Given the current chill in the air, I’d say most of us wouldn’t be averse to getting a little cosier right now. This last month, post-6pm, I’ve got into the habit of slipping into a pair of cashmere blend joggers and a fine merino hooded top – probably a hangover from a Christmastime spent mostly in my PJs.
The thing is, while these pieces are great for cocooning yourself in at home (preferably in front of a roaring log fire), their real superpower is that they bring instant cosiness to a whole host of other outfits when layered. For example, cashmere hoodies and knitted joggers look just as good under a wool overcoat on your weekend dog walks, a visit to your local pub, slipping over your gym kit (and heading straight to brunch) or for long-haul travel.
The reason for this is that ‘slumberwear’ has got a whole lot more versatile thanks to the shapes and materials being refined by a whole host of labels that historically cut their teeth (or should that be cloth?) working on formal tailoring: Italian brands such as Brunello Cucinelli, Lora Piana and Ermenegildo Zegna are notable leaders in the field.
Whether you’re looking for the sleekest way to bum around your house on a Sunday, or simply want to make your walk to work the cosiest it can be, we’ve selected our five favourite pieces and how to wear them so you can hunker down when off duty.
Want more at-home cosiness? See our favourite pairs of pyjamas
Brunello Cucinelli cashmere-blend bomber jacket
It was back in the mid-1980s that Brunello Cucinelli came up with the innovative idea of dying natural cashmeres, a clever move that led the brand to become the pinnacle of Italian luxury. This neat melange cashmere bomber is taken from their Gymnasium collection, although it feels far too good to be working up a sweat in it (maybe for recovery at the juice bar after?). It follows the brand’s design ethos of pared-back design details, from the neat, ribbed neckline to the concealed zip. Follow the pared back simplicity and wear with a crisp crew neck white T-shirt, a pair of slim leg jersey joggers and white tennis shoes.
Raey hooded cashmere-blend sweatshirt
Exclusive to matchesfashion.com, the Raey label has built its following on its keen athletic influences and is perfectly suited to a dressed-down wardrobe. Working on elevating the modern man’s everyday essentials, this grey marl hoodie boosts your loungewear into a different league. The dove grey cashmere blend is made in Italy and cut oversized for an extra-relaxed fit. While the single kangaroo pocket on the front is, of course, a classic hoodie element, the baby’s bottom softness of the cashmere gives your hands the same warm comfort a Joey gets from being inside its pouch. Wear under a navy wool winter coat or under a washed denim jacket, a slim pair of khaki chinos and white sneakers for something a little more laid back.
Derek Rose two-tone pure cashmere hoodie
Derek Rose is well-versed in comfort – the designer built his name and reputation on producing high-quality sleepwear. With the continuing influence of sportswear into our wardrobes, Rose expanded his range into sweat tops, jersey joggers and quality knitwear. This example demonstrates, how something as standard as a hoodie gets a boost from using bold colour and superb fabric – it’s crafted from 12-gauge ply Italian cashmere (made by Loro Piana) and the split colours of poppy red and rich burgundy gives the hoodie more stand-out appeal than the usual greys, blues and beiges you might be used to. I’m a big fan of all the attention to detail of this particular item: the double-ended carbon zip pullers that are contoured to your natural fingertip curve, practical side pockets so your hands feel the real touchy feely benefit, and the nice weighty feel the hoodie has across your back. A serious investment for those who are seriously serious about cashmere.
Marks & Spencer David Gandy for Autograph cotton-velour hoodie
Sometimes uber-luxurious loungewear isn’t so compatible with a January bank balance. This is why I love this slim-fit velour hoodie by Autograph from Marks and Spencer. I last wore velour when I was nine years old, but I remember quite vividly how my brown velour hoodie with Bonjour written across the front made me feel: it felt far more expensive than it was and I rarely took it off. This navy hooded ‘grown up’ version got me thinking just how good velour can feel and look. It’s great to slip into while finding some ‘me’ time at home and it’s as comfortable as a traditional pyjama top, just a lot more wearable outside of your home too. Go for the whole velour look and match it with the velour track pants to get the full comfort effect or team with a Breton stripe T-shirt, faded denims and trainers for an equally relaxed ‘off duty’ look.
Sleepy Jones ‘Rand’ tapered cashmere tracksuit trousers
These sweatpants are for men who take their down-time very seriously – and, quite honestly, aren’t something you’d actually want to sweat in. Spun from the superbly soft cashmere with a contrast white stripe down the leg, they give a nod to authentic sportswear, while the tapered leg and fit nods more towards a traditional tailored trouser shape. Perfect for cosying-up in on dark, cold nights, or for when you need that bit of extra comfort when travelling. Wear these with a neat brown suede bomber or denim jacket, navy fine merino roll neck or a contrast cashmere hooded top and trainers.