The world we live in is fast, stressful, frazzled… it’s a pressure cooker! We’re bombarded with social media, constant updates on the world’s tragedies, high living expenses and competitive jobs. Don’t get me wrong, life is great and we’re lucky to be alive…but let’s not pretend modern society isn’t tiresome!
One of the simple ways we can combat stress is to clothe ourselves in comfortable garments to assist us in our daily lives. Wearing constricted clothing, uncomfortable fabrics or unsuitable fits and cuts only makes our experience of the world even more agitating and stressful.
Just like proper nutrition fuels us to thrive, comfortable clothes and skin-loving fabrics make us feel capable, ready and supported as we move through the world.
Here is our guide to finding and wearing comfortable clothes in a stressed out society…
Fabric choice is the most important factor when choosing comfortable clothes. Fabric is in direct contact with your skin, therefore it must be soft, comfortable and breathable. It must also be durable and easy to maintain as we keep up with our demanding lives. Sustainable, organic and ethical fabrics are also important to look out for as they not only protect your skin but they’ve been made with a mind to protect the environment too.
Cotton is one of the most comfortable, breathable, durable and easy to maintain fabric. Cotton is great for sensitive, irritated skin and works well in both Winter and Summer due to being both breathable and layerable. Cotton doesn’t give you that hot, clammy, claustrophobic feeling of cheap polyester or lycra.
A brand which creates comfortable clothing with 100% ethical cotton is Kowtow. They have an amazing range of wearable, layerable, statement making-yet-casual clothing. They’re a fantastic brand for basics, bold colors, staple items such as well-made trousers and versatile dresses. They work according to “ethical and sustainable values” and their clothes are so comfortable.
Other comfortable, durable, ethical and flattering fabrics are Ahimsa silk, tencel and merino wool.
Cut and fit
The cut and fit are the next most important factors when choosing comfy clothes. No matter how comfortable the fabrics are, your garments will not be a joy to wear if the cut and fit do not agree with your body and lifestyle. Never buy a garment which doesn’t feel right when you try it on. For example, you might think “it looks cool but it’s a little tight right here…oh well, I can make it work”. Chances are, you can’t make it work and you won’t end up wearing it. Buy clothes which feel “right” when you try them on, as though you could walk right out of the store and live a productive day.
Figure out what kind of cuts and fits make you feel good. Perhaps you like a tapered waist with a flared or loose skirt? Or perhaps you love the feeling of a high waisted, straight-legged pant with a blousy shirt? You may find anything high on the neck bugs you and makes you overheat and you prefer a slight V or Scoop neck. The idea is to choose clothes which “do the work”, and which don’t demand that you do the work to make them comfortable. You don’t want to be tugging, adjusting or yanking at your clothes in order to keep the fit and cut just right.
Take some time to find the cuts and fits which both make you feel great physically (comfort), and feel great in yourself (confidence). You need to be able to walk out the door knowing you look great but your clothes feel a part of you, not an extra burden to constantly be tending to.
Versatility and layering
Comfortable clothes for our busy society must be ready and willing to work with our schedules and “go with the flow” as they say. They must be versatile enough to be paired with almost everything else in your wardrobe. They must be versatile enough to be layered and worn during all seasons. Even better if they’re versatile in the way that they can be worn, so you can wear the same garment in a different way to achieve a different overall aesthetic.
Look out for clothes such as:
– Wrap styles
– Adjustable styles
– Able to be tied in various ways
– Look great when belted and left loose
– Can be worn back or front
– Can be draped and manipulated
Balancing comfort with style, sophistication and work friendliness
Our clothes must be able to take us seamlessly from work, to after-work leisure, to weekend relaxation. Pulling a restrictive, itchy suit out of the wardrobe in the morning just doesn’t and shouldn’t cut it these days. You need clothes which reflect your professionalism as well as accommodating the other aspects of your life. This can absolutely be done when the fabrics, fit, cut, color and overall condition of the clothes are on point.
The cornerstones of comfortable-yet-stylish clothing are:
– Clean, fresh, pressed (if necessary)
– Fit (the right size to flatter the body)
– Cut (the shape to flatter the body’s proportions)
– Quality fabrics (cheap or low-quality fabrics show)
– Simplisticity (letting the fabric and design create the impact)
– Versatility (can go from work to play, can be layered or left alone)
– Personal flair (creativity with color, accessories and styling)
For example, you may choose a pair of high-waisted cotton flared trousers with a light Ahimsa/Charmeuse silk blouse to wear to work. If you wear that blouse over a silk camisole, you can wear the blouse undone with a well-cut, worn denim jacket over the top and you’re good to go out after work. Wear those same trousers in the weekend but pair them with a crisp, clean, cotton t-shirt. As long as each garment is comfortable, fits well and the fabrics hold up to regular wear…you’re right on track!
Cleansing and editing your wardrobe
The easiest way to get dressed in the morning with a comfortable, stylish outfit is to have the appropriate wardrobe in the first place. Aim to get rid of garments which are:
– Too tight
– Not breathable (i.e. they make you sweaty and hot by the end of the day making you want to tear them off as soon as you get in the door)
– Stained, torn or simply “past it”
– Unflattering (do you feel good in this garment when you look in the mirror?)
– Not versatile (you can’t find anything to wear with it or never end up wearing it because it doesn’t fit with your life)
Slowly start to gather new garments to replace the once you took out of the collection. Before each purchase, ask yourself:
– Is this fabric comfortable, durable and easy to maintain?
– Will it keep its shape and integrity? (i.e. make sure it won’t warp, stretch, sag or fray)
– Is it versatile for all seasons?
– Can it be layered?
– Does it go with the rest of my wardrobe?
– Do I feel great in it?
– Does it fit properly and will it fit if my body happens to change a bit (sizes and shapes do change!)
– Will I love this in a year or is it a trend of the moment?
– Do I feel comfortable and confident?
If you can answer yes to all of these, then make the purchase and add it to your collection. You’ll slowly end up with a wardrobe full of high-quality, long-lasting, comfortable, wearable clothes which you can mix and match. You can add a new piece here and there, but will have a foundation of clothes which make you feel great all year round. And remember, spending a little more money on a few fantastic, high-end garments which will last a lifetime is far better than buying a whole lot of cheap clothes which you will ultimately get rid of after a year.