Smooth operator: Cucumber

Teaming breathable fabrics with stylish designs, Cucumber creates womenswear to complement and enhance the perfect work/life balance

Style 30 Nov 2020

Cucumber’s shell button pyjama top works just as well tucked into jeans for a chic daytime look as it does when lounging at home

Cucumber’s shell button pyjama top works just as well tucked into jeans for a chic daytime look as it does when lounging at home

In a year that has seen many of us spend more time indoors than ever, our wardrobes have gone through some pretty major changes too. But, rather than resigning our ‘best’ outfits to the bottom of the pile or for the occasional Zoom call, our clothing choices have adapted in order to prioritise comfort, versatility and simplicity.

No company knows and understands these values quite like Cucumber. Established in London in 2017, Cucumber is a fabric-led fashion brand that uses cutting-edge ‘luxury performance’ materials in its products to make everyday life that little bit easier. Whatever the day may throw at you, from a busy work schedule to fitting in an online yoga class, Cucumber’s quick-dry clothing ensures both comfort and style for the ultimate work/life balance.

A core range of beautifully designed everyday wear, travel essentials and even breastfeeding and new mum staples are all crafted from Cucumber’s signature breathable fabrics. Moisture wicking and non-crease, Cucumber clothing is high quality, sustainable and proudly 100 per cent British-made.

The versatile shell button pyjama top from Cucumber
The versatile shell button pyjama top from Cucumber

One of Cucumber’s standout pieces is the Shell Button PJ top. While many of us have been guilty of living in pyjamas over the past few months, this elegant blouse is designed to be worn both indoors and out. A feminine take on the classic men’s pyjama shirt, this stylish top comes in inky black with contrasting iridescent shell buttons and traditional collar, cuffs with rounded side slits. Ideal for throwing on last-minute or for lounging around the house in, it can also easily be dressed up for a night out. Simply tuck into fitted jeans or a long pleated skirt, teamed with boots and eye-catching accessories. And, of course, it is the perfect piece between the sheets when worn with Cucumber’s matching pyjama bottoms or shorts.

While its versatility is unparalleled, the Shell Button pyjama top — like all Cucumber clothing — has high-tech fabrics at its core. The shirt’s silky soft woven fabric lasts six times longer than cotton and incorporates MST technology, which uses a unique blend of filaments and knitting patterns to move moisture away from the body. It also features Bact-Out® antimicrobial technology that kills 99.8 per cent of odour-creating fungus and bacteria — resulting in less washing.

Cucumber was founded by former advertising guru Nancy Zeffman and fashion expert Eileen Willett, two friends who met almost 20 years ago. The concept was born on a shared holiday while discussing the hormonal upheaval of the menopause — as well as the lack of open conversations and, crucially, solutions in the media and fashion industries. Seeing a gap in the market, the two women searched for the perfect fabrics to form the basis of their brand. It took 18 months, but once the right textiles were found — tried and tested fabrics that were lightweight, quick drying and durable — the rest quickly fell into place, including the company name.

‘We wanted a name that did exactly what it says on the tin,’ explains Willett. ‘Everyone knows what it means to be as “cool as a cucumber”.’