I live for days when no attempt at cuteness is necessary. Basically, that means leggings, an XL sweatshirt that my son’s friend left at our house and my seven-year-old Uggs. But on the days when I have to at least try for nonpajama presentable, I have an arsenal of options. Soft fabric, elastic-waistband bottoms that don’t look like MeeMaw pants, and comfortable footwear that doesn’t look like I borrowed Chewbacca’s shoes. Need ideas to achieve pajama comfort without looking like you literally are wearing your jammies? Read on, and enjoy comfort at a stylish new level.


No, leggings are not pants. This universally shared edict is popular, in part, because we have seen one too many hineys encased in leggings. Leggings are not pants. Leggings are meant to show legs. Not hineys. Not tummies. Legs! So on those days when you want to be comfy and cute, you can wear leggings, but only if you cover the other bits.

How to wear pajamas as clothes

Leggings are not pants. But you can wear them for comfort and style if you cover up all the bits and pieces. Image credit: www.happyathome.com

Also, if you are having a casual office day, leggings can work, but only if you give them a friend. The long blazer, structured and fitted, gives gravity to the comfy legging. You still need to cover the hiney, and it is perfectly acceptable for your tunic/top to hang below the hem of the blazer. (In fact, you will be hard-pressed to find a blazer that is long enough to cover all the bits and pieces that demand covering when wearing leggings.)

Wear pajama-like comfort with cuteness

Leggings with a long top and fitted blazer can work at the office. Image credit: www.atlantic-pacificblogspot.com

SB tips favorites for leggings:

  • J McLaughlin has a great legging with faux-jean details at the waist. Super comfy and flattering and a great legging for all who aren’t quite sure if they can do this legging thing that just isn’t.going.anywhere.soon. See it here.
  • The J Crew Pixie pant is a fabulous legging that wears more like a pant (but cover your bottom!). It comes in regular and tall with a seam that runs down the back of the leg for a slimming detail. See it here. 

The winter maxi

What is a warm, comfy nightgown but a maxi dress? And while maxi skirts and dresses scream summer and boho to me, I have managed to find a few fall and winter options. The best maxi skirt for winter is made of jersey knit and in deeper colors that read cold weather wear. Pair with a soft sweater and boots, and you basically have a nightgown for the day. If you are lucky enough to find a maxi dress with long sleeves, you don’t even need to think. Just throw it on, add a chunky scarf and boots, and be on your way.

What is a nightgown? A flowy piece you can sleep on--or wear as an adorable outfit via a maxi-dress. Image credit:www.whatIwore

What is a nightgown? A flowy piece you can sleep in … or wear as an adorable maxi dress. Image credit: www.whatIwore.com

The roomy poncho

More or less a one-size-fits-all sweater, the poncho is essentially an oversized sweatshirt that you can wear to brunch with friends, eat as much cheese grits casserole as you want and still look really cute. (Yes, you can wear an actual oversized sweatshirt to brunch and your true friends will still love you, but you won’t look all that cute.)

When wearing the poncho/sweatshirt, you have to wear a skinny bottom piece to balance what is a “tablecloth” on top. Leggings will work if the poncho is long enough (again, the hiney must be covered!), but skinny jeans are a great option, too. And before you hands-on-hips me with a “jeans are so not pajama-esque,” let me share that some denim can be really soft and pliable. The trick is knowing the fabric buzzwords …

Ponchos are comfy pajama-like options for daytime chic.

A poncho is just another word for “big, old sweatshirt.” Image credit: www.thebestfashionblog.com

SB tips for some favorite ponchos:

  • We’ve spotted some Eileen Fisher ponchos at area boutiques in all markets. They are super flattering, so if you see one, try it on. View one in black, here.
  • Elaine Turner has launched a clothing line and her oatmeal colored cashmere poncho as a casual and stylish flair, here.

Baby-soft jeans buzzwords

If you want soft, jammie-like jeans, you need to look for denim that contains Lycra for stretch; Tencel, a man-made fiber made of wood pulp that sounds like it would be scratchy, but has a lovely, slippery feel; and anything dubbed prewashed. These three elements will add a degree of comfort to denim that will almost rival leggings.

SB tips for favorite super soft jeans:

We fell for two lines of jeans, NYDJ and Genetic after finding them at Nashville and Birmingham store, Gus Mayer. They seriously are the preferred choice over yoga pants. Look for both these lines at local boutiques found in each SB market. Everyone wants a great jean, with lots of comfort that are also flattering, right? Many options are available for NYDJ here and Genetic here. But, try your local stores first.

Fleece-lined footwear

Athletic shoes have been trending for daywear for a few seasons, but even more comfortable and warm for winter is the fleece-lined boot. Like an Ugg without the bear paw look, I love the sporty boots with a blazer and jeans for an upscale British huntsman vibe.

warm comfy non-Ugg boots

Boots that are comfy and non-Ugg-like can make a casual look seem chic. Image credit: www.lookastic.com

To recap, leggings, winter maxis, ponchos, super-soft jeans and fur-lined boots … these are a few of my favorite fashion things perfect for comfy daytime — or naptime — wear. Take your pick.

Want to gather some comfy pieces for your own closet? Shop your local boutiques and tell them StyleBlueprint sent you!