Comfies, leisurewear, house clothes. There are many ways to refer to your current uniform. But the same sweater or shorts can be worn in extremely different ways. How you decide to style your comfortable clothing can effect your mood and productivity. While you may be mostly walking from bed to the couch, consider how you might wear the same pieces to work, while running errands, or when hanging out with friends.
This might seem ridiculous, but it can be transformative for your psyche. For a further lesson in styling comfortable clothes with intention, nine stylists are sharing their dressed-down philosophies. These fashion-minded women are revealing the brands and outfit formulas they love most for a put-together take on comfortable style. And, if you find yourself inspired, shop the edit of comfortable pieces in line with their advice (and bid any items that are one stitch away from unraveling or covered in stains, farewell).
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How to Style Comfortable Clothes: Mix Basics With Elevated Pieces
Celebrity stylist, Cristina Ehrlich — whose clients include Allison Williams, Greta Gerwing, Laura Dern, and Mandy Moore — tells TZR, "My style philosophy when it comes to basic comfy clothes is to mix basics with some more elevated pieces." She highlights wide-leg, '70s-style jeans by Closed as one of her favorite comfy bottoms as well as pieces from Nili Lotan, Ehrlich says oversized knits by Gabriela Hearst and T-shirts from Plays Well With Others (a label she co-owns with Cheyann Benedict) are her go-to's on top.
When leveling-up sweatpants, Ehrlich likes the look of Vans or Proenza Schouler x Birkenstock sandals and has two favorite methods for styling a sweatshirt. "[I like] an oversized sweatshirt, almost like a dress with tights and combat boots, or a cropped midriff sweater, ballerina style, with leggings ... think Flashdance!"
How to Style Comfortable Clothes: Think Beyond Sweats
Beverly Nguyen, a stylist at Kate Young Studio whose clients include Selena Gomez, Margot Robbie, Michelle Williams, and Dakota Johnson, tells TZR that she finds comfort in being pulled together in favor of sweats or leggings. "I don't find the standard 'comfy' clothes all that comfortable or comforting. A favorite if I need something 'stretchy' is my Lacoste white tennis skirt," she said. "I pair it with an oversized Dries Van Noten sweater from my boyfriend's closet and a pair of old Celine ballet slingbacks."
Another favorite of Nguyen's in the "house dress". "Leset makes the best white cotton dress that you can wear at home and feel like Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct."
How to Style Comfortable Clothes: Invest In High-Quality Basics
Elise Sandvik, a New York-based editorial and commercial stylist whose clients include The RealReal, Rebag, Baublebar, Paper Magazine, Design Scene, and Harpers Bazaar UK, tells TZR, "I'm all about basics." The Norwegian stylist maintains a tightly-edited wardrobe of versatile and classic pieces that she can wear again and again. "It's essential for me to incorporate elements of comfort and practicality in my Scandinavian minimalistic style." To maintain a timeless and comfortable look, Sandvik opts for high-quality fabrics and clean silhouettes. Her favorites include T-shirts and merino wool singlets from the Oslo-based brand, The Product, a sweatshirt from Acne Studios, black and white turtleneck sweaters, oversized straight jeans, big knitted sweaters, and white cotton shirts with a relaxed fit.
To give cozy pieces more polish, Sandvik mixes in structured pieces. "Lately, I've been obsessed with cozy sweat sets layered with a classic men's blazer and worn with a pair of cool, comfortable sneakers. Add some earrings and a mini-bag, and I'm good to run my errands."
How to Style Comfortable Clothes: Consider Functionality
Rachael Wang is a New York-based editorial and commercial stylist who transitioned to a vegan wardrobe in 2018 with a passion for ethical and mindful consumption (her clients include Mara Hoffman, Nike, Universal Standard, Teen Vogue, and Vogue Spain). "I think the most important thing when it comes to dressing for maximum comfort is allowing the body's full functionality and range of motion," said Wang. "For example, tight waistbands can disrupt your digestive system, and constricting clothing can reduce blood flow. I favor loose-fitting vintage cotton tees, hoodies, and sweatpants best."
When styling sweats, Wang favors the classic look of a matching set. "I think this look goes especially well with white athletic socks and trainers for the full 90s effect." She also favors a bare essentials way of dressing at home, favoring sweatshirts with comfy vintage jeans and bare feet as well as T-shirts with "your favorite undies for maximum comfort."
How to Style Comfortable Clothes: Coordinate Your Colors and Textures
"My style philosophy for loungewear is matching similar color palettes and textures," New York-based editorial stylist, Rebecca Dennett (whose work can be seen in magazines such as Elle, Allure, Porter, and Vogue Mexico) tells TZR. The result is a luxe-looking outfit that's plenty cozy. "You can pair a cashmere sweater with sweatpants, but try to keep within the same color palette," she says. A personal go-to combo for Dennett involves a pair of relaxed tapered pants from COS and a T-shirt and crewneck sweater from Uniqlo U.
Dennett isn't one to shy away from denim for a comfy look, though loose-fitting jeans are her preference styled with sweatshirts. She recommends sizing up by at least one size. "The extra room in the jeans creates an oversized, comfy, stay-at-home fit."
How to Style Comfortable Clothes: Play With Proportion
"I think sweats can be worn with enough swagger to make a good outfit," says LA-based wardrobe stylist, Sissy Sainte-Marie whose clients include Vince, The Frankie Shop, Need Supply, and Rhode. "Wear your sweatpants a size up and high on the waist with a slim-fitting top and big sneakers and earrings or tucked into boots with a blazer à la Lady Diana."
Oversized proportions are another look Sainte-Marie suggests for a stylish yet comfortable outfit. "Go big on big. Try a roomy sweatshirt half-tucked into dad jeans with a funky heel. A T-shirt is great tucked into big pleated trousers with a belt. A sweater is cute with a pair of stiff jeans with a curve leg shape. Rotate your basics with things that feel a little more special and thought out. It will boost your mood."
How to Style Comfortable Clothes: Incorporate Playful Colors, Uplifting Messages, and Feel-Good Accessories
New York-based celebrity and editorial stylist Sarah Slutsky (she works with on-the-rise talents like Annie Murphy, Crystal Reed, Julia Schlaepfer, Elizabeth Lail, Maya Hawke, and Aisha Dee) subscribes to a comfy clothes code of conduct that centers around warm, cozy, and sustainably-made pieces styled in combination with activewear staples like leggings and sports bras, mood-boosting colors, and uplifting messages. "I love Chnge, they have the best loungewear with spot-on messaging like 'More Flowers Less Assholes' and 'Make Earth Great Again'. The shapes are also fashion-forward, making me feel slightly more put together."
Slutsky also likes to incorporate feel-good hair accessories—her favorites are bows and scrunchies from Shaina Mote—with her balanced leisurewear looks, like a cropped T-shirt and sweatpants.
How to Style Comfortable Clothes: It's All About The Tuck
Neelo Noory is an LA-based editorial and commercial stylist whose client roster includes Nike and independent publications like Cake Magazine, Live Fast Magazine, and Ywywmagazine lives by a "comfy-casual-cool" style philosophy with a flair for nostalgia. "I love wearing a full-on sweatsuit, take me back to being a tot on the playground. Only nowadays, I tuck my sweatshirt into my sweatpants. It doesn't always work, but I like it anyway."
Noory is also a fan of tucking sweatshirts into baggy denim and sweaters into trousers à la the '90s. "I've been cinching the jeans with a belt. Maybe throwing a blazer over it when taking the dog for a walk." With sweaters and trousers, a half-tuck is Noory's ideal for more of a relaxed look.
How to Style Comfortable Clothes: Mix In Menswear & Don't Forget Socks
New York-based editorial and commercial stylist, Doria Santlofer (her clients include Glamour, Self, Allure, Goop, and Into The Gloss), told TZR that her favorite loungewear pieces are from the boy's and men's sections. "Boy's Hanes white ribbed cotton tanks. I wear [them] almost every day. For chilling at home, I love men's grey Hanes sweatpants with the elastic ankle and drawstring waist and my grey crewneck sweatshirt from Re/Done that is soft and slightly shrunken. Put together, they make the perfect heather grey sweatsuit."
For instant style, Santlofer says that socks are the most underrated basic. "It's so easy to add a fun, colorful sock to any outfit and give it a little pop. Plus, it's comfy to be shoeless at home and boosts the mood to have a happy, bright sock to look at."