Responsible Loungewear Capsule – Part 1

Happy Friday everyone! Today I’m excited to kick off a multi-part series in which I’ll be building and refining the loungewear section of my closet. It’s one of a few areas in my wardrobe that I’ve neglected and been unhappy with for a while now and felt this was a good time to tackle it! In fact, it’s been this long, cold, snowy winter that’s had me craving comfy, soft, cozy layers more than ever.

Over the years I’ve invested a lot of time, research and money into my main closet, which has been a highly rewarding endeavour. Now that I feel it’s working well, I wanted to address other key areas that deserve some attention too. I’ve always felt my ‘after work’ clothes were blah and uninspired but never did anything to change that. I figured, who sees it? Who cares? But the truth is that I do and the crazy thing is I end up wearing these pieces almost as much as I do my core closet items (if not more!). So of course they deserve a bit of consideration! I also work late most nights during the week and being in dowdy sweats doesn’t feel conducive to creativity or dignified personal style, which is what I’m usually up late writing about. So I’m shifting gears and investing a bit of my time, some research and a portion of my budget to build a responsible loungewear capsule I love to wear.

Now that I’ve started the ball rolling I can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner! As usual though, instead of going nuts, stocking up too much and buying a bunch of new stuff, I’m trying to be pragmatic and thoughtful about what I need and will best serve said needs. So I’m starting this process with an overview of where I’m at and where I’m headed.

With that in mind, here’s what we’ll be looking at today:

  1. Where I’m currently at with my loungewear collection.
  2. The main pieces that make up my casual closet right now + whether or not they’re working.
  3. Inspiration I’m using to build my future capsule.
  4. My loungewear capsule wish list.

Style Bee - Responsible Loungewear Capsule


WHERE I’M AT


I’ve never been a super casual dresser, even in high-school I over-dressed on dress-down days. I feel best when I’m comfortable but put-together with an element of sophistication. I’ve never thought twice about investing in clothes that the rest of the world will see but it seemed silly to put effort into what I wore at home. But as I mentioned above, I’ve begun to see the value in a well curated, good quality collection of highly comfortable loungewear options. My after hours life deserves a bit of respect and consideration too!

So I’m starting with what I’ve got and taking it from there. It would definitely not be responsible to ditch everything I’ve got and start over, because quite a few things are worth keeping and working well. After re-reading my friend Caroline’s fabulous post on creating a loungewear capsule I was able to pinpoint a few key elements that need help when it comes to my loungewear and those are:

Logistically my loungewear collection is a mess. Different pieces are strewn about in all corners of my closet and I don’t have any designated spot for my after hours clothing to live. Some are in the sweater section, some are with my ratty tees in my PJ drawer (that’s another issue!) and whenever I’m ready to grab something it can’t seem to find it. Not ideal indeed. Going Forward: Carve out a designated loungewear section in my closet.

My loungewear section has no boundaries, meaning, I wear some pieces in my work day, some to the gym, some to bed, some camping and so on. I’m not sure if that’s a bad thing per se but I do think it leads to the disorganization above and it would be helpful, at least for a little while, to relegate certain pieces to one purpose. Going forward: Items in my loungewear capsule are for at home and casual purposes only.

I hadn’t effectively edited my collection for years until I started this process. In my head it was just a mash-up of old tees I wasn’t ready to part with, leggings that didn’t fit right and some crappy sweatshirts that were falling apart. But once I got those out of the way, I could see that there were several items I could work with. Going forward: I’ll include my loungewear in my closet edits so I can ensure it’s staying up to date and lean.


Style Bee - Responsible Loungewear Capsule


MY CURRENT LOUNGEWEAR CAPSULE


So here’s a list of the items in my current loungewear capsule. Most are working for me but a few will get the boot once I have a worthy replacement lined up!

1 | FLANNEL SHIRT* | WORKING | This old oversize flannel shirt from Zara might just be my favourite part of my loungewear capsule. It’s super comfy, easy to clean, hides pet hair, lint and dirt, and it’s just nice enough that I feel a tiny bit put together. *Linked to similar by Tradlands

2 | BLACK SWEATPANTS | WORKING | These were the first (and only) item I’ve ever bought to consciously add to my loungewear closet. They’re by Base Range, a responsible basics and underwear line I love, and they rock. I found them via my go-to underwear shop UnDone which is based in Toronto! The only drawback with these is that they show lint and fur but it’s a trade-off since they’re super comfy and the great fit and thick high waist keep me from feeling like I’m actually wearing sweatpants.

3 | CROPPED STRIPE TEE* | KINDA WORKS BUT NOT REALLY | This tee was ridiculously popular a couple Springs back and I’ve gotten lots of use out of it but after dozens of washes it just fits a bit awkward and feels tight through the shoulders. I’ll keep it for now and see how much use it gets going forward. *Linked to similar

4 | GREY CARDIGAN* | WORKING | This is probably my most worn loungewear item. I got i as part of a collab ages ago and it’s been a regular go-to ever since. It washes easy, hides fur and serves as a nice light extra layer or grab and go house coat when I need it. *Linked to similar

5 | BIRKENSTOCKS | PLACEHOLDER | So these are definitely a crossover closet item since I wear them a lot in the summer but lately I’ve been wearing them as ‘slippers’ since I’m lacking a more official option.

6 | COMFY CULOTTES | WILL WORK SOON | I LOVE these fleecy jersey culottes from Corinne Collection but since it’s been snowing for months and cold as hell I’m not exactly reaching for any cropped pants these days. Once it’s warmer I know they’ll be back in heavy rotation.

7 | OVERSIZE STRIPED TEE | WORKING | This is one of the least ‘responsible’ items I own (it was like $5 from SheInside and it’s definitely not cotton as they claimed) but I’ve had it forever and I just love it. It’s almost a fleece material but it’s huge and slouchy and feels great with a little style thanks to the stripes.

8 | CAMPS SOCKS | WORKING | Except they’re not mine and they’re about 4 sizes too big. I need to invest in some cozy socks that are well made and actually fit!

9 | GRAPHIC SWEATSHIRT | IT’S NOT ME | I bought this sweatshirt when graphic tees and the like were very cool but now, it doesn’t feel like me. I’ll hang onto it because it’s in good shape but I’d like to find something that feels more in line with my taste and style now. It says, ‘OFF DUTY’ and people ask me if I’m a cop all the time, no lie! *Linked to similar

10 | EASY JERSEY PANT | WORKING | I’ve been living in these pants since I received them as part of my Eileen Fisher collab. They’re a gloriously soft jersey and the fit is slim but relaxed and I love it. The only draw back is that they’re black and show pet fur. But it doesn’t stick to these as much as it does to cotton so I can get away with fewer lint roller sheets per wear!

11 | BOXY WHITE TEE | WORKING | I LOVE this tee. It’s by far my favourite in my closet and for that reason it always seems to be in the wash. It’s the perfect length to front tuck and a nice relaxed fit that feels easy but not slobbish. I need to add a few more to the rotation stat!

12 | COZY BOOTIES | WORKING | I received these booties from a Ecco’s PR team last year and while they’re not made responsibly (as far as I can tell) they’re ridiculously cozy and I’ve worn them all Winter long. They’re faux shearling lined so I stay super toasty and light as a feather so I can get away with wearing boots in the house.

** NOT SHOWN**

13 | FITTED TANKS | WORKING | I have a few fitted tank tops I’ve collected over the years and they’re a great base layer tucked into my sweatpants and under my cardigan.

14 | FITTED LONG SLEEVE TEE | WORKS BUT IT’S SUPER LONG | I only have one fitted long-sleeved tee in my closet and I love it except for the fact it’s really long and looks odd over pants and sucks to tuck in. So it might need to be relegated to the ‘camping’ section soon.

15 | BLACK LEGGINGS | NOT WORKING | I have a really old pair of black leggings from J.Crew and while they’re pretty comfy, they pick up fur like crazy and they’re too tight in the crotch, ha!

16 | BRALETTES | WORKING | I have a great selection of comfy bralettes and bras, which I’ve been building for a few years. My favourite is the Soft Bra by Base Range and I’ve been eyeing up this one and this one lately.

ALL SLEEPWEAR | NOT WORKING | I’m constantly borrowing from my fella’s boxer drawer for sleep shorts and have somehow got it in my head that if I can still wear a crappy tee to bed, then I have to. So this area needs work. It might even get it’s own post! 


INSPIRATION FOR MY FUTURE LOUNGEWEAR CAPSULE


Whenever I’m exploring a new area of my style (or any design project) I like to compile some images to bring the ‘vision’ I have to life. It doesn’t mean it will look exactly like the inspiration but it helps guide the general look, feel and colour palette that I’m going for. So for this scenario, a loungewear capsule, these images really stood out to me. Lots of warm neutrals and greys, relaxed fits, supple fabrics and easy layers happening here and while it feels very homey it still has a sophisticated elegant element to it. That’s definitely what I’m going for! Images via pinterest.


Style Bee - Responsible Loungewear Capsule


LOUNGEWEAR WISH LIST


My next step will be to solidify a wish list for my loungewear updates but for the moment I’m keeping it open and flexible since the seasons are changing and I don’t want to commit to too many items or restrict myself too heavily just yet. That said, I’ll definitely be keeping a few items in mind and some key criteria on standby so I stay on track going forward.

The Criteria for each piece is that it be:

  • Responsibly Made – Of course, my top priority as always is to ensure that any new products I add to my life are made responsibly and luckily, loungewear seems to be one area where this is abundant!
  • Pet Fur Friendly – I won’t be holding back on pup or kitty snuggles now or ever so I need to bear that in mind when choosing fabrics and materials. Think greys, neutrals, stripes etc.
  • Comfy Chic – I’ll be looking for pieces that are super comfortable but still very well designed and stylish enough that I don’t feel like frump central. Ideally, they’d be presentable for a stroll around the neighbourhood with Dobby.

The Items I’m on the lookout for are:


Style Bee - Responsible Loungewear Capsule


So that’s Part 1 of my Responsible Loungewear Capsule! I’m so excited to be embarking on this mini capsule and really ready to build a more functional casual section of my wardrobe. I’ll be working away on this over the next month or so and plan to share a full week-long update (including outfits!) once I make some progress in March! 


Now I’d love to know, what are your favourite loungewear pieces?

Where do you shop for your comfiest clothes?

Is there room for improvement in this section of your wardrobe?


See something you liked? You can shop it and support Style Bee by using the affiliate links provided. This post is not sponsored but when you shop via the links above I may make a small commission from a sale. Thanks for your support!

44 thoughts on “Responsible Loungewear Capsule – Part 1

  1. Hi Lee! I’m wondering how you determine some items are responsibly made? Specifically the items in this post from anthropologie and shopbob? Upon first glance, I wouldn’t haven’t thought those were. Are there things you always look for to help you determine?

  2. This is so helpful! I had just started thinking about separating my sleepwear from my loungewear (since I feel like I wear too many things around the house that I would never want anyone else to see) and I would love to see a post about responsible sleepwear.

  3. This is definitely a category where I have room for improvement. I recently bought some navy flannel and plan on making a 3/4 sleeve sleep shirt using this pattern: https://www.purlsoho.com/create/2014/05/04/corinnes-thread-boxy-tee-three-ways/ I’m also hoping to make some linen or cotton tanks and shorts for when things warm up.

    I have a few things in my lounge wear category that are items that I love but look too worn for everyday wear or just aren’t my style anymore. I have an old J Crew merino sweater that I don’t really wear outside (but super comfy) and a a Gap dress that became too worn for out in the world about 3 years ago. I also have a pair of American apparel leggings from maybe 7 or so years ago that are still in pretty decent shape.

  4. Hi Lee! Just wanted to share a PSA that the lovely Everlane sweater coat you wore during your winter 10×10 is actually still in stock 🙂 It’s “choose what you pay” at the moment. https://www.everlane.com/products/womens-chunky-wool-cardigan-coat-ivory Feel free to share with your readers in case others like me loved / coveted it.
    Also, thank you for writing and creating such a lovely and thoughtful space on minimalism, sustainability, and joy – at least that’s what I’m taking from your blog! It really is unique – despite the fact that “minimalism” and “capsule wardrobe” have become fashionable terms, there’s an authenticity to what you write here and I hope you’ll continue to share this with us. I’m a new and dedicated reader, so glad to have found you.

    1. Ah! That’s awesome Tara! Your link worked but for some reason it doesn’t show up in on the Canadian site but thanks for letting me know.

      I very much appreciate your kind words and positive feedback on my blog! Thanks so much! xo

  5. Love this post and place of clothing consideration, Lee!

    A couple months back, I did a closet edit while reading “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” As part of that project, I decided to let go of lounge clothing that made me feel sloppy…and start wearing items that made me feel comfy AND good. These feature a well-loved, grey cashmere sweater along with soft tanks underneath. Totally changed my at-home clothing experience!

    A month later, I splurged on a delightful pair of soft, striped lounge/pj pants from Velvet by Graham & Spencer. Wow. Makes such a difference. When the weather warms, I want to figure out a similar lounge capsule with lighter fabrics and some pj shorts.

    1. I changed my approach to loungewear after reading that book too! I wore tops that were not good enough to go to the street in them and stuff like that. I threw these old tops out and started buying tops for at home wear and casual activities. I also started to wear my long cardigans at home. Why spare them to work only? It is just as important to feel good at home as at work! I’m still looking for the perfect bottoms for home but thanks to pregnancy it is solved for a while. I’m rotating two maternity leggings mde of great material. It’s so good now when someone comes by unexpectedly or I need to run down to the shop I don’t have to change, my home clothes are absolutely fine on the street as well.

    2. Thanks for sharing your loungewear revelations and positive experience Noemi! It’s great to hear these changes have made a great impact on your day to day life. That’s definitely what it’s all about! Also congratulations on the babe! xo

    3. Thanks Dana! SO glad to hear this experience from you and I totally agree that it’s about how you feel more than anything. Sloppy and frumpy is not conducive to a positive mindset or being productive or content at home. Thanks for sharing your experience and how some thoughtful additions made a big difference. xo

  6. Lee,
    THANK YOU FOR THIS POST! 💖
    This is amazing! This is so relevant, I’ve been struggling with my “cozy clothes” as I call them. I have couple pairs of sweatpants and sweatshirts that are super old, but I never feel justified spending money on those things, even though I spend a lot of time in them. Same with pajamas, I usually end up in an old tee shirt and boxer shorts. I do have one pair of sweater material sweatpants I got on sale at Anthropologie that are really nice as I do feel so much better when I wear those! I also found 100% cashmere lounge pants at goodwill for $4 but they lose shape after one wear and literally fall off 😂

    1. My pleasure Kat! I totally get where you’re coming from about spending money on comfy/at home clothes. But it’s amazing what a difference it makes to have a few that feel great. Hopefully we can both make some positive changes in this area over the next little while 🙂 xo

  7. I love Pact. I have their leggings, socks, hoodie, slouchy sweatshirt, and unders. I work from home so I’m in loungewear a lot and I still feel cute in their stuff.

  8. I love Patagonia for cozy organic cotton sweatshirts, tunics, and flannels. They also have nice base layers and socks. LL bean makes wonderful shearling slippers. I also love my everlane Pima cotton long sleeve shirt in black. I have their silk pjs but the bottoms are pretty tiny! Great post!

    1. Thanks for the suggestion Tess! I just heard an interview with Patagonia’s founder and it was so inspiring! I’m ordering the Pima Cotton long sleeve this week so I’m very glad you said that 🙂 xo

  9. I was going to email you and ask for a post on bras in PJs, so this is perfect timing! I love all of your picks. Like most commenters above, I too have neglected my loungewear. I definitely feel more motivated after seeing this post .

    The one thing I’m never able to find is pajama shorts with more than a 2 inch inseam. I’m sorry for the TMI, but I don’t want to wear pajama shorts that make me feel like I need to wax, haha. Every pair out there is so short! I’m not looking for Bermudas, but a little length would be nice.

    1. Ah, good timing indeed! It’s such an easy area to neglect but one that has a big impact on our at home mindset.

      Hahaha I LOVE that you said that because I feel the same way about PJ shorts, hence why I’m always stealing my fellas boxers. Will keep on the lookout for a good option! xo

  10. Love that youre tackling the loungerwear side of sustainable fashion. I do find sustainable loungerwear quite a bit harder to come across than your run of the mill clothing items. I shop mainly second hand and my PJ pants tragically ripped recently. I feel squeamish about buying a pair of used PJ pants, and have been having the hardest time finding a (cute AND affordable fair). Would love if someone had some suggestions for me!
    Great post Lee!

    1. That’s great to hear Mads! I would feel a little weird about second hand PJs (although I bet a lot of them arrive unworn thanks to Christmas gifts). I’ll keep on the lookout for good options that won’t break the bank! xo

  11. Love this post! I’m trying to do the same myself, as I wear loungewear all the time at home, and still like to look decent! Will definitely be checking out some of these options. I have a yellow lab and a calico cat, so I’ve given up on the whole fur thing – no matter what I wear, it will get animal fur on it, and that’s just the way it is!

    1. Thanks Stacy! Oh man, I probably need to just give up on the fur thing too haha. If I can get some better camouflage in my life (instead of all black) that will help! xo

  12. I have two pairs of Maggie’s Organics wool camp socks that I absolutely love and wear for some portion of almost every single day when it’s cold. This is my third winter with them and although the wool needs a shave, they’re in great shape. Maggie’s is very forthcoming about their fair trade policy, so they’re a good ethical option if you need one. Good luck! 🙂 it’s funny, I’m realizing how much I’ve geared my normal wardrobe toward feeling like loungewear but looking put together…partly because I’d just rather wear jeans almost always, and partly because my clothing has to accommodate mom life in a big way. Hey, best to embrace our seasons, right? 🙂

    1. Hannah, thanks for the lead on Maggie’s Organic Wool Socks, I LOVE the look of those and they’re definitely going on my list of sock suppliers 🙂 Sounds like you’ve got a good thing going! I imagine my main closet will be taking notes from my loungewear section once it gets better too. xo

  13. I’ve been working on this too, haha. I still have a pair of flannel pj pants that I’ve had since I was 12. 😂 But they’re so comfy I can’t get rid of them.
    I recently edited my sleep shirt collection and got rid of the ones that weren’t the comfiest or had sentimental value. There are still too many though!

    1. I know, it’s so hard to let some of those old ones go! Maybe you can store them somewhere else so they don’t clutter up your proper sleep/lounge wear options? Then If you don’t touch them for a year or so you’ll know it’s time to let them go for good. xo

  14. Hi Lee! I have a recommendation for your grey lounge pants. I’ve had these American apparel pants for literally 6.5 years and still wear them a few times a week. They’re slim at first but relax as the material stretches. They used to have a heather grey (which is the pair I’ve had for so long) but I also have the heather black and they’re a great deep charcoal color. Hope this helps! 🙂

    http://store.americanapparel.net/en/tri-blend-leisure-pant_rsatr334?c=Tri-Black

  15. A big shift for me in buying lounge wear is in switching to buying something specifically to wear when lounging at home rather than having the collection be made up completely of sad old stuff that I don’t like to wear out of the house. Realizing that since I spend a good chunk of time at home in the evenings helped me see it was ok to buy stuff for it specifically.

    I’m still doing some work on my collection (mainly I need to get rid of stuff that isn’t working and add only one or two more things) but its gotten a whole lot better with just a couple of things I actually like in it 🙂 A couple pairs of leggings I like, a cowl neck sweatshirt, and a fleece lined flannel are my main lounge wear during the winter.

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience Tawny! I think it definitely takes a mindset shift to see the value in having loungewear you feel good in. Love hearing that you’ve found some pieces you like that are making a positive difference! xo

  16. So glad to see this post! I’ve been having the exact same thoughts, especially since I now work from home and some days my “real” clothes don’t see the light of day. Thanks for the inspiration! Looking forward to seeing what you end up with.

    1. Thanks Carly! So glad to hear you’re on the same page 🙂 I know what you mean about ‘real’ clothes never making it out on some busy working from home days! xo

  17. So glad you’re doing this series! The loungewear/PJ section of my closet is a complete trainwreck, and now I’m inspired to start editing it down and really consider the pieces in it and how they’re working for me (if at all). I’ve noticed that almost all my lounge/PJ-wear is seriously frumptastic… I think you’re totally right: “My after hours life deserves a bit of respect and consideration too!” Looking forward to working on this very-neglected part of my closet.

    1. Thanks Hilary! Happy to hear this series is coming along at a good time for you 🙂 Your comment on ‘frumptastic’ loungewear rings very true for me too haha! xo

  18. After caroline’s post I started thinking about a loungewear capsule but I’m not so sure I actually wear lounger wear. At work I wear scrubs so off duty I like to dress up a little. The closest to lounge wear is maybe for the journey to and from work and the 30 mins at the start and end of each day/nightshift when I’m home and awake. For that I like to be warm and comfy so leggings (totally unethical but Primark cosy leggings are the very softest and warmest I’ve found, must look for a more sustainable options) or cashmere joggers and a long tunic jumper (wool/ cashmere/ alpaca) with a thermal base under in winter and wool socks. I did get a fleece but its made its way to the camping/ hiking section as I prefer natural fibres

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this concept Rachel! You’re in a unique position I think since your job calls for a very casual uniform and I can totally see wanting to dress up a bit. Your descriptions of your cozy pieces has me dreaming of some soft dreamy layers like those! Will keep an eye out for some warm, soft ethically made leggings too! xo

  19. My Loungewear Wardrobe rests on two major pillars: Thermal Long Sleeves and Thick Socks. I live in Detroit (just across the river from Ontario!) and our apartment’s floor to ceiling windows are terribly insulated. It is absolutely FREEZING in the winter. In the worst of it, it’s not uncommon for me to layer a thermal long sleeve under a cable knit sweater, leggings, two pairs of socks, and slippers. The area where my wardrobe is lacking the most is in the pants department. Sad leggings (too thin…a little transparent…yikes) and Christmas flannel pj pants. I have one pair of presentable sweatpants that allow for one glorious day of chic relaxation, but once they’re in the laundry, it’s a sad scene.

    I’m so excited for the rest of this series!

    1. Thanks for this candid input Claire! I totally hear you on the cold winter and cold apartment. Before we renovated our house had no insulation and it was awful! I used to have to go to bed in the outfit you described and slowly peel off layers as I warmed up throughout the night. Not ideal! Oh Yes, I meant to make a note about how I’m only ever good for a day or two post laundry and then it gets weird again. Hopefully it warms up in Detroit soon! xo

  20. I saw a sneak peek of this post on Instagram and was so excited for it. I have a few loungewear pieces that I love and get so much use out of . But aside from those few I feel kind of ‘meh’ about everything else. I get stuck in the same ‘well no one sees them anyway’ mindset.

    My first focus for loungewear is going to be tops. I often end up wearing old t shirts or buying sale items that I like the fit of but the color is wrong (always the kind of weird sale colors, but I tell myself no one in public will see it anyway).

    Thanks for the post Lee!

  21. Oh! Do you know where the grey pants your have pictured (the ones with the slightly darker band along the waist and ankle) are from. Those look perfect.

    I’m also looking for nicer lounge wear and I like your inspirations.

    1. Thanks! Aren’t they glorious? They’re an old pair by Lauren Manoogian. Sadly I couldn’t find them available anywhere since they’re from a few seasons back. Keeping an eye out though! Xo

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