Jayne Dawson: What do you wear behind closed doors?

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What do you wear behind closed doors?

I know, great opportunity for tittering, raised eyebrows and a headlong dive into 1970s’ humour.

We could all channel Frankie Howerd at this point but, on the other hand, it’s a fair question.

What clothes are on your back in those hours when you are expecting to see no-one, when you are that private version of yourself.

Those times when you have dropped your various outdoor guises and are just that nothing-in-particular person. Let’s say it’s 9pm on a wintery Wednesday or 2pm on an uneventful Sunday.

For me, it’s rags. Usually that sweatshirt I bought 30 years ago in Paris when I thought something with French writing on it was exciting.


It’s full of holes now, and I don’t think pretending I went to a French University is cool anymore. In fact, I think French people can be a bit sniffy about lots of things, but the sweatshirt: shapeless, not very clean, endlessly comfy, does the job.

Lately I’ve been teaming it with some trousers from TK Maxx. They’re like leggings, but baggier, and they are smeared with paint from my latest DIY job, when I committed the ultimate sacrilege and painted a table my dad once made.

The rule in our family is that wood should never have its natural beauty tarnished by paint, but I did the dirty deed anyway and covered it in posh grey with an eggshell finish. Nice job, if I do say so myself.

You might be different when it comes to what you wear behind closed doors. You may be a woman in the first stages of a romance and like to spend your private hours wrapped only in the tender caress of your boyfriend’s shirt with the sleeves rolled up, and a pair of cute, fluffy socks ruched charmingly around your shapely, smooth and golden calves. Doubt it, I don’t think that kind of thing happens outside of American rom-coms, but I could be wrong.

Or you could be swaddled in finest wool, in cashmere and merino and angora - apparently, M&S cashmere onesies were a super-fast sellout last Christmas.

Or you could be swathed in silk palazzo pants ( that’s baggy pants to you and me) or cool harem pants or sporting something yoga-based from an expensive leisurewear brand.

If you are then, unlike me, you are doing things properly, you have caught the mood of the moment.

Because the mood of the moment is all about loungewear. That’s luxe loungewear. Not your rags, not the things too old, shabby and out of fashion to wear in public ever again, and certainly not your nightie with that cardigan you never really got on with over the top, but proper, designated, made-for-the-purpose loungewear.

Because these inbetween clothes are being bought in increasing number. You will have spotted them on the shop rails before, looking forlorn somewhere between nightwear and knickers.

But all that has changed.

As we work harder, we put more value on our downtime. Just as we want a better class of home viewing and a better class of takeaway, we want a better class of slouch wear.

Which is fine. Up to a point. Up to the point where fantasy becomes reality. Because the thing about life behind closed doors is that it isn’t all about nesting on the sofa. It’s about cooking for the kids, it’s about getting down on your knees and wiping the kitchen floor with a cloth, it’s about bleaching the sink, cleaning the worksurfaces and shoving a load in the wash.

All of these things happen behind closed doors. And all of them are guaranteed to turn your expensive luxe loungewear into worthless rags before you can say: “Oops I spilled the ketchup”.

Which is why the wise amongst know to miss out the luxe stage - and save money by stepping straight into our rags behind closed doors. Just don’t ever visit me without lots of notice.