Last week, I met with my friend Keri, a terribly cool Vinyasa yoga instructor, and the irony of our outfits couldn’t be ignored.
We weren’t off to practise our poses together, we were heading to the park for a stroll, having picked up a cappuccino and takeaway ladies’ lunch from the local posh cafe.
Normally, I’d reach for a pair of jeans, ankle boots and a crisp shirt for a daytime meet-up. But we were both wearing what can only be described as ‘clothes in which we’d happily lie on the nearest bench for a nap’.
Rib-knit cashmere sweater, £350 and matching midi-skirt, £375, chintiandparker.com; cashmere socks, £36, thewhitecompany.com
Knitted jumpsuit, £59.99, mango.com; cashmere socks, £32, pantherella.com
Of course, Keri’s day job means she’s got more reason than I to wear leggings. But hers were metallic, teamed with a peacoat and sparkly ear cuffs.
Meanwhile, I’d pulled on some navy merino leggings, my Chloe ballet pumps, a trench and an armful of bangles. It was a real sign of the times.
We can’t deny that the past six months have changed our wardrobes in radical ways, and the return of loungewear as totally acceptable daytime clothing is one of the biggies.
Merino wool cardigan coat, £299, and jumper, £149, winserlondon.com; cashmere wide-leg joggers, £169, thewhitecompany.com
Cashmere hoodie, £119, and matching joggers, £99, marksandspencer.com; ribbed polo-neck, £12.99, hm.com; cashmere socks, £32, pantherella.com
Zip-neck sweatshirt, £125, jersey joggers, £135, and cashmere roll-neck, £195, reiss.com; cashmere socks, £32, pantherella.com
The last time there was a trend for going about your business in sleepwear, the results weren’t pretty. Hollywood celebrities slobbing down Sunset Boulevard in Uggs and crop tops, Wags wearing skintight pink tracksuits with crystal zippers. Oh dear. We can’t go there again.
Luckily, the new luxe loungewear has grown up and moved on. Instead of velour, this time round it’s all about soft, luxurious wool — the pieces featured here are made from sumptuous cashmere and fine merino.
And the colour palette doesn’t involve garish jewel tones. It’s all about upmarket dusky pink, like the gorgeous zip-neck sweatshirt and slim-fit joggers from Reiss (above, third from right). If you’re after something a little less pastel, there’s every shade of camel, biscuit, cream and grey.
Longline cardigan, £55, ribbed bralet top, £22, and cycling shorts, £20, riverisland.com; cashmere socks, £32, pantherella.com
Collared slouch jumper, £107, celticandco.com; rib-knit trousers, £19.99, hm.com; cashmere socks, £32, pantherella.com
I’m gently working up to the main point. Namely, how to get away with wearing sinfully comfy clothes without looking as if you’re about to settle into bed with a mug of Horlicks. The key is to look for sophisticated shapes and keep things figure-skimming. I love the look (and feel) of slim cashmere leggings, like these from M&S (centre): perfect with the matching hoodie for a day at home, or for teaming with my ballet-pumps-and-trench combo when going out.
Another favourite look is this Chinti & Parker ribbed roll-neck and matching midi-skirt (far left). Elegant worn together, or just as useful separately, paired with a T-shirt or cotton leggings when working from home.
My final tip: adding a bit of sparkly jewellery makes it very clear that you’re ready for the day, and not preparing to slip under the duvet.