It’s hibernation time – so getting dressed is not about how you look, it’s about how you feel

What should you wear when no one will see you? Spoiler alert: “who cares” isn’t the answer. It’s hibernation month, but we can still make it fashionable. Evening wear has been redefined, until further notice, as what to wear while drinking a box set on the sofa, not how to shine at parties. The long dark nights, the cold, your bank balance, and your New Year’s resolutions make staying home feel like the path of least resistance, and because everyone’s on the same boat, you’re not missing out.

This type of evening wear can be as sumptuous as frock and jewelery in its own way. Hibernate chic is about optimizing the way you feel, not the way you look, but that doesn’t mean it has to be clumsy. I see no logic in making this time of year any more depressing than it already is by wearing your oldest sweatpants and a rocking sweater. You don’t have to give up all your dignity just because the curtains are closed at home. Time alone can be a feast, but only if you treat it like a feast.

You don’t have to give up all your dignity just because you’re in the house with the curtains closed.

In other words: Be 10% more Gwyneth Paltrow. Think of what you wear to stay at home as a form of self-care. Lean into the comfort of being at home and wear the clothes that will make your night on the couch the most enjoyable. Flexibility and convenience come first. Fabrics should be soft and stretchy so you’ll be comfortable if you tuck your legs under you on the couch, put them on the coffee table, or jump into a yoga pose on the rug.

Let’s break this down. Instead of burying yourself under thick sweaters, start with a thin layer that covers you as much as possible. The aim is not only to keep the current out, but to eliminate the possibility of the current in the slightest way. The luxury of being at home should be that, with careful enough layers, the specter of cold that plagues this winter more than most winters can be silenced.

Leggings have been pushed out of trend by track pants in the public lower semi-athletic rankings, but leggings are the ideal home wear as they are comfortable without being bulky. Leggings don’t have pockets and can provide a kind of display feel if worn in public, but they’re perfect at home.

At the top you need a long-sleeved tee or a fairly long thermal layer. You want to have plenty of overlap with the leggings, the point being that at no point will you have to pull anything up or down to keep the cold air out. Not just long sleeves, ideally extra long sleeves. You can’t really feel hot if your wrists are cold.

Once you have a thin base layer, it’s time to add something plush or chunky on top. A long cardigan, hoodie, half zipper. Might be a sweater dress – I’m pretty fond of a loose knit dress that works as a home wear as well as tights and slippers for the office, as well as tights and boots.

What you wear should be flattering – not to your silhouette, but to your own image. Wearing your prettiest, softest knit helps you see your time at home not as an absence of proper fun, but as a moment to recharge your batteries, cocooned in something as soft as a cloud. So laying in pajamas and dressing gowns isn’t the answer, because the whole point of wearing it in hibernation is that you actively embrace home life, not just killing time until the lights go out.

A couch and a Netflix subscription are a hot Saturday night date right now. And the dress code is what makes you feel absolutely amazing.

Model: Eliana at Body London. Hair and makeup: Sophie Higginson using GHd hair care and Tom Ford beauty. Sweaters and tights: The White Company. Shoes: Birkenstock

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