In the world of fashion, nothing more aptly reflects the current times than clothing putting comfort first. After months of working from home en masse, possible self-isolation and the undiminished social distancing requirements, it’s perhaps no surprise that the loungewear trend is thriving. Fashion is once again showing how it reflects societal change and, with designs championing simplicity and comfort, is offering a fitting antidote to these hectic times.
Loungewear in the age of coronavirus
The coronavirus crisis has helped to illuminate the societal role played by fashion, and how it is structurally influenced by cultural, socio-political and historical factors. This is reflected in how we are currently dressing, with comfort clearly becoming more important than solely looking the part.
At the start, we all reached for our sweatshirts, jogging bottoms and leggings – items that used to be nothing more than soft garments that we threw on after a long day in fancy workwear. Now that the liberating feeling of casting off your work look is no longer (or hardly) relevant, it’s logical that we’re seeing a growing demand for a loungewear upgrade. A range of loungewear options are slowly emerging that are both comfortable and sufficiently dressy to do the honours on Zoom. It’s been proven that we work more efficiently and perform better when we feel good, so in the redefined loungewear, the search is on for designs combining comfort and style.
Quality, style and comfort
And this is clear to see in the new Autumn/Winter 2020 and Spring/Summer 2021 shows by high-end fashion houses. From the knitted sets of high-quality cashmere by American fashion house Khaite and The Row’s comfortable, drapey suits, to the comfy knit looks from Jil Sander and bona fide high-fashion tracksuits by Celine.
Thanks to this trend development, loungewear is one of the few segments in the fashion industry currently performing well. Research conducted by NPR reports that expenditure on regular clothing and accessories has dropped by a whopping 79% this year, but that loungewear sales have rocketed. High street labels are also getting in on the loungewear trend, offering modern designs with a comfy twist. Brands including Not Shy and LN Knits are introducing refined knitwear designs, and ZENGGI and Josephine & Co are among the many labels delving into soft fabrics like linen and satin.
This new trend is fashion’s response to our rapidly changing lifestyle, which seems set to be with us for a good while to come, and which is helping stylish loungewear to claim an enduring spot in everyone’s wardrobe.
Written by Lara Oliveri