroy jumpsuit layered over a jersey roll neck. Doing the double slouch doesn’t make me feel productive – I like my daily work routine with a side order of get-up-and-go. When I did the phone interview for Woman’s Hour, I applied proper makeup (for the first time in a long while) and wore a slinky jersey shirt, old coated black jeans and stompy boots. The WFH look was finished off with a pair of statement earrings. And that was just for the radio. I felt comfy, relaxed and Just Smart Enough. Ready to get down to creative business. The good news is that this comfy, half-and-half dressing doesn’t involve buying overpriced loungewear or designer sports kit, an outfit upgrade could merely involve a rummage through your wardrobe to unleash an old favourite.

Feeling comfortable means feeling relaxed not constricted, confident not self-conscious.



Style Notes: the cocoon coat is Jaeger from a few seasons ago. Sadly, Jaeger is one of the UK retailers that has gone into administration this year. There were problems on the high street before the pandemic but yesterday as other stores closed down, 25k jobs were lost. These are precarious times and this situation does disproportionately affect women. The lovely cashmere sweater was a generous gift from the London-based label aethel who are keen to reduce environmental impact and manufacture in the UK using Loro Piana cashmere yarn. One of the co-founders used to work for the Department of Energy and Climate Change on the climate change negotiations. Balloon trousers are Kin at John Lewis. The loafers are an old Margaret Howell sample sale bargain and the leather tote is ancient Ally Capellino  – and I really ought to condition it. Any suggestions?


*Please note: That’s Not My Age uses affiliate links to gain a small commission on items purchased through the site

Keep Reading

Tied up in knots: New ways to wear your scarves

Someone asked me recently if lockdown has changed how I dress. Not really.