With the arrival of a global pandemic, our homes have become our safe havens. And after stocking up with Lysol and toilet paper, we can also think about making the best of this time of isolation. Think "hygge." It's the trendy Scandinavian word that's perfect for describing the way we want to live when times are uncertain and everyone is hibernating while coping with coronavirus fears.
The Oxford Dictionary defines hygge (pronounced HUE-gah) as "a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture)." And what better way to give ourselves and our families comfort in a time of uncertainty than to embrace the spirit of hygge?
Take a cue from online retailers who celebrate the hygge movement and feature easy-to-wear clothes in the softest of fabrics. We may all be tempted to stay in our pajamas all day as we're supervising kids doing schoolwork from home and telecommuting to work. But here's how you can get comfy and feel good while looking good at the same time.
— Start at the top. The plush life begins with soft sweaters. The hottest fashion statements are the chunky turtlenecks, but cowl-neck pullovers, tunics and long cable-knit cardigans are all vying for attention. These knit tops can be the most versatile pieces in your wardrobe, easily mixing with casual jeans, leggings and even tailored trousers. Swap out a traditional blazer for a boucle drape-front "waterfall" cardigan to bring a little hygge to wear at home and at work.
— Invest in a fleece vest. The down puffer vest is still a fashion favorite that warms up the coldest of days without the bulk of a coat. But this spring, the softer side to take is the soft, quilted fleece vest. It's a little lighter but much more comfortable, especially on those days when chilly mornings turn into warmer afternoons. A fleece pullover is another cozy option that can be layered under down vests when extra warmth is needed — perfect for a walk around the park with your kids or dogs.
— Add a lightweight jacket. French terry hoodies and bomber jackets are cozy favorites for men, and for women, the latest pea coats feature brushed wool fabrics that have a velvety feel to them. In mint green, strawberry pink or tangerine orange, they're a delicious treat for the lighter side of this transition season.
— Robelike sweater "coats" are another third-layer alternative to a heavy jacket — the longer, the better this spring. In luxurious cashmere, these kimono-inspired knits will provide plenty of those special hygge moments from the minute you put it on.
— Pull on your pajama pants — but not just any pajama pants. This year, the comfort factor extends to all kinds of easy-to-wear pants that are anything but sloppy. Meant-to-be-seen joggers, sweatpants, jeggings and, of course, leggings are all basic must-haves in the cozy hygge wardrobe.
— Dress to impress. You can rock the plush life, even at home. Slip into a merino wool cable-knit sweater dress for a candlelight date-night dinner. Then wrap up in an oversized plaid blanket scarf, and binge-watch your favorite Netflix shows.
Meanwhile, light a scented candle, sip a glass of wine with friends via Facetime and breathe in all the hygee comfort you can. Be safe, and be well. Check in on relatives and neighbors. As my mother always said, "This, too, shall pass."
To find out more about Sharon Mosley and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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