How the Outside Staff Stays Comfy During Quarantine

Spoiler: a lot of sweaters and cozy slippers


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Now that the Outside staff has been working from home for a few weeks, we want to recommend the apparel that keeps us comfortable and (sometimes) productive, in hopes that it might help you cope with cabin fever, too. Here are the pieces we keep coming back to.


American Giant Midweight Pullover ($98)

(Courtesy American Giant)

I’m obsessed with this hoodie. I wanted it for years and finally got my hands on one a few months ago. It’s everything I dreamed it would be: sturdy and cozy and made of a tough cotton that doesn’t pill or stretch out. I now have a stack of sweatshirts in my closet that I don’t wear anymore, but I sleep, lounge, work, and play in this one. —Abigail Barronian, assistant editor

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Norrøna Svalbard Grandpa Shirt ($119)

(Courtesy Backcountry)

I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t wear this shirt all the time before we started working from home. But since then, I’ve been trying to ration how often I don this ultrasoft number made of recycled polyester and regenerated wool. I leave it on a chair in my bedroom and only allow myself to wear it every other day, because I don’t want to be the guy wearing the same outfit in every staff video meeting. On those calls, the Henley shirt’s neck buttons make me look fancier than the pajama-wearing dad I am. When we can go outdoors and really adventure again, this piece will be a top-notch base layer, thanks to its quick drying time, natural-odor-fighting properties, and a wipe cloth for my sunglasses. —Will Taylor, gear director

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American Giant Classic Pullover ($104)

(Courtesy American Giant)

Every day I wake up and reach for this heavy, 100 percent cotton fleece, made-in-America hoodie. I find the heft and sturdiness—reinforced elbows, double-needle stitching, tough metal grommets—reassuring. But my favorite part is that the classic look makes me feel like my junior high school basketball coach, which is perfect for the morning homeschool PE classes my wife and I lead with our three young sons. Whistle not included. —Michael Roberts, executive editor and host of the Outside Podcast

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Mott and Bow French Terry Sweatshirt ($79)

(Courtesy Mott and Bow)

I’m reaching for clean basics that feel cozy at my desk and move with me on the yoga mat, which I’m using constantly. Mott and Bow’s sweatshirt is cut from just-right cotton terry cloth that provides warmth without bulk, and the relaxed fit at the chest and shoulders flows through sun salutations and warrior poses with ease. Fitted cuff and hem ribbing keeps everything in place, so I never feel schlubby, and the tidy crew neck looks good on Zoom calls. If I ever leave the house again, I would pair it with jean shorts and Tevas and head to the beach. —Aleta Burchyski, associate managing editor

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Outerknown Station Jumpsuit ($178)

(Courtesy Outerknown)

The other day, my roommate noted that I had worn the same jumpsuit six days in a row. She was right, and I was a little embarrassed. But my obsession with this garment is well-founded. Through rigorous testing, I discovered that this piece is the ideal work-from-home outfit: insanely comfy but also streamlined so it looks like I have my shit together from the torso up. Decision fatigue? Not me. No longer do I have to endure the stress of picking out a shirt and pants. It also has six pockets, which I appreciate on CDC-approved walks. —Claire Hyman, editorial assistant 

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Columbia Vintage Snap Fleece ($80) 

(Courtesy Backcountry)

I got an amazing vintage Columbia snap pullover from a thrift shop a few months ago, and I am loving it. The purple print is fun without being over the top. It’s warm enough to wear on much needed (and socially distant) dog walks but light enough to be my preferred deskwear. Because I love it so much—and because I am a journalist—I sent a lo-fi cell-phone picture of the pullover to the good people at Columbia to figure out the specific model. Turns out it’s a Helvetia Half-Snap Fleece from 1991–92. While I’m a fan of this eight-dollar number, you can check out a new version of the piece in Columbia’s new Icons collection. —Madeleine LaPlante-Dube, assistant audience engagement editor

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Marine Layer Men’s Yoga Jogger ($98)

(Courtesy Marine Layer)

This has been my most worn pair of pants during the past three weeks we’ve been isolated at home. Marine Layer didn’t do anything new with the fit (the stretchy waist, tapered toward the ankle), but the highlight here is the material: a polyester-spandex blend that feels silky on the skin and breathes better than any jogger I’ve tested. The best part? I easily transition from sending morning email to lunchtime runs around the neighborhood. —Jeremy Rellosa, reviews editor

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Mountain Hardwear Cascade Pass Pant ($80)

(Courtesy Mountain Hardwear)

I’ve been a huge fan of these stretch-cotton joggers for a long time, but since I started working from home, my love of them has blossomed into a full-fledged addiction. They’re light and stretchy, which makes office-chair (or kitchen-table) contortions comfortable, and they have an elasticized waistband and cuffs that’ll trick you into thinking you’re wearing sweatpants. But because they have a fly and jeans-style pockets, I can also believe I’m wearing real pants. —Ariella Gintzler, associate gear editor

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Carhartt Firm Duck Double-Front Work Dungaree ($50) 

(Courtesy Backcountry)

They definitely don’t fit the classic interpretation of comfy, but I’ve been living in my Carhartt double-knee dungarees (which, in their current state of broken-in-ness, are incredibly soft) for the past few weeks. My fiancée and I recently closed on a house in need of some major improvements, and we just moved in. So every waking moment that I’m not mashing keys at work (from home), I’m swinging hammers, installing light fixtures, laying flooring, and doing any number of other home-improvement tasks at the new house. My Carhartts are the obvious choice for all of the above. —Brian Smith, content marketing manager

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Patagonia Women’s Hampi Rock Pants ($79)

(Courtesy REI)

I bought these pants for warm spring evenings at the crag and sweaty sessions in the gym, but they’ve also turned out to be my go-to quarantine pants. The super breathable hemp and recycled-polyester material is perfect for staying cozy and comfortable inside without becoming stuffy by the evening. They’re roomy enough for a midday yoga break, and their stretchy cuffs can be pulled up, making it easy to deal with finicky shoulder-season temperatures while on walks. —Kelly Klein, marketing coordinator

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Bombas Women’s Performance Gripper Ankle Socks ($54 for Three) 

(Courtesy Bombas)

While quarantined, I have been cleaning obsessively, which includes getting the floors spotless. This makes me reluctant to wear shoes inside the house. However, I believe that getting fully dressed first thing in the morning is important to work-from-home productivity. These Gripper socks are a nice compromise between shoes and bedroom slippers. I got this colorful three-pack, and I find them very cheery. —Marie Meyer, editorial assistant

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L.L.Bean Wicked Good Camp Moccasins ($79)

(Courtesy L.L.Bean)

I’ve been living in my L.L.Bean slippers. I usually keep them at the front door so that I can kick off my boots or sneakers and jump into them when I get home from work. But now I can wear them all day long. They feel comforting during these crazy times. The only problem is that the slippers usually signal that it’s after work or a weekend, so during the day, I still have to remember that I’m still in office mode. But Slack messages pretty much take care of that! —Mary Turner, deputy editor

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Taos Wool Do Clog ($125)

(Courtesy Taos Footwear)

I’ve been a big fan of Taos’s über-cushy insoles for years (I’ve worn through three pairs of Rubber Souls). The arrival of these house shoes was perfectly timed to the start of me spending nearly 24 hours a day inside—which is great, because I never want to take them off. The rubber outsole and cork midsole are perfect for my limited excursions to let the dog out, check the mail, and pace the yard. The boiled-wool upper and insole keep my toes warm without getting sweaty or smelly. And they’re multipurpose: my puppy thinks they’re chew toys. —Maren Larsen, assistant gear editor

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If You Need a Full-Outfit Recommendation

(Courtesy REI and L.L.Bean)

I’ve been living in Prana’s Transform leggings for the past two weeks; I own multiple pairs, which come in a pleasing variety of noncolors and last forever. Paired with cotton shirts and L.L.Bean Wicked Good slippers for extra warmth around the house, this tried-and-true WFH ensemble takes me from my desk to my yoga mat to evening hikes. It’s so easy and functional that I’ve almost stopped being sad that I don’t have to put on real outfits anymore. —Xian Chiang-Waren, associate editor

(Courtesy Mountain Hardwear, Backcountry, and Glerups)

Thanks to the current world climate, I’ve been wearing the same outfit every day for the past two weeks, with slight variations when needed (and when the judgment from my cat becomes too much). On top, I’ve been living in the Mountain Hardwear Monkey Fleece jacket. I love the versatility of the fabric; it doesn’t attract too much dog hair and looks mostly professional in video calls. On the bottom, you can always find me in the Icebreaker Cool-Lite Motion leggings, which provide a comfy and compressed high-rise waist for long days of lounging with my laptop. Amazingly, the wool-Tencel material hasn’t stretched out after weeks of daily use. And I don’t go anywhere without my Glerup The Shoe slippers. —Emily Reed, video producer

(Courtesy Timberland, Lee, and L.L.Bean)

I’ve been wearing Timberland trail-running shoes that are so old they feel like gloves instead of shoes. (Worn with socks, because I’m not an animal.) I also like my durable Lee jeans—I own a fleet in a variety of colors that aren’t blue. Pants are important. Long ago, I freelanced at home for several years, and I didn’t like the feeling of working in pajamas or shorts. You need to feel like your day is starting by putting on some trou. I recommend soft everything upstairs: T-shirt, long-sleeved shirt, merino-wool sweater, all sometimes covered by a plaid, flannel-lined L.L.Bean oversize shirt, because it’s still a little cold around here in early spring. —Alex Heard, editorial director

Lead Photo: Mary Mathis

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