For those folks still working from home — either permanently or for the foreseeable future — this means wearing, well, whatever we want all day. But after almost two years of pulling on the same old comfy clothes, you might find that your loungewear rotation is getting a tad stale. And even if you only wear sweats on Saturdays and Sundays, as we brace ourselves for more time spent largely indoors, you may want to add a thing or two to your weekend wardrobe to spice it up a bit. To find the best men’s loungewear, we asked 19 cool guys about their favorite leisure sets, comfy pants, sweatshirts, T-shirts, and more for wearing around — and even outside — the house, and we combed through our archives to pull any worthy options we’ve written about before. Oh, and if you’re looking for some slippers to complete your look, check out our list of the best indoor and outdoor pairs. (If you need cozy socks to wear with those slippers, we’ve got a list of those too.)
Best leisure sets
The best way to feel put together even in the loungiest of loungewear is by picking up a matching set. Model and actor Miles Garber told us that when it comes to inexpensive, classic sweats, you can’t beat a set from Gildan. “They’re just elastic ankle sweats that you can get on Amazon for like eight bucks, and when they wear out you can order more,” he says, noting that his girlfriend, model and actress Juliette Labelle, also wears Gildan sweat suits and ordered three pairs in navy and black for them to share. “They’re cool because they look vaguely ’90s, which is the best era of sweatwear, I think,” says Garber.
Alternatively, if you want to invest in something made to last, menswear writer and blogger Jordan Bunker recommends Organic Basics. It’s a Danish brand that seems “to have a way of making really simple clothes quite appealing,” he says. Organics Basics is also a B Corp, which means it has higher standards of transparency and accountability around the clothing they make. “I featured the brand in my own loungewear round-up, and I’ve got to say, a navy sweat suit along with a pair of loafers is an easy win.”
While Entireworld’s cotton leisure sets certainly won over their fair share of loungers this past year, guys who love to stretch (and hate to sweat) might instead prefer a matching set from Jambys. The tees and pants are made from a proprietary micromodal fabric that is soft, stretchy, light, and more breathable than cotton, at least according to one writer of this story (Louis Cheslaw), who has worn sweats in both fabrics. Cheslaw, for what it’s worth, is one of a few Strategist staffers who have praised the comfort of Jambys after getting their hands on some of the unisex clothes from the brand.
For another affordable take on the matching set, fitness instructor Patrick McGrath suggests pairing a simple Hanes crewneck or hoodie with the brand’s sweats. “It’s that same set vibe, and it reminds me of Aimé Leon Dore,” says McGrath, who suggests getting a set in black or gray. “I think neutrals are the best for the set look,” he says. “It’s really classic, and you can get a good fit that still accentuates your body even though it’s loungewear.”
Matthew Spade, a freelance writer and content creator at Buckets and Spades blog, recommends a more mid-weight leisure set based on how sweats would fit in the ’90s: “pretty loose, traditional sportswear details, and all about comfort,” he says. “Lots of room in the leg and very boxy up top, nothing too long or oversized.” Spade has been testing a wide range of sweatshirts for months, trying to find the perfect fit and feel. “I’ve found that Camber USA’s matching set of Cross Knit hoody and 12-ounce sweatpants are right on the money for me.”
Reigning Champ is undoubtedly one of the best on the market for terry-based products, says Kevin Kafesu, senior menswear buyer at Norse Projects. The brand is known for its mid-weight hoodies and sweatpants, he explains. “Everything Reigning Champ makes is unbelievably durable, and because you won’t want to take it off, you’ll find yourself not washing it often. But when you do, it’ll hold up ten times better than your average sweat. Buy less but better.”
Tekla’s flannel sleepwear is a true go-to, says Kafesu. “Designed in Denmark and made in Europe using the best raw materials available, the brand has given folks a reason to invest in better loungewear,” he says. And because of that, Tekla’s sleepwear can be worn both inside and outside the house. “In Copenhagen, you’ll find some of the top models strutting about or having a coffee at one of the hotspots in Tekla sleepwear teamed up with a pair of New Balance 990s,” says Kafesu. Nikolaj Hansson, creator of the tennis-focused menswear brand Palmes, is a fan of the line’s unique brand of loungewear. “Their trousers are equally sick — crisp cotton poplin with a subtle color combo. Very pared down but in a way that doesn’t bore you,” he says. “The fit is a breeze, too. I wear them in the house year-round and, more often than not, take them outside in the summer months as well.”
Best lounge pants
If you’re not shopping for a matching set, four guys recommended Uniqlo as their go-to provider for easy-breezy pants, with McGrath describing the brand as a “great place to look for pieces that have a more streamlined fit.” Illustrator and co-founder of NYR Comics Lucas Adams told us that while most sweatpants make him feel lazy, this pair from Uniqlo, which he received as a gift several years ago and still wears frequently, changed that entirely. “They’re cut sleekly, and made from durable fabric,” he says. (That fabric is 98 percent polyester.) But Adams’s favorite detail is that “the ankles are cuffed, unlike other pairs with ankles that are unflatteringly loose.” And while Adams says he would “never go outside in sweatpants,” he says that if he did, “I’d feel confident wearing this pair.”
City correspondent for the New York Times Alex Vadukul is a Uniqlo fan as well. He sees its basic black drawstring pants (which are 80 percent cotton) as a way to adjust his daily uniform of a white button-down and black jeans into a WFH fit. “I’ve been wearing these Uniqlo track pants with a drawstring, which are the same color as my black jeans, with the same white button-down shirt. I haven’t deviated from the uniform; I’ve just kind of loosened it.”
Adidas’s sweatpants were the second-most recommended to us, with two guys telling us about different pairs that have become a part of their loungewear wardrobes. “I would generally never wear sweatpants out,” says Matthew Malin, a co-founder of unisex beauty brand Malin+Goetz. “But I’ve had these track pants with a stripe down the side for a couple of months now, and I find myself wearing them pretty regularly to casual outings.”
Zach Halberg, the publisher of Newest York, also likes to lounge in Adidas pants, but wears a more recognizable style that features the brand’s iconic three stripes running down the sides. “These pants have a lot of great, even hidden, attributes: The pockets have zippers — but so do the ankles, for reasons I have not yet discovered,” he says. “There is also a mysterious material just above the knee whose purpose I suspect will one day reveal itself to me.” Most importantly, Halberg says, the pants are comfortable: “They feel natural with any shirt you’re Zooming in — business up top, working up the courage to exercise down below.”
If you’re looking for personality from bright colors rather than textures or prints, Nick Sugihara, the founder of gender-neutral clothing company Ijji, is a fan of this bright pair from sustainability-focused Los Angeles brand Everybody.World, whose T-shirts are loved by Strategist editors and (other) fashion designers, too. “I’m partial to a classic sweatpants silhouette in lieu of a slimmer fashion shape,” says Sugihara. “These Everybody.World sweats fit the bill nicely, plus they’re 100 percent recycled.”
For something more subdued that still has a classic silhouette, try this pair of Los Angeles Apparel sweats that Chris Black recommended to a reader who asked him about his preferred sweats. “Not fussy, not skinny, and no synthetic fabrics — these fleece sweatpants from Los Angeles Apparel are very Gold’s Gym Venice Beach meets Steve McQueen realness,” says Black.
Christopher Echevarria, creator of the footwear brand Blackstock and Weber, says 3Sixteen makes a great hoodie and sweatpants. “It’s made out of heavy fleece, and the taper to these joints are spot on,” he says. “I own every color of these, and they transition from in the house to out with friends super easily.”
Standard Issue makes Strategist writer Jordan Bowman’s favorite pair of heavyweight sweatpants. “You can choose from a variety of colors, the fit is immaculate, and I really love the fact that the design pays attention to the pocket,” says Bowman. He adds that some brands make sweats with shallow pockets so your phone always finds a way to slip out while you’re driving or sitting on the couch. The Standard Issue sweats have deep pockets so you can store your keys, phone, or wallet without having to worry about them tumbling out. The sweats also keep their shape after multiple wears — you never have to worry about “saggy knee.” The heavier fabric is also really great for chilly days where you’re making a run to the store or walking the dog.
“There’s something about each new CDLP launch and editorial which makes me involuntary mouth — well, this is very cool,” says Bunker. “Their loungewear is no exception. It’s generously cut and uses a mix of recycled and organic loopback cotton.”
Those looking for lounge pants that are a little more mature than sweatpants might want to take this recommendation from Pen, who bought these Patagonia bottoms while on the hunt for a full-length version of his beloved Baggies shorts. The GI Pants, which Pen owns two pairs of, have a built-in belt he says helps make them look a touch more formal. But even though they appear a bit more polished, Pen told us these are still “cozy enough.” For 16 pairs of similarly elevated lounge pants, click here.
If you’re after some lounge pants that could double as work pants in an actual office, look no further than Lululemon’s ABC (it stands for “anti-ball-crushing”) Pant, which features the brand’s four-way stretch fabric. Pre-pandemic, it was the trouser of choice for finance guys who wanted stretchier pants they could wear with suit jackets, according to a Lululemon store employee who told that to one writer of this story (Louis Cheslaw) when he popped in and picked up a pair. “You’ll hit the limits of your own flexibility before you find out just how much the pants can stretch,” Cheslaw wrote after wearing his pair to work from home.
Best lounge shorts
Patagonia Baggies currently sit atop our lists of both the best men’s lounge shorts and the best women’s lounge shorts. Their many fans include Chris Black — who says the five-inch inseam is the way to go — and Strategist senior editor Anthony Rotunno, who says they’re the centerpiece of his loungewear collection: “On weekends, they’re usually what I pull on for the hours between being asleep and ‘getting dressed,’ which, in warmer weather, just means putting a fresh shirt on top of the Baggies and calling it a day.”
Justin Berkowitz, Bloomingdale’s men’s fashion director, says he is a fan of drawstring lounge shorts made out of linen or nylon. He often pairs his Gramicci Shell Pack shorts with a T-shirt for a Saturday morning stroll or a woven shirt for a Tuesday morning video call. “They work outside for errands, and they’re even better for when beach weekends return. In the winter, they mostly stay inside, but instead, I wear them with a cashmere sweater,” says Berkowitz.
These Nice Laundry lounge shorts are a go-to for contributor Robert Khederian, a self-proclaimed loungewear skeptic who was won over by the shorts’ style and “tailored fit.” He adds, “They’re superlight — perfect for warm weather but equally ideal for movie nights on the couch beneath a cozy blanket, which can sometimes get too toasty in full sweats.” Cheslaw is also a fan and, like Khederian, says these shorts can work in any number of settings. The price for the shorts shown incorporates the cost of personalizing them (you can add letters or one of a handful of small graphics), but if you don’t want that customization, Nice Laundry sells a standard pair for $42.
You could say these Jambys shorts are even loungier than Baggies because their micromodal fabric (the same stuff used to make its tees and pants) is more breathable and stretchy than the more technical nylon material used by Patagonia. But the Jambys shorts are similar to Baggies where it counts: They have pockets and come in 12 color combinations including this gray-and-lavender style. Cheslaw has been wearing his pair (which he received from the brand) for months. “Even though I sleep in them every night and live in them on weekend mornings and after evening workouts,” he says, “I find just one weekly wash keeps them feeling fresh as a daisy.” One thing to keep in mind: While you can wear the Baggies or Nice Laundry shorts out of the house, Cheslaw says the Jambys shorts are probably best for lounging indoors because they’re designed to be more like boxers.
Best lounge tops
An undeniable benefit of the current loungewear-as-everydaywear moment is the T-shirt’s evolution from a casual-Friday item to a daily essential. In reporting on the best men’s T-shirts over the years, we’ve learned that Uniqlo’s, like many of its other basics, are a favorite among cool guys for their simplicity and price. Houston-based clothing designer Lawrence Oke particularly likes Uniqlo “U” crewneck tees for their “quality feel, boxy fit, and relaxed silhouette.” Mickey Pangilinan, an art director at Apple, is another fan, praising the T-shirt for its “weighty material and nice texture.” He adds that even though it’s cut boxier, the tee falls at a shorter length than other roomier T-shirts.
For a tee to lounge in that’s cut a little slimmer, writer Max Lakin told us that he picked up “a half a dozen” of these super-affordable Comfort Color T-shirts in black and white, just two of the 75 colors they’re available in. (The brand also makes one of our writer Liza Corsillo’s favorite unisex sweatshirts for lounging.) The tees are a simple thing to put on while wearing around the house, he says: “They hold up to repeated washing, and only get softer with time.”
While discussing comfy T-shirts to lounge in, we can’t leave out Sunspel. The British luxury brand has been making its T-shirts for more than 100 years, picking up more than a few fans in the meantime (its black and white T-shirts top our lists of the best cool-people-approved black-and-white T-shirts for men). Yes, they cost much more than the two tees above, but writer Ken Chen, the executive director of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, says their “insanely high craftsmanship” and “great fit and fabric” makes him believe that Sunspel’s T-shirts are “not as expensive as they could be.” Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski is another fan of this T-shirt, noting that, unlike other white tees, it does not turn yellow in the armpits. “I study this shit,” Porowski adds.
The extra warmth you get with a long-sleeved shirt is one of the reasons many men turn to them, especially in the colder months (or when the AC is blasting). When we recently asked 14 cool guys to tell us about their favorites, Gildan’s tee won out. Chris Black, one of our recommenders, says the “simple long-sleeved T-shirt” is a “wardrobe staple” that “looks good with almost anything.” While he likes the navy, it comes in more than 100 (!) options.
For those who feel silly wearing a dress shirt at their kitchen table but need some kind of collar to signify they’re on the clock, this jersey button-down could be the perfect middle ground. Strategist contributor Chadner Navarro describes it as wearing “a (presentable) bedsheet,” telling us it has become his favorite shirt for working from home because it “marries the comfortable vibe of a sweater with the professional ‘Go get ’em’ attitude of a button-down.”
A hoodie, of course, will give a cocoonlike element to any loungewear look, and we wouldn’t blame anyone who’s looking for that level of calming comfort these days. Contributor Eric Margulies, a fastidious shopper rivaling any on our staff, recently wrote about the ten hoodies he recommends to most everyone he knows and described this one as “the perfect hoodie and the first one I will recommend to nearly everyone who asks.” Details he likes about it include that it’s “heavy, insanely comfortable, and looks good on anyone.” Margulies adds he’s “yet to hear of a single return” after recommending it and that “even LeBron James is a fan” of the style. (Though not because of any tips from Margulies, alas.)
For a more affordable hoodie, Margulies likes this one with “spacious pockets” that’s made from ultralight jersey material he describes as “like good bedding, keeping you warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s warm.”
This sweatshirt is also a splurge, but we’re including it because four different guys told us it’s their all-time favorite crewneck sweatshirt. It comes from Levi’s Vintage Clothing, a popular offshoot of the classic brand that charges more because it makes its products the same way the company did in the 1930s. One of the sweatshirt’s fans — Andrew Favorito, who works in public relations for skin-care brand Tatcha — describes it as “the coziest, chicest sweatshirt I’ve ever owned: The fit is slightly shorter in the torso, a little baggier, and with a looser neck, which together with the vintage detailing and stitching makes it perfect.”
If you’re looking for something to wear over a T-shirt that looks a little more put-together, Nikko Lencek-Inagaki, the head designer for Freemans Sporting Club, recommends this merino-wool cardigan from British knitwear brand John Smedley. “Merino is a natural performance wool, so it breathes, keeps you warm and cool, and wicks moisture to keep you dry. It’s like athleisure that way, but since it looks better, I feel better,” says Lencek-Inagaki. “This merino is a great weight and softness for any time of year, indoors or out.” If lounging in knitwear sounds appealing, our list of the best men’s sweaters has a lot more options to consider.
This cardigan is made by a Bolivian co-op, says Nicolas Lazaro, community manager at Grailed, and it’s crafted from 100 percent alpaca fiber that is naturally hypoallergenic, “meaning it won’t be as itchy as other wools against your skin.” Lazaro says he prefers to wear the Industry of All Nations cardigan on chilly mornings, and “the pockets are big enough to hold your phone, keys, or even a small paperback.”
Lazaro recommends this high-quality knit shirt from Stoffa. “The steep price tag can be justified with their made-to-order process, custom sizing, and transparent sourcing and manufacturing methods,” says Lazaro. The sweaters are made in Piacenza, Italy, by seasoned artisans on hand-operated machines, and “the care that goes into their construction results in a softer, more resilient knit.” The knit shirt doesn’t have pockets, but Lazaro says “the semi-spread collar and gently tapered fit means you can wear this at home or with company without looking unkempt.”
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