We’ve all been there: that moment when you get home after a long day in a less-than-comfortable outfit and collapse on the bed to slip off the Instagram-worthy heels, wiggle out of the architectural dress and exhale. That release, in a nutshell, sums up the new, relaxed mood dominating fashion right now. Look at it like this: your work wardrobe is going to get a lot more casual – as in, a trouser suit that feels as easy to wear as your yoga leggings – and your dressing up will feel much more like dressing down.
This trend is about the overall loosening up of fashion and the stripping away of all the artifice and filters, a shift largely attributable to Vetements and the specific brand of new cool the collective has been pumping out with all the requisite signifiers of 'street' (the sporty hoodies, the puffa coats, the loose tailoring and the relaxed dresses, to name a few.) The change in the air has been palpable on the catwalk and the street. We saw it on the spring/summer '16 runways (a languid slip dress at Calvin Klein, a slouchy trouser at Céline or a wispy jacket at Balenciaga, so light it barely stays on your shoulders) and the idea evolved for autumn/winter, where even the catwalk’s most piled-on looks at Prada, Christopher Kane and Gucci had an easy nonchalance. Meanwhile on the street, some of the street style stars most famous for serving full 'lewks' such as Miroslava Duma and The Blonde Salad, pared things back in denim and tees.
‘I think it’s a reaction to that very “done-up” look and the fact that people are busier in their lives and looking for a more luxurious, comfortable way to dress,’ says Natalie Kingham, Buying Director at matchesfashion.com. Tamu McPherson, founder of the popular blog alltheprettybirds.com and a mainstay in online street-style galleries agrees, and says it’s less about ‘dressing up to the nines’ all of the time.
She’s watched her wardrobe grow more relaxed (a pair of Céline slouchy trousers and babouche slippers are in her current rotation) and she’s hardly alone. Kingham has noticed an overall shift in demand as well: ‘We’ve seen an increase in sales of flat shoes, loungewear and activewear, as wardrobes become more merged from work to the weekend and there are less rules about what people need to wear to the office.’
So how to make the look work in your day-to-day? With the same nonchalance you’d have throwing on your old university hoodie (yes, that too is a thing), obviously. Think of it like a selfie: the less you try, the more authentic you’ll be.