Where Cozy Meets Chic—A Review Of MATE the Label
This review is not sponsored and contains the author’s personal experience. The Good Trade was gifted this product.
MATE the Label is a woman-founded, Los Angeles-based brand making organic sweatshirts, sweatpants, and basics. Everything is made in Los Angeles and shipped with zero plastic. The brand is Climate Neutral Certified.
The brand’s sweatshirts and sweatpants are made with 100% organic cotton. The brand only uses organic materials and nontoxic dyes for its garments.
The sweatpants and sweatshirts, while pricier, offer an elevated cozy experience, and we love the monochrome set options to feel chic yet comfortable while out and about. MATE has core colors and then puts out seasonal and limited-edition color swatches.
Sizing runs up to XXL (sweatshirts) and 3XL (sweatpants)—though we recommend sizing down for a more fitted look.
MATE the Label Matching Sweats Review
Even before the pandemic, my MO was always to dress for comfort, or to at least strip down and throw on the coziest sweatshirt I could find as soon as I got home. Now that I work from home, sweats are simply my attire. Even in the summer, I’ll put my sweatpants on for a few hours and crank up the AC just so I can dream about the cooler temps and cozier days ahead.
Now, if there is one rule I have about my sweats, it’s that worn-in and well-loved often makes for the coziest option. I don’t want to be thinking about stains or tears or keeping my sweats looking pristine while I’m burrowing myself in for the winter. The mission above all else is comfort. Grunge is often key.
Lately though, I’ve found myself intrigued by the more elevated sweatpants options making their way around TikTok and Instagram. Monochrome? Matching sets? Sweats you can wear with cute sneakers to brunch or while running errands? It’s all too cute and cozy to ignore.
This is how I first learned about MATE the Label, an organic sweats brand making cozy clothes chicer. It’s also a brand that happens to be local here in Los Angeles.
Founded in 2015, MATE the Label, a Climate Neutral Certified company, is known and loved for its “clean essentials made with organic fabrics and low-impact dyes,” which is really just a fancy way of saying they make organic sweatshirts and sweatpants, among linen and other cozy basics. Funny enough, the founder is one of the only women I’ve seen with the same spelling as my first name (hi fellow Kayti with a y! 👋🏻 ), and with almost 400k followers on Instagram, the brand has made somewhat of a name for itself since its launch.
I decided to try three pieces from MATE the Label’s bestselling collection for fall: the Fleece Cropped Sweatshirt, the Fleece Relaxed Pocket Sweatpants, and the Fleece Oversized Sweatshirt. All are made with 100% organic cotton, and the sweats are knitted, cut, and sewn at one of five factories in LA. (Read more about MATE’s code of conduct for fair labor practices.)
In a strange judgment call, I selected the color Bone for my sweats and sweatshirts—all the collections come in essential colors, and then MATE often puts out limited colors as well. Don’t get me wrong; Bone is absolutely beautiful; it’s just absolutely a shade of white. Spoiler: I’m happy with my choice; it’s just as warm and buttery as it looks online.
Rewind to me eagerly awaiting my sweats though—also me dreaming of all the future cozy days ahead. Of course, the dreaming didn’t last long since the brand is quite literally a few miles away from my apartment. My MATE the Label package arrived within a couple of days, all while Southern California temps remained in the triple digits.
Unmoved by the thermostat, I opened the package as soon as it arrived and was thrilled to see zero (yes, zero!) plastic. The sweatpants and sweatshirts were gently wrapped in bone-colored tissue paper, foreshadowing the many days of monochrome ahead. In addition to the wrapping was a brief invoice with return instructions in case I didn’t love my order. (As if.)
At first try-on, I’ll admit I was a little surprised to find the sweatpants and sweatshirts didn’t have the soft internal fleece I’m so used to with new sweats. Instead, the fabric is a bit more like a terrycloth, which I think I actually prefer after having worn the sets. The fabric feels breathable yet warm, lightweight yet cozy. The sweats offer a more fitted yet oversized look as well. Think relaxed and cool without looking frumpy.
My favorite of the three items is the cropped sweatshirt, as it fits most true to size (size small) and offers the look I am after. The sweats (also size small) are a tad bit too long for my 5’3” frame, and I don’t love that I can see the pocket outlines. That said, they fit really, really well. I have other sweats that hug my thighs too much or ride up in uncomfortable places—no thanks— but not with these.
Surprisingly, I also love the oversized sweatshirt, which I was a bit skeptical about. As I have a larger bust, oversized items don’t often fall right on me; but this one fits in a way I really like. It’s a size XS/S, and, while it could be just a smidge smaller, I can see myself wearing this a lot over bike shorts during transitional weather or when lounging at home. Speaking of sizing, I would definitely recommend sizing down when ordering from MATE. Of the three items I ordered, the sweatpants were the only ones that felt semi-true to size.
Last thing: let’s talk about cost. MATE isn’t cheap. $128 for a pair of sweatpants feels a bit outrageous, especially in this economy. That said, I can see, feel, and tell the difference in the quality of these garments. I also understand that I’m paying for organic fabrics that are safer for the planet and for my body. Especially as I plan to wear these a lot over the fall and winter and even sleep in them, it’s comforting knowing that the fabric is safe for my health. MATE offers afterpay options and a price breakdown to help buyers see how much their sweatpants will cost them over time.
It’s safe to say I will be living and lounging in my matching sweatpants this fall and winter—from writing at home to walking my dog to grabbing lunch with friends. It’s not often that a brand can make you feel both chic and comfortable at the very same time, and it’s even less often that the brand is good for your body and for the planet. But MATE seems to check all the boxes. And for that, this cozy girl is all in.
Kayti Christian (she/her) is a Senior Editor at The Good Trade. She has a Master’s in Nonfiction Writing from the University of London and is the creator of Feelings Not Aside, a newsletter for sensitive people.