Ever wondered how to look good in loungewear? Well you’re not alone. There has been a lot of hype around loungewear over the last couple of years and now there are so many varieties to choose from. Loungewear is a term that has evolved from leisure wear, which often referred to tracksuit bottoms and styles that were typically worn for working out. These days, loungewear is worn to look good, just as much as it is worn for any other purpose. Below listed are the different types of loungewear garments with some background information on each and how to style them. This guide will teach you everything you need to know about how to look good in loungewear, plus some extra styling tips too!
How to Look Good in Loungewear
Over the years I've had a love/hate relationship with loungewear and I believe that I'm not alone in this. While I've always seen the benefits of wearing loungewear, finding styles that suit my fashion tastes has never been easy. Then gradually we witnessed a subtle style evolution with leisure wear. It seemed to shift from being clothing mainly worn by athletes and fitness fanatics into being something that is now considered highly fashionable. In recent years, I've experimented more with loungewear and have attempted to master the art of how to look good in loungewear. I've found that sometimes, adding just an element of casual wear into my outfit has provided me with so many more looks to wear. The first item of loungewear that I learned to love was leggings. Leggings are super versatile and can be dressed up or dressed down depending on the occasion. I have numerous formal dresses in my wardrobe, which don't get worn as much as I'd like. However, teaming a glamorous dress with a pair of leggings makes them easily wearable for everyday wear, in addition to special events. The key to looking good in loungewear is to choose garments that fit you properly and in colours and styles that you'll enjoy wearing. I prefer more feminine pieces, which is why I opt for classic colours and pastel shades. In fashion and life I swing between minimalism and the concept of "more is more", so I've found that adding a striking top or dress to the combo helps to personalise the outfit and make it feel more "me".
The classic t shirt is cut to replica the letter “T”. Generally, t-shirts are short-sleeved with crew necklines. The t-shirt actually originates from naval uniforms. In the early 1900s, a short-sleeved t-shirt was worn by the French, British and American navy as an undergarment. Plain white t-shirts were first made fashionable by Marlon Brando circa 1951. At the time he was considered the male counterpart to Marilyn Monroe, who wore feminine halter dresses and epitomised stereotypical femininity of that era. Marlon Brando on the other hand, represented the ultimate American tough-guy image, dressed in a crisp, plain white t-shirt.
Jean Seberg famously wore a New York Herald Tribune T-shirt in the 1959 film “Breathless”, which suggested that t-shirts had by this point made their way into women’s fashion as well. In 1933, The University of Michigan was reportedly the first university to create t-shirts displaying their university logo. Since then, t-shirts have been a style staple, a means of advertising for brands and institutions, as well as a way of showing support for a team or cause, like with football shirts.
How to Wear It
T-shirts are best associated with casual, fuss-free fashion. For effortless style, wear a t-shirt with a pair of jeans. T-shirts are one of those fabulous versatile items that can be worn with practically anything from leggings, to jeans, shorts, skirts and loungewear.
Cargo pants were inspired by the trousers worn in the military. They often feature oversize pockets, drawstrings and are loose fitting. Over the years, designers have recreated the classic version in every possible fabric available. The beauty of cargo pants is that they have so many pockets, which makes them practical for carrying things, whether it’s your phone, purse, lipstick or keys. Cargo pants were originally part of the British army’s uniform in 1938 and a few years later the American army got their own version, ready for battle in WW2.
Cargo pants, also known as combat trousers, have came in and out of fashion since the 1960s. They are and always have been the perfect form of loungewear, but with a more structured fit.
How to Wear It
Cargo Pants can be dressed up by teaming them with heels or strappy sandals and a statement top or shirt. For a casual, off-duty look, wear them with flip-flops, flat shoes or trainers with a cropped top, t-shirt or jumper.
Drawstring pants are what most of us envision when we picture loungewear. They are loose fitting with drawstring detail at the front, elasticated waist and in a soft, comfortable fabric. They were first introduced as a leisure wear item for men and women in the 60s. It is thought that the design was vaguely inspired by men’s military combat trousers.
These loungewear pants were made famous mostly by TV’s medical dramas, in which the female actresses were seen sporting them during episodes, ultimately making loungewear look cool. It started in the 1970s with Loretta Swit in M*A*S*H, later with Julianna Margulies in ER throughout the 1990s and again in the 2000s by Ellen Pompeo in Grey’s Anatomy.
How to Wear It
Flared loungewear bottoms look great with trainers for a casual, athletic look or loafers for a more feminine style. Due to them being comfortable and easy to pull on and off, they are ideal for wearing to the beach or for casual summer strolls, in which case they look fantastic when paired with flip-flops. Depending on the look you're aiming to achieve, wear your loungewear pants with a hooded sweatshirt, t-shirt or a cropped top.
Cocktail dresses and other elegant styles can be worn with leggings to make your favourite going-out dresses suitable for everyday casual wear!
Sweatpants, also known as joggers, earned themselves this name because they were first created as sportswear. Nowadays, they are worn for sport, leisure, as well as pure comfort. Sweatpants are perfect for when you want to feel as comfortable as you do in your pyjamas but want to be dressed in daytime wear. These loungewear bottoms are made from cotton, terry cloth or fleece. They are a comfortable, baggy fit, have an elasticated waistline and taper down towards elasticated cuffs around the ankles.
Sweatpants first came onto the scene in the 1970s when sportswear companies decided to cash in on the jogging trend of the decade by releasing collections of funky sweatpants and matching sweatshirts. This was the precursor to the nylon jogging suit. Sweatpants were made popular by the jogging obsessed ladies of the 70s, including Jackie O, who was often spotted sporting her sweatpants while jogging through Central Park, along with many other celebrities of the time.
How to Wear It
Sweatpants are not always easy to get right. However, thanks to evolving fashion trends, there are more colours and textures to choose from nowadays, helping you to find something that you will like and wear! Sweatpants have elasticated ankle cuffs, which actually makes them perfect for wearing with platform or stiletto heels if you want to glam up your loungewear. Cropped tops, glitter and slogan t-shirts are also perfect accompaniments for a dressed up look. Plain t-shirts, flip-flops, trainers or even slippers look great with sweatpants for a chilled out day of stylish lounging.
Yoga Pants / Leggings
Yoga pants, also now known as leggings, are lightweight and fitted with an elasticated waist band. They're typically made from Lycra-cotton blends and are either fitted like footless tights or boot-cut - fitted around the legs and flared at the bottom. Yoga pants were the first type of leisure wear that were created with fashion in mind. The brand Crew started a line of yoga pants in 1999, which was their first ever sportswear collection. In the year 2000, Chip Wilson founded Lululemon, specialising in high quality yoga wear, in particular yoga pants. Christy Turlington helped make them popular in the early 2000s when she launched Nuala, a yoga clothing line in collaboration with Puma in 2002. Famous yoga fans have continued to make yoga pants popular, including Madonna and Jennifer Aniston. Among celebrities, yoga pants have been made famous as stylish, yet casual travel wear, as many airport paparazzi shots have proved.
How to Wear It
Although they are called yoga pants, they're not just for yoga or any type of exercise in fact. They're great for yoga and exercise but they can also be worn with an oversized t-shirt, chunky knitwear or under dresses for a casual daytime look.
Do you have any tips on how to look good in loungewear or how to wear your formal clothes for everyday wear? Let me know! I'd love to see how you're styling your looks, so don't forget to tag me on Instagram!
#AD – this post is sponsored by FemmeLuxe but all opinions are my own.