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BENEDICT BROWNE: WORKING FROM HOME

Guest Writer: Benedict Browne

This ‘working from home’ situation we currently find ourselves in has us divided. On one side, you have those who aren’t willing to let standards slip and during the working week (which is now rather conflicted, to say the least) are still dressing up in their go-to working clothes. This is likely to be a pair of tailored trousers worn with a smart shirt and even a jacket. On the other side, you have those who are taking a more casual and natural approach to 'working from home', opting for garments that bring the most comfort. I firmly subscribe to the latter, and on a daily basis, I am dressing in clothes that are multi-functional by today's standards. They are equally comfortable to wear when sitting at my desk (edit: the kitchen table), relaxing on the sofa and strolling about the local park for my evening walk. The category that these clothes fit in to… drum roll, please… is loungewear.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a complete outfitter who has mastered loungewear like Johnstons of Elgin. If you are required to dial in for a Zoom call with your boss, while Johnstons’ loungewear offering can be deemed casual, there’s an undeniable smart element that comes with it. This is because the colour palette is tasteful, the quality and fashioning are excellent, and the product styles are evergreen classics. Furthermore, there's no in-your-face branding, which is to be expected from Johnstons as they champion the desired variant of luxury, i.e. the discreet kind, that's thankfully becoming increasingly more popular.

So, allow me to breakdown some items that I am currently wearing and, more importantly, wish I was wearing.

Starting with the top half, your go-to staples for loungewear should be versatile Merino Wool and Cashmere knits. Johnstons make use of such fine and high-quality fibres and spin and knit them in-house with exacting quality control processes and checks that they act almost like a second skin. The Cashmere Cable and Rib Jumper is a delight to wear, with or without a layer beneath (such as a shirt or T-shirt). It's a hero product that's knitted without seams for an unparalleled fit. I think the Pumice model is a particularly nice option for this time of year. At a more accessible price-point, the classic Merino Round Neck Jumper with set-in sleeves is an excellent bang-for-buck product.

Speaking of bang-for-buck, there’s also the Reversible Slouchy Cashmere Fleece Sweatshirt, another creation by Johnstons that underlines their expertise in knitwear. It features raglan sleeves, which are by far the most comfortable and relaxed style of sleeve-head as they have an increased amount of space around the underarm, allowing greater movement and manoeuvrability. However, for a smarter option, you can always go for a Johnstons of Elgin cardigan, either in Merino Wool or Cashmere.

Now, if you’re anything like me, you’ll have been living in tracksuits ever since this lockdown came into play. They're infinitely more comfortable than your classic pair of denim jeans or tailored trousers, and anyone who thinks otherwise clearly hasn't worn Johnstons’ seamless Cashmere Joggers. Available in navy and slate, they feature a drawstring ribbed waistband and cuffs with deep pockets. This idea of sports-inspired loungewear has been gaining popularity for several years, as dress codes have become increasingly vague. If you’re looking for something a bit sportier, there’s a model with a contrasting side panel for a colourful lift.

Once tools have been downed for the day, look to a Johnstons’ Dressing Gown. Rendered in cashmere (obvs), it comes in grey and navy, the latter of which has blue piping. There are three large pockets, two on the hips and one on the chest, to store necessities, like a packet of Lindt milk chocolate truffles and the remote control, and an exaggerated belt to wrap tight. It doesn’t end there, though, as it also has a silk jacquard lining. If cashmere and silk aren’t the most gorgeous couple in textile pairings, then I don’t know what is. Add a pair of Johnstons of Elgin Cashmere Socks, and you're ready to put your feet up.

All in all, options are, as always, aplenty when it comes to comforting clothes and accessories. Furthermore, the common denominator between all of them is that they’ve been expertly made by Johnstons’ craftspeople – whether woven in Elgin or knitted in Hawick – with over two centuries of experience. So, explore and enjoy (if you’re taking the casual, comfortable approach, like yours truly, that is).

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