It’s a good time to be a leisurewear label. When the pandemic hit, office attire was out and comfortable-cool came flying back in. And while existing loungewear labels have capitalised on the switch to comfy clothes, others have adjusted to cater to work-from-home life.
Oversized hoodies, tapered pants, crew-neck sweaters: tracksuits, in all their fleecy glory, blur the boundaries between menswear and womenswear.
Here are five Australian labels (and an international one) bridging the gap between his and hers collections.
Sydney-based athleisure brand PE Nation released its first unisex collection, Uni-form, in August. The range includes hoodies, mid-length shorts ($119) and tapered trackpants ($159) in oversized, structured fits. They’re made from mid-weight, organic French terry that’s been dyed and washed back for a worn-in look and feel.
The tees ($99) and tanks ($89) are cut from a breathable, sustainable organic cotton and hemp blend. The colour palette includes a punchy purple, khaki, and black and grey neutrals. Co-founder Pip Edwards says the company aims to level the athleisure playing field by bringing fashionable, functional garments to all kinds of people.
PE Nation’s Uni-form collection is available online now. Hoodies are currently sold out but will be restocked soon.
Patrick Johnson’s eponymous menswear label, P Johnson Tailors, is known for its uniquely Australian suiting. Since launching in 2009, the Sydney label has introduced knitwear, leisurewear (think drawstring trousers, utility vests and tees) and accessories to its made-to-measure collection. And last year it launched a womenswear range, Femme.
The latest addition is a new line of unisex sweats in grey or navy. You can mix and match the tracksuit pants ($275) with a crew-neck sweater ($265) or hoodie ($275), or buy each individually. The pieces are made in Canada with a medium-weight French cotton terry that will get better with age, and each item is finished in Sydney with an embroidered P Johnson logo.
Sir the Label
Bondi-born Sir the Label launched in 2014 with an Instagram-only capsule collection. Since then, it’s been picked up by luxury department store Barneys New York, and its locally designed, ready-to-wear pieces have attracted a strong global fan base. Now, Sir makes its first foray into menswear with the launch of a unisex sweats collection.
The garments are made from 100 per cent cotton with a soft fleece lining and come in three colourways: marle, ivory and black. Each style is available in women’s ($200), men’s ($180) and unisex ($180) styles. Tees and track shorts are also available. Styles can be shopped individually or in two- ($340), three- or five-piece edits ($720), with discounted prices for bundles.
Sir’s sweats collection is available online now. The three-piece edit is currently sold out.
Viktoria & Woods
Melbourne’s Viktoria & Woods was established in 2004 by founder and creative director Margie Woods. The mission? To create effortless wardrobe staples with a pared-back, modern feel.
Now, some 16 years on, the label launches a range of monochromatic lounge sets in slouchy silhouettes. Each piece is knitted and made in Melbourne from 100 per cent cotton fleece and terry cotton. The collection includes oversized hoodies ($220), crew-neck sweaters ($220), trackpants ($200) and tees, all featuring the iconic Viktoria & Woods anniversary print and Woods logo.
Viktoria & Woods’ Unisex 1.0 collection is available online now.
Designer Dylan Best has worked in menswear design at Ralph Lauren and Club Monaco in New York, where he also attended Parsons School of Fashion. He launched Melbourne’s Best Jumpers in 2018, on his return to Australia, with a core collection of off-duty hoodies and sweatpants.
The latest collection features classic unisex sweats in luxe Japanese cotton terry and fleece with multi-coloured wombat prints, or simply the word “mate” ($215). Tie-dyed sweaters ($145) are made and garment dyed in Melbourne. Each piece is constructed with 100 per cent cotton pique (polo shirt material). The sweat pants are made with 100 per cent cotton and come in charcoal ($165), navy ($255) and indigo ($209).
Best Jumpers’ new collection is available online now. It’s also located at 59 Izett Street, Prahran, but the store is currently closed due to Melbourne’s stage-four lockdown.
Ethical label Pangaia launched in 2018 with a commitment to a zero-waste circular system that works with upcycled and recycled materials. Its core collection of everyday wardrobe staples are made from bio-based and post-consumer recycled materials and plastic bottles.
The Seven Pop Colors collection is a range of hoodies, trackpants, sweat shirts, shorts, tees and tanks in a fabric similar to French terry, made from a recycled organic cotton mix.
Each is available in one of seven colours, including saffron yellow, persimmon orange, orchid purple, flamingo pink, celestial blue, cobalt blue and jade green. Prices range from $50 USD for tanks to $150 USD for hoodies. Environmentally friendly dyes and a recycled water system are used to create the vibrant colours. The collection is available for the whole family, with unisex pieces for men and women, and mini-sizes for kids.
Pangaia’s Seven Pop Colors collection is available online now.
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