The Search for the Coziest Clothes

How comfortable can you get and still be presentable?

By Melissa Kirsch

Welcome. I was fascinated by Sapna Maheshwari’s recent story in The Times about how our definition of “work wear” has changed during the pandemic, becoming less structured and more comfortable, fewer zippers, more elastic waists. One of the workleisure adherents interviewed in the story mused that as this time has brought so much uncertainty, people are “trying to make their clothes as comfortable, fuzzy and warm as possible so we don’t have an added layer of structure and chaos that we didn’t ask for.”

Not everyone can do it, of course, but a lot of people I know are trying to get as cozy as possible: fashionable hoodies, sweatpants and leggings, Zoom shirts for Zoom calls. I have friends who wear shorts every day, regardless of weather, but always work-appropriate button-down shirts on top so they can go from meeting to workout in as little time as possible. I don’t know anyone who has actually acquired a “Work Wonnie,” a perplexing jumpsuit composed of an oxford shirt on top and PJs on the bottom, but it seems only a matter of time.

As the weather grows colder, I’ll admit I’ve been seeking ever more cozy duds, enchanted by pullovers made of a particular chunky, shearling-style fleece I’ve seen referred to as “sherpa” that looks and feels a bit like the coconut coating of a Hostess Sno-Ball. I’ve noticed you can get pullovers made of this stuff now that are tailored enough not to betray their jammie-like feel on a video call. It’s as if we’re all trying to answer to the question, “How comfy can one get while still remaining presentable?”

Tell us.

What’s your at-home uniform? If you’re working remotely, how are you balancing the demands of the virtual office with the lure of home comfort? Do you have rules for what’s acceptable or not, fashion-wise, for a video meeting? Write to us: [email protected] Send us a photo if you like. We’re At Home. We’ll read every letter sent. More ideas for leading a cultured life at home appear below.

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