Want comfy clothes? Try Carolyn Donnelly’s new loungewear
Fashion: Stylish Dunnes collection features slate greys and dusty pinks
Lounge in style with Carolyn Donnelly’s new collection for Dunnes Stores. Pictured here is a fleece sweater (€49), jersey sweatpants (€49) and fleece booties (€25)
Dressing down doesn’t always suggest dressing gowns, but loungewear – take-it-easy wear – continues to be a thriving trend and not just for indoors. “When I get home at the weekend I take off my [working] clothes and put on something comfortable – and I wanted to create a collection in which whether you are going to the supermarket or a soccer match you can feel smart and comfortable,” says Carolyn Donnelly who has just launched her biggest loungewear collection for Dunnes Stores.
Since the tracksuit became an everyday staple, sportswear’s effect on sleepwear has been huge. It has been estimated that the market is now worth about €500 million in the United Kingdom alone and growing – with loungewear in tandem with nightwear driving sales.
The distinctions are narrowing and the controversy over wearing pyjamas for outerwear that made headlines in the UK after teacher complaints has now abated, and figures emerged that showed 14 per cent of people changed into their PJs before dinner in the evening. Celebrities Cara Delevingne, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Taylor Swift posing in their lounge gear fuelled the trend of dressing to chill.
As professional and private lives overlap, more people working from home has been a significant factor. Hence the choices for urban-fashion-conscious women expanding as brands from Lululemon and Sleeper to Olivia Von Halle, Figs and Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty vie for their attention.
Donnelly’s collection is nowhere near Rihanna’s sexy silk dressing gowns and sheer marabou rompers but is quieter without patterns and comes in what she calls “sludge” shades – natural colours like slate grey, chalk, dusty pink and oatmeal. “I didn’t want any brights – it had to be understated and muted layering pieces,” said the designer.
Travelling so much every year for work also gives her perspective an added edge and she argues that many of these pieces – like the tracksuit bottoms and cashmere mix hoodies – are as useful and stylish for long-haul flights as they are for lounging around at home watching Netflix or whipping up a meal.
Prices are affordable too, starting at €15 for cashmere gloves and rising to €129 for a 100 per cent cashmere sweater in pink or grey. Knitwear stands out – items include oversize boucle wool sweaters and cardigans, fisherman’s rib jumpers – along with scarves, silk camis, sheepskin slippers and leather trainers colour matched to the tracksuits and sweatshirts.
Photographer James Gould assisted by Tiberio Ventura, styled by Carolyn Donnelly, model Aine O’Gorman @ Andrea Roche Agency, hair and make-up by Roy Wong @ Distinct Model Management, production by Caoilfhionn Walsh