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When winter comes I really get into the whole hibernation thing. You know what I mean? Scented candles, blankets, red wine, pillows, Netflix, stew with dumplings. Think of the inside of Father Christmas’s house crossed with a Diptyque x Habitat x Le Creuset concession and you’re just about there.
Until this year I thought the big love I had for hibernation was laziness more than anything. Like, really Alice? You spend your evenings in leggings and big socks cuddling up to multiple hot water bottles? What a slob.
But then I read about the notion of ‘Hygge’ in Helen Russell’s The Year Of Living Danishly and realised, duh, inside me there’s just a cosy Dane trying to get out. I’m not actually lazy at all!
You see, the Danes (who are incidentally the happiest of nations according to statistics) have a movement called ‘Hygge’ which is apparently difficult to translate into English but more or less means “the absence of anything annoying or emotionally overwhelming; taking pleasure from the presence of gentle, soothing things”.
This little word may be pronounced ‘heurgha’ as if you’re coughing up phlegm (cosy, that is not) but it seems to embody everything that’s warming and lovely about the winter. If I think ‘Hygge’ right now I can see my favourite vanilla candle, a good book, cosy corners lit with lamps, my knitted blanket and, in place of a woodburner, an HD fire on the telly. So modern.
(Try it, I promise it’ll make your evening warmer)
Which is why this year I have been embracing my internal slob, I mean, my internal Dane. I’ve thrown out my old ratty leggings, fixed my bobbled cashmere and embraced the comfy clothes. I’m no longer ashamed of lounging round the house in my PJs (because I have fancy new ones) and I can just about get away with wearing my new Hygge wardrobe on the school run. I’ve realised that you don’t have to wear uncomfortable clothes to look pulled-together, sometimes a carefully curated combo of lycra and jersey work too! And my poor legs, previously clad in restrictive skinny jean denim, are all the more thankful for it.
In addition, as a huge bonus, I’ve noticed since I stopped shying away from feeling lazy for putting my PJs on at 8pm I’ve become way more relaxed, peaceful and plain happy.
Firstly: huge thanks to Verry Kerry for sending me a gorgeous kimono dressing gown to kick-off the cosy living. I usually bowl round the house in a battered Primark number with one of many old and ratty band tshirts and my baggy pregnancy knickers underneath (is it any wonder I don’t have a boyfriend?!), but having such a gorgeous dressing gown to slip into every evening and morning has completely changed the way I feel about what I sleep in. I even own nighties now!
Secondly: get yourself to the following shops. This Hygge-wear is unrivalled, says this reformed lazy slob; here are my picks for the (cosy winter) season.
Short Kimono Dressing Gown, £95, Verry Kerry. Jersey Pants, £24.99 (sale!), Gap. Cross-back vest (I have these in every single colour), £12.99, GapFit. Fleece Trousers, £39.95, GapFit. Nike Roshe Run Trainers, £69.99, Office (I WANT these in every single colour). Essence of Arcadia Essential Oils starter kit, £19.99, Essence of Arcadia (I mix the lavender with coconut oil for a gorgeous before-bed moisturiser). Knitted Jumper, £14.99, H&M (my current favourite!). Clear Intention Pendant, from £185, Rock and Raw jewellery.