Bridget Jones – classic comedy heroine, maker of blue soup, dating disaster … style icon? Get used to it. Bridget’s heartbreak look – the pyjamas, messy hair and, crucially, the duvet – could feasibly have been spotted on the moodboards of very important designers for autumn/winter 2017. That duvet – reworked into a coat – has come out of hiding, and it’s properly fashionable. It’s on the catwalk, on your Instagram feed, on Rihanna. Forget about hiding under it, your comfort blanket is now what you wear on days to wow.
This is part of a wider trend for haute comfort dressing. Everything you need for a day at home, minus the Netflix subscription, can now be found on the catwalk (or its more expensive alter ego can, at least). There were blankets at Celine, fluffy slippers at Gucci, dressing gown robes at Dries Van Noten and duvet coats at Balenciaga. Demna Gvasalia, in his debut for Balenciaga 18 months ago, brought padded coats to the rarified house more usually known for its cocktail dressing, worn shrugged on the shoulders like an opera coat. Now they have been blown up further to the size and shape of a duvet, or at least a sleeping bag you would be glad to have with you at Glastonbury. The Balenciaga design, yours for £2,050, even comes with a scarf fastening around the neck to ensure cosiness.
Not to be outdone, the high street has embraced this trend, too. See silver space-age quilted jackets at Topshop and knee-length ones at Monki and Mango. These coats are styled to amp up their cosiness, with models pulling them around their bodies as if to shield them from the elements, in a way that mimics Rihanna’s wrapped-up look. Elsewhere, Zara and Finery are go-tos for pyjamas, and department store Liberty has launched an Art of Sleep campaign, with printed styles worthy of their ex-customer Oscar Wilde. “Cosy” and “comfy” – once veiled barbs from a fashion person – let you know you have passed the style test. A survey conducted by Liberty even found that nine out of 10 participants now see pyjamas as leisurewear rather than something to sleep in.
You can easily equate the duvet-day trend with the need to wrap ourselves up against a harsh political climate. But it’s also down to a culture where we’re encouraged to share our most private moments. Rather than a boudoir-sexy-times idea of the bedroom – a trope that feels done to death – this is the look for the #iwokeuplikethis, no-makeup selfie, sheet mask generation. “Bed dressing is an important trend for us this season,” says Mo Riach, head of design at Topshop, where a padded jacket that featured in their ad campaign became a bestseller. “We love the way Rihanna wears duvet coats – hugely oversized and effortlessly cool.” Riach says the street-style take seen on editors at fashion shows has also been inspiring, “with proportion being key – the bigger, the better”.
In the run-up to party season, perhaps it feels out of step to talk about cosiness – especially when out-and-out glamour is big again with brands such as Saint Laurent and Halpern. But, as excited as we are about the great sequin comeback of 2017, comfort dressing – done right – can be just as alpha as a Dynasty-style cocktail dress. It’s equally acceptable in fashionable company, equally likely to be found on the back of Kylie Jenner. Think of it as the yin to party dressing’s yang. In a way, it makes sense: a party is often followed by a duvet day, after all.
Real talk, then. Under no circumstances is your actual sofa outfit – you know, that promotional T-shirt, the bobbled track pants, your dad’s old jumper, the spare-room duvet – allowed out of the house. In the way that Instagram is the glossy version of your reality, this trend is about an idealised duvet day – one with Diptyque candles rather than tear-and-share packets of crisps. To do duvet-day dressing in a fashion way, it has to be considered. The coat should be so oversized that it’s sculptural; the pyjamas silky and possibly patterned, never flannel; the slippers should come in a jarring pastel colour, not knackered moccasins. Make these tweaks and you’re good to go.
Of course, the idea of making cosies into a lewk isn’t new – even if pyjamas look novel on the red carpet on Zendaya. Wilde was doing the robe in the 1890s, Noel Coward followed. Marlene Dietrich and Ginger Rogers wore silky pyjamas in the 30s as part of a louche lounge-y look. The padded jacket dates back to 1937, when Charles James used the construction of a bed jacket to make something suitable for the evening. In a sense, that is what Gvasalia was trying to do 80 years later. Whatever the era, it’s time to embrace comfort, snuggle into your duvet coat and head out the door. It may sound counterintuitive, but that’s fashion for you. If only Bridget had been let in on the secret.