Shane Watson: Luxe up your 'home working' loungewear

How to dress like a grown up with Shane Watson: Luxe up your ‘home working’ loungewear

  • Shane Watson said now is time to invest in perfectly proportioned loungewear 
  • She added that it will be important for morale as the lockdown continues
  • Fashion for 2021 is about mixing in the sporty with the rest of your wardrobe 

Generally, at this point we’d be considering what’s in store for the new year.

Not this January. Until further notice we are indoors, going nowhere, making the best of it, and that means — number one — upgrading those sweatpants, hoodies and trainers that saw us through 2020.

We were ready to put aside the cosy athleisurewear and move on to real clothes, but now that we’re in a lockdown with no end date, in a month when you always want to hibernate, that no longer makes sense.

What does make sense is sticking with what we know but sharpening it all up, the sartorial equivalent of a good reshaping haircut, rather than a radical style rethink.

Shane Watson says now is the time to invest in stylish, perfectly proportioned loungewear that makes us feel like the opposite of a slob as the lockdown continues

We don’t need new, just yet — we want freshened up and better quality, starting with stylish, perfectly proportioned loungewear that makes us feel like the opposite of a slob (important for morale now).

This is no time for loafing about in washed-out tracksuit bottoms and shapeless old T-shirts.

For that reason, along with vowing to blow-dry my hair (just quickly) and paint my toenails (strangely uplifting), I’m replacing my tired Adidas trainers with white Superstars (old-school, with blue and red stripes, since 2021 feels like the year of colours) and an extra-special hoodie.

My reasoning is I can wear both of these with anything, they’ll freshen up the clothes I already have, and I know for certain I’ll get plenty of wear out of them.

Some people will want to go the whole tracksuit hog, but wearing a matching hoodie and sweatpants makes me feel like an inmate of a fancy fat camp, so that won’t be me.

I prefer to wear hoodies with jeans, khakis, A-line skirts or velvet trousers. Also my husband has officially taken against trackpants. (He hardly ever complains, so it’s only fair to pay attention.)

Fashion for 2021 is all about mixing in the relaxed and sporty with the rest of your wardrobe

Apart from making sense for our current predicament, sportswear, and hoodies in particular, were front and centre on the 2021 spring catwalks. At Prada, there were hoodies paired with matching midi sweatshirt skirts.

At Balenciaga there was a hoodie dress (black and worn with big sunglasses). And at the Celine show, which was staged on the track in a sports stadium just to push home the point, hoodies were as ubiquitous as heels would have been pre-pandemic. (No heels here at all, by the way).

The point is, fashion for 2021 is all about mixing in the relaxed and sporty with the rest of your wardrobe; maybe a hoodie under a smart cream boucle jacket, or silky trackpants with a navy blazer.

HOODIES: THE NEW RULES 

  • Get your luxe hoodie in a light, plain colour.
  • Avoid zips — go for a kangaroo pocket.
  • Wear it with velvet trousers, skirts and jeans.
  • Steer clear of logos.

Smart Casual is the sweet spot of modern dressing, more now than ever, and finally it means what it says: something smart with something casual, but not sloppy or throwaway.

Which is why your hoodie needs to be a cut above the one you used to travel in.

Starting at the pricey end, the smart set swear by LA brand Les Tien, which has fleece-lined hoodies (from £298, matchesfashion.com) in gold-jewellery-enhancing shades — pale grey, off-white and light beige. (It’s a fact that luxe hoodies look more expensive in light colours, and smarter with a kangaroo pocket rather than a zip.)

If I’m paying three figures, then I want affordable cashmere, and the place to look now would be Nrby, which does cotton cashmere sweaters in cream or silver grey (£120, nrbyclothing.com).

Otherwise, Baukjen is a good bet for organic cotton hoodies in pretty colours (£79, baukjen.com). Its Nieve hoodie (£85) comes in soft plum with a dark grey and white stripe on the sleeves — great with velvet trousers if you want to switch things up on a Friday night.

You want your hoodie to be roomy not skimpy, but also flattering, so leave the longer-line look to the Billie Eilish fans. If you do want a zip hoodie, visit Uniqlo (£19.90, uniqlo.com). At that price you can buy two and keep one for best. I’m only half joking; these tops are the new building blocks of your smart casual wardrobe, along with a zip-up blouson jacket, which we’ll get to another time.

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