5 Steps For Building A Cozy Loungewear Capsule Wardrobe
New Loungewear From Avocado Has Me Reconsidering My Wardrobe
Before 2020, I was a jeans-until-bed kind of gal. My bras had underwires and padding, and they remained strapped to my body until showertime. Leggings were for working out, nothing more. To put it mildly, I was tightly wound and my wardrobe reflected it.
But as the months ticked by and my waistbands felt more restrictive than reassuring, my style began to relax. Zips morphed into elastics, fasteners to free-flowing, and I couldn’t wash my cocoon of a house dress fast enough to match the rate I was wearing it. So many promotional tees and Soffe shorts I’ve had for decades began to resurface as my go-to’s, but the hole-ridden garments made me feel stuck in the past. So, as a thirty-one-year-old woman, I decided it was high time to curate my loungewear more thoughtfully.
As a matter of personal preference, I focused my search on pieces made using natural fabrics that are neither too scratchy nor too precious to get coffee stains on. I embraced elastics and went with clothes that made me feel good without having to squish my body into Saran-wrap-tight fabrics. And, of course, I looked for quality—because as hard as I can be on my clothes, I want them to last a long, long time.
Once I focused on the values I had surrounding what I wanted from my loungewear, I could dive into the fun part of deciding what loungewear I wanted. So I rebuilt my relaxation garb with a little help from Avocado Green Brands’ new loungewear line—a Climate Neutral Certified clothing brand made in Los Angeles using all natural, renewable, and biodegradable materials.
Here’s how I did it—and some recos for you if you want to try it, too!
—Use code TGT for 15% off your next Avocado purchase—
1. Start with pajamas
When in doubt, start backwards from the finish line. I only started reveling in quality loungewear after I upgraded my pajamas from a t-shirt and cheap Amazon Basics underwear. I swapped in some organic cotton nighties and never looked back—mostly because I was sleeping so soundly. So if you’re new to the loungewear game, start with the PJs first. I find that having three or four sleep outfits is ideal for my laundry situation, but it’s okay to build up slowly. (I re-wear PJs before washing, is that bad?)
Organic cotton gets a serious stamp of approval from me because it’s sturdy without being stiff. Modal, too, is a dreamy renewable fabric that Avocado features in its pajamas—the pants, tank, and robe are breathable, cozy, and dramatic, so I can wear them in any season, in any mood. Plus, modal is seriously unfussy—it’s silky and luxurious while still being as easy to care for as cotton. I refuse to dry clean pajamas, simply refuse.
Bonus: If you upgrade your PJs to items you actually want to wear and feel good in, you’ll be ditching your jeans in no time. I’ve found that PJ time slips in earlier and earlier each day, especially now that the days are growing shorter. 😏
2. Add functional garments
Now that you’ve got your pajamas ready to party, consider pieces for functional layers. Robes that double as dusters, long sleeves for layering, and slips that slip (heh) from naptime to nights-out. True story—I wore my little black PJ slip under a sequin top for a bachelorette party and no one was any the wiser.
So my rule when it comes to adding a piece to my wardrobe, whether it’s buying new or secondhand, is to have at least two settings in which I can wear it. Will I be as comfortable wearing this at home as I would be out in public? Sayonara, stiff denim and tattered tees. The other question I ask myself: If someone were to come by unexpectedly, would I feel good about what I’m wearing? (Note I don’t say *look* good, because feeling good is what counts.) Setting standards for ourselves is—surprise, surprise—actually a very nice thing.
The short-sleeve sweatshirt from Avocado looks pulled together (thanks to that one little cuff, it’s magic!) and works just as well for family game night as it does for your next slumber party—there’s also a cute dress version of it too. Dresses, as I noted earlier, are easy to repurpose for PJs, lounging, and being out of the house so I keep a few multipurpose ones on hand (the V Neck modal dress from Avocado is quite perfect for popping a denim jacket over!)
A linen house dress, if it’s billowy and easy enough, turns instantly loungey with the addition of cozy socks and a blanket. For these pieces, I look for tiny details like dramatic sleeves, big pockets, and a touch of silhouette. I like to avoid buttons for my loungewear since they can be a little inconvenient, and I don’t want to have to constantly sew them back on.
Avocado Modal + Cotton Fleece T-Shirt Dress | $130 Avocado Modal + Cotton Fleece Cuffed Shortsleeve Sweatshirt | $95 Avocado Modal V Neck Dress | $75 Modal Billow Sleeve Shirt | $78 Modal Duster | $172 Relaxed Fit Linen Dress | $106
3. Elevate with texture & color
We love function, but can we get a little form, too? Loungewear doesn’t have to be grey jersey sweatpants. In fact, I feel most like myself when I’m wearing inspiring colors and coziest when I’m wrapped in sensory textures—so bring on the extras.
Layers, woven fabrics, and knits (blankets count) add a bit of versatility and interest to my most-loved pieces. I find myself creating new combos of loungewear every time I get dressed—like pairing sweats and chunky knit sweaters with extra long sleeves I can tuck my cold hands into.
I’ve been especially swooning over knitted matching sets lately, which are more polished (and frankly, comfortable) than my decade-old Victoria’s Secret yoga pants. I’m also slipping into my handmade crochet sweater both at work and when I’m lounging on the couch because it’s just so much like a blanket (there’s a striped rec below if you don’t want to DIY 😅).
Avocados’ loungewear is dyed with 100 percent natural dyes for a range of earth-inspired hues that go easy on the eyes. Seafoam, rosewater, slate, camel—the colors are a calling card for slowing down and enjoying a quiet moment.
4. Don’t forget the underthings
Unlike what other people may say, bras are absolutely allowed when lounging. Just like in life, a little extra support can go a long way. But while we’re all so focused on bralettes, undies are often overlooked. To truly embrace a lounging moment, I’m a firm believer that we need cozy, breathable underwear that offers gentle elastic and a non-saggy/non-riding bum. Does that make me picky?
But changing into new underoos after a long day is actually the first sign to me that I’m home, I’m calm, and I’m far, far away from my email inbox. Don’t skimp on panties (unless you prefer them skimpy) because what you wear underneath your comfy pants does truly make a difference.
And as I mentioned before, cozy socks! I have a pair of “couch socks” that I wear only for movie nights—it keeps both dusty bare feet and dirty shoes off of my new beige couch. Bamboo and cotton are my favorite materials, as wool can be a bit harsher than I like when snuggling.
5. Slip on shoes (if you want)
Sometimes you need to step outside on the patio to water the plants or cross over a crumb-covered kitchen floor. So to keep your couch socks squeaky clean, I certainly recommend a pair of slippers or house shoes.
Look for durability, a little bit of grip, and of course—make sure the shoes are comfortable whether you’re wearing socks or not.
I’ve also pared down all my other accessories and routines to optimize my lounging time; instead of changing my earrings with my moods, I wear my most comfortable hoops every day. I pull my hair back in soft scrunchies, wear my rings rarely, and have minimized my makeup down to moisturizer, lipgloss, and SPF. Loungewear doesn’t have to be self-punishing, bland, or frumpy. You deserve to be celebrated!
The ultimate loungewear capsule doesn’t need to be extensive or elaborate—just find a few pieces here and there that make you feel calm and collected (and that on difficult days you can wear outside the house for a little extra comfort). Maybe you find them secondhand, or maybe they’re already in your wardrobe!
Whatever your preference, find a little drawer or separate place to store your coziest pieces and drop a little lavender sachet in with them. Because of lounging is a restful ritual—set the stage for a clearer head with sensory details like textures, scents, and familiar silhouettes.
Top it off with a cup of peppermint tea, and cheers to finding the softer side of your wardrobe.
—Use code TGT for 15% off your next Avocado purchase—
This story is in partnership with our friends at Avocado
Emily Torres is the Managing Editor at The Good Trade. Born and raised in Indiana, she studied Creative Writing and Business at Indiana University. You can usually find her in her colorful Los Angeles apartment journaling, caring for her rabbits, or gaming. Read more of her creative writing over on Notes To Self!