Style Counsel: Comfort comes first and last

Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online
Do you baulk at the idea of going out when it's cold, preferring to stay indoors wrapped in a fleecy dressing gown, with fluffy slippers, cashmere socks and a mug of hot chocolate? If so, you qualify for the tag Comfort Junkie, and Melanie Rickey says it's time to stand up and be counted.

I don't know about you, but when I woke up to see fluffy white snow the other day my first thought was to hide under the duvet with a fun fur tiger print hot water bottle and watch the Teletubbies on their hill where the sun always shines.

Suddenly the world of fashion seemed to be a cruel best friend, taunting me to cope with extremes in weather without the correct accessories. Where were the cashmere socks? Why is thermal underwear so ugly? Why haven't hosiery manufacturers invented 10 denier tights with the properties of an electric blanket? The kids throwing snowballs on the street had none of my cares, dressed as they were in fleecy jackets, gloves and wearing bobblehats.

Such are the dilemmas of a comfort junkie who'd rather admit to wearing an antique lace nightie in bed than flannelette pj's, a fluffy dressing gown and thermal slippers. Fortunately, fashion designers and destination stores have plenty of clothes for people like us. The Gap seem to have carved out a fleecy niche for themselves in the last month and have used the fabric for practically everything from slippers and dressing gowns to hats, gloves, and scoop-neck tops for girls. Of course, while admitting "I'm off to Gap for a pair of their fab grey flannel trousers" is preferable to "I'm stocking up on fleece nightwear," I decided to admit it, and turn the tables.

Comfort can be cool. Margaret Howell knows this, her line of nightwear is snug, stylish and gorgeous, in the right environment. Even Fenwicks sell fake-fur hot water bottles, furry slippers, and cashmere socks CHK, and tell me they are very popular among the "stylish set", whatever that means.

A favourite find was the Llanfynydd-based mail order company Toast, who specialise in classic men's-style unisex pyjamas and dressing gowns that are too nice for bed. Lounge-wear would be a better word for it. Co-owner Jessica Seaton often changes into her pyjamas when she gets in from work.

But, of them all, nothing beats John Smedley's Sea Island Cotton range of yummy things, I think I'll be staying in for the rest of the winter. Anyone for hot chocolate?