JOURNAL

“Just as Comfortable as Sweatpants”: Stylist Shares 3 Points to Creating the Perfect Work-Lounge Wardrobe

Putting together a wardrobe that is suited for work, the airport, and the playground can feel like an impossible task.

The hunt for flattering clothes that will boost your confidence no matter where you are can be overwhelming.

That’s why stylist and wardrobe consultant Olivia Walker, owner of a boutique studio in London, recently sat down with us to share advice for perfecting our own work-lounge balance.

"I'm asked this a lot during in-person consultations," says Olivia, “I’ve spent years testing out different brands of clothing, trying them on and taking them home.

And I found that it’s actually possible to have an elegant wardrobe that is just as comfortable as sweatpants.

It’s just important to keep a few things in mind!”

#1 Material does matter

“When it comes to choosing the right clothing for day-to-day activities, it’s not just about looking good,” starts Olivia, “Feeling good is just as crucial. And it can be a challenge to find clothes that are both, comfortable and stylish.”

That’s why Olivia recommends paying extra attention to the fabric tag:

“The key to being comfortable all day long is making sure that your outfit is made of materials that let you move freely and breathe easily.

Think breathable, flexible, stretchy fabric.

But make sure it’s got 4-way stretch — the clothes will last you much longer. Cheap 2-way stretch just doesn’t have the same capability to adapt to your movements and will show wear and tear faster.

Look out for an “Oeko-Tex® Certified” tag, which means your clothes don’t contain any harmful chemicals.

Also, invest in clothes that are made from moisture-wicking performance fabrics. This will allow you to move through your day without breaking a sweat – literally.

#2 Versatility and intention is key

According to Olivia, when buying a piece of clothing, women should consider if they’ll be able to wear it for multiple purposes.

“I always tell my clients that if they have one thing in your closet that’s versatile, they can get away with wearing it in different settings and still feel like a million bucks,” smiles Olivia.

It’s also great to always look put together. Olivia calls it “looking like the outfit was intentionally selected, even though it probably wasn’t”.

“There have been times when I had to jump on a Zoom call right after I finished running some errands in my most comfortable hoodie with a few questionable stains. Never again!”

She also stresses the importance of colour when it comes to versatile clothing.

"I would say think about what colours are in your wardrobe," she said. "If you want a more sophisticated look, go for neutral colours like black or grey. They are timeless and easy to pair with other things."

#3 Tiny details make all the difference

When you're in need of a quick outfit, it can be tempting to forgo quality for convenience. But Olivia has found that, oftentimes, the opposite is true.

"Imagine being in an important business lunch and the button of your blouse pops off," Olivia sighs. "That’s why details matter. If you're not looking for them, you might not know if you’re actually getting a durable and good quality item."

For instance, Olivia points out that a pair of jeans with a button fly is going to last longer than one with a zipper because zippers wear out faster.

It's also crucial to look at how well-made an item is — if there are loose threads or seams that don't line up properly, it may not last very long.

“So where do I look for good quality, comfortable, and stylish clothes?”

“I love items that are made locally, in Europe. I guess there’s something in the air here: the style, the quality, the craftsmanship. It’s somehow chic, yet effortless,” laughs Olivia.

“I recommend a variety of brands to my customers, but one that ticks all the boxes for me is Perff Studio.

It’s a Portuguese athleisure and loungewear brand, which makes leggings, tops and sweats made using 50 percent of recycled materials.

They use technical fabrics to recreate classic styles, and I think they’re perfect for on the go.

I love their take on the white button down. I can throw it on after a sweaty yoga session and get my kids from school looking like I was intentional with my outfit. Stylish with a tiny bit of edge!”

Whether you’re travelling, working, shopping or running errands, don't miss the opportunity to look and feel confident.

Olivia’s tips are not ground-breaking. But they are a good reminder of the basics that we should all be aiming for when creating a well-rounded and stylish wardrobe.

Ultimately, it boils down to having a versatile wardrobe. You want to be able to throw on something straight out of bed or off the plane and look “put together”.

After all, you deserve to feel and look your best!

Remember the important qualities when it comes to comfort chic: Thoughtfulness, Elegance, and Confidence.

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