Unzip & Carry On

The holiday soirée’s have passed and the glitz and glamour is put away for another year, replaced by stretch pants and slouchy tops.

These are not your forefather’s clothes. Nor your grandmother’s.

The allure of comfy clothing — even pajamas — is blurring the boundary between acceptable dress in and outside of the house. Of course our social norms have long been evolving, and rapidly so since mass production of spandex, rayon and polyester during the clothing revolution of the 60s.

Much like clothing, comfort is reflected in home design more often than ever. The old rules of formal living are disappearing, making way for furniture we can literally spend the day in. Throws, pillows and ottomans are thrust front and center.

Textiles professor Susan Kaiser believes we’ve become accustomed to a comfort level in knits*. So it’s no surprise that slipcovers and fabrics that are manufactured today scream characteristics such as durable, touchable, washable. One would hardly notice the fabrics so often specified for indoor upholstery are actually commercial or outdoor grade.

Starbucks set forth a coffee-loving, socially-connected culture and the last decade has seen this rising trend, especially in condominiums. Now airports, offices and the hotel industry are joining in the community building.

54cfd2099598a546We’re seeing lounge-like gathering places, mod food courts, genius bars and juice stations at nearly every turn. Changing workspaces include a row of treadmill desks where cubicles once isolated coworkers, and game rooms are opted over kitchens. Under the assumption millennials only need their device and a couch to conduct business, Marriott has chosen to do away with the staid desk and chair in some of their lines.

Whether we have Starbucks’ philosophy or a tech savvy generation’s habits to thank [or blame] for these changes, consider this… ‘how comfortable do you live?’.

Photo credit: Meridian at Mount Vernon Triangle/Hartman Design Group

*Victoria Advocate, Katherine Weber 9/6/14

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