I’ve already covered my absolute favorite beauty products and killer home products; today’s post is all about clothing basics. I devote a lot of time on this blog to trends and lust list items, but today, I’m sharing my favorite tried-and-true wardrobe underpinnings — and they should mean something since I’m the type of impractical shopper who will always lean for the $600 pair of statement-making 5″ heels over the more practical black suede everyday ones. (As with my other “best of everything” posts, I’ve written about all of these products elsewhere on the blog about two dozen times, but thought it’d be helpful to keep them all co-located in one spot.)
Bra: Natori Feathers. This is the most comfortable everyday bra. I never need to adjust because wire is digging into my skin, or leaving red marks on my shoulders. It’s beautifully constructed and offers a nice lift. I love the deep plunge — you can wear it with nearly any neckline! My only caveat is that it does run small! They’re also well-made: several of mine have lasted years and look no worse for the wear.
Jeans: J.Brand Photo-Ready. I LOVE the fit and stretch of J. Brand’s Photo-Ready collection. It truly does “lift” and “contour” — it never cuts in to you; it just coats and sucks in the leg or something. I dunno. Magic.
Maternity Jeans: J. Brand Mama J. SO COMFORTABLE.
Leggings: David Lerner. I first discovered this brand while pregnant with mini (they carry a fabulous maternity legging that I’ve since turned dozens of mama-to-bes onto — the most comfortable, flattering, and well-made legging!), but I love their non-maternity stuff, too. These leggings HOLD UP wash after wash without appearing threadbare or scuzzy.
Warm Socks: Smartwool. If you don’t have a pair of these but live anywhere north of D.C…God bless you. You need them in your life. They are, simply, the warmest, best-constructed sock out there. They’re actually meant for hiking — super breathable but the warmest of the warm.
Sports Bras: Target’s c9 for Champion. These are inexpensive, comfortable, and breathable. I can’t tell you how many fancy Lululemon sports bras I bought only to be disappointed — yes, they’re cute and they look good in yoga class, but they’re always digging into my skin in weird places, I often need to size up a few sizes (which is confusing because I’m very modestly endowed and have a petite ribcage — who wears the 0 there?!), and they don’t wash well. Target’s c9 collection are made of the perfect stretchy material; they come in good colors; and they’re not hard on the wallet. I wouldn’t say they wash particularly well — I find that they typically fade in color quickly — but, at $16/pop, I’m OK with that.
Running Leggings: Lululemon Tight Stuff. These flat out make you look great. I also like the size of the pocket in the back of the band — wide enough to hold your credit cards, and the waist is high enough that it isn’t uncomfortable.
Running Shorts: Lululemon Hotty Hot Shorts 4″. These are my jam. Extremely comfortable and well-cut for running — but, importantly, not too short. I’m only 5 feet, but I find that too many of Lululemon’s shorts are like underwear. They also have a small pocket for things like keys and credit cards.
Running Shoes: Nike Free RN or Nike Free Run Flyknit. I have been through dozens of running shoes, and Nike’s are the best because they are SO lightweight, but still offer structure. I love both of these shoes, but the Flyknit is best for good weather — it’s knit almost like a sock and feels like you’re wearing nothing. The first time I wore them, I looked down and realized I had run my first mile in 7.5 minutes, which is outrageous for me — I’m normally around a 9-minute mile pace. Still, they weren’t practical for Chicago, which is cold and wet a lot of the time; these will let the water right in. (I ran many miles with sopping wet feet.) Both are excellent, though.
Non-Workout Leggings: Alo Yoga Moto (on sale!). I don’t know that I’d wear these running — they’re more my “I’m on my way to the gym but running errands first” pants, even if I don’t intend to go to the gym at all. These are SO chic and SO comfortable and, against all odds, very flattering. I own them in navy.
Lounge Pants: J. Crew’s Dreamy Pant. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. These are the softest, most comfortable pants ever. The waistband is generous and the cut is slimming. I die over these. I even prefer them to my favorite sweatpant — the Monrow Vintage Sweatpant — which is also incredibly soft and comfortable.
Pajamas: J. Crew’s Dreamy Pajamas (see above) or Beaufort Bonnet Company’s Wimberly Wine Down. The latter is made of the most gorgeous pima cotton — it’s satin-y soft and it looks great on, with a nice amount of stretch. For some reason, these wash like a dream: I pull them out and it nearly looks like I’ve ironed them. Beautiful! Plus, you can coordinate with mini 🙂
Slippers: LLBean Wicked Good or J. Crew Lodge. LLBean’s slippers are the coziest (I actually hate that word — it’s been so abused by the blogosphere! — but it’s truly the perfect appointment for this particular item), though I’ll often buy the lesser expensive and inferior quality J. Crew style because I wear my slippers INTO THE GROUND and need to replace them every year or two or they wind up all matted and unappealing — and you can almost always find J. Crew on sale with an extra 40% off at some point.
Getting Ready Romper: Eberjey Teddie (on sale!). OMG, this. The softest cotton. I used to blow-dry my hair with a towel around myself and I was constantly having to re-tie/adjust/etc. Then my bestie introduced me to Eberjey’s teddies and my life changed. So comfortable, so breathable, so cute. I wear this every time I get out of the shower. LOVE LOVE LOVE.
Robe: Pottery Barn Waffle Knit. Just like the hotel — fluffy, luxurious, a great heft to it, and monogrammable. I couldn’t live without my robe.
Loafers: Tod’s Gommino Loafers. You just have to have a pair. These are beautifully made, comfortable, and wear well. I own them in bright orange, and they can completely make an outfit. Just throw on jeans and a t-shirt or oxford and you’re done.
Everyday Heels: J. Crew Elsie. Manolo’s BBs are similar and beautiful as well, but I find J. Crew’s Elsies to be the most comfortable. The perfect heel height — it distributes your weight well or something and makes it easy to stand in these for hours on end. I also happen to think they nailed the toe shape: not too pointy, not too round. Simply perfect.
Canvas Sneakers: Superga Cotu (shown above in pic at top!). The timeless classic. These are insanely comfortable, come in great colors, and go with everything from sundresses (currently dying over all the floaty sundresses from this line) to distressed denim.
Layering Tees: Old Navy. I find their cotton tees hold up better than Gap’s and certainly J. Crew’s, which last about three wears. I’ve been living in their thermals and luxe tees this season. Very very good.