Friday 4 March 2016

Private Patterns #2: A life in 'comfies'

Private Patterns is a new blog [and Instagram] series that makes a space for us to share the small actions we find ourselves repeating. 

It's about thinking through those actions, rituals, activities, foibles and quirks which make us unique ... but at the same time it's a way to discover that someone out there does just the same

And, for me, it's about a regular monthly writing practise. A chance to think about the small patterns of my life right now and trap to them in time. 

You can join me anytime, for now, here's my Private Pattern No.2. A Life in Comfies ...

Changing out of my ‘outside world’ clothes and into something comfy demarcates a different stage of the day.

The elasticated stage. 

Which, along with discovery of fire, the age of female emancipation and the invention of WiFi, must rank as one of the most rewarding stages in human advancement.

[And with that you get all my priorities in a nutshell: a cosy fire, equality, and an Internet connection. What more could you want?]

You know that old cliched line from movies where, on a date, the a woman says “I’m just going to change into something more comfortable”? She tends to return in a silk nightie and slippers holding a cigarette in a slinky holder doesn't she?

Whenever I say it I'm more likely to return in an old pair of mismatched pyjamas, fluffy bed socks holding a cup of tea.

Or wine.

Depending on how well the pre-elasticated part of the day has gone.

So, yes, once I get home I find myself itching to get changed into something more comfortable or 'comfies' as we've come to call them in our house.

Not that we came up with that catchy name. No. That's something left over from when watching the reality show Girls of the Playboy Mansion used to be one of our guilty pleasures. And 'comfies' was how Hugh Hefner used to refer pyjamas whenever he wanted to settle down in front of the TV with one of his 'girls'.

[For the record that’s the only outfit related inspiration I’ve knowingly taken from Playboy. Granted, sometimes my pyjama bottoms can, at times, appear to be crotchless, but that's more to do with the fact the seams have failed due to how often they've been washed rather than anything else.]

What do you call them? 'Comfies' I mean ... not crotchless garments. 

Between my group of friends, who spend a couple of weekends a year holed up together crafting in a country cottage, we refer to the bottom half as ‘lounge pants’.

Stretchy clothes are essential on those weekends of over-eating and hardly moving, and of only once venturing out into the outside world. Although, once, [back in 2012] we did spot these fluorescent kaftans in a shop and fleetingly considered taking them on as our new uniform:
But then ... the cottages often have open fires and that fabric looks flammable; and going up in flames while dressed as a Teletubby can put a downer on a weekend break.

So we stuck with our lounge pants.

[BTW: I once heard an old man asking a shop assistant what lounge pants were for. Her answer? ‘Lounging’. I could have told him that.]

If you're stuck for what to call yours then how about ‘soft clothes’ or 'nearly pyjamas’? That's how the lead character in the last novel I read, Siri Hustvedt's The Burning World referred to them.

So that's what they're called ... but how about when I wear them?

Well here's where I suppose I could say that it’s a winter thing. Something to do with getting cosy in the days of dark evenings.

I could say that. But I’d be lying.

This is a year round pattern. And, I don't know about you, but my 'nearly pyjama'- wearing is not restricted to night time.

I say I often change into them when I come home, but how early is too early?

  • Is as soon as you step over the door step too soon to disrobe? [Hopefully after you’ve closed the door behind you, but hey, I don't know how friendly you are with your neighbours.]
  • If you come home at 2pm? Is that allowed. Or is wearing pyjamas in the middle of the day something only toddlers can get away with? 
  • So how about after tea time? Personally that's the time that most often feels fair game to me.

Although some days I don’t bother to change when I get home because the clothes I was wearing beforehand aren’t very different to what I'd be changing into. As someone with a lifelong intolerance for structured, stiff, tight or clingy clothes, I've pretty much created a walking wardrobe of  'comfies'. So much so that it would seem extravagant to change out of one pair of leggings and into a different pair just to eat my tea.

It'd be too much like the idea of 'dressing for dinner'.

Like something out of Downton.

But then again, extravagant as it may be, there might be something in the idea. After all, Lady Mary was never caught out looking like this:


If you want to share a Private Pattern of your own ... go right ahead!
  • If you do so on Instagram use: #PrivatePatterns and/or mention me @withjuliekirk so I can find you. 
  • If you have a topic you'd like to cover ... go for it ... there are no wrong patterns!
  • If you'd like to take inspiration from my Private Pattern today  you could think/write about or journal/ sketch/ photograph what it is that makes 
  • No pressure. No deadlines. No linky. No button. I'm leaving everything pretty undone, informal and breezy.
Private Patterns is just a simple space for us to share and connect. To offer up a glimpse behind closed doors. To nod in recognition with a smile on our faces. To see what kind of patchwork we can make by combining our individual patterns.


More about Private Patterns:


  1. Haha yea my routine every evening/sometimes afternoon - bra off, comfies on, hair up and snacks.

  2. Such a delightful read :). You has ever a lovely flow of words and a droll sense of humour too. I don't think I've ever worn a 'comfie' ... Now there's a blogpost in the making already!

  3. Ok, I need to proof read! You have such a ...

  4. I call them my 'slobs' - slobbing around! I bought himself some t shirt trousers and the label said they were 'lounge pants' which made me laugh, we now (ironically) call his slobs 'lounge pants'. He has answered the door to the postwoman and said she looked a tad horrified!
    I think when you are at home you can wear 'comfies' any time of day if you are unwell or have a need to be comfortable. My sister recently described wearing clothes as like wearing a straightjacket!

  5. To confirm the above he was wearing his lounge pants when he anwered the door to the postwoman!

  6. I really like the term "comfies"...all this time I've been referring to mine (rather negatively) as "fat pants". =P
    In the winter time putting on my comfies also means putting on a big fluffy bath robe I have for extra warmth. My cat loves this robe and as soon as I sit down with it on he gets in my lap, kneads it with his paws and then curls up and falls asleep. Because of this I've started referring to it as "putting my fur on" because I like to think it reminds him of when he was a tiny kitten and he was snuggled up with his kitty mama. As his human mom, I obviously don't have my own natural fur and I'm certain he considers this a failing...until I put my fluffy robe on. =) I'm pretty sure this qualifies me as a crazy cat lady. =D

  7. I am dying of laughter over here!
    I change into my "inside clothes" as soon as I come home, unless I have to go back out again
    Somehow that comfie attire also comes with a hair clip!

    Thanks for a great post Julie!

  8. I'm all about the fleece comfies come winter. Flammable but cosy...

  9. My daughter changes into her pjs as soon as she gets home, I like to wait until a bit later, but yes, comfies rule here too!

  10. hee hee hee oh Julie you've really given me the giggles (huge thanks for this was feeling a bit fed up!) just love the piccie of you in your "comfies" waiting for wine ha ha ha ha , what a great name "comfies"think i'll use that if you don't mind? I would happily stay in my "comfies" all day but as I am "retired" and of a certain age does have to make some effort I suppose!!!!?????

    Many thanks for another great post,and for cheering me upxxx


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