My favorite places to shop for loungewear
Updated: Jul 21, 2021
My entire life has been spent in comfy clothes. When I tried on dresses for my wedding celebration (I eloped so the party came later) my number one hope was to find a dress that looked great but felt like sweats so I could eat and dance my heart out - I found a stretchy lace number that fit the bill. The whole concept of tolerating uncomfortable clothing because "beauty is pain" doesn't resonate with me. In the past, I often I found myself buying very chic and interesting clothing, only to never wear it because it wasn't comfortable. For example, I loved how stilettos looked but I couldn't ever find a comfortable pair, so I stopped buying them about a decade ago and haven't worn a pair in years. I don't miss them. There are about a dozen or more photos of tight leather pants in my saved folder, but I highly doubt I'll ever make that purchase. Prioritizing comfort doesn't mean, however, that I have sacrificed feeling confident or having clothes that look cool as hell. Now that I work from home my wardrobe might genuinely consist more of literal sweats but my vibe is less broke-college-student-who-hasn't-showered-in-a-suspiscously-long-time and more artist-at-home.
I try to buy from small, independent, female owned brands who care about sustainability as much as I can. I am far from perfect and my wardrobe is not "sustainable" by leagues, but I'm learning. Especially during times like now - whenever I go to buy something from a big-brand I stop myself and try to find something I love just a much from a smaller brand and buy that instead. It doesn't always happen, but it's a practice I am working on.
So let's begin with these brands, the small brands!
Small / Independent / Sustainable / Slow Fashion
LHLL - Owned by one of my dearest friends, stylist and creative consultant, Rebecca Ravenna - LHLL Brand ("Little High Little Low") started with just one item - the vintage crewneck. Rebecca's discerning eye and impeccable taste meant she hunted out the very slouchiest, softest, lived-in crewnecks. She took this concept and made it into an entire lifestyle brand. While some people might not get it, or initially pause at spending $100+ on sweats, you need to know what goes into them. Each piece has been meticulously designed for the perfect, unisex slouch. They are distressed by hand. Everything is made in LA, by a small team. For a past collaboration of tie-dye t-shirts Rebecca revealed each t-shirt took four people and several days to make. They care about making small-batch releases, and also give back to their community. For every sale of their signature beanie, one is donated to the homeless community in Chicago. This winter (2020/21), they are donating full kits including the beanie, gloves, and other essentials. I am a proud affiliate for LHLL, and you can save money on every order you place by using discount code "darling" at checkout. My top must-haves from LHLL are the crops, the bowie hoodie, the lounge sweats, and, of course, the vintage crew.
Honest Cotton - Over the summer I decided I only wanted to wear cotton and linen. Especially dresses. In my hunt for oversized, easy pieces I discovered Honest Cotton. Another female-owned, small brand based in California, all items are made from 100% cotton in small batches. The owner is the sweetest and is always answering my questions in DMs - she even offered to replace a pair of pants that I accidentally ruined (I declined and bought myself a new pair). The lightweight pieces are obviously perfect for summer but I am well into the chilly weather in Chicago and am still wearing them, layered with other favorites. Styles I keep reaching for are, The Emma Dress, The Jordyn Jacket, The Laguna Dress, and the Long Frayed Palazzo Pants.
Suunday - Another small-batch brand I found while hunting for cotton dresses, Suunday seeks to evoke the feeling of being home on a Sunday - easy and comfortable. Their pieces are feminine but relaxed, easy to style, and oh-so-comfortable. I live in the Everyday Dress.
Odd Bird - I love a robe. We know this. I'm sure eventually I will do a whole round-up of just my robes! Odd Bird came up when searching for a new bath robe. I fell fast for their Turkish textiles. The owner, Ceren, hails from Turkey and wanted to bring the artisan textiles she grew up with to her new home in California. All their pieces are ethically made from sustainable fabrics. They have a "waste-not-want-not" program wherein they take the leftover scraps to make items line scrunchies and totes. You can buy a matching robe for the linen towels, or a "power suit" inspired by the traditional Japanese Kimono. I own a small handful of items, and can't wait to add more to my collection.
Elische R - Have you ever owned custom clothing? It's life changing - especially when it's affordable. This shop specializes in made-to-order, ethically handmade clothes from Budapest. Each piece is crafted to fit your measurements out of fabrics like cotton and linen. They do take 4-6 weeks to be completed, but they are well worth the wait. I have a few items from their new fall/winter line in the works now, and I cannot wait for them to arrive!
Kara Thoms - On the days I am not doing my slouchy sweats or blasé artist looks, I go full Jane Austen. For this, I wear soft, flowing, gorgeous dresses, like the Bellflower Dress from Kara Thoms. Aside from my elopement dress, I don't think I have ever felt a dress made me look so...good. The super soft linen blend fabric is light and swishy, it moves with grace. The bodice makes my boobs look incredible. I think I have a crush on this dress, to be honest.
Milk Handmade - While not a brand but a store, I couldn't omit Milk. Milk Handmade is owned by Hallie Borden. She opened the store in 2012 to celebrate artisans and creatives who make things, well, by hand. She hand picks every item in her shop, recently launched her own in-house line, and is also a genuinely lovely human being. Her shop has everything from cozy tie-dye lounge wear to the best smelling candles. The vibe is completely "cozy chic" because while she literally sells floral power suits - everything feels like loungewear.
Bigger Brands/Fast Fashion
So, like I said earlier, I still buy from big brands. They aren't necessarily as exciting as the small brands, but they're often cheaper and a bit easier to find. I still highly prefer shopping small, though, because I'd rather put my dollar back into communities and people than big corporations. But I also know sometimes you want to spend $50 and get three pairs of sweatpants you can sleep in and not care if they get destroyed. Balance.
Free People - Probably my biggest guilty pleasure, Free People indulges my boho side something fierce and charges me minimum $128 per item usually. It's criminal. But damn do they get the vibe I'm looking for and I get a product advertised to me on social pretty much weekly (if not daily), and it's almost always something I want (kudos, FP, you're nailing the marketing game). My most-loved pieces are my Haile Sweater Set, Walk on Fire Pants, Palo Santo Pullover, Rising Sun Maxi Kimono, Ruby Jacket, and the Double Cloth Button Down.
Lunya - 2020 was the year I decided to stop sleeping in crappy old t-shirts. I deserve silk, damnit. Luxury sleepwear is the thing I didn't know my life was missing. I hate that I love Lunya so much, because holy shit, is it expensive. However, I will say, the pieces are incredibly thoughtfully crafted down to the tiniest details. The silk is washable. WASHABLE. SILK. Everything has pockets. I splurged on The Robe and hot damn, was it worth it. The heavy, draping fabric clings like a gown. I feel regal in it. It has pockets, an inner tie, an attached belt (so it won't get lost in the wash nor twisted while you wear it, etc), long sleeves I can pull over my hands, and a cowl neck that can snap over the other shoulder for extra coverage/cozy. I feel fucking sexy in a robe that also gives me coverage and keeps me warm. Once I had the robe it was like a drug - I needed more, immediately. I splurged next on the Washable Silk Button Down Pant Set - the cropped button down top is so cute I could wear it with real pants for a night out (lol who knows when that will be an option again), and the high-waisted pants have side slits that are both flattering and functional. The fabric is also apparently thermoregulating, so your body temperature stays comfortable. This set makes me feel like I was dressed by the wardrobe department who dressed Cameron Diaz in The Holiday. The Cool Paneled Short Dress is a revelation - I absolutely plan to wear it as an actual dress next summer, but for now, it's heaven to sleep in. The tiny side slits make it very comfortable, it has pockets (of course), and the antimicrobial fabric means you can wear it more and wash it less. If you shop with my discount code "GIFT-CLAIREL20", you can get $20 off your first Lunya purchase.
Aerie - Look, I know what you're thinking, but Aerie constantly surprises me. The trick is to shop online, never in store. They have inclusive size ranges online, much more options, and zero teenaged sales associates too busy flirting with each other to pay you mind. Their rewards program is actually pretty great (you earn rewards quickly), and they almost *always* have a sale or discount code available. I don't have any photos currently of me wearing things, as, because they are fast fashion, they turn over their styles too quickly - most of what I own is already off the site. But I will said they make great lounge pants and joggers, as well as loads of comfortable oversized sweaters. AE/Aerie is a great place to get a lot of easy basics at very reasonable prices. I also shop here when I want to try something that is really trendy - pieces I know I won't want to invest in the "real" versions of because I will be over them in a season or two.
Places I have my eye on but haven't shopped yet
As I hunt for more new places to discover - I keep a running list of places to check out next any time I have the urge to shop. I haven't purchased from any of the below shops yet, so I can't give any personal recommendations, but they are all on my list!
Thank you for reading! I hope I helped you discover some new places to let you live your best lounge life. If you end up shopping any of these places, tag me on social with my hashtag, #ThoseWhoLounge so we can share our finds!
*This post contains affiliate links