Friday, February 10, 2012
What to wear at home
I have always been interested in how to live a life of style covering all parts of my life. I don’t just want to look stylish when I go out though and be a slob at home in a house that is dull and dirty.
I want to be like those magazine articles that describe what off-duty models wear, and also the ones that interview famous, fashionable faces.
These interviews ask many questions and the famous, fashionable person describes how their typical day might run, how they decorate their home, what they wear when they do their errands. There are little pictures scattered around of their favourite things too. Have you noticed there is always a Diptyque candle pictured in these spreads?
Often the stylish people are described as wearing a practical day-to-day outfit and a face scrubbed of makeup. Come on. They have spent hours getting ready!
One of the topics that interests me though is how to be stylish when at home with my loved one, to be comfortable and practical but sexy and not frumpy.
Once upon a time when I was first married (to my first husband) I remember in the winter wearing tracksuit pants with gathered ankles (and a gathered waist), a sweatshirt and socks at home. The only boxes it ticked were comfortable, practical (and frumpy). Not sexy or stylish.
No wonder that marriage bombed (I sound like I am taking marriage too lightly, I’m not, it wasn’t the track pants that were to blame, not entirely anyway).
Over the years I have been refining my home ‘lounge wear’ two ways: firstly by using items of clothing that are no longer good enough to wear to work or out (but are still in good nick) or by purchasing inexpensive but good quality basics for the express purpose of wearing them at home (first photo at the top of this post).
I haven’t bought anything for a while, and I was becoming in danger of slipping into frump zone. A friend gave me a pair of leggings that I thought I would never wear (due to having worn them in the 80s and apparently you should never wear a trend twice, and also the fact that my bottom is very round).
However, one day I slipped them on with a clingy long-sleeved t-shirt and found that not only were they much warmer than my wide-leg yoga pants (there was no air getting up the legs) but my husband’s eyes almost fell out. ‘Oh’, he said ‘those look very sexy on. You should wear leggings more, they really suit your figure and are so flattering.’
That was last winter. Now it is summer here and too warm for heavyweight full-length leggings. So I went shopping and spent not much at all for my new summer home loungewear.
Last night I debuted a pair of black leggings, ¾ length with ruched sides (at the hem), and a frog/grass green long singlet/tunic top. It comes down over my bum and almost looks like a mini-dress over the leggings. It clings becomingly around my ribs, without being skin-tight. I tried a larger size than normal but it just looked the dreaded frumpy. And a long top balanced out my short-waist.
(picture below, in new lounge wear, grey marle and green)
I was comfortable all evening, could curl up in the armchair like I imagine an off-duty model or actress might (that’s the thing that might inspire me to be slim, being able to curl up that way, because I put on weight around my stomach!) and my man’s first words? ‘That’s sexy’, said appreciatively.
Not frumpy! I am not doing frumpy at 41, I am doing sexy (sexy at home, just for him, I’m not going out to the pub in this just so you know). And I’m not exactly thin, just a good solid medium size. But with a comfortable bra on, one that I don’t mind wearing at home (the underwire doesn’t dig in, hoorah!) and the slimming qualities of the legging waistband I didn’t have any undesired lumps and bumps and could almost pass for slender.
I also bought the ruched ¾ leggings in grey marle, and ankle length pairs for Autumn in navy and black. My other singlet tops were bought in black and navy. Lots of mixing and matching can go on and I will always have a clean set.
I wash my black/dark clothing separately in ‘black wash’ too, which keeps it looking fresh and new. My legs encased in black leggings flecked with white is not good at all, but that will never happen. The thrifty me says ‘throw everything in together, then you’ll only have one wash’ (warm water, power cost etc), the French Chic me counters ‘don’t you want to look after your clothes properly and have them looking nicer for longer?’
So I do it.
An added bonus of feeling chic and elegant and Parisienne was being more mindful of the amount and quality of calories I put in my mouth. I was still comfortable, but aware of my figure. A winning combo for me.