January is notoriously held up as the hardest month of the year – and with good reason (existential angst, financial and social dire straits – welcome back, we’ve missed you!)
But it doesn’t have to be all doom, gloom and self-inflicted misery post-Christmas. Just think, after a month of glamour and debauchery, we can now breathe a sigh of relief that we don’t have to trot down icy streets in treacherous platform heels for at least a few months. I for one am practicing gratitude for this much-needed break from the effort and energy that goes into four whole weeks of having to be ‘dressed up’ and out and about socialising.
I don’t believe I’m the only one actually feeling grateful to have some downtime. After all, the Oxford Dictionary officially declared their 2022 word of the year to be ‘goblin mode,’ a term which essentially means going into hibernation, embracing your most slobbish tendencies in life (as well as your attire), while doing so.
And as someone who has always been practically evangelical when it comes to extreme comfort dressing (when I actually leave the house it’s in a rotation of tent dresses, balloon trousers and oversize anything), this aesthetic spoke to my soul.
So while others are trying to embrace healthier lifestyles by abstaining from drinking (good luck and god speed) or taking up Pilates, I’m embracing my inner goblin and will hibernate until the brighter months. And if Oxford University Press approves, who am I to judge?
Now being in goblin-mode, despite advocating slobbiness, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still look a teeny bit stylish while doing so. I’ve found the perfect cosy and (vaguely) stylish item to see me through this period: the house coat.
I thought I knew everything there was to know about comfort dressing, and yet in December I was shopping in Primark with my mum when I stumbled across a padded, cream, wonder of a thing that felt more like wearing a hug than outerwear. But not just any jacket, it felt like something new that I had never owned before, something I discovered to be called either a house coat or bed coat, depending on your inclinations.
More on loungewear:
- The most stylish winter working-from-home outfits
- The high street’s most stylish silk PJs (and yes you can wear them out the house)
- The best loungewear for women, from comfy joggers to stylish sweatshirts
- The best Pangaia tracksuit dupes – tried and tested by a tracksuit expert
- Every style of dressing gown to know and the best places to buy them on the high street
- The best brands for winter pyjamas
It was essentially a coat – but not an actual coat – made out of quilted jersey and in a calming oat colour – oh-so-comforting in my time of need. I knew I had to have it at once. And reader, I bought it.
And what a worthy purchase this has proven to be. So much so, I have yet to be spotted without my house coat (apart from one unfortunate incident when I forgot to roll up the sleeves and accidentally dipped them into my annual Boxing Day saag paneer). Thank god laundry is a militant operation in my family home where I spent Christmas – we were apart for less than 24 hours. During that time, my dressing gown (my former ally in all things comfort), didn’t even get a look in.
I’ve since been telling everyone I know about my recent house coat purchase and how much joy it’s brought me. At a dinner party over the festive period, I was telling a friend’s mum (I am a riveting dinner party guest, I know) and she told me “I have been WAITING YEARS for these to come back into fashion.” Yet surprisingly, almost no-one in my millennial age bracket has either heard of or been able to grasp the concept of this mystical jacket.
As I went about my detailed research on this mysterious house coat phenomenon (read: did one Google search), my query was automatically converted to ‘bed coats for elderly ladies’ and while I have no doubt the older generation reap endless benefits from this cosiest of all attire, I wanted to take this opportunity to make the case for house coats for other comfort-obsessed-to-their-detriment young(ish) women.
So, without any further ado (or more than there has been already), here is my guide to the house coat complete with the best styles to buy now. Thank me later!
What is a house coat and do I need one?
What makes a jacket a house coat and not an outdoor coat is hard to define, it’s also proven a challenge to find garments online that are named as these, so I will attempt to make up my own definition. Ultimately, it’s a jacket alternative to a bath-robe or heavy cardigan for the specific purpose of keeping you warm and cosy at home.
Essentially it’s a mish mash of all of all your favourite comfy clothes in the softest materials – a jersey hoodie, a borg cardigan, the most comfy dressing gown you’ve ever owned, a quilted (outdoor) jacket etc. Elevated loungewear, if you will.
And yes you do need one. It’s the ultimate addition to the wardrobe of any self respecting loungewear aficionado (or just a plain slob, like moi). And what’s more satisfying than owning something people will at first complement and then roll their eyes when you explain its purpose!
Still confused, maybe ask your grandma?
What do I wear a house coat with?
Can I wear it outside?
Of course the name would suggest – it’s firmly to be worn in the ‘house’ or ‘bed’ – but this is 2023 and we are no longer obeying the rules of polite society.
Plus, it doesn’t say it has to be your house or bed, so if you need any further permission to wear it outside in transit to reach any of these places, It’s granted.