Review: Stretch fleece by Lands’ End

The softest, thickest fleece imaginable for at-home wear.

hoodieI recently ordered several items in the Lands’ End range of ‘stretch fleece’ garments. These are designed for indoor wear and are not to be confused with the firm’s Thermacheck fleeces in different weights, which are designed as outer garments. I choose a hoodie (£39-£42), three polonecks (£22), drawstring-waist pants (£29) and a couple of gilets (£28 – all prices exclusive of sales).

Polonecks and gilets are pretty much de rigeur here in winter, and I usually team them with thick, wool, knitted ski pants from Adrienne Vittadini, or – in milder weather – jeans over thermals.

I bought the ski pants in 1996 – ‘l’hiver de moins-quinze’ (the winter of minus-15), still spoken of in terror in these parts. After two weeks of defrosting the pipes with a blow-torch each morning, suffering chilblains that left me hardly able to walk, when I got back to London I rushed straight out and bought three pairs of wool pants, which have done me every winter ever since.

drawcord pantsUntil now. The stretch fleece pants from Lands’ End are thick, soft and luxurious – and above all, warm. I’ve scarcely worn anything else since they turned up.

The only issue with these fleece items is that they come up a little large – I bought a 14 in order to get a full set of thermals underneath, and because other makes such as Craghoppers are fairly snug, but the Lands’ End garments are cut very roomy and a 12 would have been fine.

poloWith the stretch fleece polonecks, I also went for the ‘tall’ designation. With the larger size, this has resulted in a thigh-high tunic-style top that is highly wearable all day long.

Pants, polonecks, gilets and hoodies alike are all anti-static, anti-pill and possess around 5 per cent stretch in order to keep their shape. The pants come in black, grey and brown, but the other items all come in a wide range of colours – I chose mainly shades of blue, turquoise and lilac, but also a vibrant orange that feels really cheerful in winter, though you could also pick reds, yellows or neutrals if that’s where your taste runs. 

I love my cashmeres, which are beautifully soft and have a subtlety of colour that fleece – obviously – lacks, but fleece has numerous advantages, not least being that it comes almost dry out of the washer. I can see myself living in these fleeces all winter and I highly recommend them for comfortable at-home or casual wear – definitely a cut above other brands. Available from Lands’ End.  

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