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Casual yet Chic; a Guide to a Relaxed Wardrobe

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The face of fashion is changing, and finally, it is more comfortable. When thinking of the perfect outfit for brunch with friends or evening drinks, we're all about comfort and relaxed chic. You might still think of putting on those shoes that you can't walk in for more than 10 minutes and a restrictive outfit for a big occasion, but in general, the trends for the 2020s so far have opted for a softer approach for both the mind and body. Our clothing choices have been a reflection that the start of 2020 has seen the majority of us working from home and being unable to socialise as normal. Working from home has changed views on what is acceptable to wear daily. We can see loungewear sales rocketing throughout the global pandemic and office wear having new parameters for those returning to their shared workspaces.

Just because we're going for comfort, it doesn't mean that you have to jeopardise your fashion sense. The key to a relaxed wardrobe is feeling comfortable yet classy. One of the major plus points of feeling truly at ease in your clothes is its impact on your mental state and your outfit just being about your appearance. We've all been there when we've had to change the way we move through the world due to an uncomfortable shoe that forces you to take a taxi when you would have ordinarily walked or a dress that means you have to sit a specific way to avoid a wardrobe malfunction. When you're relaxed in your clothing, you're free to have a good time and focus on yourself, have fun, or be productive.

Loungewear/Activewear

Loungewear has become such a staple of our outfit rotation that it is not just for the inside. When thinking of the main clothing categories, loungewear probably didn't hit the top list before 2020. You might have had some comfy joggers stuffed into the back of your wardrobe that only appeared on sick days or nights in the house with your closest friends. We're now thinking of loungewear in more luxury terms, such as cashmere hoodies and matching joggers in a range of mix and match colours. While you might not feel like it's appropriate to wear joggers outside of the house unless you're exercising, a hoodie can be the perfect addition to almost any outfit, especially in the transitional seasons.

We now see crossovers in athleisure, which incorporates function, style and comfort as the critical component. Activewear is also viewed more fondly in the fashion world. Women's fashion has been crying out for having comfortable but aesthetically pleasing trousers, tops, and outerwear with convenient but discreet pockets for phones, keys, and other necessary daily items is what women's fashion has been crying out for.

Footwear

Sports shoes have finally become acceptable for more formal outfits and are no longer just a quirky choice. With all of the major brands launching lines incorporating more textures and shapes, trainers have become a thing of beauty rather than just something you would throw on for the gym or a walk. There's nothing better than a cute day dress paired with suede sneakers. Platform sneakers are a great way to add height and elegance while still being super easy to wear.

Flats, in general, have taken much more of a prominent place, with even the top designers branching out into ranges of ballet pumps, sandals and sports shoes.

Accessories

The key to completing any outfit has always been accessories. The items that we need to carry around with us have changed. The early 2020s saw an explosion in handmade to designer face masks in all ranges of colours and textures to keep ourselves and others safe without sacrificing our appearance.

When going for a relaxed wardrobe, you might be looking for a more capsule approach where you get your key pieces in neutral colours so you can mix and match without any trouble. Accessories can elevate a neutral outfit to being an inspired look. Add a statement headband to a chic loungewear piece, and you're good to go. Headbands are great for practicality and come in huge ranges from small and subtle to padded and gem-adorned. Hair clips have also had the same resurgence as headbands, with pearl effect large clips being a great way to add something special to your look. Statement hair accessories can be enough to forgo wearing jewellery if done correctly, or make sure that you're mixing and matching your styles so that your jewellery is subtle if your hair accessories are a statement.

Let's see what the rest of the decade has in store for fashion, but one thing we hope will stay is our feeling of comfort in our clothes.

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