Monday, 20 April 2015

Excuse me while I slip into something more comfortable....


*warning: contains pictures of actor Josh Holloway*

Imagine this scenario.  Hunky guy is invited back to gorgeous woman's flat after hot date.

Gorgeous Woman: Help yourself to a drink, and do excuse me while I slip into something more comfortable...

Hunky Guy: But of course!  Opens brandy bottle, smiling, thoughts of black silk and lace running through his mind.

Two minutes later, enter stage left: 
Gorgeous Woman: That's better!  Flops onto sofa.  You can pour me one of those, t0o.

Hunky Guy's mouth drops open.  Gorgeous woman wears not the black lingerie of his fantasies, but a faded AC/DC 1998 tour t-shirt with toothpaste stains down the front, and a pair of man's pyjama trousers with a hole in the knee.
~~~ 

I'm talking about Leezurewear

Yes, yes, I know it's spelt leisurewear.  It's just how my sister and I (and, thus, many of our friends) spell it, because we pronounce it in the American way, ie 'lee-surewear' rather than 'leh-surewear'.  Works best if you say it with an American accent, too (at least until you're comfortable with it....).  It's probably not even a real word; should it be two words?  I'll leave my proofreading sister to decide, and no doubt tell me in the comments!


I have not been guilty of the ruining a hot date scenario, but must say that one of the joys of working from home, or just not going out to work, period, is being able to wear leezurewear more often.  In fact, most of the time. 

Socially acceptable leezurewear

I have a selection of leezure trousers.  At the moment I am wearing my rather (un)fetching miscellaneous animal print ones that are too big in the arse and too long.  Until I actually got properly dressed today (at around lunch time) I was wearing them with a pink and white striped vest that I'd worn in bed the night before.  I also own some striking half-mast black velvet trews (£3.99 from Store 21 in Jarrow), and another pair of two-summers-ago blue and white flowery ones, with holes in.  These items will not necessarily be worn with anything matches them.  Because they are leezurewear, and this you wear only for comfort, not for style.  Comfort is all.

Leezurewear: see that casual fit, the ease with which the wearer stands, hand placed comfortably in pocket?

Not leezurewear: he's chosen them because they're casual, but they're far too tight to be truly leezurely. 


When I used to go out to work in an office, the first thing I did when I got home (even before pouring wine and switching on the computer) was to get into my old faithfuls, waiting for me upstairs.  The office in which I worked was not one of those that required me to wear anything too smart, but I still had to look respectable.  I still went to work dressed in flattering trousers and some sort of smart top.  My outfit of the day was a conscious choice based on aesthetics, unlike the clothes I put on when I got home, which would be ill-fitting, ill matched, and with coffee stains down the front within an hour or so of putting them on (whether I'd drunk coffee or not, it seemed).  

There are different grades of leezurewear.  My sister and I have a name for the one in between at-home-only disgusting garments, and work clothes:  this is socially acceptable leezurewear.  It might be smart leggings and a huge but fairly attractive t-shirt, or the above mentioned flowery trousers and a reasonable sort of sweatshirt.  Or a natty hat, as worn by Josh Holloway, below.  In SAL, you can go shopping, receive visitors, even go to the pub if there is not likely to be anyone in there who you want to impress.   

Actor Josh Holloway models socially acceptable leezurewear

True leezurewear, though, is so unfetching that you can only wear it at home and in the company of friends.  Prime leezurewear covers the garments that have become as much part of you as your skin, that you can only wear in front of very close friends, and definitely not in front of someone you might want to have sex with in the future, unless they already love you very much (and even then it might be best not to).  I'm talking the truly appalling trousers with the holes in the crotch, the once bright yellow band t-shirt that you found you know not where, sporting curious stains that will never quite come out.  

My best ever leezure item was a velour jumper bought from a charity shop in Cromer for £1.99.  I once read that if thinking about splashing out on an expensive item of clothing, you should consider it on a cost per wear basis, ie, if something costs £200 but you'll wear it 6o times, it's worth buying.  On a cost-per-wear basis, I probably got 3287 wears per penny out of my black velour jumper.  I had it for around 8 years.  By the time Julia told me I really ought to throw it away (I needed telling), it was so worn out you could actually see through the front of it.

It was a sad day indeed.  Julia used to have a garment we called her David Lee Roth trousers (I can't remember why); they lived with her for about 20 years.  I think at one time they had patches on the back and crotch, and the knees were more hole than trouser.  I don't think she ever got over losing them; not even the size 18-20 jogging bottoms she bought from Cromer Indoor Market (she is a size 10-12) could replace them.

Years ago, on MySpace, I had a photo album on my profile entitled 'My friends in their leezurewear'.  My online and real life chums used to send me pictures of themselves in their favourite items, fully annotated to point out particularly alluring features like baggy knees and embarrassing holes.  It was a good album!  I wish I still had all the pictures; I could have shown you the black velour jumper in all its grisly glory.  

What are your most beloved (and possibly disgusting) items?  The best leezurewear is often appropriated rather than bought.  Back in the early 1990s Julia had a fab t-shirt that an ex-boyfriend of her flatmate had left behind.  It was one of those that was good quality originally, probably why it was such a pleasure to wear.  I then nicked it off her and wore it for many years; I loved it.  It disappeared along with another boyfriend.  I wonder if it's been passed on to anyone else?  There was nothing particularly noticeable about it, it was just great leezurewear.

Me wearing the t-shirt owned by many, in 1996, sporting it in the socially acceptable way, ie, tucked in to still comfortable denim shorts.  It was subsequently stolen by the soon to become ex who took this picture.  Perhaps he only wanted me for the t-shirt in the first place.

.... and now we come to the downside of wearing comfortable clothes because you are at home all the time.  After a while, it becomes really hard to wear anything else.  I do put reasonable clothes on, and make-up and earrings, just to nip to the shops, because if I didn't I would end up looking like a bag lady all the time instead of just 80% of it.  But even then, my respectable clothes are things with stretchy waistbands, no heels, nothing that might be any effort to wear.  This is partly because being at home all the time, sitting down at a laptop, means that wearing shorts like the ones in the picture above is now but a faded, distant memory.  Yes, another downside: when you don't have to make yourself look good for work every day you don't notice when your clothes are getting, shall we say, a little more snug, until you have to actually go somewhere looking proper smart.  That's when you look in the mirror and gasp "where the hell did all that come from???" 

Never mind, though.  You only have to endure looking smart for a few hours, with that held in stomach, being careful not to slosh red wine down your top, etc, and then you can come home, tear all those once-every-six-months clothes off and .... get back into your leezurewear...

...just like Josh Holloway... now there's a man who looks like he knows how to stay comfortable....!!
 
 
 

53 comments:

  1. Ha! When we first moved to England, I was completely enchanted by Lidl store. Or, more specifically, by the incredible center aisle. It was filled by a dynamically rotating collection of the most peculiar items to find in a grocery store: plumbing supplies, shoes, toys, linens, appliances, everything up to and (I swear, once including) the kitchen sink at rock bottom prices. Each item comes with it's own instruction volume, a weighty little number printed in about 100 languages including, I think, pig latin and esperanto. Since living in a medieval castle had one imperative — warmth — I was thrilled to find a stretch velour zip hoody and matching trousers for a pair of pounds each. The gray set is marginally acceptable. The hot pink set is frightening to behold. I bought several and lived in them for... well, ever since. Any of my neighbors could describe them in their stretchy, baggy, glory because they could see me walking the dog in all weather. Yes, being a writer AND dog owner means abandoning all shame. (Um... I might be wearing the pink set as I type this. I've been away for a few weeks, wearing real clothes 24/7. It hurt.)

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    1. Oh yes, oh yes, the joys to be purchased in Lidl, and Aldi! My husband is no longer allowed to accompany me to these shops because he comes back with all sorts of crap we don't need but looks kinda useful!!! Purely on the basis of your pink tracksuit I am thinking of bringing back "my friends in their leezurewear". I demand a picture!!!

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  2. I have four CottonTrader sweat shirts (don't know why they're called sweat shirts because they're meant for ladies and being a lady I don't sweat I glow - or sometimes, struggling with editing, I perspire - but that's the limit. Anyway,these tops are about twenty years old and look very fetching with leggings. When I was in the Civil Service (MOD ) I had to wear 'posh' stuff' in the office (I had to compete with the Officers' wives, of course - don't ask me why) My high heels come out for book signings and talks only. Today I have on bright pink bed socks - luvery.But you haven't mentioned husbands, Terry? My hubby retired early and spends his life in the garden. His normal attire consist of 'hand-me-downs' from the kids (school tee-shirts,jumpers, tracksuit bottoms. No, not shell-suit bottoms - the kids had more taste - even football socks) Not a pretty sight. And, I should add, the kids are now thirty eight. As you can imagine, if someone comes to the door, there's a rush to ... run upstairs and change. We often get stuck in the doorway. I usually win, I have sharper elbows. So, you see, you're not on your own. Leezurewear rules.. Just don't get Skype!

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    1. Oh, your husband sounds as though he thoroughly embraces the concept of leezurewear, Judith! I'm impressed. And I've only ever used Skype a couple of times - too scary, I can see myself TALKING with NO MAKE-UP - horrible!!! As for my own husband, he reads my blog posts and I am, thus, protecting his privacy by not revealing what he wears around the house. Suffice to say I sometimes take pictures of him on my phone and send them to Julia :)

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  3. Ah, the David Lee Roth trousers! So called because they were the sort of thing that Diamond Dave wore in his videos (I bought them in 1990 from a trendy gym shop, but they were baggy and elasticated, the sort you wear with a tight top.) I loved those trousers, they were faithful friends. And the T-shirt was 'borrowed' from Ashley, then you had it, then Gwyn took it. True leezurewear is stuff that you can't remember where you got it from, preferably emblazoned with the logo of a band you've never seen, a company you've not heard of or a conference you've never attended.

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    1. That's right - nicked from one boyfriend to another then passed to me - I had it after Gwyn, I'm sure!!! And I like the conference you've never attended thing, that is ultimate leezurewear!!! I suppose a bit like my A-ha tour fleece that I put on at your house once and never took off??? It hangs on my clothing rail even now :)

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  4. hahaha I was laughing out loud at your post. Probably because I am sat reading it whilst wearing my stretchy 'home office' trousers and Matalan jumper that makes me look like a wannabe cheerleader. No make-up and bed hair complete the look! I've just realised that my wardrobe only consists of one dress 'for best', one suit 'for funerals' and an assortment of big baggy tops to go with my jeans! My sister-in-law turned up the other day and dragged me out for coffee (no time to change!) as she dropped me home and backed down the drive, she wound down the window to shout that she could see my arse through the hole in the back of my jeans! The dilemma is that these are my 'comfy' jeans aaaaah! ;-)

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    1. Ah, a lady after my own heart!!! I love reading about everyone else's horrors! I've got loads of really nice tops but they're all loose, and get worn over jegging type trousers... with flat boots!!! That's what I call real clothes, these days... :)

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  5. you make a very good point: I am now so use to wearing tracky bottoms or jeans that h thought of dolling up is anathema. I look at ll the selfies some young women post o Twitter, with their frilly blouses and stiletto heels and you know what, I can't be arsed.Lot to be said for being a writer

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    1. Oh, up until I was about 43 I still wore high heels and nice clothes all the time... but the scruffs have become more frequently worn since around then, and I get more and more of them...!!! Thanks for reading :)

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  6. Love this, Terry – hurrah for comfortable clothes. Actually, my going-out wardrobe does overlap quite a lot with my staying-in gear, but that's not because I'm smart at home but because when I do venture beyond the garden gate it's as often as not to go walking, so all I have to do is pull on a pair of boots. I can probably tolerate getting properly dressed about twice a week, but anything more feels like an imposition!

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    1. Oh yes, I get this, Anne! I actually wore the miscellaneous animal print trousers to go supermarket shopping this morning - with boots on and a decent jacket I could just get away with them! I'm beginning to think everyone else is as bad as me - hurrah! :)

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  7. One of the joys of retirement is wearing things you want to wear - almost all the time. When I was working I had my 'Court Kit' (made me look like a penguin, but hey ho, as an expert witness you have to play the Court game, and there was children's safety at stake). Now - if it's not comfortable, I don't wear it.

    And have been known to break a social rule or two. So I wore some silk Vietnamese pyjamas to my daughter's wedding - and they might get another airing this summer when a nephew marries.

    And for day to day - jeans if it's chilly, longish skirts if it's warm enough. T-shirts or floaty tops. The priority is being comfortable - how can anyone think if their clothes are uncomfortable?

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    1. Sounds as though you always look most stylish, Jo - with never a moth eaten Led Zeppelin t-shirt that once belonged to a nephew's best friend in sight!!! The silk pyjamas for a wedding sounds lovely; I bet you will out-style all those boring floral dressed and hats!

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  8. I love this post, Terry! The longer I work from home, the fewer "respectable" items I own. Sure, I've got dresses and things to wear on formal occasions, but when I go shopping these days, I'm always looking for comfy clothes. Until last year, I wouldn't even walk the dog without at least putting on jeans and "decent" shoes or boots, but now I go out all the time in stretchy pants and sneakers. Thanks for making me feel a bit better about that! xo

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    1. Ha ha, it's amazing how one's standards slip, isn't it?! And how out clothes buying criteria changes.... yes, I started to look at shoes and boots, espcially, with a 'they look comfy' eye, rather than a 'they look hot' one, about 10 years ago!!!

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  9. Perhaps it's because I'm a brash American but I'll just say the first thing I do when I get home from anywhere is take off my bra! I do have a pair of very old yoga pants I adore and those go on right after the jeans come off:)

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    1. Actually, I always wear a bra!!! But I have a lot of friends who do that. I'm quite well endowed, though (sounds as if I'm a bloke talking about my appendage!) and it's more comfortable to wear one. So, braless Cindy in yoga pants - leezurewear at its best!!

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    2. I'm a 38 DD. I do have to wear a bra when cleaning house and if people come over of course I run and put one on. When I was young, I was a nice 36 C and didn't wear a bra on principle. Part of the whole bra burning thing. Must say my mother was appalled!

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  10. I had a pair of periwinkle blue stretch pants that my boyfriend called "circus pants." Hmm. Funny, they've gone missing.

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    1. Excellent!!!! Now, the question is.... are they in the bin or.... on him???

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  11. I am currently lounging at home in my Blue Fat Face vest top (with a bit of lace) Which I often wear as a garment for going out in, although I actually think it is designed as a proper go to bed to sleep vest. Whoops lol. My Red Animal (Muppet) PJ bottoms and wait for it... the pièce de résistance that my Man bought me - A pair of furry bear feet calf length slippers. I look very fetching lol

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    1. Ha!!!! Sounds good to me! Thanks, Linda :)

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  12. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Now, as you well know Ms Tyler, we agree on most things but Leezurewear is not one of them. There is no acceptable leezurewear and, as far as I'm concerned, the slide into wearing what can only be descibed as a crime against humanity is where it all went wrong for modern civilisation. I loathe leezurewear in all its forms with a passion. I'm not talking jeans, which are a totally acceptable garment but anything with even a passing glance to a jogging bottom should be burned and don't even get me started on leggings :D

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    1. Ah, you misunderstand me slightly; I'm talking about the revolting clothes you wear in the privacy of your own home. You would never catch me even doing me supermarket shop in anything other than decent, smart clothes. I do get what you mean about leggings; they're such a damn useful garment, though. I couldn't agree more re the Jeremy Kyle-ites you see pushing pushchairs (which I believe they call 'buggies') around town in horrible tracksuits. I too think it's a shame that people no longer dress properly all the time like wot they did on Mad Men; my mother even used to wear white gloves in the summer like Betty does! But anyway - I am glad to see you have your standards, and I applaud them - but what on earth do you wear around the house?????

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    2. Now you've sent me all wistful thinking about men in suits and women in fitted dresses. I think casual for a men should go no less than a nice button down cardi :D I have to confess the second I'm in the house I have my pyjamas on but they are nice ones. My biggest crime against style and even worse than leezurewear came about when my mum (I suspect in a quite spectacular fit of passive aggression) bought me a onesie for Christmas. I was appalled and swore not to wear it and then when it was freezing with the snow my heating broke and I turned to it in desperation. I have to say it was almost a slippery slope straight into hell but luckily once the heating was fixed my menopausal inner boiler meant I almost spontaneously combusted every time I wore it.

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    3. There, you see, you do wear leezure wear! I was a bit worried for a moment, thinking you sat around the house in Betty Draper dresses. I am with you on the onesie. I would never wear one on principle, partly because of its stupid name. :D

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  13. When I worked for someone else, high heels were the daily rule. Not sensible pumps, mind you, but 3 inch (or more) heels on the clerks, legal assistants, secretaries. When I had to take medical leave, and then went out on my own, I packed up those killer shoes and donated them. By then, I had lymphedema from cancer treatment, so sensible shoes became the rule. Now, I've discovered the world of "leezurewear," and often take my first telephone meeting or task in p.j.s
    Respectable attire comes for when I HAVE to walk out the door, or do a conference via webcam. Other than that, comfort is the daily rule - and I adore it!

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    1. Good for you - and isn't that horrendous, sexist and awful that women were expected to wear uncomfortable and potential damaging footwear so that they would appeal to the male standard of what looks 'right'. Yes, yes, I love high heels and used to really enjoy wearing them, but it's bad to feel that you have to. I think the fact that I used to wear them all the time is one of the reasons I physically can't, now! Thanks for commenting, and hope you're well, Caroline :)

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  14. I love leezurewear Terry - I'm always in jeans and teeshirts anyway during the day because although I work from home I'm in and out walking dogs or seeing clients but my clients are used to me in my everyday work clothes so I rarely have to dress up. But come early evening even those clothes are too restricting and I have a delightful pair of velour baggy, elasticated waist 'relaxing' trousers which I team with an array of ancient baggy tops layered according to season and I'm definitely braless by this point.

    Fortunately my BH doesn't seem to mind (or notice perhaps!) but as his working clothes are not much better and he's constantly covered in paint we're probably pretty well matched.

    Though I agree with you on the downside of this dressing down which has come home to me this year because I have two weddings to go to where my style of dressing will not go down well so I've bought three dresses to try and I look dreadful in all of them and I look at the shoes I'm going to have to wear and know how irritated I'm going to be in them. But then I look at those that have to wear this sort of stuff everyday and allow myself a smug little smile ;-)

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    1. Ha ha, I have little to add because you've said it all - yes, the baggy tops layered according to season!!!! Smart dressed - urrrrrghhhh! I always wear going out type trousers and glam tops, or some sort of separates, anyway, if I have to look dead smart, I can't do dresses. Julia wears stretchy material wrapover type ones that look great, and are also dead comfortable. Oh, but yes, the shoes.... I used to adore finding fab shoes and boots but now I just put them on and think, however did I used to walk about all day in these things????

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  15. Gah! I typed up a reply on my iPad and it disappeared!

    No matter. I remember the leezurewear pictures well and believe that the onesies on there were popular long before the recent trend! I remember we used to display our leezurewear proudly.

    Being of a certain age, clothes buying for me could be an endless round of new leezurewear..if only I didn't have to participate in everyday customs that dictate a certain standard of dress.

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    1. "An endless round of new leezurewear" - what a lovely phrase! Yes, age definitely has something to do with it - it's that 'couldn't give a stuff' thing. That and the thickened waist..!!

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    2. Wouldn't it be wonderful? No having to look for the shop that you know is generous with their sizes because all the leezurewear would be elasticated or drawstring waisted *sighs*

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  16. Totally a post to bookmark - there are so many layers of key info in the area of "leezurewear" that I wouldn't want to forget anything. Love it!

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  17. I can’t add any more to the above comments but I’m with you all the way. Anything for comfort these days!

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  18. My leezurewear (my spellchecker tried to change it to leery requests!) consists of a pair of jeans with no knees. My smart wear consists of a pair of jeans with knees.

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    1. I love it!!! :) Leery requests!!!!!!

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  19. I am so delighted that so many people have embraced publicly the concept of leezurewear (as you point out, to be worn at home only). I am currently sporting a pair of trackie bottoms that my boyfriend bought in a charity shop, and gave to me because they were too small for him. I am teaming this (ha!) with a supremely unflattering burgundy sweatshirt (burgundy suits nobody, in my opinion) that John also gave to me because he considered it too horrible for even him to wear - and he's a man who has some pretty disgusting leezurewear! I'd just like to say, I go from one extreme to the other; when I was last in Norwich meeting some friends, I was wearing a £700 Jaeger coat and an LK Bennett dress, though I hasten to add that I got the coat in the sale.

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    1. You're right, people can only look, at best, not too bad in burgundy. It's a disgusting colour, like the hot pink of Barb's tracksuits (see above), which, I must say, I long to see. Glad to see you are 'teaming' your clothes nicely, FZ1. Perhaps a nice silk blouse with some tailored trousers next, eh?

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  20. I do believe it is against International Law to use the American pronunciation of leezurewear and the word "arse" in the same paragraph. But I won't be able to take you to court on that because I am wearing my crotchless purple polyester pajamas. Mind you, they were not purchased crotchless. We had this dog who ate underwear and anything else left on the floor with an interesting scent. He also ate Tootsie Rolls from the litter box. Said dog went to live on a friend's horse farm when we were divorced in 2004, and died last year, having lived a much happier doggy life that we ever provided him in the suburbs. Those pyjamas, however, live on.

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    1. Paula, I do believe your leezure pyjamas deserve a spot in the Leezurewear Hall of Fame! Bravo! I suppose I shall have to learn the meaning of the phrase 'tootsie roll' (some form of confection?) before I dare to suggest American pronounciation again. You can bet your ASS I will!!! :)

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  21. TT, I've laughed till I cried reading this. As a barge lady (even worse than a bag lady), I can fess up to all of the above and more. Just loved this post. Thanks for the best laugh in months!

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  22. Sitting here enjoying this post - and people's comments - wearing tracksuit bottoms and my eldest son's long-sleeved t-shirt. He left home years ago and when I came across it at the back of a wardrobe a few weeks ago I thought "That looks comfy!" :)

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    1. Oh yes, that should be the Leezurewear wearer's motto: "That looks comfy!" :^D

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  23. Leisurewear is great, an essential signal to all that you're in wind down mode, although I try to avoid people shopping in their PJs at Tesco..

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    1. Agree, Alastair - that's just gross chavviness (now there's a word I've never written before...!)

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  24. This post and the comments gave me such a good giggle. I will admit to owning a single piece of "leezurewear": a black sweater that was quite smart when I bought it during my pregnancy, but has stretched, faded, lost buttons and suffered so many indignities over the ensuing decade and a half that I can't wear it anywhere but in the house. Still, it is supremely comfortable, and what I change into pretty much every night when I get out of my office natties.

    My husband, who works for himself at a job that has him outside in all weathers, has so thoroughly embraced the concept of "leezurewear," however, that he rarely wears anything else (except when we go out to dinner). Such is the state of his "leezurewear" that when we were in London not too long ago, a man approached my husband on the street, patted him on the shoulder and said, "lad, I've just dropped some bags at the charity shop around the corner. If you want to have a go through first, tell them I said it was okay." My husband was mortified. He continues to wear, however, the insanely ugly, faded orange jumper and ragged tracky-bottoms that he was wearing when this gentleman mistook him for a tramp!

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    1. Sounds like you and your husband thoroughly embrace the concept of leezurewear - well done!!! :^D

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