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These nine pieces will keep you comfy whether you’re heading to class or just rolling out of bed
A PJ-inspired terry set by Toronto-based clothing line In Soft Focus.
It’s been a hard enough year as it is without having to go back to hard pants. But back-to-school season is upon us, and whether you’re headed back to campus or stuck hanging out with your classmates on Zoom for the second year running, you’ll want to make a good impression. Fortunately, these Toronto-based designers, stores and brands have the loungewear you’ll need to roll out of bed looking fabulous – literally.
Maybe you missed the height of pandemic-induced sweatsuit buying. No worries: There are dozens of locally based brands still vying for your loungewear cash. Available in a handful of candy colours, Soft Focus’s sets are cropped, tailored, simple perfection. Other options include PJ-inspired button-down sets, plus “zero-waste” scrunchies and face masks made from fabric scraps. $275, insoftfocus.com
Is your tanks-and-tees drawer in need of a refresh? Kotn, a Toronto-based basics brand (and certified B-corp), offers staple pieces at slightly-above-fast-fashion prices. If you’re hoping to efficiently fake looking put together, a mock-neck tank says “I’m a competent adult!” with just a couple extra inches of fabric. $30, kotn.com
The big-tee-and-bike-short silhouette is still going strong (and probably a little more suitable for that late-summer weather than a hoodie). Give your basic black bike shorts a break and swap in this pair from local brand OkayOK, decked out in reflective, squiggly racing stripes and available in sizes up to 2X. (Note: If your taste in loungewear runs more to 90s-inspired tanks and breezy trousers than spandex, check out OkayOK’s newly launched spinoff brand, aptly named Fine Fine). $85, okayok.ca
Small talk, staying positive and bad hair days: All of them can be a challenge in these trying times, and all of them are handily tackled by this trucker hat from Mississauga-based brand Permanent Vacation. $42, permanentvacationbrand.com
Somehow, these Ugg slides (which now appear on the shelves of several local indie boutiques) became the season’s it shoe – and love ‘em or hate ‘em, you have to admit: Showing up to class in full-on furry slippers is kind of a massive flex. (Don’t want to shell out for the real deal? The fast-fashion-sphere is sure to be flooding the market with dupes as we speak – but make sure the ones you pick have a tall, sturdy sole if you’re wearing them out of the dorm.) $135, sportinglife.ca or $80, amazon.ca
Free Label’s easy-breezy products, which lend themselves equally to the street and the yoga studio, are woven and dyed (in a variety of rich jewel tones) in Toronto, then produced in Vancouver. Best of all, they’re made in sizes from XXS to 4XL. These bamboo rayon trousers feature deep pockets and a figure-skimming cut; pick up your choice of sports bra to match. $168, freelabel.com
Launched last fall at Stackt Market, Makeway aims to carve out a space for women in the sneakerhead and streetwear spaces, mixing limited-edition drops from major names with local accessories. A new addition to the lineup: Puma RS-Connect sneakers customized by Brazilian artist Romero Britto in a dusty palette that’s perfect for early fall. $140, shopmakeway.com
Toronto-based Province of Canada teamed up with their Leslieville neighbours Bonjour Brioche on a line of branded T-shirts, sweaters and hoodies. Wear this tee for a look that says “I would so, so rather be at brunch right now.” $48, provinceofcanada.com
Sometimes, all you can do to save your outfit is throw on a fancy hair accessory and head out the door. Fortunately, Toronto designer Jenna Labiak (who – full disclosure – I know IRL) makes silk and chiffon scrunchies in a variety of desaturated hues screaming for inclusion in an IG flat-lay. Not everyone has the budget to build a locally made wardrobe, but these little guys will barely dent your wallet (or your hair!) $13, thesilklabs.com
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