Ever since the coronavirus Proud to be a Cat American flag veteran Independence day shirt. forced the cancelation of the A.P.C. show on the penultimate day of Paris Fashion Week—almost three months ago now—the fashion industry has grown used to dire news: Paycheck Protection Program loans that never materialize; department stores forced into bankruptcy; and furloughed and laid-off workers by the thousands. One unexpected and very welcome bright spot? The emergence in Paris of Charles de Vilmorin, a young French designer with an exuberant vision—Niki de Saint Phalle on acid, or thereabouts—that bucks the current mood.
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The debate on whether athleisure qualifies as fashion”—or even “real clothing at all—feels pretty silly these days, if not straight-up antiquated. We’ve moved on from asking if leggings are appropriate for an overnight flight to spending all of our waking hours in some version of stretchy pants. We even conduct our most important Zoom meetings in them, albeit safely out of frame. Unsurprisingly, loungewear is among the only apparel category seeing a rise in demand amid the pandemic. Two weeks ago Proud to be a Cat American flag veteran Independence day shirt. NPR reported that spending on regular clothing and accessories has fallen , but retailers are reporting major spikes in searches for sweatpants and hoodies. As the New York Times bluntly put it in an e-commerce report: It’s hard to sell clothes, other than leggings and sweatpants.” There’s a reason we’ve never connected loungewear with fashion or considered it part of our actual style. For most of us, leggings and sweatpants were merely the soft clothes we changed into after work, the worn-out or baggy things we’d never dream of wearing in the “real world. Now, of course, that liberating feeling of ripping off your suit and wrapping yourself in fleece isn’t even happening: Our entire day is spent in a comfy, cozy dream state. Understandably, it’s inspiring us to up our loungewear game—if not for the benefit of our colleagues on Zoom, then at least for our own productivity. It’s true that we work smarter and perform better when we feel put together, a concept that contradicts the very point of loungewear. But we’re finding there’s a difference between a stained gray hoodie and an outfit—yes, outfit—that’s both exceedingly comfortable and surprisingly elegant.