No longer the preserve of towels and bathrobes, terrycloth, also known as 'towelling fabric' or 'terry cotton', is having a major moment as the fabric of choice for everyday attire. It may be a result of the increasing amount of time we're spending at home and a growing desire for comfortable and practical loungewear, but the past few months have certainly seen a surge in brands opting to use terrycloth across their collections. The fabric, which is soft, lightweight and breathable, makes for the perfect material for casual garments like jumpers, shorts, sweatpants and polo shirts.

What exactly is terrycloth?

The word ‘terrycloth’ comes from the French word tirer, which translates as ‘to pull’ or 'to draw out', referring to the weaving technique. The most common type of terrycloth used in garment making is French terry. It is usually woven from 100% cotton, with one of the sides flat and smooth, while the other face, worn against the skin, features a series of cross loops. Terrycloth's origins in menswear date back to the 1920s, when it gained popularity as a go-to fabric for athletic wear, before taking off as a staple of luxury resort wear.

5 terrycloth pieces we love right now

Uniforms for the Dedicated French Terry Rollneck

Made from 100% organic cotton, Uniforms for the Dedicated's French terry rollneck sweater is as comfy as they come. It's the perfect piece for these tricky transitional months, ideal for layering under a denim jacket and teaming with chinos and boots.

Neutrale Cement Zip Hoodie

Spanish label Neutrale is renowned for its sustainable staples, like this ultra cosy organic terry cotton hoodie, which is perfect for lounging around in or wearing out and about as part of a casual weekend uniform with selvedge jeans and your go-to pair of canvas sneakers.

Nikben Marrakech Terry Shirt

Made in Portugal from soft terry towelling fabric, Nikben's long sleeve terry polo shirt is a year-round staple that looks just as good with sweatpants or swimwear as it does with tailored trousers. It's practical and cosy but the pearl buttons add a touch of luxury for that extra bit of elegance.

Unrecorded Grey Sweatpants

These super comfy sweatpants from Amsterdam-based sustainable menswear label Unrecorded are the epitome of luxury sportswear thanks to their use of soft yet durable 360 gram French terry knit fabric. Understated and versatile, they make for the ultimate loungewear staple.

Arket French Terry Sweatshirt

You can never go wrong with a plain black sweater and this French terry version from Arket ticks all the right boxes. Crafted from sturdy long staple cotton, it's warm yet breathable, perfect for year-round wear.

For more working-from-home wardrobe staples, read our guide to loungewear.

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