Lauren Laverne on style: dressing gowns

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I'm a style omnivore: I love clothes of all kinds and I'll learn lessons about what to wear wherever I can.

I'm interested in fashion, but it's very much the herby garnish atop the aesthetic main course rather than the dish itself. This week I'm going to talk about what Cherie Blair can teach all of us about getting dressed (please keep reading). I can't say I often make aesthetic notes when I'm catching up on current affairs – apart from occasionally wishing Vladimir Putin would put his top back on – but on 12 May 1997, when Mrs Blair opened the front door to a flower delivery guy and also by accident the world's press, she illustrated how important it is to own a dressing gown.

Do not mistake me for someone who would dispute Cherie's right to kick back in her Tatty Teddy sleep tee, or indeed to pose on the doorstep in it if she so desired. It's just that she obviously wasn't, and as such this incident illustrates the only question facing anyone who wants to dress well: how to make their clothes an appropriate buffer between themselves and their life. The contents of a person's wardrobe should make them more comfortable (in both senses of the word) and the day-to-day easier; beyond that is all the fun stuff like expressing yourself and the message you communicate to the world. In Mrs Blair's case, having woken up married to the prime minister (side note: would someone please write the romcom that follows this set-up?) suddenly necessitated something more substantial to answer the door in. When it comes to style, needs are the place to start, and fashion should follow.

Obviously the rest of us are unlikely to run into a bank of paparazzi when we open the front door, but having something nice to wear when you're padding around the house is a pleasure all of its own. It's one of the few times when what you're wearing is all about you, and as such is a chance to say something to yourself (whether that's "I'm cosy" or "still got it" is up to you). As the mother of small children, I find that mornings (or evenings with my feet up watching Mad Men) are much more enjoyable when I'm wearing something that makes me happy. If you are minded to style up your downtime, here are a few buys to try.

Good Morning Beautiful and Verry Kerry are great options for ethical shoppers. Both make stunning kimonos in natural fabrics, as opposed to the poly blends you'll find elsewhere (Verry Kerry's daywear is definitely worth a look, too). On the high street, head to M&S Limited, Rosie for Autograph or B by Ted Baker at Debenhams. For simple, chic styling try Figleaves's own label, which is very Calvin Klein, as is Calvin Klein. Or invest in a cute jersey piece from Eberjey at Net a Porter.

Powered by article was written by Lauren Laverne, for The Observer on Sunday 4th August 2013 07.00 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010