The Best Luxe Loungewear To Buy For Summer 2021

Stay classy, stay cool.

by Erin Cunningham
Photo taken in Kiev, Ukraine
Oleksandr Bedenyuk / EyeEm/EyeEm/Getty Images

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that, after the past year, we have no time or patience for uncomfortable clothing. Once closet afterthoughts, stretchy fabrics, drawstring waists, and so-soft T-shirts are now wardrobe heroes — even as the weather begins to warm.

For so long, cozy clothing has been synonymous with cold temperatures. And while that’s true, loungewear is actually seasonless: You just need to pick the right cuts and fabrics. Keep the emphasis on easy-to-wear summer staples, like shorts and tank tops, that are both comfortable and cool (literally and stylistically), and you’ll strike that ideal balance between pajamas and, well, real clothes. Plus, if you stick to a more muted palette (think: neutrals and pastels), you’ll find yourself investing in items you can wear solo now, and as layering pieces come fall. Sure, loungewear is all about how something feels, but it should also be how it looks — and how many different ways you can wear it.

Read on for the best basics for summer 2021 that are anything but.

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Polished Co-ords That You Can Wear Anywhere

Matching sets are no-brainers because they require zero thought or effort. This ultra-comfy ribbed option features a cropped top with a square neckline and high-waisted, wide-leg pants with hidden side pockets for added utility. They’re perfect for lounging around your apartment, but put-together enough for taking a quick spin around the neighborhood.

A Silky (And On-Sale!) Pair Of Shorts

Throw-on-and-go pajama-style shorts will forever be a must-have, and this black, silky pair offers a more elevated take on the look. (The contrasting piping adds just the right amount of detail.) Go monochromatic with a coordinating black top and slides, or let them act as a muted base for a louder pop of color.

A Fluffy Pair Of Slides

Your feet deserve some leisure time, too. These cozy faux-fur slip-on sandals are the perfect companion for morning coffee runs, but you’ll want to wear them pretty much everywhere.

A Muscle Tee With Personality

You might have one too many tie-dye tees, but do you have any that can work as a true neutral? This fitted muscle tee is soft and easy to throw on — our two favorite clothing qualities. Plus, we love that the color palette is on the subtle side — it keeps things fun without being in-your-face.

A Bralette That’s Made For Layering

In a soft knit and creamy color, this is just the type of top you’ll want to hang around in. Wear on its own or layered for a look that screams effort, but in reality is effortless.

A Pastel Set In Breezy Linen

Go all-in with this summer “leisure set” from Sleeper, a brand that specializes in pajamas-as-everyday wear. This pastel gingham set features a tie-front top and ruffles on cuffs and hems for maximum flair. Keep this in your summer rotation.

An Elevated Bike Short

A subtle knitted texture makes bike shorts feel less like a workout essential and more like an everyday must—especially not in the expected black. Try an oversized T-shirt and cool cat-eye sunglasses for a street-style-approved look that says, “I’m casual, but still know how to dress.”

A Preppy Pullover

A cool collar, light, sandy hue, and button closure make this cozy polo feel put-together, while the knit fabric adds a luxurious but relaxed vibe. Go full-on prep with khakis and tennis shoes, or throw it on with sweats for a Zoom call. You know what they say: polished on top, party on the bottom.

A Soft Tee In An Easygoing Silhouette

Vintage-inspired, this tee features an exaggerated dropped shoulder design and is rendered in 100% organic cotton for a gentler environmental impact. Go all-oversized-everything with wide-cut pants, or pair with a leggings for daily errands.

A Classic In 100% Cotton

Tight in some places, loose in others, equals the ribbed tank of our dreams. With room to breathe and move throughout the day, it’s the kind of top you throw on when you just don’t know what to wear. Pair with high-waisted jean shorts or with coordinating pants; it works just as well with both.

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