I’ve long admired my favorite cartoon characters for their perfectly organized, perfectly uniform closets. Think Doug Funnie and 10 neat green vests hanging comfortably side by side, no doubt yearning to be closer to Patti Mayonnaise’s polka-dot sweaters. My closet looks more like something a hysterical Angelica Pickles tore through in the middle of a tantrum—wire hangers akimbo, an aggravated neon green dress I haven’t worn in years shoved in beside a hopeful rainbow of skirts that I believe might one day fit again (as if). There’s no method to my madness, but there is a potential solution: Throw everything out and just wear my favorite Uniqlo loungewear forevermore. I’m serious.
I’m a big Uniqlo fan. I tend to dress in poles—in basic colors like black, navy, and white and jeans for day-to-day and sparkles and neon if I need to get fancy. I get a lot of my basics from the Japanese superstore. In an effort to make my wardrobe more like Doug and less like Angelica, I’ve been trying to pare it down and only purchase pieces I need, want, and love. I recently convinced myself I needed sophisticated sweats that could work for the office (on Fridays) and for Sunday errands because comfort is important to me, but so is maintaining a somewhat elevated appearance that wouldn’t alarm my grandmother.
The first piece to catch my eye was a mock-neck sweatshirt from Uniqlo U, the company’s line of “progressive essentials” that Christophe Lemaire designs in a Paris atelier. I loved the thicker French terry fabric, which lent a bit more sophistication to the piece. So too did its seams, which traveled diagonally down the body and the sleeves, in contrast to other, less interesting sweatshirts and their uninspired, straight seams.
To complete my sophisticated sweat set, I also purchased a pair of Uniqlo joggers whose tapered cuffs seemed fancier than the straight-leg or (heaven forbid) scrunched elastic sweatpants I wore in high school and college. Since outfitting myself in this makeshift loungewear set—I got both items in black, size medium—I’ve found myself wearing it all the time. The all-black look elevates the set even more, and I plan on packing it for an upcoming trip to Paris and wearing it underneath a navy trench coat for my morning croissant excursions.
I’m not throwing away the rest of my wardrobe just yet, but I am relishing the fact that my favorite budget-friendly loungewear is so versatile I’ve basically made it my new uniform. I think Doug Funnie would approve. Shop my favorite Uniqlo sweats below along with some other faves from the brand and more stylish sweats after that.
Next up, here’s what you need when your mini bag is too small for, well, much of anything.