THE IMPORTANCE OF LOUNGEWEAR
You get up and shuffle like Sean of the Dead to the kettle. You're in boxers, hiking socks, last night's band t-shirt, all wrapped in that dressing gown... It has towelling creases that might be grim and stained, but they have moulded around my middle-aged spread for at least 2 years.
You realise you're wandering around your flat at 1:30pm in that same gown, yellowing collar catching the light. Why dress? I'm happy. I'm comfy. Then you catch your reflection and realise it may be both those things, but it's definitely not pretty. What are the options? Go grown up and work on my laptop with my favourite 19oz denim riding up into my nethers? Stiff, cold selvedge that won't warm up through the day? I might end up having to do something grown-up, like jobs around the house, which are always ill-advised. I'm happier feeling cosy and snug, thanks very much.
Where's the middle ground? Where I feel comfortable, soft and fluffy, yet make an effort, even if it's just for my other half, who is grimacing at my appearance. I want to stay sofa bound, but look good. This is why Lounge Wear is important.
I want to research recipes for the feast I'm planning, then seamlessly throw on my shearling jacket to brave the outside world as I go hunting/gathering for a few essentials. Once home I might decide to slob and watch Frasier, get up again, write that thing, chat to a mate, feast and snooze in front of an obscure Bogart film. Upping the Lounge Wear part of your wardrobe is what you need, to feel comfy, look stylish and not repel the one you love.
Structure is important at the moment, as we all know. Having the will to keep going and say "bollocks to it, I'm still looking sharp". I'm fighting the temptation to stay in PJs which seems to contribute to a weird lazy blurred mess of a day.
I video-called one of our regulars at 11am on a Sunday and there he was: soft drawstring trousers, expensive sweatshirt and an Anderson Anderson skull cap beanie. He was looking fly and making breakfast for the household - looking good, looking relaxed and quite right.
On a closed FB page about dressing, everyone is making even more of an effort than usual and we are all posting up our daily Lounge Wear outfits. It's an act of defiance, no way are we letting things slip.
Let's define the garments. Firstly and most importantly for once is the trouser. THE TROUSER MUST BE SOFT, this is the one time I say yes to stretch (never mixed in with my denim though!). Baggy maybe, definitely loose on thighs so movement isn't impeded, perhaps a drawstring and no belt - unless its one of those Anderson stretchy ones. Cloth can be thick or thin - it doesn't matter, you're indoors and have a thermostat.
The base layer follows; a t-shirt with a long or short sleeve. Make sure it's in a fine cotton - silky to the skin. Your first expensive t-shirt is a revelation, they can feel like silk and they actually last. They don't stink up and go in the pits - the typical reasoning of 'I buy cheap ones, cause I go through them quick' or 'they get smelly'... that happens for a reason. Treat yourself and you'll end up saving money - like most clothing. Guess what's made another come back? The polo and thank god; that collar will warm the neck and sit nicely inside your next layer.
The top layer; the humble sweat. Like tees, don't think cheap £50 ones will last or look good, because they won't. The vintage-looking sweat has never been so big: rough exposed seams, large ribbed bands on the hems and cuffs set it apart from the sport brands. You'll also notice the quality of the cotton and the tough and durable exterior with a warm and fluffy interior. Mmm. Sweats have been around for donkeys and used in every sport and training exercise regime, so years of experimentation and refinement have been carried out. Features and cuts have never been so abundant - raglan sleeves, outsized shapes, zip fronts, hoodies, military repro / smock / sailing models, hand warmers and drawstrings. We've never had so much choice and I haven't even mentioned the myriad of colours.
As far as colour combinations go: do what you want with loungewear! It's the one realm where men are more confident with colour and can break free from the navy uniform.
So dress comfy, but you've gotta still dress, keep the dressing gown but burn those trackie bottoms, for the love of god!
So here's what Frontiers has for you to do loungewear properly...
Luckily/spookily Nigel seems to be some kind of Nostrodamus and saw the future & invested heavily this season in loungewear... I should say wisely, let's not think about it too much...
Now unlike building normal outfits, we'll start with the comfy trousers. For comfort in the thigh but tapering down you have Folks Assembly pants - we have three regular versions, and for super comfort - a drawstring version. They're mid-weight so good outside for Scotland this time of year, for them exercise jaunts...
Also in a tapered silhouette Universal Works' famous Aston pant. We have this in four medium-weight cloths and three super light-weight cloths in the ever so slightly wider Military chino, if your home is warm, go for these, they come in amazing colours and will be a joy when your holidays finally come. There's the added bonus that their sweats have been designed to mix and match colour-wise.
Kestin's Inverness trousers (online soon) are super comfy and taper well if you like a bit of fine, light corduroy. These are belt looped for going out and also have a drawstring for hanging around the house.
Want more interesting cloth? Of course sir does...
Universal Works does a slightly wider than average track pant, in lovely indigo-dyed herringbone cloth. Universal Works also has a subtle red-on-navy checked cloth in a military chino. And for the connoisseur, there are Oliver Spencer's drawstring trousers in a Prince of Wales check (black on navy). If you did go for these, the most serious of all loungewear, consider the matching jacket, you be in almost Yoda territory of loungewear.
Finally, if you are brutal to clothing, Bleu de Paname have done a proper military pant in olive drab 'ripstop' cloth, with patch pockets and built-in draw ribbon and loads of bells and whistles.
Let's begin again with Universal Works, their largely vintage-looking sweats: the loopback, the half zip and the full zip (the full zip is great for those of us who vary in temperature), these pair up with those light-weight trousers I was talking about.
If you want a super relaxed look, YMC does a raglan sleeve - one of those sleeves that goes all the way to the neck, instead of being bolted on to the side of the garment...
If it's not a sweat you require, how about something high on design? Kestin's windbreaker gives you something different for your wardrobe. We sell out very, very quickly every year on this. Every year I miss out and vow....next year!.
If you need something tough and uber durable this Breton top by Bleu de Paname with a modern dispatch / document / shopping list / glasses pocket could suit and is a great price.
Finally and by no means least, La Paz is the shining example living your life in the most comfortable of ways - all their clothing is about that walk on a Portuguese beach eating sardines! Here and here are two towelling treats...
Finally and importantly, all these looks look great around the home, but you won't look like a rag bag when you nip out, all of these looks also have the added bonus that they look natural when you pop an overshirt or workwear jacket over the top.... but more on that next week.