At long last, 2020 is coming to a close (finally) but hasn't it also felt like we've lived a million years in the last twelve months? I know I'm not alone when I say that it's been one of the most challenging and enduring years but it's also given me a lot of time to think, reflect, and ultimately, grow as a person. One thing that's become so much more important to me? Self-care. Whether your definition involves booking a fancy massage or simply going on a walk, self-care has taken on a whole new meaning this year and so has the comfortable-chic clothing that goes hand-in-hand with it.
I'm talking about the live-in-them-24/7 sweatpants and the slippers that feel like you're walking on clouds—aka the loungewear staples that have felt like the embodiment of self-care this year. To uncover more of these comfy-cool buys, I tapped a number of stylish ladies who inspire both my outfits and my mindset. Including stylists, buyers, and wellness experts, continue on to discover their cozy fashion favorites and what self-care means to them.
Chloe's go-to self-care strategy: "For me, it's knowing when to switch off and testing out new ideas of self-care alongside things that work. So I will prepare my bedtime outfit before running a bath with Epsom salts and vinegar (helps with my skin condition), before lighting a Thy.Self candle or one from a local business I am supporting and ensuring that I meditate in the bath for at least 5 mins before getting out of it."
How her definition of it has changed this year: "As someone who works in the wellness industry, my understanding of self-care continuously grows via experiences and conversations I have with a variety of wonderful people. Self-care to me is taking action and making this a consistent practice in order to benefit and fulfill yourself emotionally, spiritually, and then physically."
"In the UK, we call these tracksuits, and I'm so glad that they have finally been recognized and accepted. I am through with societal views of judging people by the way they look and what this year has taught us, is to do anything but. The tracksuit has been upgraded, elevated and misconceptions dropped. Not only can you be successful in a tracksuit but you can do it all, self-care, plus more, and still feel good!"
Shop the matching Pistachio Classic Sweatshirt ($68).
"I'm so proud of my company for making these and our socks. Not only are we able to bring the meaning of Thy.Self into homes and lives all around the world, but we also use the funds to put back into the business and support communities in our network like providing 24-hour confidential talking therapy, free therapy through partners like Black Minds Matter UK and making wellness accessible through events and opportunities for all. I love that I can wear this to Zoom meetings and still be on brand whilst true to myself."
"One promise I made to myself this year was that I would undertake new wellness practices and I did that by quickly introducing fitness into my weekly schedule and prioritizing it. A matching and stylish workout set makes me feel powerful, like a superhero. I am tackling my own mindset, challenging societal views, providing the world with a better understanding of wellness, and doing it all looking like the woman I know I can be."
Jordan's go-to self-care strategy: "One thing that instantly helps me unwind is a good book. Nothing takes my mind off things like being transported through the pages of a really good story. A walk to get some fresh air is always nice, too!"
How her definition of it has changed this year: "When a friend asked me what I do for self-care recently, I had to look it up because I honestly wasn't sure how I was taking care of myself, especially this year. Self-care by definition is "the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one's own health; the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress." And yes - it definitely has changed this year, with the pandemic, election, and racial injustice at the forefront in this country. All of those things have resulted in periods of unhappiness and stress so I had to ask myself what *I* can do about it. I can learn, I can find resources to share, I can find ways to take action. And that's what's made me happy. Knowing that I was working towards positive change. That felt like self-care to me this year."
"There's really nothing cozier than a matching knit set. Easy to wear, easy to throw on, easy to dress up or down. It makes you feel polished but cozy."
"With so much time spent at home, not getting ready, not putting an ounce of makeup, sometimes all it takes to feel pretty or sexy is a nice set of intimates. I love this one from Kye Intimates because it's made sustainably and just simple. Reminds me that less is more."
"This vintage tee is not only super comfy but just a little reminder that as time goes on, we can always make moves to make ourselves better. Improving myself always feels like the best way to take care of myself."
Michelle's go-to self-care strategy: "Going on a long run is what instantly helps me unwind. I have a very specific route along the river that just automatically clears my mind or takes my mind off of things. I was never a runner until this year and it's been an outlet for me to get all of my anxious energy out."
How her definition of it has changed this year: "I think it means indulging in yourself without feeling guilty. I think it's changed this year in the ways that I indulge and just be me. I no longer overthink things, I just do what I want and give myself (or carve out) the space to do what I need to do."
"I have these in Wild Berry and I love the color so much. They're described as slippers, but I see them just as just normal shoes I wear them everywhere and I don't feel like a slob when I do. I'll wear them to dinner without apology. They just bring me so, so much joy."
"Wow. Where to begin with these sweatpants? They've really taken me through quarantine, and I'll always look at them fondly when I reflect on this time. They made be sweatpants, but they make me feel good and I think that's a great superpower of these sweats."
"Getting some fresh air is my #1 solution when I need to take care of myself, it helps me be more present. This Boy Smells x Ganni Park Life candle takes me there even if I can't physically make it outside because of quarantine. It smells good even when it's not being burnt and encapsulates that yummy smell of the great outdoors."
Telsha's go-to self-care strategy: "My go-to self-care strategy is as cliche as it gets, pampering! Self-care for me involves including myself in activities where I can't use my hands so I'm not tempted to check my email and in turn getting my nails done is that go-to, it also takes a solid two hours out of my day. I also love binging different TV series late at night, I just finished The Undoing with my family and watched it in one day."
How her definition of it has changed this year: "My definition of self-care hasn't changed so much as it has now become more important than ever. Self-care is continuing to keep yourself a top priority in the midst of everything happening in the world and aligning yourself with positive energy and understanding. When running a business, it's easy to become consumed with generating revenue or building a social presence, and oftentimes taking care of yourself is left last on the list. During quarantine, I began to take 30–40 minutes per day just for Telsha, and that's a routine I carried outside of quarantine and once the store opened in July."
"When it comes to my closet, anything oversize is the embodiment of taking care of myself and making myself a top priority. Aside from sweatshirts, I've also most recently taken to a pair of R13 jeans that are oversize in style and in fit. They go with everything and they aren't irritating mid-afternoon."
"I've also taken to knit sweaters, dresses, and pants as of late and discovered that not only does the knit stretch but it's comfortable inside and outside of the house."
"My final favorite cozy item is an oversize jacket mainly because I can fit anything under it."
Bianca's go-to self-care strategy: "I love music. Listening to a song can completely change my mood! I have felt this since I was a little girl."
How her definition of it has changed this year: "My definition changed about two years ago when I realized, after lots of money spent, you cannot buy wellness. I had to learn the hard way, that wellness was doing the inner work, making choices best for your mind, body, and soul. I now listen to my own gut and my gut only."
"Entireworld makes the best tank tops. I wear them under my sweatshirts and hoodies as an extra layer. They are also wonderful to sleep in if your central heating is a little too hot."
"My Madhappy sweatshirt makes me happy! It says local optimist club on it, so I feel really proud when I wear it. I feel like I am part of the club."
"The Museum of Peace and Quiet also makes really lovely clothing items that inspire me to focus on the good. Most of their clothing is also focused on comfort so it's a go-to brand for me."
My go-to self-care strategy: A quick 10-minute meditation. In theory, I would be able to do this every day, but the reality is that it's more often on the weekends when I'm less busy. When I am able to though, it's a game-changer for staying focused and present in the rest of my day.
How my definition of it has changed this year: I used to think of self-care as some sort of luxury that I had to work hard to deserve, like booking an expensive facial for instance, but if this year has taught me anything, it's that taking time to do things that bring me back to myself is actually a necessity and not luxury. It looks different for everyone, but for me, it's all about doing things that remind me who I am outside of life on the internet—whether it's setting down my phone, having a long conversation with a friend, or doing some journaling.
Call me biased, but the pajama-inspired pants from our Who What Wear line are my absolute jam lately. They're so luxurious and soft and honestly look so much more expensive than they are which makes me feel like a million bucks.
Real bras, who? I haven't worn a traditional bra in a minute because the alternatives like this silky bralette are just too good.
If you want your feet to feel like they're walking on clouds, look no further than these furry house slides. Yes, they're as fluffy as they look. Plus, who wouldn't want to add a little bit of drama to their everyday routine?