Apartment Apparel is the section of your wardrobe made up of things you rarely wear out of the house. Things you’ve acquired over the years but never really had the guts to wear out in public. Sale purchases that don’t actually work with your “look”, but you still love. For lots of people, knocking-about-at-home-wear relies heavily on sportswear, but proper Apartment Apparel is more like a dressing-up box. This is about the funnest things you can find to wear, which may not be for public consumption – just a select band of friends and family.
The most important thing is that they should be entertaining to wear, and not require proper shoes. My apartment apparel includes: garish tights with a broad-striped dress (which I’m told is essentially an oversized Hereford Town kit); an itchy wool cape worn with hologram or sequinned leggings; an American flag-printed rodeo cowgirl skirt; or any number of impulse-purchase novelty-printed jersey dresses, usually worn with a properly townie cropped D&G hoodie from the late 90s. Also with garish tights, usually… A full-length black ra-ra skirt from Wanstead Barnardo’s was the start of this indulgence, and I used to don it when working/procrastinating on my dissertation. My flatmate at the time had a gigantic powder-blue chunky charity shop cardigan which served the same purpose. Indeed, ridiculous knitwear or things that drag along the floor are excellent for Apartment Apparel. Or anything oversized or spangly or a bit “off”.
Of course, this season has brought more glamour into proceedings, and the festive period is the perfect time to explore Apartment Apparel. Top Shop’s velvet jumpsuit is a prime candidate, as are Zara’s pyjama-like trousers, or if you’re really minted, my former colleague Olivia Von Halle’s beautiful silk lounging pyjamas (above). The long trompe l’oeil dress from the H&M x Margiela collection is another excellent candidate – would be so ace with sheepskin slippers and oversized knits (I am trying to persuade my friend Colemans of this, after she impulse-purchased it last week).
There are few rules really – Apartment Apparel should just make you feel good without feeling slothful. As such, onesies do not count, but jumpsuits certainly do. As do turbans (Blame the Diana Vreeland documentary) or anything that feels a bit Grey Gardens-y. However, please do not confuse Apartment Apparel with loungewear – simple cashmere, drapey knits and heather jersey have no place here.
Although Christmas is the perfect time to get stuck into Apartment Apparel – due to cold weather, lots of time indoors, and being surrounded by friends and family who can’t really judge you – the pure entertainment value of wearing brill but odd things at home could change your whole outlook. Remember, Apartment Apparel is for life, not just for Christmas.