From slouchy dresses and tracksuits, to simple cotton T-shirts and joggers, loungewear encompasses much more than fancy pyjamas and a pair of slippers socks. And now, thanks to coronavirus isolation, loungewear is the nation’s new uniform, allowing us to work from the sofa, hold meetings via Zoom and tackle homeschooling, all while still looking presentable and feeling comfortable. We asked ten women, including a yoga teacher, personal trainer and dance teacher what they like to wear when lounging around the house. Read on for their recommendations as to the best joggers, sliders, leggings and more.
Two of our ten experts picked out Lululemon’s Warm Down range. Featuring a crew neck and several styles of complementary jogger, the line is designed to be lightweight, breathable and ultracomfortable. For Anya Lahiri, master trainer at Barry’s Bootcamp London, workout gear and loungewear overlap, making the Warm Down joggers the perfect versatile trouser. “My version of a night-out outfit is these joggers but with a smart white shirt. But I’d also wear these with flip-flops,” she says. “I’ve had several pairs – they feel comfortable and they look really smart, thanks to the tapered cuffs that can be moved up and down.”
Sometimes Lahiri hikes them up below her knees and styles them like harem pants; she also plays around with the waistband, which can be worn high or folded down onto the hip bone. Yoga and meditation teacher Maude Hirst is a Lululemon ambassador and was initially gifted the Warm Down Crew in Heathered Cashew and “loved it so much I bought the rest of the set”. Hirst describes wearing it “like stepping into a teddy bear, it’s so soft and fluffy” but “smarter than a tracksuit, with a really nice tailored fit”. The crew comes in four shades, but the joggers come in several colours and fabrics. Sizes run US 0-14 (UK 4-18); free delivery and returns.
During the pandemic, Noor Hibbert, life and business coach, is working from home and homeschooling her three daughters, a combination that requires a smart but snug outfit. “I’ve been living in my Cotton On loungewear,” she says. “It’s supersoft and comfortable, and perfect for doing TikTok video practices with the kids and then stepping into teacher mode when it’s time for schoolwork.” An Australian brand, Cotton On does a long line of loungewear, and these joggers come with a matching drawstring waist and crew-neck sweater. “It makes a really easy, smart home outfit, and the fitted style means I never feel like a slob in them.” The set comes in size XXS-XL (UK size 6-16). Some of Cotton On’s range is stocked at Next; or you can order direct for £10 (10-30 days delivery time).
Chatty Dobson, owner of London studio FLEX Chelsea, doesn’t like the midriff breeze she gets wearing leggings and T-shirts so instead, she wears bodysuits from Ernest Leoty. Named after a 19th-century Parisian corset-maker, and founded by France-born, London-based designer Marion Rabate, the athleisure brand is known for its tailored, figure-hugging silhouettes and simple colour palette. There are five bodysuits in the Ernest Leoty collection – including a short version – and Dobson’s favourite is the Ilona. The low-cut style has spaghetti straps, a supportive band around the waist, and is made from a polyamide-elastane mix, which resists pilling and is machine-wash friendly.
“The fabric is silky smooth, and it fits like a glove – I feel like Catwoman slinking around,” says Dobson. “It’s a dream for relaxing around the house because it’s so cosy yet also sexy; Ernest Leoty’s corsetry history means the brand really understands what flatters the female form.” There are five colours (Dobson has black) and sizing runs XS-XL, which is equivalent to UK 6-18. Email subscribers get 10% off their first purchase; free delivery for all.
According to Bami Kuteyi, founder of Twerk After Work dance classes (which are now streaming online during the lockdown), she shops at Pretty Little Thing because “it sells clothes I can express myself in – the colours are bold, there are lots of slogans and it does fitness clothes alongside normal clothes”. She’s such a fan, she bought its Royalty membership, which gives customers unlimited UK delivery for £9.99 a year. One of her favourite items is this neon pink hoodie, which she bought a few months ago and still wears regularly. “I’m always wearing bright colours - my hair is pink - and I like the way bold colours give me positivity and also show up well on screen when I’m doing my workout classes and Instagram stories,” she says. “I love the colour and softness of this hoodie, and it has a large pocket on the front, which holds two phones (I have one for business and one for social media). It means I can grab my phones quickly if I need to take photos or video footage, or respond to work emails.”
“Rag n Bone’s knits and sweatshirts are gorgeous,” says Hilary Rowland. “I’ve bought loads of them and they are all well-designed, insanely comfortable and the designs make them stand out from standard sweaters.” Rowland’s favourites are the cotton Leon Crew, “a really cosy oversized sweater in bold colours”, and the Zebra Pullover, “a similar oversized cotton sweater in an artsy print”, which she reaches for when she needs a smart top for vidcon, or going into one of her London spin studios. Rag n Bone’s sizing runs XXS-L, which translates roughly to UK size 4-14; both these sweaters have a loose, ‘boyfriend’ fit so go a size higher if unsure of your size. International shipping (£12.95 + duties) takes 4-14 days and returns are the customer’s cost.
Maude Hirst discovered Danish brand Gai & Lisva at last year’s Yoga Show in London, and has since bought several pieces from the label. “They make simple pieces in soft material and all are amazing quality,” says Hirst, who is streaming paid-for classes via her website. “My favourite piece is its oversized Charlotte cardigan. It is so warm, soft on the skin and it goes with so much - you can chuck it over any outfit and it looks great.” The one-size cardigan is a mix of lambswool, alpaca yarn and acrylic, with no fastenings and two small pockets. Hirst often wears it in place of a dressing gown at breakfast, or in place of a blanket when sitting outside in the evenings. Gai & Lisva newsletter subscribers get 15% off their first order; delivery £13, returns at customer’s cost.
When Sophie Whippy, doula and founder of yoga studio Stretch London needs a simple, well-cut T-shirt, she pulls out one of her many Weekday Alanis T-shirts. “They are made from supersoft organic cotton, have a perfect relaxed fit and they’re smart enough to wear out,” she says. “I often wear these with a pair of jeans for non-meeting days at the office. Or, if I do have meetings, then I smarten them up with a pair of Uniqlo twill trouser in black or ivory.” Whippy usually waits until Weekday has a three-for-two deal on its basics and buys several in one order. There are currently eight colours (the palette is often updated) and sizes run from XXS-3XL (UK 4-24). Email subscribers get 10% off first delivery; free delivery and returns.
Les Girls Les Boys is the “bed to street” loungewear label from Agent Provocateur founder Serena Rees. Its MO is soft fabrics, 90s silhouettes and block colours, making it the perfect brand for Sophie Whippy’s loungewear wardrobe. Whippy has three pairs of its joggers, which she alternates depending on her lockdown day. “These are the right side of comfort wear for me: they feel almost too dressed up to be lounging around the house in and just the right shade of comfort to head out for a Sunday stroll in,” she says. “I have three of the colours: black for heading out with the kids, grey for a sofa date and mauve for Sunday brunch.” The joggers come with a matching crew-neck sweater. Email subscribers get 10% off their first purchase, delivery is free on orders over £95, and returns are at customer’s cost. Available in sizes XS (6-8) to L (12-14).
Dutch brand The Daily Paper isn’t a unisex brand but its men’s Hacid Pants cross the gender divide. Bami Kuteyi discovered the label while visiting a friend in Amsterdam and immediately bought a pair of these sky-blue cotton joggers. “This is such a cool brand – it’s very urban and deeply rooted in African culture,” she says. “I’m usually a 10 in women’s sizes so I wear these in a small [they come in extra small - extra large]. They are great for a super-chilled day at home; they’re really soft and airy. I usually wear them with a cropped slogan T-shirt.” Kuteyi has had them for a few months, often wearing them in between teaching her classes, when she needs something warmer than her dance kit. There’s free UK shipping.
While Noor Hibbert spends much of her time in soft cotton leisurewear, when she wants to shift into a more productive, focused gear, she has a secret weapon: leather leggings. “I have a huge collection of leggings and leather-look ones always put me into the frame of mind of: ‘Let’s get stuff done!’” laughs Hibbert. “It’s all about how your clothes make you feel – and these make me feel less locked down and more like I’m embracing life.” Recommended for their washing-machine-friendly material, which retains its shape, Hibbert wears these polyester-elastane mix high-waisters for ploughing through a daunting to-do list, or when she’s running errands for her business. They are available in size 4-18 but if you’re on the cusp, go a size down as they stretch a little over time.
Lucas Hugh’s Technical Knit leggings weren’t designed as maternity wear but for Ashley Verma, founder of London’s Define barre studio, these are the leggings she “lived in” throughout her pregnancy with her first child, now 8 weeks old. “Anjhe [Mules, the founder of Lucas Hugh], understands the female body and how it wants to feel strong and powerful,” says Verma. “I feel like Superwoman when I am wearing her clothes.” Verma likes the stability, support and comfort of these leggings, and still wears them now, either lounging at home or while teaching her classes, which are being streamed online during the pandemic. The breathable, seamless, four-way stretch fabric and wide waistband offer plenty of room for a growing bump, and there are six shades (four of which are on sale). Note: a Lucas Hugh XS is a UK size 6-8.
For a slouchy trouser that can also double up as a directional, dressy trouser post-lockdown, Hilary Rowland, founder of Boom Cycle, recommends Asquith’s Heavenly Harem. “Asquith is one of my go-to loungewear brands,” says Rowland of the yoga and pilates brand, which uses sustainably sourced organic cotton and bamboo fabric in its collections. “I wear its harem pants around the house, but I also wear them out, pairing them with heels, metallic sandals or box-fresh white sneakers.” Rowland has owned several pairs, often reaching for them when heading off on long haul travel “because they are so soft on the skin but the colour palette is glamorous”. There are three colours – all available in sizes XS-XXL (UK8-18) – but Rowland’s favourite is the bright cherry pink. Email subscribers get 15% off first order; free delivery on orders over £75.
When Sarah Coonan, buying director at Liberty, is looking for a trouser to cheer herself up, she calls upon Italian label La DoubleJ, which takes inspiration from the 1970s and archive prints. “This is one of my favourite brands and I’ve been following the founder, JJ Martin, on Instagram as she documents her experience of lockdown in Milan - it’s very inspiring,” says Coonan. “Her colourful prints bring me joy and make even the darkest day feel more positive. If I have an important call and need to feel more pulled together, I wear these.” The viscose trousers have an elastic waist, side pockets and are dry clean only.
Sophie Whippy of Stretch London never saw the point in expensive socks until her husband bought a pair from Japanese brand RoToTo. “I mocked him for spending over £20 on these – and then he bought me a pair for Christmas and I’ve never looked back,” she says. “They have a great colour selection – I have grape – they’re super warm and soft, and fit great under my Grenson’s shoes when I go for walks.” The socks are merino wool on the outside, cotton fleece on the inside. The Hipstore stocks medium (size 7-9), while Northern Fells stocks large (9-11).
You shouldn’t need a pandemic to make you buy a pair of fluffy house sandals – for Sophie Whippy these are her year round, slightly cooler, alternative to her RoToTo socks. “When I’m lounging around the house these slippers are the dream,” she says. “Wearing them is like walking on cuddly soft clouds. I also wear them out given the chance.” Available in size 36-41, these sandals are Arket’s sophisticated take on the classic furry slipper, with a proper moulded footbed, a leather upper interior and a grippy rubber sole that makes them entirely suitable for walking around outside, if you’re brave enough. Sign up to the newsletter for 10% off your first order; free delivery and returns.
“I’ve had these sliders for about six months - I saw my brother wearing a pair and he’s young and cool so I bought myself a pair,” says Bami Kuteyi. “These sliders are perfect for lounging around the house because they are so comfy and they’re also suitable for walking to the shops.” Kuteyi rates their solid design: a padded upper and a moulded fit that offers a solid grip. “I can even run in them - I live in an apartment and I often have to run after Amazon delivery guys who get lost looking for my door.” Kuteyi usually wears them with white mid-calf-length socks and long shorts, or sweatpants. The unisex sliders come in size 4-14, including half sizes.
Sophie Ritchie, founder of London’s Disco Barre, which is available online during lockdown, has long been a customer of Ugg, which she loves for its reliably cosy boots, shoes and loungewear. But her favourite item? Its classic Scuffette slipper, which she’s had multiple incarnations of and currently owns in chestnut. “I put them on without thinking - they are like a second skin,” she says. “These are the ultimate slipper in terms of comfort and cosiness. They are warm without being sweaty and they are so flattering on my legs.” The Scuffette comes in several shades and is available in sizes 3-9, although you might have to shop about to find the right colour and size combination for you (ASOS, Schuh and Office are all stockists). Ugg’s own website offers free delivery and returns.
When she’s not teaching her online classes, or relaxing in a tracksuit, you will find Sophie Ritchie in her Ugg Duffield dressing gown. “I’ve had this for three years and it’s really lovely on my skin – it’s so well worn and yet still feels luxurious,” she says of the cotton fleece robe. “It’s not too bulky or padded - it has a feminine shape.” Thanks to its soft fabric, loose fit and shawl collar, Ritchie likens the Duffield to a house coat, more than a dressing gown. As a result, she’s as likely to wear it early in the morning while making breakfast as she is in the afternoon, over her normal clothes. The Duffield comes in several colours, with the new season neutral colourways at full price (£120) and two of last season’s colours in the sale (£79.99).
Anya Lahiri is a longstanding member of Soho House, visiting several of its hotels with her friends and family. Last Christmas, her husband bought them matching House Robes, the same dressing gowns guests wear in all its hotels and spas. “It makes me feel like I’m on a spa holiday, it’s the cosiest thing I have,” she says. “I’m always in versions of workout gear – my job is so physical – so my favourite thing to escape life is to have a bath and then wrap myself in this robe.” The dressing gown, which comes in several colours, is unisex and one size-only, which Lahiri says only improves its cosy factor. “It has a huge hood and it’s amazing in the winter – a dressing gown that feels like a blanket.” Free shipping on orders over £65.
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