If you have found yourself scouring the internet in search of things that feel comfy but not frumpy in recent weeks, you’re far from alone. But finding loungewear that makes you feel good can be especially difficult if you’re plus-size, or even if you’re at the higher end of the “straight-size” range. “A lot of the new ‘cool girl’ loungewear brands only go up to XL, and that XL is really a size 8 or 10,” says Sammie Scott, the social-media manager at Teen Vogue and a loungewear enthusiast. Plus, she adds, “even if the size range is expansive, the pricing is often prohibitively expensive. That’s a problem.” For recommendations for comfortable, and relatively affordable plus-size sweatpants, leggings, and elastic-waist trousers, we reached out to eight stylish people who shared their favorite laid-back picks.
The sustainable, size-inclusive activewear brand Girlfriend Collective was mentioned by several people, including freelance stylist Ansley Morgan, who called it the “holy grail of sets,” noting that the brand carries up to a size 6X and the pieces are well-constructed. “They have only a few styles, but they are tried-and-true, and each season they release them in so many great limited-edition colors,” she says. Model and writer Lydia Okello is also a fan, and likes the brand’s slightly cropped 7/8 legging along with their Topanga bra, a halter-neck top with crisscross straps. “It’s easy to toss a sweatshirt over,” they say.
A similar but less expensive option is this set from Target’s Joylab line, which Morgan purchased a couple of weeks ago when she realized she’d be spending most of her time at home for the foreseeable future. Since then, she’s purchased sets in two more colors (they come in black, blue, and green) because, as she puts it: “It’s one of those sets that you know you look good wearing.” She also likes that the bra is seamless and the leggings only have one seam, which reduces the areas that can rip with wear and tear — a problem she frequently has with other brands. It’s also incredibly stretchy, she says. This set goes up to an XL (a size 16/18), but Morgan, who typically wears an XL or XXL, wears a large. Joylab also has a dedicated plus-size line, which goes up to a size 4X (30W).
Scott is also a fan of sets, but prefers mismatched colors, prints, and fabrics. She recently purchased this men’s pullover from Obey (Teen Vogue art director Emily Zirimis also recently bought it, but in sage and yellow) and likes to pair it with red Fruit of the Loom sweatpants to match.
“I didn’t realize I needed a coordinated sweatsuit until I started seeing them everywhere on Instagram,” says Morgan, who recently added this mustard-yellow combination from Big Bud Press to her wardrobe. The brand, known for its cotton-twill jumpsuits, goes up to a size 5X and is made locally in L.A. “I love this set because of the ’70s inspired details and fun tie-dye bottoms.”
In addition to sets, Morgan is a fan of jumpsuits, which she says are her “favorite thing to wear any time, anywhere.” She’s partial to this one from Nordstrom’s in-house activewear brand Zella, which features a tie waist and is made from a comfortable rayon-cotton blend. “I’ve been wearing Zella for a decade,” she says, “and love this jumpsuit because it’s super-comfortable but cute.”
She also name-checked the Universal Standard jumpsuit, which goes up to a size 40 and comes in black and lavender gray.
Curve model Kendra Martin is loyal to her Beyond Yoga Spacedye Leggings. “They are high-waisted, and fit every body type and size up to 3X really well,” she says, noting that they’re super-stretchy but still thick and soft. “They’re great to wear while I’m snacking in my bed and while I’m doing a light vinyasa flow to keep my body moving.”
Personally, I’m loyal to Old Navy leggings (I own at least nine pairs), which are ultracomfortable, thick, and always on sale. I especially like the high-waisted, full-length ones, which hold me in and come in a near-endless array of patterns and colors. They’re also really stretchy: I typically wear a 16 in jeans and wear a size XL in their leggings; they go up to a size 28/30, or 4X.
A few of our respondents said they tend to go for sleeker, more elevated — but still comfortable — pieces for milling around and working at home, because it makes them feel more dressed and productive. “I am obsessed with tailoring. But when working from home, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to wear tailored clothes,” says Lauren Chan, founder