Functional wear like puffer jackets and trail runners are having a real fashion moment.
As the lines between work and home have become increasingly blurred in recent years, so too has the typical concept of “work” versus “weekend” clothes.
For some, corporate traditions of tailoring prevail, but for others, the casualisation of workwear – and the impacts of remote working – has seen a style version of scope creep. If you’re always casual, what’s weekend casual? How do you use clothes to signify – to others but mostly yourself – “off” days?
The answer falls somewhere in between dressing to cocoon at home and dressing to go out: casual pieces that look smart and are comfortable, and most importantly, warm.
An approach for those not quite ready to embrace full-on athleisure in leggings (though no judgment of people who do).
Aotearoa has always loved a practical puffer jacket, hoodie and fleece, with that type of functional wear becoming “fashionable” in recent years (you’ll find Patagonia stocked at both Bivouac Outdoor and Wellington boutique Good as Gold).
Most brands now also offer their own version of track pants; look for more slimline, tailored versions to smarten up the look such as Allbirds’ made from pima cotton, hemp and Tencel Lyocell.
Easy loose-fit, throw-on-and-go dresses that can be layered over lightweight knits or under coats, such as Icebreaker’s new merino dress made in collaboration with Dr Michelle Dickinson, known as Nanogirl.
And I’ve been seeing Karen Walker’s quilted jackets and vests being worn out and about on the streets a lot, and credit that to its contemporary, almost subtle take on the style – it’s oversized but with a smaller amount of “puff”, and with roomy armholes so you can wear it over knitwear or hoodies.
It’s all ideal weekend wear when versatility, comfort and layering is key, whether you’re brunching on a Sunday, on the sidelines on a Saturday morning or walking your local park.