Review: Does Brooklinen’s Loungewear Live Up to Its Bedding?
We tested the direct-to-consumer sheet company’s new clothing line
The idea of loungewear isn’t new. Men have been walking down the driveway to retrieve the paper in slippers and sweats for decades, and they’ll continue to wear that uniform even though that morning stroll is now from the bed to the phone. What is (relatively) new is that there are now brands dedicated to loungewear, clothes that are not quite old-school pajamas, not quite athletic wear and not quite appropriate for going out to brunch.
The latest on our radar is from Brooklinen. The direct-to-consumer bedding company launched its own loungewear collection back in early July with the hopes of offering “super soft clothing that you want to get into as soon as you get home, and stay in all weekend.” We were intrigued, especially because their sheets actually live up to the hype, so we got our hands on a couple pieces to try them out.
We tested the Prospect Tee and Bowery Short, but the brand also offers the York Tee (a v-neck as opposed to crew), the Clark Tank and the Bergen Jogger, with prices ranging from $28 to $75. (That’s just for men, there’s also a women’s collection.) The tank is new since the collection’s debut in July, and so is the “Dusty Blue” colorway for the T-shirt. But we wanted the classics, so we got ours in plain black, and then we put them through the loungewear gauntlet (i.e., we wore them for two weeks while drinking coffee, reading in bed and working from home).
What we liked:
- It won’t shrink like your other basics: The biggest claim Brooklinen makes is that “each piece undergoes 5 separate quality-control checks, and won’t warp, shrink, stretch, sag or pill.” So in the two weeks of testing we put the Prospect Tee and Bowery Short through three wash and dry cycles (and this was a communal apartment dryer, so it gets hot). But there is no noticeable shrinkage or difference in comfort, which is honestly remarkable since the cotton and modal construction feels so soft and delicate.
- It matches the sheets pound-for-pound in comfort: I sleep on Brooklinen’s classic percale sheets, so I know the company has a feel for superior textiles. The T-shirt lives up to its $28 price tag with added stretch and comfort on par with your favorite worn-in tops. The shorts are even better — they’re a little tighter fitting than the college gym shorts many men still wear, so they feel somewhat tailored, in the sense that you could wear them during an all-day Downton Abbey binge and not feel like a slob after 10 hours.
- The price matches the elevated design: The biggest problem people are going to have is that they’re selling sweatpants for $75 and shorts for $55. Do you really need to pay that much for clothes you’re just going to wear around the house? Maybe not. But if you look at comparable clothes, like Todd Snyder’s Champion collaborations, the price is actually middle of the road for the quality. Oh, and Brooklinen’s clothes are made in the U.S.
What could improve:
- The T-shirt tags: Sorry, we’re going to nitpick for a second here. Brooklinen goes through the trouble of saying the Prospect Tee features the “signature printed inside label — ‘cause who needs the itch?” And we appreciate that printed label on the neck. But the shirt also includes a sewn-in tag on the side of the body that isn’t perforated. This is such a small thing, but also who hasn’t been driven mad at one point or another by a rogue tag? The shorts on the other hand have a supple fabric tag, so that’s a plus.
- Bigger sizes for bigger guys: We understand that this is Brooklinen’s first major clothing release, so they’re testing the waters, but we hope in the future we see larger sizes. I’m a 5’11” guy who weighs 180 pounds and a size large fits perfectly, and it’s relatively form fitting (in a good way). That means there will be plenty of guys who will be too big for XL (the largest size offered at this time).
We’d normally tell you what other people are saying about it, but there aren’t many reviews out there just yet (though Business Insider calls the joggers “a real game changer,” for what it’s worth). But as for me, I’ve retired my $15 J.Crew Factory shorts and will be wearing the Bowery Short from here on out. The Prospect Tee isn’t my favorite T-shirt of all time, but it’s now in regular rotation both as an everyday base layer and around-the-house option, and I’ll probably be picking up a white York Tee as a new undershirt because of the extra stretch and supremely soft fabric.
Is Brooklinen’s collection enough for us to take loungewear seriously as its own category? Not quite. But it is enough for us to renew our newspaper subscription just so we have an excuse to spend more time in their clothes.
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