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I discussed the importance of having comfort in our wardrobes amidst a post-pandemic world for CBC News. 

Clothing allows us to imagine and reflect the person we want to be now, the person we want to be in the future and the person we fear we’ll be. 

To read the article in full, please click here.

I was so delighted to speak with Katie Attardo for Marie Claire about how we are approaching fashion after the pandemic. Including the many shifts in how and what we are choosing to shop, from trends to comfort dressing.

“Clothing can be used to mitigate our moods, to evoke nostalgia, to ground us in our political and religious beliefs and so much more, all of which involve copious mental processes located in various parts of the brain.”

“The pandemic has also shifted the way trends are formed from trickle down to trickle up. Rather than being largely dictated by fashion seasons, consumers are looking closer to home and on their social media feeds as a source for inspiration. By engaging in mindful shopping practices consumers can ensure that they are buying what they truly value and avoid the trappings of retail therapy and instant gratification both on and offline.”

“Comfort has remained an important fixture in our wardrobe and that’s something many will find hard to relinquish anytime soon. Workwear will be more functional than before with elevated loungewear pieces taking centre stage.” 

Please read the article here.  

If you asked anyone to describe what loungewear is their first remark would be “it’s comfortable”. Professor Lubos Hes defines clothing comfort as “a state of satisfaction indicating physiological, psychological, and physical balance among the person.” Doesn’t that sound lovely? Loungewear often features stretchy and soft fabric that induces a state of comfort, one that is typically absent when we wear day to day clothes like suits and jeans but what impact does this have on our ability to do our jobs?

How leggings became the new jeans

Since COVID-19 shook the world upside down many have us will be working from home for the foreseeable future. In the absence of a restrictive work environment, every day is casual Friday. In the UK, loungewear sales have jumped a whopping 49% since lockdown. In the states, 56% of adults have admitted to incorporating more loungewear into their daily styles but some people have taken their affinity for loungewear one step further. A survey found that 1 in 8 Americans would rather have a casual office dress code than being paid an extra $5K annually! On the surface that sounds pretty insane but when you think about the psychological impact of comfort dressing, it makes sense.

Femme Luxe Stone Rib Two Piece Loungewear Set - Aloranna
Outfit (gifted): Femme Luxe Stone Rib Two Piece Loungewear Set

If you feel good, you’ll think good...

Loungewear may be the key to you killing it at work. One study revealed that comfortable clothing can enhance cognitive performance. Psychologists Bell, Cardello and Schutz investigated the relationship between clothing comfort and exam performance in students. The results revealed that students who wore more formal clothing had a lower comfort level and ultimately, a lower test score. Think about an outfit you love that’s completely uncomfortable. Although it might make you feel amazing and powerful, the physical discomfort is a distractor causing a cognitive overload that prevents you from giving your all to any task at hand. The extra cognitive boost you get from comfort dressing could be the missing key to that commendation or even that promotion. 

But if you feel good AND look good, you’ll be unstoppable

Feeling comfortable is one thing but looking good at the same time can have a major positive impact. Fashion Psychology research has shown that positive feelings about your clothes change the way you think about yourself in numerous ways. Most importantly, it can change your perception about how good you are at your job while negative feelings about your clothes can make you feel incompetent.

Femme Luxe Grey Marl Off The Shoulder Loungewear Set - Imana
Outfit (gifted): Femme Luxe Grey Marl Off The Shoulder Loungewear Set - Imana

No matter how comfortable you are, if you think negatively about an outfit, chances are you will act in accordance with your negative assumptions. With that being said, you shouldn’t spend your workday in holey leggings and stained hoodies. Invest in a core set of loungewear essentials that both feel good and look good. Not only will these pieces make you feel positive about your capabilities it will help you to crush any curve balls that come your way. 

Have you witnessed your productivity levels change by wearing more loungewear pieces? Let us know in the comments below.