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?
When I worked in an office, the first thing I did when I got home 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 went to work dressed in flattering trousers and some sort of smart top, 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 presentable t-shirt. Or a natty hat, as worn by actor 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. 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. 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 actor Josh Holloway... now there's a man who looks like he knows how to stay comfortable....!!