There's probably not a woman in the world who hasn't wished for stylish, "wear anywhere" sweatpants at some point in her life, but couldn't find an acceptable solution. The fact is, sweats are the ultimate in comfort clothes, but they generally don't make the cut when it comes to fashion-forward fare. That's where 24-year-old Kings of Cole designer Elana Brynes saw an open niche. In an exclusive interview with About.com Brynes shared, "I found a hole in the luxury loungewear market. I grew up in New York City and attended college in Boston. During the harsh winters, my friends and I were in a constant struggle to stay warm yet fashionable. We didn't want to sacrifice fashion for comfort, and why should we? This inspired me to create Kings of Cole and the perfect 'boyfriend hoodie' for women."
Speaking as a woman who owns a pair of Kings of Cole sweatpants, I can comfortably assert that aside from the super-soft material and the stylish tailoring, the best thing about the brand is that it works for tall women. The sweatpants and sweatshirts are cut in a looser, "boyfriend" style that practically guarantees a comfortable fit for women up to about 6'1". Even if you're worried that the sweatpants might be too short, the elasticized ankle allows you to "adjust" the length of the pant so you can wear them as capris.
About.com: What makes Kings of Cole stand out from other brands?
Elana Brynes (EB): Kings of Cole features rose gold colored zipper and hardware detailing which allows our customers to dress it up or down. Our hoodies and sweatpants are cut longer and more tailored, creating a very put-together look. We style all of our photo shoots in a way to show off the versatility of our loungewear. With our line, comfortable doesn’t have to mean sloppy. Every fashionista and fashionable gentleman needs comfortable clothes to wear to the gym, while traveling, going to class, lounging and walking around. Our goal is to offer a comfortable and fashionable option for men and women on the go.
About.com: Some women have a hard time styling sweats to make them look fashion-forward – do you have any tips or tricks for styling the “boyfriend’s hoodie” and sweatpants to make them look sexy and fashionable?
EB: With Kings of Cole, the outfit options are endless! I wanted to create a line that could take our customers from day to night looks. Our hoodies and sweatpants can be dressed up or down because of the rose-gold detailing, amazing fit and clean aesthetic. For night-time looks, I would recommend pairing your kings of Cole “boyfriend hoodie” with lace leggings and stilettos. Our hoodies are cut longer and more tailored, and cover everything! Our sweatpants look amazing tucked into chunky military boots, with a fun cropped top. For men, a great night-time look would be to rock your hoodie under a casual blazer with jeans and loafers.
For day-time looks, less is always more. It is all about rolling the bottoms of your sweatpants and wearing flat sandals. Your “boyfriend hoodie” will look FAB paired with fun leggings or ripped jeans. I always wear dainty rose-gold jewelry to match my zippers!
About.com: Why is the Kings of Cole brand the perfect option for all women, whether or not they think of themselves as "sporty"?
EB: I think everyone needs and loves to be comfortable. Even the most trendy, fashion-forward women need to take their heels off at the end of the day. Kings of Cole is an amazing option for women who like to be “put-together” at all times.
About.com: I noticed that one of your sweatshirts is designed to take a stand against bullying. Many tall women have been subjected to bullying at some point in their lives, so this was inspiring to see. What made you decide to use your clothing line to stand up against bullying?
EB: I have always been a huge supporter of anti-bullying. I think it is so important to get a conversation going about the affects bullying can have on someone’s self-esteem. Victims of bullying often feel alone, and I want to help raise awareness about this growing issue, and let people know that they are not alone. I have always said that bullying comes from a place of weakness, and when you take the power away from a bully, he/she has nothing on you. Our Anti-Bullying hoodies says “BYE HATER” which is a powerful message about taking the power back from bullies.
About.com: Kings of Cole hoodies come in a number of fun colors. What’s your favorite color/style of Kings of Cole that’s currently available?...understanding, of course, that you love everything you put out there!
EB: I go through color phases! Right now, I am very into our Green Full-Zip Hooded Sweatshirt! It is BEYOND cozy and is a great transition color for Fall.
Elana Brynes isn't the only one cozying up in her Kings of Cole sweats - tall stars like Khloe Kardashian and Gwyneth Paltrow are also big fans of the brand. To learn more about Kings of Cole and to get more styling ideas, check out the website and look through the online look book.