POSTED ON APRIL 16, 2008:
Comfort and Joy
Weekend fashion isn't about dressing to the nines; it's about sleeping 'til 10
No Pajamas. There are people who pull off this lounging and comfortable look that still manage to appear fresh, clean and cozy. They have a look that is minimalist but chic.
I have severe difficulty getting anything accomplished on the weekends and I blame my wardrobe. Let me explain. I wake up around 10am because I don't have any true weekend responsibilities and I love to sleep. As a normal person (i.e. not a morning person), I don't hop right out of bed as soon as the alarm sounds; I lounge for as long as possible, reveling in the joy that is being completely comfortable in my pajamas and watching things I've Tivo'd throughout the week. There eventually comes that moment when I realize that I must finally get out of bed because I really do have one or two things to accomplish. So, I peel myself out from under my warm covers and am filled with dread. The agony of having to get ready, to waste all that time washing and drying and deciding on non-pajama clothes makes me really evaluate: Do I really need to go run errands? Is it that important that I eat something today?
The problem is that I don't particularly have any type of errand-running, grabbing-lunch wear. I have clothes that belong in one of only three categories--work clothes (this includes jeans and tees and such), going out clothes (post 5pm dresses) and pajamas. For a Saturday afternoon, the only logical items would be those from the work clothes section, but those all have an air of "getting dressed." What I mean by "getting dressed" is the whole ritual of elaborate showering, hair styling, make up applying and accessory choosing. Now that spring has arrived, I'd rather not spend my lazy Saturdays and Sundays layered down with make up and jewelry and wearing jeans and fancy shoes. I want to wear something like my pajamas with a look that feels like I just rolled out of bed without actually getting out of my bed and walking directly to my car. Let's get comfortable.
I see people on the weekends that appear to be comfortable. Some really do look too comfortable or sloppy. You've probably seen them in their faded, oversized t-shirts, short cotton shorts with an elastic waist or baggy sweatpants. Maybe they are wearing pajama pants with flip-flops. If they're headed somewhere really classy, they might even be wearing house slippers. They might be wearing a baseball hat and sporting tennis shoes. Bathroom time that morning meant swiping a toothbrush back and forth over their choppers once or twice. I fear I will look like that if I don't spend at least an hour getting ready, even if it's just to go buy a magazine or pick up dry cleaning.
There are people who pull off this lounging and comfortable look that still manage to appear fresh, clean and cozy. They have a look that is minimalist but chic; it's a look that could take your springtime Saturday from brunch to a stroll through the park followed by a trip to the grocery store and more. To look and feel comfortable shouldn't take a lot of energy, but I have sadly learned that it does still involve some cleaning. As anyone who works in a salon will tell you, washing your hair every day is not great for your locks. It strips your hair of the natural oils that keep it from drying out to make frizzy, brittle hair. Those natural oils are especially great to keep around if you have treated hair. That is for those fortunate enough to look clean sans shower. If you wake up on the weekend with a head full of greasy hair, go ahead and turn on the faucet. At your most comfortable you might just throw on a hat to save the time and energy, but the moral of this story is to feel and look at ease. Do your regular wash, rinse, repeat, but nix the hairdryer. Spring days bring breezes and sunshine, so towel-dry like crazy in order to avoid leaving wet spots on your top and then go au naturale. Afraid of how a natural dry might look? Toss it up in a ponytail, but be sure it isn't too tight. No one's ever looked comfy in a ponytail that creates an instant facelift.
Definitely cleanse and moisturize your face. Use an SPF even if the day only takes you indoors. Comfort also extends to being comfortable with yourself, so cut your make up routine down to no make up. Or just wear mascara. I don't dispense advice I wouldn't follow and I'd be lying if I said I'd try to leave the house without mascara. You can also ditch the strong fragrances. As spring turns into summer, strong scents feel even heavier. Remember also that changes in temperature can change the actual smell itself. Now before you become concerned that I am advocating looking dowdy and bland and/or smelly, please understand that these are simple suggestions for what I hope will be a simple Saturday or Sunday. These are for "I've got to attend Amy's soccer game" or "Recovering from my hangover but have promised to meet the girl's for lunch" looks.
Firm and Juicy
So what kind of outfits does one wear for these simple events? Well cotton is king. "Comfortable jeans" are never the ones that look flattering and the flattering ones are never comfortable. There are great stretch cotton pants out there. Find pants that have a high percentage of cotton and a low (think single digit) percentage of spandex. That little amount of spandex ensures that the pants sit well on the body and that there is no saggy butt or long crotch. Step away from the drawstring waist because it gives off the sloppy or ill-fitting vibe. These are definitely the pants for a super elastic waist. Lounge pants are great in the spring as a Capri or a boot cut. The boot cut's wider bell will fit nicely over a pair of tennis shoes.
This cotton blend's thinness is very nice in accordance with the weather and your tasks, but realize that they aren't the most flattering on a lady's behind. That lack of structure doesn't hide a thing you may have biologically (a bad butt), or allow for a high sense of modesty (we'll really be able to see those panty lines). Purchase responsibly with a friend or a full-length mirror. Tees and tanks in similar fabrics are the no-brainer to go on top. Add on a lightweight hoodie should the weather get a little chilly. A great adjective to look for when finding appropriate public lounge wear (as opposed to the ratty things you wear at home when you really feel comfortable) is "yoga." Yoga pants, yoga tees, yoga anything gives you the right thickness of fabric (meaning breathability), enough stretch and really modern cuts and colors. They are really great items just in case you actually do end up doing something physical. Top it off (or end it I suppose) with footwear. Tennis shoes complete your look, as do sandals for those who prefer the laziness of not wanting to tie shoelaces or the comfort of not needing socks.
A day full of things to do might require quite a bag. If that seems to be your case, opt for the great big straw bags that are very popular this time of year. Canvas or cloth totes are great too. Thick, structured bags are very heavy on you and heavy for the season, so set aside your big bags in heavy textiles--a realization I came to after purchasing a very leathery, very bulky bag the size of Rhode Island. If you're feeling especially light and cozy however, you could always wear a wristlet. These are less purse and more wallet-on-a-bracelet. Some literally just fit a few bills and cards while others are big enough to also fit keys and a cell phone.
So remember, while you may need to leave your bed this weekend and those to come, you'll do so with the feeling that you can always comfortably slide right back in.
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