“Luxury must be comfortable,
otherwise it is not luxury.”
~ Coco Chanel
Coco Chanel was one of the first designers to bring sportswear into everyday wear. She saw the necessity (and luxury) in comfort. One of the many values of making comfort a priority was the freedom it gave women to move like normal people. If a person is weighted down in heavy undergarments, cinched to the point of fainting, and can’t walk briskly due to lagging hemlines, it makes it nearly impossible for that person to function in any role other than standing and looking pretty.
By making sportswear fashionable, women became free to move and breathe and think. Jobs women took during World War I became easier to do in looser fitting outfits. Housework, childcare, and cooking also became easier in clothes that moved with the wearer.
Did Chanel’s Ideal for Luxurious Comfort Mean Yoga Pants?
So, here we are now, nearly 100 years later, wearing yoga pants to do everything in. I’m not sure that’s what Chanel had in mind when she started this fashion revolution. Yet, our lives today don’t allow for a myriad of changes throughout the day. Life isn’t as segmented as it was when Chanel brought her sense of comfort to fashion. We need outfits that can take us from a meeting with clients to lunch with friends to a walk with the dog without feeling overdressed or giving up style.
In my last post, I demonstrated how a simple change in cardigan and belt created different looks for a Chanel-inspired Little Black Dress. My focus for that post was on slightly dressier occasions, like work or date night. The next logical step, for my life at least, was to test whether this same LBD was versatile enough to handle my most casual outings. I wanted to know if a Superman-like quick-change was possible — to go from work clothes to play clothes without having to completely start from scratch.
Below are three looks I put together using the same top and skirt from my last post as a base. I hiked up the skirt to my natural waist, changed out the shoes, added leggings, and switched out jackets and belts to create the different looks. This all took just a few minutes.
I’d say the versatility of Chanel’s Little Black Dress holds up well in today’s world, especially if you stick to her original version of a separate skirt and top. Separates allow for even more flexibility. For instance, my skirt has an elastic waistband, which I pulled up to my natural waist for the casual looks and tugged down to lengthen the look for the dressier styles. The options, then, are seemingly endless when mixed with different shoes, layers, and accessories. The ultimate result is that I never feel overdressed or underdressed wearing these looks in today’s world and I’m not relegated to yoga pants as my only casual option. I simply feel put-together and stylish.
Shop These Looks:
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