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    Wardrobe Makeover: Comfort chic clothing / Comfy train wreck, likes comfortable, looks sloppy, needs makeover

    Comfy train wreck: likes comfortable, looks sloppy, needs a makeover. Tips for a comfortable clothing wardrobe makeover.

    Tips for a comfortable clothing wardrobe makeover

    Dear Sharon:I have a dilemma between being comfortable and appearing fashionable. I am a college student who is not a morning person. Usually, my days are very long with four classes in a row, three times a week.

    I have a bad habit of rolling out of bed and donning comfy pants and a sweatshirt and going to class. This is because I have an incredibly difficult time waking up until it is absolutely necessary. Jeans and tight pants are VERY uncomfortable for me to be wearing when I’m sitting a lot. However, wearing jeans are fine when I’m standing up and I wear them partying. Also, all of my classrooms are cold, and I live in Boston so the outdoors is even colder.


    I prefer cute sweatpants or velour tracksuit pants, and a
    sweatshirt to keep me warm in class and to hide any rolls that occur when sitting down. I’m 5’3, 125lbs, not overweight.

    However, yesterday I was told by my hookup buddy that his roommate (my guy friend) saw me and jokingly asked if I got dressed in the dark. I want tochange my image, if that is what it seems to be. I was a former gymnast so I like the comfy clothes that let me move, but I don’t want to be seen as a slob. I really like wearing dresses and skirts and pretty things but the weather is too cold and windy, and the inside of classrooms is too cold for that so far. Please help me figure out a way to be presentable! (Comfort Sweet — Boston, MA)

    Dear Comfort Sweet: Before we get into to this, how tight are your clothes? If your jeans are too tight to sit in and you are afraid of showing off your fat rolls, the only thing I can think of is that you must be one of those fashion victim girls who think that she looks cute in too tight, too low cut pants just because they were in style. Note: were.

    Jeans, as in all pants should fit in a way that flatters your figure, the physical shape that you are in and, be both comfortable and up to date. Your pants are probably too darn small and cut too low to be either pleasant to wear or to look at. Choose jeans that have a little stretchin them for comfort. Try another brand or style that better suits your figure and doesn’t cut off your circulation. And, be really, really glad that super low cut flare jeans are on their way out of style and the trend is moving to a jean with a more natural waist and thinner, leaner leg. Hallelujah.

    That said, there is more to life than wearing tracksuits.

    For the record, those skimpy tight, velour track suits with an annoying cute saying written across the butt are also pass. The look is more real— like you can actually work out while wearing them and not be mooning everyone near you. Note: work out. Sweats worn here and there are fine if you style them up into an interesting mix with the rest of your wardrobe. But wearing sweats as an excuse not to get dressed is lazy and rather pathetic from a fashion standpoint.

    Never forget that to appear attractive clothing needs to fit properly. Somehow you need to find the magic middle ground between appearing like a baggy slob or a sleazy, party girl in sausage tight clothes.

    Find yourself a nice core wardrobe of pieces that fit well and are easy to layer togetherfor warmth. Select a color palette that is more muted so that all the pieces blend together with a touch of an occasional accent color. Keep things simple and stylish.

    Start with a foundation of two great pair of pants: Straight leg jeans in a medium wash and a pair of cords in an earthy hue- the jeans should have a small percent of Lycra for comfort and cords naturally give with wear. As a former gymnast, you probably are fairly muscular and need to find the brands that are cut for your type of frame and stick with it.


    Surely, you have a base layer of T-shirts. Add a few new styles in a lightweight cotton jersey that are a cinch to layer in scoop and turtlenecks with a bit of contrast color peeking out. A man-tailored cotton shirt in a thin stripe can top those layers. Add a slim-fitting boy vest for warmth or to wear alone as a sexy top to a party. Toss in a slightly girly shrunken jacket for polish or to wear over a hoodie.

    On other days, funk your style up a bit and mix the jacket with your sweats and a cute pair of boots. Lean knits like a pattern sweater are a winter must. Instead of the usual sweatshirt, look for a tunic style that is longer and slimmer and wear a hip slung rugged brown leather belt with it over a denim mini and a pair of wooly leggings. One really skinny, long scarf and a knit cap with a little visor add warm and can be easily crumbled into your backpack during classes. Voila, an easygoing, stylish winter wardrobe that is both comfy and chic.

    Perhaps, if you looked like you actually have the self-confidence to care about your appearance, you may see that you can do better than a hook-up buddy with a big mouth friend, but that’s your decision.

    –November 15, 2005

    Published on November 15, 2005

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