Physical comfort- lots of stretch, no constricting waist or shoulders or stiff fabrics, appropriate for weather, no clutter/extra fabric, shoes with cushioning, no itch.

Psychological comfort-always a fully covered bra (even for sleep), nothing too short/sheer/bare on top, at least 1-2 dressier elements even for casual wear, nothing that feels like a potential wardrobe malfunction, nothing androgenous/ twee/preppy or otherwise untrue to myself.

So much great stuff in this thread - I love how there is so much common ground, even though we all do it different ways!

Sal, stuff that untucks and doesn't stay put is THE worst!

And Vildy, I loved your point about how women have just been expected to wear what we're told - thank goodness we don't live in that world anymore, and may all women around the world be with us soon!

And Angie, even though my current definition of comfort is different, I completely relate to yours ... I think lifestyle has a huge amount to do with it, and of course being true to your own style!

Much love to you all and sorry that I'm not responding to every comment but they are all really fantastic; thank you xx

Things that make me now uncomfortable:
most synthetic fabrics,
pants that are too tight
fussy or too long sleeves
anything bodycon or too revealing, close fitting clothes.
and generally ill fitted clothes.
i still have a couple of toppers that are fitted but not tight, I wear them sometimes but mostly unbuttoned.
Menopause changed a lot for me - my outfits are more fluid now but other changes are due to style and trends preference.

I don't like to be cold, itchy or aware of my shoes. I can tolerate a certain amount of structure when I am not at home but mostly not being aware of my clothes is the goal. My skin is definitely more sensitive than it used to be - I never tolerated cold or heels well.

Uncomfortable to me these days is itchy or scratchy garments and things that are too tight around the abdomen. I have zero tolerance for uncomfortable footwear as well, and I will NOT break in shoes. They either fit and feel good, or I don’t bring them home.

Psychologically I like clothes that hug my body, even slight compression or support, and being kept warm - but I like my arms and legs unrestricted. I don’t like a lot of loose clothing that gets tangled and restricts my movement. Lately I’ve come to resent anything that is unnecessarily heavy, such as heavy wool coats - when there are ultra light puffers, heavy soled footwear - when there are light weight trainers, heavy leather bags - when there is soft, supple and light leather, or fabrics.

Very recently I’ve found my mood affected by the colour of what I’m wearing. I haven’t quite figured out the whys and such, but I believe I may impose a ban on purchasing black items in 2020.

Though I adore crazy Celine D., I can’t agree with her comment! I believe you can be comfortable and look stylish.

I totally agree with the distinction between physical comfort and emotional comfort. I'm another one who just cannot runout of the house in sweats unless I'm actually going to the gym.

Like many, my physical requirements have changed. My new rule is that I don't want to have to 'fuss' with my outfit. Period. So no worrying about the skirt riding high, or the heel being hard to walk in, or the jacket not feeling right in the shoulder. I want to be able to walk out the door at 8am, and come home at 9pm without having had to worry about my clothes at any point in the day. This has been a great rule to make it easier to decide if an item belongs in my closet.

Freedom of movement (which, of course, includes freedom from some movements—hitching things up, stretching my back, etc) and fabric that feels good on my skin, not itchy & doesn’t make me sweat. Basically, no more concern about clothes than I have when I’m not wearing any is my holy grail.

I prefer not to draw attention with what I wear, am comfortable looking nice, but not overwhelmingly and without signaling profession or education.

Gretchen, I like your rule! Borrowing.

I'm with you notsaf - borrowing Gretchen's rule too! Thanks wise ladies!

Comfort for me is to feel well dressed for the situation at hand. For me, structure is my friend and I like dressy yet fun clothing. My feet have to be comfortable and clothing should not be revealing or require any fuss. I am pretty strict about the comfort of undergarments. If a dress requires shape wear to look good, then it is not the dress for me!

Helena, back to give you a high five!

Another one who adheres to the “no fuss” rule. Physical comfort is becoming my top priority in dressing. For me that means every top is soft and fluid, footwear is flat and supportive, layers are roomy and stretchy. Even jewelry must be lightweight and smooth! There is one place where I tolerate a bit of discomfort. Jeans, while stretchy, are fitted so that I’m not swimming in head to toe volume.
Emotional comfort is an interesting concept. I love reading what others have said. I have to be at that just-right point where I’m dressed cheerfully but not loudly, tidily but not stuffily. Arty but not kooky, pretty but not precious. The style descriptors start to come into play here...

I need a few things for physical comfort: no constriction around my belly, supportive shoes, and non-itchy sweaters. I need to not be too cold or too warm, either.

For psychological comfort, it's much more complicated. It's also changed a lot. I like JFE, but I don't like anything to draw attention to my belly. I like my clothes to have pattern, color and contrast. I also want to look at least current, if not completely trendy.

This is a great topic and I have enjoyed reading all of the responses. My comfort levels have changed quite a bit in the last 5-7 years. Like many other fabbers, comfort for me can be physical and emotional. It ranges from surface and tactile to internal and aware.
For me, the ultimate is when I am comfortable in my own skin and no, I don’t mean my birthday suit.....but I have to love and accept that, too, even if it isn’t as sleek, slim and firm as it once was. Being comfortable in my own skin is a feeling of contentment that I have not always known. Perhaps it comes with maturity, introspection, self awareness and self acceptance and even celebration.
Anyway, I know that detour I just took is not what this post is really about, so back to the point.
My levels of comfort have evolved and while I am pretty sure a dash of polish and some structure will alway be a part of my style, I am relaxing into a more casual style, including fuss free clothing and footwear. I want to look good, and be able to live my life with lots of movement and transitions, no itching, no binding, no readjusting and no thank you to wrinkles.
For many years I wore heels, because I loved them and I wanted to be tall. Now I don’t love heels and I don’t mind being short. For most of my life I have come home from school, changed into play clothes as a kid and into more comfortable jeans and tops, as an adult...mostly to engage in family life and preserve the work wear.

Now when I come home I am pretty quick to change straight out of my work attire into cabin pants or lounge wear. Such leisure wear was almost always saved for bedtime. It would not be comfortable for me to be seen by anyone other than immediate family, but we live on 27 acres of property and are surrounded by hundreds of acres of woodland. I can go outside, walk the dog, putter around and have total joy wearing my cabin pants. Of course, my happiness factors stay on until it’s time to get ready for bed.

Mainelady, I love your response, and being comfortable in your own skin in absolutely relevant and central to the topic! Love your thoughts, and everyone's; thanks all

Notsaf/Toronto/Gretchen, did you ever wear unfab stuff like that?

For me comfort means not having to think about my clothing after getting dressed and knowing that I look good and how I want to look. That means well fitting clothes (no tugging, pinching, riding up, sliding down etc) and ease of movement. Over the last year I've also become quite sensitive about wearing wired bras, which is a shame because it makes dressing myself definitely more difficult. I'm still searching for a padded well fitting bra without underwires...

And it's also about clothing feeling good on my skin. I love the softness and warmth of wool and wearing my wool pullovers and cashmere accessories in winter. Not just for the warmth, also for psychological comfort.

Fashintern, not sure if I understand your question correctly, but fitted woven shirts, especially layered under something would fall in that category for me (too much readjusting during the day) ... Whereas I used to wear that all the time and loved it. I'm not sure if that's a change in my tolerance, or my daily activities make it shift and pull more, or what ...

Astrid, yes me too... The minute I'm thinking about my clothes, I'm uncomfortable!

Great thread! For me, I now have zero tolerance for waist discomfort around my post-menopausal middle...which can fluctuate in size by several inches, sometimes in one day.

And lower-back problems plus feet pickiness now mean I am way more likely to choose easy-to-fasten footwear or slip-ons instead of complicated fasteners/laces. And low heels all the way! I used to be All About The Shoes, but now I can’t even tolerate the seams on some socks.

Luckily, there are a lot of choices these days (yay stretch denim!) so I can afford to be picky and not dress like my mother or grandmother, bless their hearts. (I have so much more fashion compassion for the frump factor that can go hand-in hand with a certain age...I get it now, I really do!)

What a great thread, TG, and some really wonderful responses. I love threads like this, although it often takes me some time to find the time to respond (and half the time they're dead or dying by the time I do...hope I don't kill this one!).

Totally agree about the two types of comfortable.

For as long as I can remember, I've come home from work and changed. Everything. As in, when I had long hair, I'd change my ponytail holder, and I'd change my watch. Although my undies would remain

Home life is Lululemon Still pants (I laughed at Angie's post about wide leg lounge pants coming back... I've been wearing mine daily (in cooler temps) since the mid 90's). They are comfy, have pockets, and are presentable if you are seen or need to do a quick errand. Tops can sweats or zip up hoodies. And if I need to go out, I'd often change again. I NEVER wear jeans just to "hang out", and admire others that are THIS comfortable in denim. But at home, I want stretch, and easily washed.

Now, work. Work does not have to be as comfortable, ironically. But like many others, my interest in comfort in the workplace is increasing. I think this is why I rarely wear skirts... hose can be is such a pita. I also think I felt more at ease with myself when I was slimmer. These days I'm self conscious about my midsection, so don't want to wear anything that is tight because I get pooch. Totally an emotional thing, not a physical one. Tightness or fitted is easier to take when it doesn't create muffin top.

My goal? Clothes that can go right from work, to play. Items that are professional and comfy. That launder easily. I may decide to change, but I don't want to feel like I need to. Often these days I'm heading right out to kids activities, so want to be comfortable going from work to bleachers. And one of these days I'll use this goal as a purging tool!

And my word is... "unencumbered". This can mean a bunch of things. The ability to move easily, as well as allowing my clothes to not limit what I want to DO.

Long disjointed ramble, but at least I posted!

Elizabeth, thank you; excellent thoughts! 100% this:


And my word is... "unencumbered". This can mean a bunch of things. The ability to move easily, as well as allowing my clothes to not limit what I want to DO."

Yes, yes, and amen to this!!

I don't know if this qualifies as comfort or not, but for many many years after I got clean, I was most secure when I was wearing sky-high heels with tailored separates. My wardrobe was my armor.

These days, my wardrobe needs to envelop me in luxury. I want softer fabrics in softer cuts. I suppose my wardrobe is still my armor, because I still get a sense of security out of what I wear. It's just that what I wear is totally opposite of what it used to be.

I was coming back to this thread (because it’s raining on the resort island and a bit cold in the lovely pool) with more thoughts that were not about shoes- but Cindy has sent me back to shoes again!
So I think your very high heels being armour after you got clean, Cindy, are the psychological comfort mentioned up thread. For me, high heels were never ever comfortable in any way both physically or psychologically and I feel like a fraud in what I regard as “office wear” or “work wear”, like a feature they do once every fashion season in my magazines. It would make me feel like a secretary, which I have never been.
But back to your original premise Helena, I am with Aquamarine. I don’t find denim very comfy at all but some of the stretchier denim with elastane and an elastic waist can be worn all weekend and be comfy now. I detest pantihose so dresses in the cooler weather are problematic unless I can wear leggings and socks with boots under. I hate shape wear and own precisely one piece- Triumph brand high waisted smoothing shorts which I think got worn once. I decided the cut of the dresses will have to flow over the tummy instead. Elastic waists are best post- menopause for me and shoes must be comfortable but hopefully not frumpy- or at least that *I* don’t find them frumpy even if some people would. I’d better stop because I see I’m back to shoes! I like your new idea of “ease” in your other thread.

Great post, enjoyed reading everyone's comments. I've been about comfort for a long time when it comes to getting dressed. Oddly, even though I typically don't like fitted things, I don't mind jeans and wear jeans and jean shorts probably 90% of the time - and I prefer 98% cotton and only a very small stretch in the fabric. Fit is of course crucial to make them feel good to me. I don't buy or wear "skinny jeans" but do wear slim and straight jeans and don't own any wide legs.

The jeans are also somewhat of an emotional choice I think - I feel that they best represent my life in Texas and in a rural area of Texas more specifically. I can pretty much go to any place I want wearing jeans and feel 100% like I will fit in. Darker, slightly dressier ones for a fancy restaurant, etc.

I haven't worn fitted tops in many years and just never felt authentic in them even when I did wear them. I much prefer a fluid fit in all my tops - button downs, tees, knits, etc. Synthetics are not for me unless it's just a small % mixed in, which sometimes helps the item to last.

Shoes are also key - I want to be able to walk at least a mile or two in any shoe I own. The only exception is if I'm going to a dressy wedding or something and then I will strive still for comfort, but it's not as critical for a few hours in one place.