Why lounge in style? Sometimes, you’re having a ‘home day’ or are on vacation with friends and family. You’re in ‘relax’ mode, and don’t want to put in the effort to look stunning. You also want to be comfortable, right? Those things put together don’t have to mean that you want to look ‘drab.’ There are ‘inbetween’ days; days when you want to look semi-good, but still be ultra comfortable. That’s where stylish loungewear comes into play.
Thankfully, almost all brands and stores these days carry their own versions of athleisure. Whether or not they’re made for working out, you can get comfy sweats or warm-weather knits that are acceptable for going out in public. And, the nice-fitting ones don’t have to be expensive, either.
But, like with all wardrobe choices, the question here is this: how can you look chic in loungewear? The trick comes down to having an eye for elegance and sophistication when putting together your leisure outfit.
Below are our top tips on how to spot the best, chic-looking loungewear:
1. Go with solid colours for versatile lounging
Loungewear can be a fun way to wear prints that you’re not bold enough to showcase in public. So, it’s understandable that you’d find those cupcake-pattern PJs adorable. However, when you want to lounge in style, or perhaps go to the grocery store in casual comfort, those yellow-and-pink cartoon pants just won’t do.
That said, you can get just as much comfort from solid-colour loungewear, without the embarrassment factor.
Solid colours are also a safe play when you’re mixing and matching tops and bottoms. They go out of style less often. And, you can easily crawl into bed with all-black, all-blue or all-gray sweats (who needs happy-face pants?). Solids in this context can make your comfy wardrobe more versatile. They can act as loungewear, active wear, pajamas and even as ‘going out’ wear.
If you really want prints and patterns, opt for classic designs like stripes. Colour blocks and washed-out floral prints can also work.
2. Pick loungewear fabrics with wisdom
Not all loungewear fabrics are created equal.Above we mentioned that stylish loungewear doesn’t have to be expensive. However, it still applies that one should carefully select the fabric of their athleisure clothing.
You don’t want this type of fabric to be too thin, nor made of too much polyester. Polyester can be too ‘sticky’; you’ll find yourself picking off hairs, strings and dust too often.
Spandex and acrylic mixed with cotton, in a jersey-style fabric help to retain shape, since they can ‘bounce back’ to their original size. They also fit your body more closely. Cotton, bamboo and natural fiber blends are also more breathable.
Sometimes, fabrics not commonly used for loungewear can still ‘fit the bill’ here. For example, linen and muslin are soft and comfortable. They’re very breathable for summer. However, linen can be terrible at retaining shape. It can show your knee and but curves all too well if you bend too much in them. These fabrics also wrinkle easily.
Velour (a.k.a velvet) can go in and out of style over the years. While it can be comfortable, and it can add more texture to your look, it’s not always a safe, long-term bet if you’re trend-conscious.
Thicker, warmer fabrics like flannel, fleece or chenille can be great for winter, or on cool summer nights. Take them camping, but don’t plan on being comfortable in them on a hot day, especially when you’ll be in a car or near concrete.
Ditch the terry cloth robes altogether. Save that for the shower or the spa. When you want to lounge in style, pick clothing that can easily be worn in public.
That said, a plush or silk robe in a luxury hotel room while you’re on vacation is perfect to complete your experience. In fact, robes make nice photos for bridesmaid scenes before a wedding. So, they’re not totally un-stylish. They should simply be used in the right contexts.
3. Avoid the ‘baggy,’ oversized look
While oversized clothing can be loose and lovely, it’s not a top choice for looking ‘put together.’ Lounging in style should appear well-planned. Avoid the big, baggy sweatshirts and wide, over-stretched pants.
Modern options are made to be more accentuating, and fit closer to the body, similarly to ‘regular’ street clothes. This is what gives them their high-end appeal.
It’s true that the trend for baggy leisurewear can come and go. Even if they look desirous now, be mindful of how long you plan to wear these pieces, and whether they’ll look upscale in 5 years from now. If not, we’d say: go with the classics.
4. Don’t wear old, worn-out pieces
While we don’t want to encourage waste, we will say that when you want to look good in comfy clothes, you should avoid worn-out pieces. If you’ve had it for 10 years, can’t recognize its original colour and it's starting to form holes, leave it aside. You can keep it for ‘true’ sleepwear, or when you need throw-away clothes to paint in. But, don’t bring it to your hotel room, and definitely don’t sport it while out on the town.
5. Think beyond sweats; dresses and skirts make great loungewear
When we think of loungewear, we often think of workout clothes, sweats or pajamas. However, cotton or linen sundresses and skirts can be equally as comfortable. They’re also easy to go out with, and can look intentionally casual and chic at the same time. You can wear them over bathing suits, in case you’re having a poolside day. Not to mention, they look fabulous with wide-brimmed sun hats and sunglasses.
6. Incorporate clean, quality shoes and handbags
The thing that makes athleisure look so good on celebrities is that they are worn to ‘dress up.’ Those who look good in sweats are usually also wearing high-quality, clean and noticeable sneakers.
And, these days, it totally ‘fits’ to incorporate a well-made leather handbag. These statement accessories replace jewelry and belts on athleisure outfits. Though, the ‘hip hop’ look can still include chains, and earrings of course.
7. Have an easy hair day, not a messy hair day
Lounging in style means that you are still taking care of hygiene and appearance, but to a lesser degree.
You can easily make a ‘messy bun’ look good with loungewear or sweats. Or, for an easy hair day, try a no-blow mousse crunch to create a natural-looking wave (if your hair does that). French braids and tight pony-tails work great if you need your hair out of the way.
8. Get the natural makeup look, with or without the makeup!
It is bizarre that the ‘natural makeup look’ can sometimes require so much makeup. If you’re having a stay-cation or ‘home day,’ we’d say: skip your usual makeup routine.
If you’re insecure about acne or dark eye bags, you can keep up appearances with simpler, all-in-one products. For example, a tinted sunscreen can be your moisturizer, SPF and sheer foundation coverage in a single application. That said, never go a day without sunscreen, even if you’re staying indoors!
If you want, you can also tack on a simple mascara, and you’re good to go.
To conclude: lounging in style is easy when you make the right fashion choices
As we’ve seen above, lounging in style simply requires a bit of knowledge about long-term fashion choices. Loungewear made the wrong way can lose its appeal quickly, especially when it stretches out, doesn’t fit right or contains loud prints.
Not all loungewear needs to be designated as such; linen and cotton dresses can be just as comfortable as sweats. They are also perfect for hot summer days.
If you head out of the house, bring along your cool sneakers and leather handbag. It will make your ensemble look more intentional.
Finally, don’t neglect your hair and makeup, but keep it simple.
Above all - be yourself, be comfortable, and choose clothes that can help you de-stress!
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