Wearing you makes me feel oh so good
May 29, 2014 7:11 AM   Subscribe

Things that feel great to wear...what are they? I value comfort immensely when it comes to clothing, but I also want to feel confident in what I'm wearing. I'm okay with suggestions for casual wear, but I have a much harder time finding comfortable clothing that's both stylish and dressy/professional.

Things I've found feel good to wear:

- maxi skirts (both super comfortable, yet dressy and rather elegant)
- thong sandals with a suede footbed (not super comfortable in an orthopedic way, but feels good against my skin)
- wireless contour bras
- Commando tights (the tights I wore before I found these were "control top" and I felt at the end of the day like I was going to kill someone)

I would love to pull off slouchy pants/capris, but all of the photos of women I see wearing them also show them wearing high heels. The only high heel I could ever wear would be a wedge, and even then, I would kind of feel like an imposter.

I've also found the sporty dresses from Title Nine or Horny Toad to be a perfect fit for the comfortable but somewhat dressy conundrum.
posted by okay-quiet-time to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (23 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
I love wearing camisoles, they are soft and don't show under shirts,cover up too much cleavage and but crack if one does not desire to show to much. I wear them under button down shirts so gaping between buttons won't be such a problem. I just feel safer in my wardrobe and can buy items that I couldn't normally wear with a larger bust.
posted by waving at 7:21 AM on May 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

I find TOMS to be crazy comfy--and not just the traditional looking casual TOMS. I have some sandals and wedge booties and have worn their ballet flats too. They are all so comfy.

I prefer blouses in rayon because they don't cling like jersey or silk.
posted by greta simone at 7:27 AM on May 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

Get an all-season wool suit and have it tailored so that it lays correctly on your shape even without a belt, and so that the hem is well-suited to your favorite style of professional shoe. bonus points if it has generous function pockets. tailoring though...this is so essential. i was always uncomfortable before i got things tailored and now i wear a suit and it feels like i have pajamas on because i'm not worried about my clothes looking wrong or feeling too loose/too tight.

oh, and: under the jacket i like the cowl-neck style jersey tops that calvin klein and other companies make. they are soft and flattering and don't show bra straps and i find them very comfortable but always professional and never awkwardly low cut.
posted by zdravo at 7:29 AM on May 29, 2014 [3 favorites]

Not sure if they are still made of the same material, but about 5 years ago I *lived* in the black slacks that Banana Republic made, because they were oh-so-trickily made out of what can only be described as very thick yoga-pants material. They looked very dressy--you could have gotten away with them in a very corporate office--but you could also close your door and easily run through a sun salutation with them on. Probably some of the most comfortable pants I've ever worn.
posted by iminurmefi at 7:32 AM on May 29, 2014

I'm in love with knit blazers, which are everywhere right now. They add a little bit of put-together-ness to your wardrobe, but they're as comfortable as hoodies and don't require special care.

Ponte knit anything is good to look out for: it's heftier and dressier than jersey, but still comfortable.
posted by Metroid Baby at 7:36 AM on May 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Silk! A good silk button up shirt is somewhat high maintenance in terms of cleaning, but makes you feel like you are wearing amazing comfy pajamas made out of unicorn hair all day AND looks very fancy.
posted by EmilyFlew at 7:38 AM on May 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

Cotton undies which really fit. Took some annoying research for me, but they're out there. Eliminating three bumpy seams really helps.

"Diabetic socks" are completely seamless on the inside.
posted by Jesse the K at 7:39 AM on May 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Cardigans. They're as comfy as a hoodie/sweatshirt but look more professional. I like them in cotton or a cotton blend but you can buy them in a material that will feel good to you.
posted by Lay Off The Books at 7:49 AM on May 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Anything made out of modal--imagine the oldest, best, most-worn-in, softest t-shirt you ever owned, and it's basically that feeling. I think it's common as a material for pajamas but I have a few going-out tops too (that I....sometimes also sleep in).
posted by lovableiago at 8:17 AM on May 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

Also--since I somehow missed the part about dressy/professional: Wrap dresses for the win. I bought a bunch and they basically make up half my work wardrobe.
posted by lovableiago at 8:18 AM on May 29, 2014 [3 favorites]

Khaki-style pants can be super comfy but also are acceptable to wear to work. I've got some Dockers (in red and purple) and some Old Navy (in black and traditional khaki) that fit well and feel good.

As far as comfort shoes go, Dansko, Sanita, and Alegria are very comfortable and have some styles that look great and can be work to work. Also Crocs have come out with flats that don't look like Crocs and are so amazingly comfy that I could run a 5K in them.

Seconding cardigans, I have about 5 different colors/patterns that I can use to make any outfit look a little more put together, but they are as comfy as sweatshirts.

I am a person who refuses to wear anything uncomfortable, and my standard outfit at work is khakis, a solid-color v-neck or scoop-neck t-shirt (Target, Old Navy, etc. have these in a range of colors), and a cardigan. I guess this could be called "business casual" and wouldn't work in a dressier professional environment, though, so your workplace may vary.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 8:19 AM on May 29, 2014

Cashmere cardigans. You can wear them to work, you can wear them with jeans, and they're super soft and warm and feel like hugs.

As for bras, underwire bras are MUCH more comfortable when you have one that fits properly, so you could consider getting a professional bra fitting.
posted by inertia at 8:30 AM on May 29, 2014

I would love to pull off slouchy pants/capris, but all of the photos of women I see wearing them also show them wearing high heels.

I have been wearing my capris/rolled up jeans with 3" wedges because I've been feeling fashionably frisky, but my whole life I've worn them with flats because these women rock.

I also love camis with well-built, built-in bras. As someone with larger boobs I love the freedom of not wearing a bra.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:45 AM on May 29, 2014

(What I'm saying is that heels with capris is the current trend but flats with capris are timeless and classic.)
posted by Room 641-A at 8:48 AM on May 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

I would love to pull off slouchy pants/capris, but all of the photos of women I see wearing them also show them wearing high heels. The only high heel I could ever wear would be a wedge, and even then, I would kind of feel like an imposter.

I can't help you with the imposter part, but this season I like the look of slouchy pants with a flat, slightly gladiatorial sandal (e.g., Naturalizer Jansin), especially a tan sandal with an olive slouchy pant.

I'm also a fan of printed silk sleeveless shirts. (e.g., Equipment, Joie; I am cheap and buy them on sale-sale or at TJ Maxx.) Silk feels great, and the prints help hide minuscule stains, so they feel special and look nice longer.
posted by purpleclover at 8:57 AM on May 29, 2014

Definitely knit blazers. I have this nice stretchy one that feels like a t-shirt but looks super cute (and it is from Ross of all places).
posted by radioamy at 9:19 AM on May 29, 2014

posted by ghostbikes at 9:33 AM on May 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Disclaimer: I have carefully constructed my life around not having to dress formally almost ever ever, so do not take my advice on what to wear for an audience with the Queen.

But I am a huge fan of linen, especially in warm weather. It is soft but not icky soft, drapey but not clingy, and there is something about the texture and presentation that (I think) can present as high casual, even when the cut and the feel is pretty much exactly like pajamas.

It does wrinkle, but IME, so does everything else, and linen gets a pass because that's part of its charm.

So my wardrobe pretty much consists of jeans, tagless cotton knit tanks and tees, then cashmere sweaters for cold weather, and linen everything for when it's warm.

I can't advise on shoes at all, though. I get prickly and resentful when I can't just wear my Birkenstocks somewhere.
posted by ernielundquist at 10:07 AM on May 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Seconding Yoga Jeans! Wearing them right now. So comfy and cute.

Also I'm a big fan of merino wool. It can get pricey but lasts and looks good.
posted by futureisunwritten at 10:09 AM on May 29, 2014

Comfort's all about fabric, and natural fabrics are the most comfortable. Anything wool is good, especially merino and cashmere, and so is linen. Jersey silk is great, but personally I don't like raw/nubby/shiny silk (the kind used in most blouses) -- it can be very hot and is also fragile. It stains and rips easily, and is hard to care for.

If you like wearing dresses, I strongly recommend the Diane von Furstenberg silk jersey wrap ones. They suit any occasion, they're super-comfortable and work with a wide range of footwear, you can wear them with a cardigan or structured jacket, they wear like iron and don't wrinkle. Awesome, especially for travel. They're expensive, but it's easy to find them on sale. And they don't go out of date: I still wear ones I bought 15 years ago, and the cut and fabric is identical to the ones I buy today.

There are a couple of companies that make merino wool separates (e.g. tanks, t-shirts), some of which are relatively unbranded and can work under a jacket or sweater. I like ibis and Icebreaker for that.
posted by Susan PG at 10:29 AM on May 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you are not keeping to budget prices, I would recommend clothing from Soft Surroundings. They started as a company that made a few women's clothing and bedding items in unusually soft, comfy fabrics, and have since expanded to shoes, accessories, gifts, etc. They actually rate fabric that will come in contact with skin (1=so soft, 2=heavenly soft, 3=ultimate softness). If you prefer stores to website/catalog shopping, here is a list of their retail stores.

I think I only ever ordered one item from them, a sweater that was on sale back in the early 2000s, but I loved it. (I am one of those people who stomps out of the store in a huff at the first sight of a $60 t-shirt, which is approx. the price level of Soft Surroundings. What can I say, I was raised to be frugal.)

Oh my: one of the stores is going in near me soon...I see a favorite sale rack in my future...
posted by gillyflower at 10:54 AM on May 29, 2014

I would love to pull off slouchy pants/capris, but all of the photos of women I see wearing them also show them wearing high heels.

When I wear my capri jeans I rockabilly them up with flat wide rollups, a black biker-style t-shirt and these sandals. (srsly, between Grendha and Mel I've sunk an unholy amount of money in Brazilian plastic sandals, but I love spending the summer in them)

Just try and keep a 50s theme with espadrilles or ballerinas or kitten heels or whatever you'd like.
posted by sukeban at 12:31 PM on May 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

I live in dresses and awesome shoes. The secret is finding a shape that works on your body (I, for example, cannot wear a wrap dress, despite the fallacy that they are universally flattering) and then you're basically set. Also, no hassle of finding a top to match a skirt.

I'm a fan of eShakti and atelier b, but there are tons of places that make great dresses.

If you want comfortable, fashionable shoes, I recommend Fly London. Their wedge shoes are as comfortable as sneakers.
posted by looli at 2:03 PM on May 29, 2014 [3 favorites]

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