Did you embrace the loungewear craze of 2020? I certainly did, to the point that the only items in my rotation were joggers, shorts, and t-shirts. Occasionally, I’d step up my game and toss on a draped or tie-front top over my shorts — but even so, it’s been the summer of casual comfort for this budget fashionista.
But now that fall is rolling in, I’m ready to move into a more stylish take on comfort. In my mind, that means I have a few loungy, long-sleeved tops on hand that I can slip on over denim and cute sneaks — for an easy outfit that’s reasonably respectable for a fashion writer to wear in public. Not that I have any public appearances on the calendar, but still.
What’s nice is that clothing brands are definitely dialed in to the world’s need for comfort clothes in these challenging times. There are plenty of options this season at a wide range of price points. And even though the fall trends are mostly on the bold side, I found lots of tops that are more on the classic side — garments you know you’ll want to wear through winter and even next year. Here’s a look at my top 10.
Long-sleeved Tops Under $100
1. Mohair sweater
Look effortlessly chic in this slouchy mohair sweater by Whizz. It’s as indulgent as eating ice cream right from the container — soft, silky, with the perfect sheen. Plus, the color is simply fantastic, particularly for fair, cool-toned babes. Wear this sweater any day of the week, from work days when the calendar’s filled with Zoom meetings to a chill Saturday when you have nothing on your to-do list. It won’t ever go out of style, either.
2. Loose-fit cardigan
My closet always has room for another stylish cardigan. This one, made from Italian yard, is fitted enough to be worn on its own, but relaxed enough to function as a second layer, too. The extra-long sleeves add interest and can also double as fingerless gloves — that’s a real perk for me, because I’m prone to cold hands in the winter. The hemline falls at the hip, which makes this cardigan a perfect companion for your favorite skinny jeans. You could also tuck it in to mom jeans.
Long-sleeved Tops Under $75
3. Long-sleeved T with thumb holes
This Free People t-shirt is oversized with just the right amount of weight in the fabric — it hangs like a dream when tucked into denim. What this image doesn’t show is the curved hemline that falls at the upper thigh. You know what that means; you can wear this top untucked over your favorite leggings. One top, with two great looks. And it has thumbholes for my fellow cold-hands ladies.
4. Dip dye top
If the pink is too much for you, this top is also available in an olive green that’s far more subtle. Either version has an element of trendiness in the slightly asymmetric hemline, but that’s not a feature that would prevent you from wearing the top next year. Semi-fitted with a longer length, the top works well over form-fitting bottoms like skinny jeans or leggings.
Long-sleeved Tops Under $50
5. Dogtooth button-down
Easy style abounds in this low-maintenance dogtooth button-down. The soft pink background adds femininity to an otherwise masculine design and the drop shoulder keeps things casual. What I love, though, about this top is its length. Not too short or too long, you can pop it on over nearly any style of denim and wear it untucked for your best off-duty look.
6. Ribbed Target top
Ribbed and slightly stretchy, this top by Knox Rose has the comfort and ease of a t-shirt while being far more pulled together. A soft V-neckline along with diagonal panels featuring a different knit pattern add interest and style. You could easily wear this top with jeans and the rely on your shoe choice to set the tone — which could range from casually elegant to relaxed and carefree. This is a nice, affordable addition to your wardrobe that you’ll wear again and again.
Long-sleeved Tops Under $25
7. Henley tunic
Another option you can wear with leggings is this Henley tunic. If you already have enough pink in your closet — though I don’t see how that’s possible — this drapey top is also available in black or beige. Whatever color you choose, make the most of the neckline by adding a delicate pendant necklace. My pick would be a natural crystal or stone.
8. Tunic t-shirt
Part sweatshirt, part tunic, part t-shirt. What could be better? Well, soft draping across the front is one thing — an especially useful style element if you’re sensitive about your tummy area. Plus, those big buttons draw the eye and add a little retro vibe. This top is available in 24 colors and patterns on Amazon.