The other day, while previewing Creatures of Comfort‘s heavenly Resort 19 collection, I uploaded a photo to my Instagram story of a model wearing a sweatshirt layered over a long skirt and referred to the outfit as “therapy clothes.”
When I came back to the Man Repeller office shortly after, a few people mentioned the expression to me and said they loved it. I hadn’t thought much of it when I wrote it, but as I mulled it over further, I became curious about what exactly constitutes therapy clothes. Why do some outfits feel like emotional or even physical hugs, and how can we recreate those as much as possible? Considering my occasionally shaky relationship with fashion, I was eager to explore the answer.
So I put together three outfits I think fall somewhere on the spectrum of therapy clothes — the kinds of garments that, when paired together in the right cuts and fabrics, make me feel happy, expressive and like the most comfortable version myself, emotionally and physically. It’s a hard combination to crack, and it’s possible I’ve spent my whole life trying to find the right ingredients to achieve it.
Click through the slideshow below to see what I chose, then scroll for the breakdown.
Level-1 Therapy Clothes: My Favorite Jeans and a Voluminous White Blouse
I struggle with jeans — but only because I love them so much and have a high bar after purchasing so many that have lost their shape. But whenever I finally come across a pair that sits, falls and hugs just right, I feel like Me 2.0. Same for white blouses: They feel fresh, airy and kind to my body, and if they have the right amount of structure, they don’t need adjusting and they stay off the skin. Together, I think good jeans and a white blouse are classic therapy clothes. (Matching gingham accessories are just a feel-good bonus.)
Level-2 Therapy Clothes: A Big-Ass Dress
It’s hard to beat a big-ass dress, comfort-wise. Not only is your outfit effectively done in a single step, your body is waistband-free. Don’t I look happy? I credit the smile I’m wearing almost entirely to the dress. Do you think I would have leaned over to let this sunflower tell me a secret if I were wearing jeans and a black T-shirt? Of course not. Such is the magic of airy summer dresses. Therapy clothes in one fell swoop.
Level-3 Therapy Clothes: Head-to-Toe Chino
I may be in the minority here, but nothing delights me more than baggy but structured clothing cut in chino or chino-like material. The way it hangs off the body, never pinching, tucking or squeezing, but always maintaining an interesting shape makes it my ultimate interpretation of therapy clothes. While a big dress may be more seamless in a literal sense, well-made oversized separates make me feel more secure, and also give me more room to play, style-wise. This is the kind of outfit I imagine myself happily growing old in.
What are your therapy clothes?
Photos by Edith Young.