STANDING OUT IN THE FIELD
Standing Out in the Field with Melissa + Liam
Words by Melissa Chai
Photography by Melissa Chai and Liam Wilkings
As you grow older, you realize that function plays a big role in your wardrobe. To think there was a time in my life where I would wear a fussy garment and “make it work” makes my hair stand on ends. Coming to terms with a new normal and the constant recycled routine of wake-up, coffee, walk dog, work, walk dog, work, dinner, sleep through Toronto winters made me, dare I say, a bit careless with my daily attire. For context, pre-pandemic, I would never be caught in public wearing sweatpants. I viewed it as a moment of giving up, but my mindset and relationship with clothing has changed. Maybe it’s age? Maybe it’s confidence?
I was a bit hesitant to add another “oversized sweatsuit” to my wardrobe as I didn’t want to play into this Groundhog Day lifestyle, but to be honest, I think I was more afraid of being trapped in comfortability. I have it ingrained in my mind that when you’re comfortable, you aren’t growing. But in reality, you also need those moments of stillness and at the end of the day, we are talking about clothing and how could I say no to an elevated, fun colored basic?
Drawn to oversized clothing by nature, being in an XL hoodie reminded me of when I would steal one of my dad’s favorite hoodies as a child. It brought me a nostalgic feeling of comfort and peace. Liam and I are both not the biggest fans of a cuffed pant. We both bet on the L (usually I’m a small) to get the widest leg possible. I’m glad I did, because the elasticity and drawstrings made the pant fit regardless of size. Speaking of which, the unexpected tartan on the drawstrings was a nice touch and pulled the look together on the green set. Liam found that the cuff on the joggers didn’t bunch as much as the typical sweatpant – something that often gets overlooked *chefs kiss*.
At first glance, I look at a garment as a whole - shape, weight, fit. Liam immediately notices the finer details, a complementary trait. When pulling the garments out from the packaging, he immediately had an appreciation for the subtle embroidery on the sleeve and noticed the screen print detail on the back of the hoodie.
Tried and true, we did everything in the Slow Wear collection for a weekend – walked the dog, cooked, baked, danced, worked, lounged – it felt nice. Mornings start with the normal shenanigans of my skincare routine, prepping my French press, and an early morning walk with Musubi (the pup). Being able to throw on the set made it easy to have an understated moment, remain comfortable, and not have to think before caffeine consumption. I felt put together versus feeling like I was wearing a full slouchy tracksuit – who is she?! Forgetting about what you’re wearing is a good sign. It was as though I was in my element. Comfortable in my own skin, a rarity in the day and age of anxiety.
I find that putting on new garments for the first time is a true test of your relationship with that piece. I grew up going into fabric stores just to feel fabric, its texture and correlated experience. The moment the hoodie was pulled over my head, it felt familiar, safe and natural. Something you could just slip into and go. I tend to skew towards thicker, plush fabrics when it comes to loungewear (for optimal coziness of course), but the light weight weave was different yet easy, breathable yet intimate. A great transition into spring.
Both of us agree that wearing tracksuits walks a fine line of laziness, but putting on Goodee’s Slow Wear, we both found that it was versatile from color to fit. We both found it easy to exchange the joggers for dress pants or the hoodie for a cardigan to create a completely different look. This may not be our daily uniform, but don’t be surprised if you catch us with Musubi in matching suits. After all, the word suit is found in sweatsuit, right?