I feel like it is time to tackle a serious issue that I’ve seen coming up way too often recently.
It’s this idea that you can be stylish or comfortable. One or the other. But never both stylish and comfortable at the same time.
And it’s driving me mad because I see it eroding women’s confidence time and time again.
However, while this concept keeps popping up right now, if I search my heart, I have to admit that once-upon-a-time I too subscribed to this view. And it makes me shake my head when I remember all the times when I sacrificed style for so called comfort.
Because the funny thing was, while I might have achieved physical ease while wearing whatever my current version of relaxed clothing was, I rarely achieved mental comfort. Just catching a glimpse of myself in a mirror when I was ‘dressing for comfort’ was enough launch an avalanche of self criticism.
And if you think about it for a minute you’ll quickly realise that criticism of any sort is rarely considered anything close to comfortable!
These days, I prefer to believe that style and comfort are best friends. That it’s easy to be both stylish and comfortable, whether you are working, travelling or relaxing at home. You just need to think about the three ‘F’s’ – fabric, fit and feeling.
How To Achieve Both Style And Comfort
If you are looking for comfort, then it pays to think about the fabrics you place against your skin. Let’s face it, it is almost impossible to consider yourself comfy if you have scratchy clothing adorning your body. Similarly, hot fabrics that resolutely refuse to breathe are also a bit of a concern int the comfort stakes. (As an aside, the same thing goes for itchy tags and seams that rub – neither of these elements convert to comfort on any level.)
Interestingly, some of most easeful materials are also the most stylish. Think cashmere and the various soft wool blends, linen, pure cotton and, of course, silk. And don’t forget to consider some of the new ‘technical’ fabrics on the market. They are so much better than the original synthetics! I recently purchased a mousselline shirt and I promise you that, the first time I wore it, I couldn’t help but marvel at how good the fabric felt on my skin. It seriously blew me away.
It’s tempting to think that wearing loose, baggy clothing equates to comfortable. But in reality it can lead to the exact opposite, as you spend too much time hitching at your clothes or have them dragging on the floor or trailing through your food.
Neither too loose or too tight, fitted clothing moves with you and is therefore not only more likely to be comfortable but there’s also a strong chance that it will be more stylish as you will be highlighting cut and there’s unlikely to be excess material. I tested this one recently when I chose to travel in a favourite velvet blazer. Turns out that my blazer not only looked smart but was no less comfortable than the cardigan I might normally have worn because it fits me well around my shoulders and arms.
Now, I need to be careful here. I’m not suggesting that flowing or even slouchy clothing can’t be comfortable. However, do make sure that these styles fit you in terms of waist sizes and sleeve/leg/neckline lengths. That way you’ll maintain comfort while elevating style.
When you consider it fully, comfort is really an attitude, a state of mind. And at the end of the day, attitude underpins both style and confidence. Dressing in clothes you love that are also appropriate – whether that’s for the occasion or the weather – tends to make feel good. And when you feel good you carry yourself differently. You are also more likely to feel both stylish and comfortable….at the same time. When this happens there is no need to sacrifice style for comfort.
Do you agree that style and comfort can go hand-in-hand? If so I’d love for you to share both your thoughts and your tips in the comments section below.
And until next time – au revoir.