What are the people who go to the supermarket in pyjamas aiming for ? – extremes of lazy comfort. Is it possible to have that lazy comfort and still look stylish ?

I don’t think it’s the style elements that make you look slobby-sloppy-shoddy in pjs. I think it’s the state of the fabrics – unwashed, overwashed, stained, pilled, fraying. Basically pjs are classic casual styles.

Though sometimes overwashed, stained, fraying is a high fashion style statement, or even a political one – all style rules can be broken 😀

High quality of fabric and finish are essential if you want to look classy in casuals – quality always counteracts a casual effect ! My current favourite style words are “Relaxed Luxe”. Happily the days when stylists thought casual style meant you didn’t care about quality are long gone.

Love tailoring ? elegant chic ? always wear pretty dresses? Of course there are many people whose personal style means they never get near the point where casual becomes slovenly, but what about the rest of us ?

I’m inconsistent on this. I automatically hang up blue jeans. But I do like to be very comfortable and can easily slump into definitely-not-chic.

So what are these comfortable comforting but stylish clothes ? This all got a bit long, so I’ve made the section on pj patterns into a separate post.

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New casual shapes for the season

Lots of ‘bomber/ baseball/ varsity’ jackets in the high street here (summer 2013). Such as Simplicity 1940.


And ‘slouchy’ pants are loose at the hip but tapered at the ankle. Such as McCall’s 6514 view A.


Many patterns for ‘slouchy’ tops. Oversized tops in soft drapey fabrics, so they show the body shape rather than standing away from it. My favourite easy slouchy pattern is Butterick 5651, now oop – shows the idea has been around for a while !


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Cosy indoor ‘jackets’

Before Christmas I bought a ‘cardigown’ – a hip length dressing gown (US robe) made in light cuddly fleece.

Rocha John Rocha

Apart from a down vest, this has been my most worn garment this winter. A double breasted wrap hoodie. So what would be a good pattern for copying it ?

Saf-T Pockets Portlandia coat.


or Design and Planning Concepts Hooded Orknot coat.


Make thigh length in snuggly fleece for a cosy indoor version.

And for deep winter I have a Lands End robe (dressing gown) made with down. I’m planning to shorten it for next winter as I think jacket length will be more useful.

”ledown” Lands End

I confess these robe/ gown ‘jackets’ are so cosy and comfy it’s had a disastrous effect on my willingness to ‘get dressed properly’. Hence I’m planning a post on pjs and similar patterns. See also my posts on designer Sweatshirts and Fleeces and hoodies.

There are solutions to this problem of looking good while being very lazy. This isn’t just an over-reaction to the ultra-classic styles in my last post !

Ah, looking good in ultra-casuals involves all the usual themes. Make sure sleeping-slumping clothes co-ordinate and are in good condition. And are in flattering favourite colours, shapes, and styles 😀

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Links and patterns available March 2013

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Explore posts in the same categories: my choices, personal style

4 Comments on “Loungewear”

  1. Vildy Says:

    Okay *now*, after reading your post, I finally get Halston! When his designs first appeared on the scene, I couldn’t believe how popular they became and how, to this day, there are continual hoped-for revivals of the brand/designs. People want to look good while feeling/appearing lazy. Must be the beginning of Effortless Style.

    When I was younger, I loved the movie L’Enfants Terrible. I used to think of it as The Bathrobe Movie. Those young people never had to get out of their robes. Of course, they came to no good end. 😀

    Two decades ago, we parents were required to take our children to the kindergarten door and to be there when school let out. Even then, there were plenty of moms in pajamas and fuzzy slippers. Now I see men in those garish fleece print pajama bottoms.

    The first exciting scene in The Big Lebowski is when he goes shopping at the convenience store for milk, bare legged and with an open knee length robe. He makes the whole world his bedroom.

    The worst part of yoga class for me was always the end where you were supposed to lie flat and relax. I have trouble relaxing. I’m sure there is a strong connection to preferring woven fabrics and a mental discomfort with anything I think of as saggy, droopy. Every time I try out stretch velour bottoms, – they look so glam casual on other folks – I end up getting rid of them.

    If I am wearing thick fleecy bedroom slippers I have the devil of a time starting in to get dressed for the day. I’m a person who wears shoes in the house and it’s not just to avoid the sewing pins that drop out all over. I don’t even own any pajamas. I sleep in my clothes, though not so far as to don a blazer. I guess I have a need to be “ready.”

    All winter I have been trying to figure out what kind of shortish topper to wear in the house that can easily be taken off and put back on and is non-restricting yet not loose, shifting nor bulky.
    The closest I’ve come is fitted zip front boiled wool cardigans.

    And yet I’ve been an early adopter of the track suit for street wear, so long as it’s more athletic looking and of a tauter stretch fabric. I wore some like that maybe thirty years ago. hmm, maybe I like to look comfortable (unrestricted) but active (even if I’m not actually accomplishing much).

    I do strongly prefer stretch knit tops over blouses and shirts, though. Must go away and have a think about that. 🙂

    • sewingplums Says:

      Lovely additions from you as usual Vildy
      I’m fascinated by the concept of going to bed in a blazer 😀
      What about one of the new ‘bomber’ jackets – they can be made in any fabric you like – sequins, leather, sweat shirt fleece. . .

      • Vildy Says:

        I’ve been reflecting on this since I read your comment. Being aware of the resurgence of the bomber jacket, I had picked one up at a thrift store recently. Ultra light, unlined, somewhere between a poplin and a polished cotton. It does ripple and fold but maintains its integrity. Does not collapse and cling. I rather like it, though I was hesitant at first. I think it helps that it is so light and has no shoulder padding, nor did I put any in. I stay away from that burly look if I can. I like that it has pockets and I can stick my hands in and yank it down if I like.

        Made me question a 2d bomber type jacket I tried out. That one is definitely a retro style. Leather. I took all the shoulder padding out so that the shoulders and sleeve heads would sink down. Has a lot of shirring at the back waist so it gives me a shaped look even if open.
        So why do I avoid wearing it? The weight, perhaps.

        This year a favorite coat has been a loose black coat with a light layer of quilting inside and outside it is almost a sweater weight quilted camel’s hair. Black leather collar, cuffs, pocket bands. Complete freedom of movement, can wear it over anything with no interference, yet incredibly warm and weightless over just, say, a cashmere pullover. It’s got me spoiled. In contrast, I just purged a black loden wool coat with too much ladylike satin loop trim at the velvet! collar and cuffs edges. It fits in that I can button it and I suppose it’s sort of sleek looking but, I know you’ll understand this, it seems made for some other body than mine. I can’t be myself in it, with my normal posture and range of movement.

      • sewingplums Says:

        Thanks for more interesting comments Vildy
        “it seems made for some other body than mine. I can’t be myself in it”
        That’s the key comment for us all 😀

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