One of the great joys of the fall-winter period is hibernation.
The WFH era saw more people reaching for coordinated sets consisting of soft fabrics and loose silhouettes: an elevated pyjama suitable for Zoom calls. Now that people are back in the office and fashion trends are returning to less comfortable maximalist styles there is a craving for the best of both worlds and the coming months provide the best opportunity for that.
The darker nights mean eagerly heading home after work to change into a soft comforting lounge set or PJs to while away the hours before bedtime. The slowing pace of life that happens around this time of year means rainy Saturday mornings and lazy Sunday afternoon naps, both of which call for loungewear.
These Vancouver-based brands specialize in coziness, serving up looks suited for a fireside cup of tea and a good book so you can have your fashionable cake and eat it too.
Paper Label initially launched as a sleepwear brand in 2013 before pivoting to more versatile loungewear in 2017. There's a wide range of men's, women's, and unisex pieces like oversized flannels, joggers, sweaters, cardigans, Tees, skirts, sweater dresses, and rompers. Over the years, it has adjusted its designs to be more wearable both indoors and outdoors so the latest collection 'Point of View' 2022 can be worn to bed, on the couch, or to the grocery store and dog park if necessary. The sustainably-minded fabrics are ultra-soft and the pieces are largely unisex and functionally minimal yet there's something about cream and knits that make you look put together even when you're all snug.
Paper Label is stocked in stores across B.C including at The Bay.
This Vancouver brand was featured on Oprah's favourite things list last year. The BIPOC-owned business was started by two friends who wanted less stiff more comfortable workwear and some of the pieces totally could be worn to the office. Admittedly not all of them but they are designed as separates to be mixed and matched for work and leisure. For instance, the Isla skirt and Haven pants contain modal which is a durable lightweight yet stretchy fabric often referred to as the underwear fabric. So the silhouette looks professional but the feel is as comfortable as leggings. Paired with a butter body suit and long cardigan it works for the office, happy hour, and apres couch potato time.
Lezé the Label is e-commerce only.
Brunette the Label are pullover experts. The brand first gained popularity for its signature crew neck sweatshirts with 'blonde' and 'brunette' emblazoned across the front and has since diversified into other types of comfy apparel like bike shorts, oversized Tees, and baseball caps. The label also added to its collection of phrases. The latest collection is all about the Pantone fall colour emerald green and they've started to tease some collegiate-looking styles over on Instagram.
Bruntette the Label is stocked in stores all over the world, including Nordstrom.
Yes, it would appear that a good number of Vancouver's loungewear brands have 'label' in the title. Free Label is based in both Vancouver and Toronto and is made in small batches locally. The independent family-run business makes super comfy tank bras, tops, and pants with bamboo, cotton, and lyocell knits so everything is soft and feels lightweight against the body. The sizing goes up to 5X which makes it the most inclusive on this list and the brand is extremely forthcoming about its ethics and business practices which emphasize sustainable consumption and longevity in fashion. All the pieces are meant to be versatile and last a long time. There isn't a ton of variety in the collection design but they are all flattering and timeless.
Free Label is e-commerce only.
Not all loungewear needs to be joggers and hoodies, sometimes it's a silky slinky number, like a cami and shorts or a long house dress. Silk is often associated with lingerie, sexiness and decadence but it's actually one of the most comfortable fabrics and feels like water against the skin. Christine's lingerie which has a store and studio on Powell Street makes 100 per cent silk caftans, tunics, gowns, robes and nightwear sets in bold fun patterns. Many people get scared off by silk because of the maintenance but there's a reason it appears in vintage stores years later, it's worth the investment and care.