Clothing that amplifies movement is less structured, cut a little wider, and made of fabrications that are soft to allow for drape. Clothes that are structured, hard and stiff, do not move at all. 

I worked out why I don’t like to wear bootcut jeans, but love wearing bootcut trousers. At first I thought it was about the dressiness of trousers that made me like them more than a similar silhouette in jeans. But that makes little sense since I bat for Team Faded Denim. Actually, it’s more about the fabric movement in a pair of flared wool trousers, and the lack of movement in a pair of bootcut jeans. The drape of the wool allows the item to move as you stride, while the denim hangs rigidly against the body. 

I thought further about silhouettes that I enjoy wearing because of their “movement-factor”. Full skirts are an obvious example. They swoosh and make sounds as you move. Fluid and oversized knitwear with a welt (band at the waist) moves around the midriff, yet the welt provides ample structure. Oversized pullovers with high-low hemlines allow further midriff movement. Fluid wool trousers, although tapered at the hems, are baggy on the leg, which increases their movement factor. Roomy silk and linen blouses move by flopping around throughout the day. And my new pink man coat moves magically because of its slightly oversized cut, high back vent and drapey fabrication. 

For me it goes beyond feeling physically comfortable and being ready for action. It’s about a sense of elegance and chic that I associate with items that have movement. There is also a sense of “relaxed ease” that dresses down the vibe of formal pieces and amps up the modern aspect of your outfit. And last, it’s fun to wear clothes with a high-movement factor, like a full midi skirt. My happiness factor rises because of a sense of heightened freedom that I feel when I’m not wearing more rigid clothing. 

Of course, I’m also comfortable in and enjoy wearing more rigid clothing items, like straight leg jeans, denim jackets, cigarette pants, sheath dresses, form-fitting turtlenecks, tailored button-down shirts, and pencil skirts. In fact, my new white colour blocked jacket does not move at all, and I love it.

I have grown aware of my need for wardrobe items with a movement factor and how they positively affect my mood. So it’s important to me that the correct mix of movement and structure is reflected in my wardrobe. This in turn affects future purchasing decisions, which is why I’m returning this gorgeous long sleeved Angel Midi Bodycon dress from ASOS. It looked pretty, was warm, and the right length. But it didn’t have the movement factor. And seeing as I already added two sleeved form fitting (motionless) dresses to my wardrobe this year, I do not want to add another.  

Do these thoughts on clothing movement resonate with you? If so, does the happiness factor associated with movement go beyond the needs of physical comfort? Are you equally comfortable in highly structured clothing?