The latter half of the year inevitably means more time spent indoors, making the need for ample loungewear as pressing as ever. From Loro Piana’s serene downtime uniform to Extreme Cashmere’s vivid palette of colour, the best loungewear brands to bring tactile joy to your wardrobe this autumn and winter.
Best loungewear brands for winter 2022
Asceno’s cashmere collection
This month, British brand Asceno – already beloved for its sustainably produced relaxed linen resortwear in linen, silk and featherweight cotton – expands into knitwear. ‘This collection is long overdue – I wanted to create trans-seasonal pieces, answering the need for Asceno loungewear in the cooler months,’ says founder Poppy Sexton-Wainwright. Easy separates such as the cashmere wool shirt and trousers are made using yarns blended from lambswool and cashmere sourced from UK mills. Continuing the brand’s ethos of timeless, versatile pieces, the luxurious robe doubles as the perfect year-round indoor/outdoor cardigan.
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Ela Onur had just set out on a career in finance when a stint working at her family’s textile atelier in Istanbul alighted a passion she didn’t know she had. In 2008, she founded Else, with the idea of creating beautiful modern lingerie in graphic lace and patterns. The popularity of her contemporary approach to designing special yet effortless everyday lingerie led to her opening a store on LA’s Melrose Avenue, and a second store is opening in Santa Monica imminently. Today, Else encompasses sleepwear, resortwear, swimwear and loungewear, such as her cashmere shorties and crop top. Working from its Istanbul atelier, Onur has engaged a predominantly female workforce of all ages, providing employment and teaching new skills, while focusing on sourcing sustainable and recycled yarns, as well as shipping orders in compostable bags.
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Nylora founder Carolyn Jang splits her time between Seoul, where she was born and recently opened her first flagship, and New York (she was raised in Texas and attended Parsons in Manhattan). Her duality between the two cities inspired her to found a brand that tiptoes between activewear and ready-to-wear: ‘It was after a move to Los Angeles for work that I first really discovered activewear and realised how it could support me in my desire to steal fitness throughout the day. When I visited Korea again, I started to realise how few women wore their activewear on the streets and thus, Nylora was born,’ the designer says. She launched the brand, which is her name spelled backwards, in 2019. ‘Design happens wherever I am, and our production is split between Korea, Vietnam, and China. I get a lot of inspiration for the collections when I’m back stateside as well as in Korea.’ Using sporty technical fabrics and honing flattering cuts for all body shapes, she adds: ‘I’ve created a collection to empower women to feel comfortable walking into any environment, at any time of day.’
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The Cocooning Collection by Loro Piana
Few brands elicit more desire to be wrapped up in at home than Italian masters of cloth Loro Piana. It’s fitting, then, that its newest release is titled The Cocooning Collection, intended for ‘meditation, relaxation and refuge’. Cleverly, the pieces feel relaxed enough to enjoy in solitude, yet considered enough to wear in company. Long cardigans, hoodies and trousers layer over camisoles, crop tops and ribbed shorts in textures of pure cashmere, cashmere jersey and silk. Remarkably, every year Loro Piana’s research team studies over 600 knitting stitches and techniques to ensure its classic garments remain quietly at the forefront of its industry. So when it feels like you’re stepping into the best of the best, know that it’s not by accident.
Amsterdam-based label Extreme Cashmere has the motto ‘no limits, no concessions’ – a nod to its expansive approach to cashmere, which isn’t restrained by colour, silhouette, or body shape. Originally founded by Saskia Dijkstra who had the desire to create the ‘perfect sweater’, Extreme Cashmere began with its now-signature round-neck Crew Hop jumper, a style, Dijkstra says, designed to suit everybody. ‘I want everybody to have a sweater that when you put it on, you just feel perfect,’ she recently told Wallpaper*. ‘I want to make the best sweater. That’s why we’re here.’
Over five years on, Extreme Cashmere now spans a multitude of pieces in its high-quality cashmere – Dijkstra uses only the longest, strongest fibres sourced from goats living in the mountainous region of Inner Mongolia – whether enveloping sweaters, cardigans and track pants or more unexpected cashmere styles (sensual strappy vest and tube tops, elegant dresses, tote bags). Extreme Cashmere’s styles are available in over 100 vivid colours, from classic shades of navy, grey and cream to fluorescent shots of pink and lime green. Jack Moss
What don’t the Aussies know about relaxing? Byron Bay-based Deiji Studio co-founders Juliette Harkness and Emma Nelson started their brand wanting to create garments with ‘the ability to blend morning into night, daywear into sleepwear’. Answering this ‘in-between’ need are roomy dresses in brushed cotton and linen; pyjama sets cut with just enough sharpness that you could nip to the corner store in; and robes that translate from bedroom to beach. Conceived with sustainability at the forefront, in 2020 Deiji partnered with Carbon Positive Australia to offset its entire carbon usage while they work towards becoming carbon neutral with zero waste themselves. As such, its fabrics are considered: linens are often 100% Oeko-Tex ‘Standard 100’ certified – meaning every component of the garment from yarns to zippers – has been tested by the independent lab for toxicity and deemed safe, while cotton is GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified.
Already well-known for its cosy knits and off-duty Los Angeles style, Everlane has launched a line of knitwear using fully recycled yarns (a rarity – often recycled yarns are blended with new ones). Titled ReCashmere, the crew and collared V-neck sweaters and slouchy cardigans are crafted at a specialist mill in Italy where colours are blended by hand to ensure no added water or dyes are used in the process.
As Everlane’s director of sustainability Katina Boutis explains, ‘our ReCashmere collection is made with 94 per cent recycled cashmere and 6 per cent recycled wool, certified to the GRS standard. Using recycled cashmere reduces the carbon impacts of the material by over 90 per cent – compared to virgin cashmere – without compromising any of the softness or quality.’ Additional colourways will be introduced through the end of the year.
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Copenhagen-based label OpéraSport – the brainchild of friends Stephanie Gundelach and Awa Malina Stelter – landed at just the right moment, in 2019, just before our lives transitioned into a permanent ‘off-but-on’ state. Managing to walk the line between provocative yet casual pieces – think: sheer printed mesh and figure-skimming rib knits with logo hoodies – its designs are created from recycled silk, cashmere and wool made from pre-consumer waste (usually excess production that would otherwise be labelled as waste). Other fabrics include recycled polyester made from plastic bottles and organic cotton, proving laid-back needn’t mean lazy.
Raey provides an array of options to populate the contemporary wardrobe – from perfectly oversized overcoats to silk-satin maxi dresses – though the London-based label continues to excel in downtime attire. A raglan-sleeved cashmere knit dress makes for an elegant (and effortless) uniform for laid-back days, while belted cardigans wrap around the body like a robe. Cashmere-blend hoodies and track pants, roll-neck sweaters and simple white vests complete the look. ‘We focus on creating clothes people want to wear again and again,’ says creative director Rachael Proud. In this spirit, a new focus is placed on sustainability, with fabrics including 95 per cent recycled cashmere, sustainably-sourced merino wool, organic denim, and recycled and organic jersey blends. JM
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As a fashion editor, Charlotte Lewis spent her time travelling on long-haul flights, which sparked her idea to start Ven – a cashmere brand for the modern traveller. We may be spending more time at home, but the beautiful and timeless leisurewear items, made in small quantities to minimise waste with Mongolian yarns and hand finished between Shanghai and Nepal, are just as desirable for luxuriating in on the sofa. Boasting a pared-back aesthetic, the simple yet perfectly fitted pieces – including a soft cashmere cardigan, wool and cashmere wrap jacket with a tactile blanket stitch detail, cater to fuss-free fanatics. ‘Ven is designed to make life a little easier for the discerning traveller,’ says Lewis. ‘Considered, functional, hardworking pieces that don’t sacrifice comfort for style.’ Laura Hawkins
The spirit of travel has long embodied heritage label Le Kasha – its cashmere pieces are crafted using the finest fiber sourced from the Alashan and Arbus regions of Inner Mongolia. Today, the label – steered by Mali Marciano – specialises in neutral loungewear, the lightest cashmere separates and fluid silk dresses. Even if the coming months seeing yourself more at home than abroad, snuggle up and dream of ensuing escapades in the label’s stripe cashmere sweater. Its sea foam stripes will have you dreaming of the seaside. LH
Pour Les Femmes
Founded by actress and activist Robin Wright and designer Karen Fowler, Pour Les Femmes is a socially conscious sleepwear brand offering cosy pyjamas and sensual slip dresses. Working with charitable programmes, the label supports women in Congo’s conflicted regions by giving them safe working conditions and the opportunity to learn a precious craft. The fair-trade pieces then feature hand embroidered detailing, vintage lace and soft cottons with a romantic and bohemian feel adapted to suit the modern woman. ‘At Pour Les Femmes, we practice slow fashion meaning we hand cut our garments and pay three times the normal wage,’ explain the two friends. ‘We don’t mass-produce and try to use all of the extra fabric for lingerie bags and sleep mask.’ Another reason to get in bed with an ethical brand this season. LH
Tilly is a British writer, editor and digital consultant based in New York, covering luxury fashion, jewellery, design, culture, art, travel, wellness and more. An alumna of Central Saint Martins, she is Contributing Editor for Wallpaper* and has interviewed a cross section of design legends including Sir David Adjaye, Samuel Ross, Pamela Shamshiri and Piet Oudolf for the magazine.
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