It’s hibernation time – so dressing is about how you feel, not how you look | Women

Wshould you wear a hat when no one can see you? Spoiler alert: the answer isn’t “who cares.” This is the month of hibernation, but we can still make it fashionable. Until further notice, evening wear is redefined as what to wear when you take a box on the sofa, not how to shine at parties. Long dark nights, winter, your bank balance and your New Year’s resolutions make staying home the path of least resistance, and besides, everyone else is in the same boat, so you’re not missing out on much.

This kind of evening wear can be just as gorgeous in its own way as the dress and jewelry. Hibernation chic is about optimizing how you feel, not how you look, but that doesn’t mean it has to be dull. I see no logic in making this time of year any more depressing than it is when you dress up in your oldest sweatpants and a sweater that’s torn. There is no need to give up all dignity just because you are at home with the curtains drawn. Solo time can be a treat, but only if you treat it like one.

In other words: be 10% more Gwyneth Paltrow. Think of what you wear to stay home as a form of self-care. Lean back in the comfort of your home and wear what will make your night on the sofa more pleasant. Stretchability and lightness come first. The fabrics need to be soft and pliable, so whether you tuck your legs under you on the couch, prop them up on the coffee table, or curl up into a yoga pose on the rug, you’re comfortable.

Let’s break it down. Instead of burying yourself under bulky sweaters, start with a thin layer that covers as much of you as possible. The goal is not only to prevent drafts, but to eliminate even the slightest possibility of drafts. The luxury of being at home should be that with enough careful layers, the specter of cold can be silenced, which has haunted this winter even more than most winters.

Leggings have been pushed out of the trend by sweatpants in the ranks of the public’s athletic bottoms, but leggings are ideal home wear because they’re cozy without the bulk. Leggings don’t have pockets and can feel revealing in public, but they’re perfect for at home.

For the top half, you need a long-sleeved t-shirt or thermal layer that is generous in length. You want the leggings to have a lot of overlap, the goal is that at no point will you need to rip anything up or down to keep the cold air at bay. Not just long sleeves, but ideally extra long sleeves. If your wrists are cold, you can’t warm up properly.

Once you have a soft base layer, it’s time to add something plush or chunky on top. Long cardigan, sweatshirt, half zip. It could be a sweater dress – I’m quite partial to a loose knit dress that goes well with leggings and slippers for casual wear, as well as tights and boots for the office.

What you wear should flatter – not your figure, but your confidence. Wearing your prettiest, softest knitwear will help you see your time at home not as an absence of good fun, but as a moment to recharge your batteries, tucked away in something as soft as a cloud. That’s why reaching for pajamas and a robe isn’t the answer, because the whole point of hibernation clothing is to actively embrace home life, not just kill time until the lights go out.

The couch and a Netflix subscription is a hot Saturday night date right now. And the dress code is whatever makes you feel absolutely fabulous.

Model: Eliana in Body London. Hair and make-up: Sophie Higginson using GHd hair care and Tom Ford beauty. Sweater and leggings: The White Company. Shoes: Birkenstock

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