Can Comfort EVER be Cool?
When it comes to personal style, I developed my sense of style a long time ago. I love fashion - like makeup it’s a powerful tool in how you feel and a real confidence booster.
I’m always flicking through magazines for the latest trends, which I then try to make my own.
‘Fashion aware, but never fashion victim’, that’s my mantra. I like to mix up high fashion with designer timeless pieces. Think ripped jeans with a classic tux.
Loungewear and ‘on the go’ always seems a bit more of a challenge; I’ve struggled to find comfortable clothing that really works for me, without compromising my style ethics. I like strong lines, nothing fussy and good shapes. Shapeless tracksuits look dated and I don’t want to feel like a ‘sack of potatoes’!
So when I came across Cucumber clothing I was really impressed; White Company-esque style but with high-performance fabrics.
The range was initially designed to tackle that old taboo, getting hot and sweaty. That doesn’t just apply to those of us who are menopausal, but to businesswomen racing about town, mums trying to do it all, pregnant women desperate for a good night’s sleep – all of us really.
My first trial was the Fire Engine Red Cashmere Jumpsuit, £179. It’s great for ‘at home’ loungewear and it was just perfect to travel in on my recent trip to Shanghai. I’ve always hated that uncomfortable feeling long-haul flights leave you with; you’re either too hot or too cold.
I don’t like to wear jeans, and I’m often rushing to a meeting or being met by clients at the airport so I want to look polished at least.
The first thing I noticed was the cut of this suit. Online it looks simple enough, but the clever tailoring and pull in waist mean that you can instantly shape it. The cashmere hangs perfectly and feels luxuriously soft.
Even after 12 hours in the air, it wasn’t creased and at no point did I feel remotely hot or cold, or uncomfortable. The temperature in London was around 9 degrees, so I layered up, but Shanghai was humid and 18 degrees when I landed. I never got that sticky ‘skin too tight’ feeling and the microbial qualities meant that I didn’t have to worry about being anything less than fabulously fresh.
It can be dressed up or down according to your needs, but my favourite use for it is chilling out – it feels like a second skin and is just a real treat. Throw on my Superstars and I can jump in the car to do the school run or a trip to the supermarket.
One thing I noticed too is that it washes better than any of my cotton alternatives. It does seem expensive at one level but represents a valuable investment in any capsule collection.
The second option I tried was a combination of Cream Drawstring Bottoms, £79, and the Cream Ruffle Top, £79, along with a gorgeously soft Rose Ballet Wrap, £89. The customary super-soft fabric was gorgeous again, but most impressive was how effortlessly multifunctional this option was.
I wore it for yoga, having raced there from home, and went straight to the café afterwards with friends for a coffee.
At no point did I feel uncomfortable; I stayed fresh throughout and enjoyed channelling my inner Darcy Bussell on her way to an elegant studio rehearsal! My friends both asked where my outfit was from. My ‘on the go’ outfit challenge has been met and then some!
I was really interested in reviewing the sleepwear. Whilst I don’t get hot sweats (yet!), I am a restless sleeper and like to feel warm and snug - everybody in our house complains that the house is always too hot!!
I tried both the t-shirt and shorts and the longer pants. They’re probably the most comfortable sleepwear I’ve ever worn. They don’t bunch or gather and have a feeling reminiscent of fresh sheets.
I’ve gone on to buy a set in the slate grey for winter and just love them. Today I overslept and literally jumped out of bed, threw on a cashmere jumper and trainers and did the school run, in my PJs!! The difference is, I didn’t look like I was!
The ultimate in mix and match versatility – you can see the same style here with my jeans; would be better in the summer with white jeans?
Verdict: YES! You can look and, more importantly, feel cool whilst wearing clothing designed for comfort.
This isn’t high style, but I would recommend adding a few key pieces to your collection - the perfect foundation to add more seasonal pieces to as and when you need – much like Studio10!
We’re bringing you an EXCLUSIVE Cucumber offer. Save 15% today on their whole line with code STUDIO15*
Many thanks to makeup artist Louise Constad who worked on the Cucumber shoot with us – follow her on @louiseconstad