Metro Detroit, like the rest of the nation and world, has been living and working at home almost exclusively for the past 11 months, adhering to health-and-safety protocols as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. It’s the right thing to do – but it also provides a moment to honor and highlight the stay-at-home staple known as loungewear.
The key to dressing comfortably is to remember that style is still important, you can bling up any outfit, accessories are key and that being cute should be part of your brand, according to Nicole Bien-Aime, owners and operator of Voluptuous Bien’Aime Boutique on West McNichols Road in Detroit.
“Our store has been going crazy since COVID,” Bien-Aime said. “Some people are still dressing up, but everyone else wants to be comfortable.”
She looks for outfits that can go from a Zoom call to a quarantine pod’s birthday party to a family get-together.
“If you’re eating together, you may want to look a bit nicer. Take Thanksgiving or Christmas. That was a time when people were getting together at home, so they wanted to look cute yet comfortable because they knew they would be staying in the house. You can do that with necklaces, which dress an outfit up or down.”
Bien-Aime said she has been using her time at home to embellish her clothing as well as face masks, which she sells at the store. These items upgrade the usual and look great in pictures – which you know someone in your group is likely to post on social media. This way, you can still dress according to your personal style and stand out at the same time.
Bien-Aime is a lover of fashion and being labeled as plus size started her journey toward blending her personal style with her best fashion finds – not an easy task when a whole industry can feel like it is focusing only on models or a size 0 prototype. As she puts it, her experience as a plus-size shopper was more like a job than experience. She would spend all day searching for the right outfit. That’s one of the main reasons why she wanted to opened a boutique to cater to women and their clothing journey.
As the owner and store representative, Bien-Aime said she wants her store to focus on body positivity, smart and affordable fashion as well as shopping without stigmas. For Bien-Aime, that means shoppers can be bold and bring out your unique flair which makes you feel good about yourself. Voluptuous means “curved body” and Bien’Aime means “well like” or “good friend” in French, these two words defines the boutique and its essence of inclusion.
So whether you’re looking for a cute sweatshirt, a great pair of joggers, an on-trend, two-piece tie-dye set or a duster and belt that will bring any outfit you currently own together, she has something that will make you look and feel good. Add a great accessory like a scarf or signature necklace as well as a pair of heels? Now you’re making comfortable clothing look chic as well, Bien-Aime said.
Here are a few more Metro Detroit stores that have found “cute yet casual” wear for people of all sizes and shapes to try.
Whether it is t-shirts, cropped hoodies, sweatshirts or thermals, Detroit is the New Black always has casual clothing that also makes a serious statement. Its logo wear has become part of the downtown aesthetic and highlights the pride residents have in Detroit as a city of great charm and substance.
This Detroit fashion brand specializes in clothing for men who are under five-foot, eight-inches tall so that the fit and look of its apparel will be impeccable. Its website has an entire section devoted to comfort wear, including the traditional good looks of a Henley shirt or Polo. Its sweatshirts also have a masculine vibe that would look as good on screen as they would watching the latest episodes of “The Office.”
This Detroit-based store has consistently offered classic looks as well as on-trend fashion for Metro Detroit women. Whether you want a leather pant (and can carry that look off on a Zoom call) or a Chanel-inspired “Coco not Coco” crewneck sweatshirts, you’ll find Bird Bee is the kind of store you’ll return to again and again.
Pajamas and loungewear plus a stunning array of high-end lingerie is what makes Busted a must-visit retailer in Detroit as well as in its other locations, which include Ann Arbor and Chicago. The store’s staff is well versed in fitting so you or your partner will walk away with the perfect fit and something comfy yet alluring each time you visit.