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5 “Secret Sweatsuits” to Wear Now and Later

Look like you’ve stepped it up a notch, but feel like you’re wearing sweats.

By Madeleine Kim

We all want to be comfortable while we hang out at home. But once this intense period is over, will you really need six pairs of sweatpants? If not, join me on my hunt for a type of outfit I’ve dubbed the “Secret Sweatsuit” (*cue angels singing*).

A Secret Sweatsuit is an outfit that feels like a sweatsuit but looks like clothes you’d be proud to wear out in the world (for instance, to the office or brunch at Oprah’s house). To qualify, an outfit must have all the hallmarks of a regular sweatsuit: Is it stretchy and cozy? Would I be down to nap in it? Is it still comfortable when I sit down at my desk after eating macaroni and cheese, guacamole, and a brownie for lunch? And of course, your Secret Sweatsuit also needs to look like, well, real clothes. Here are five iterations you can wear at home now—and for things you dream of doing in the wider world later.

NOW

For whipping up a pantry-meal masterpiece.

LATER

For a lunch date with Michelle Obama.

The Demi jumpsuit is essentially an adult onesie. Wear this machine-washable stunner as you prepare a gourmet lunch using some canned food you found in the back of your cupboard (has anyone else been getting creative with anchovies lately?)—then throw on a contrasting jardigan before you pop into your afternoon Zoom meeting. Three years from now, when you’ve finally locked down that lunch date with Michelle Obama, this ensemble will strike the perfect balance of chic, sporty, and put-together. (Start with the jardigan on, but know that the jumpsuit can be worn on its own should you want to get Ms. Obama’s input on your biceps.)


NOW

For playing with your kids.  

LATER

For “desk to dinner” (remember that?).

I’ve worn my Alina top an embarrassing number of times during quarantine. But it’s machine-washable, so who cares?! Pair it with the swishy, wide-legged Conway pant, and you’ve got an outfit that can take you from Twister to pillow-fort construction without a hitch. Someday, when Zoom dinners are a thing of the past, you can wear this office-friendly look “from desk to dinner” (a cliché I never thought I’d miss so much) at an actual restaurant. Imagine!


NOW

For a sunset stroll around the block.

LATER

For when you’re invited to Oprah’s house.

When you take a leisurely evening walk in Italy, it’s called a passeggiata—which sounds like something that’s worth dressing up for. Make your walk around the block something to look forward to by wearing a dreamy dress with a relaxed silhouette that stays comfortable no matter how much carbonara you’ve eaten. If this pandemic has taught me anything, it’s that we can’t know what the future holds—which is why you shouldn’t rule out the possibility of an invite to Oprah’s house someday. If When that happens, the Medina dress will help you feel right at home as you stroll around her garden, just catching up.


NOW

For getting into adult coloring books.

LATER

For attending your friend’s gallery opening.

Much like a fresh coloring-book page, the Rochelle tank and Graham kimono feature neutral colors, clean lines, and an almost-blank canvas. Pair these airy, knit pieces with the legging-like Marais pant to keep comfortable as you color—inside or outside the lines. Someday, when you show up wearing this to a friend’s gallery opening, you’ll fit right in with her chic, artistic circle.


NOW

For virtual trivia night.

LATER

For an (in-person!) presentation.

Will wearing yellow give you a better chance of guessing the square footage of Yellowstone National Park? Probably not. But the silky Zhou culottes in goldenrod will brighten your mood—and allow you to get comfy as you catch up with friends over obscure trivia questions. The Emerson cardigan is lightweight, stretchy, and subtly textured, so you can wear it as a shirt to complete your Secret Sweatsuit. This time next year, you could be sporting this look to give the presentation of a lifetime. If so, add the canary-colored Irene slingbacks to exude maximum confidence.

Madeleine Kim

Written By

Madeleine Kim

Madeleine Kim is a Brand Manager at M.M.LaFleur, where she started out as a stylist. She loves developing styling-focused content and creating newsletters that bring the M.M. community together.

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