The Rise of Sartorial Ease

As seen on Fashion Roundtable.

If your inbox is anything like mine, then the buzzwords right now are comfort and luxe loungewear. A new sartorial ease has taken hold, and fashion has seemingly changed overnight with an influx of loose fitting trousers, knits and slides – the ultimate in effortless at-home chic. As I sit here in my oversized Cecilie Copenhagen top (which I found second-hand a few years ago) and a pair of leggings I borrowed from my sister, I can’t help but think this new uniform has entered my life quite subconsciously. As more and more of us grapple with working from home and our dining room tables now resemble anything from café; work-station; and in the case of small children, an art studio— high heels and even jeans aren’t on the agenda. 

Pre-pandemic, fashion was gearing towards Bermuda short-suits (thanks to Bottega Veneta & Chloe) and tiered dresses and maxis (courtesy of Chanel). Now with many of the Autumn/Winter shows being cancelled and designers such as Holly Fulton and Bethany Williams uniting to create much-needed PPE, how will fashion look moving forward? 

More and more of us are navigating this self-isolation period with comfort in mind. Vogue have featured everything from the best non-wired bras and how to dress from the waist up for conference calls – something that until recently had never crossed my mind.

Shopping website ‘’ has reported a 322% rise in loungewear sales and online fast-fashion retailer Boohoo has reported higher sales this April than in previous years. It’s no surprise then that a Covid-19 survey by Drapers revealed that loungewear and sleepwear are categories that are still being purchased well over the rest, with customers willing to spend more on locally produced and sustainable options. Case in point: Liberty has already reported a 300% increase in pyjama sales.

Dressing down is not something new and it’s been happening in menswear for a while now, with smart-casual taking the place of more corporate suiting attire. Men are certainly more likely to pop into the office with looser fitting shirts and chinos and a more relaxed fitting blazer. Shoes with a slightly thicker sole definitely continue to feature strongly this season and, where possible, sneakers will always trump shoes. This has stemmed from the utilitarian trend with brands like Carhartt and Dickies rising in popularity for their comfortable, yet functional aesthetic.

In terms of womenswear, buying good quality loungewear that can also be worn out is a smart move. Brands like Boux Avenue are releasing their first loungewear collection for AW20 with luxe comfort in mind, meaning their pieces can go from the bedroom to a dinner out – something that’s definitely appealing from a wearability point of view. Pangaia– a loungewear label specialising in bio-fabrication is definitely one to watch. Already a hit with Hollywood’s elite (think Bella Hadid and Jayden Smith), expect to see signature tees made from seaweed fibre; or puffer jackets made from ‘flower down’ – which utilises flowers from agricultural waste. Innovative labels that use waste in this way to create new and exciting fabrics and processes will be the ones to watch moving forward – particularly when challenging the status quo.

The ethos of “buy less, buy better” is very current right now. With that in mind, we need to ensure that what we’re buying will stand the test of time and can be worn outside too once the lockdown restrictions are lifted. Think silk camisoles with joggers and slides; or oversized shirts with leggings and chunky trainers. Jewellery can be large and bold or understated and elegant. The most sustainable pieces are the ones already hanging in your wardrobes so always think of what you have before you buy something new. Self-expression is very relevant right now and if the viral croissant bra circulating Instagram is anything to go by, creativity won’t be quashed