We Just Tried On the Most Exciting Wardrobe Staples We’ve Ever Seen

Our We Try Before You Buy series aims to take the stress out of shopping and eliminate the number of post office visits you make each month to return failed online orders. We test new-season buys and styling ideas so you don’t have to. Here, we’re letting you know what’s actually worth investing in and the styling tricks you can re-create with pieces you already own.

If you haven’t yet heard of PANGAIA, then it’s about time you became acquainted. I stumbled across the brand on Instagram earlier this year, drawn in by its joyful spin on basics and its science-driven, innovative approach to materials—a breath of fresh air after the sad staples that have come to dominate my wardrobe over the last 18 months. Intrigued, I found myself browsing PANGAIA’s website and soon learned that there’s so much more to the brand than its rainbow-hued separates. (Although I entirely understand why they came to be so very popular among the style set.) Leading the way in textile innovation, PANGAIA is a materials-science brand that uses everything from recycled cotton and grape leather to bio-based fibers and natural dyes to create its garments. Finding a brand that creates clothing with the planet in mind and without compromising on design is a rare thing. And somehow, quite magnificently, PANGAIA manages to do just that.

As if that’s not enough, on a wider scale, the brand has laid out goals to reduce water pollution and track its environmental footprint—taking into account everything from collections to business activities—and has set the goal to become an “earth positive” business, using the United Nations’s “Sustainable Development Goals” as a guiding framework. This is just a snapshot of PANGAIA’s innovations, and if you want to find out more, the brand’s website is packed full of info, whether you want to learn about the properties of its recycled fabrics or understand how the brand is preventing water pollution. It’s essential reading to help consumers demystify the science that goes into PANGAIA’s products.

On a purely practical level, you can tell that PANGAIA’s classic designs are the sort of pieces that will look good for many years to come, which is arguably one of the most important considerations when you’re deciding what to add to your wardrobe. If you need further proof, I was given the chance to road test some pieces alongside fashion insiders Remi Afolabi and Cat Patterson, and the results really are testament to the brand’s versatility. 

As someone who prefers a more polished aesthetic, I opted for PANGAIA’s amazing hemp and nettle denim offering due to its clean-lined, gender-neutral appeal. I also enjoyed the oversized tailoring of the white shirt and black trousers. In fact, I had been looking for the perfect white shirt for a while, and PANGAIA’s iteration ticked all the boxes. Conversely, Cat embraced the brights of the brand’s tracksuit offering, cleverly combining clashing shades like pink and green. It’s the endorphin dressing that we’ve all been craving. So if you’re new to PANGAIA or simply wondering how to wear some of the brand’s best-selling pieces, scroll down to see how we styled our favourites.

“I’ve had a thing for gilets lately because you can really get creative with the way you style them, and this style from PANGAIA is made from FLWRDWN™, a breathable and lightweight down material made from flowers, not feathers. I decided to add colour with the hat and bag—it helps to brighten up the monochrome. I find that this look would be perfect for a night out, too. I would just swap the gilet for a blazer, the boots for heels and the jersey bag for a chic clutch bag.” — Remi Afolabi, Who What Wear UK Video Content Creator.

“One thing’s for sure: No amount of winter cold can get through this insulating layered look. I’m sporting the brand’s cosy recycled cashmere jumper along with the matching cashmere scarf. The pop of red from the FLWRDWN™ puffer coat really brings the look together, and the wide-leg nettle jeans pair perfectly with chunky boots, too.” — Remi Afolabi

“I am now a tracksuit convert thanks to PANGAIA, and I can see why these pieces, which are made from recycled and organic cotton, are favourites among its customers. I’m not usually a fan of cuffed trousers, so I opted for the looser style, and I am obsessed. The quality of both the hoodie and track pants is unmatched, and I like how they come in so many cool colours. I finished the look off with one of the brand’s buckets hats in a chic brown colourway.” — Remi Afolabi

“I’ve always been a double denim fan, but this pairing from PANGAIA makes creating the iconic Canadian tuxedo a little bit easier. Made from hemp denim and certified organic cotton, the jacket is just the right amount of boxy and cropped, allowing it to sit beautifully on top of the high-waisted fit of the hemp jeans. All it needs is a hit of Breton stripes via the brand’s PPRMINT™ top (the fabric is treated with natural peppermint oil to keep it fresher for longer) for a truly timeless, weekend-ready ensemble.” — Joy Montgomery, Who What Wear UK Shopping Editor.

“I never thought I’d see the day that I would enjoy wearing leggings outside of the gym, but here we are. PANGAIA’s black leggings are made from seaweed, eucalyptus, bio-based nylon, and a responsible stretch fiber, and there’s something very satisfying about the contrasting silhouettes of the leggings and the chunky cardigan—plus the grey turtleneck, which adds another textural dimension. The leggings are treated with BioWick®, a plant-based treatment that absorbs unwanted sweat, and PPRMINT™ oil for its anti-odor properties. A pair of polished knee-high boots finishes the look off nicely. It’s essentially everything I love about winter dressing in one look.” — Joy Montgomery

“Neutrals with a pop of colour seems to be emerging as an unofficial theme for my winter wardrobe, and this outfit perfectly encapsulates the impact this pairing can have. A white shirt and black trousers are instantly elevated with PANGAIA’s cobalt-blue base layer, adding personality to what might otherwise be a more corporate outfit. It’s polished yet chic—the dream. Plus, the shirt is treated with PPRMINT™ oil to help it stay fresher for longer. Win-win.” — Joy Montgomery

“Colours in nature constantly give me inspiration, and ​I’m loving pink and green together at the moment. I sized up in the FLWRDWN™ jacket for a super-oversized feel, and I’d happily wear it for everything from the school run and shopping to a Sunday trip to the pub.” — Cat Patterson, Who What Wear UK Contributor. 

“​The FLWRDWN™coat was incredibly warm and made me feel ready for all terrains. It’s particularly good for a snow day! Again, I sized up in the jacket to create a more dramatic silhouette.” — Cat Patterson

“I have always loved an all-pink look. I was obsessed with Lil Nas X’s “Industry” music video, where the entire cast is in these incredible magenta uniforms. This look takes inspiration from that, but I went for two different shades to break up the outfit. I found the high-waisted ​fit of the hemp jeans to be perfect and the sweatshirt a good quality jersey.” — Cat Patterson

“The brand aims to use recycled materials where it can, which is why its fleece is developed with 100% bio-based content and includes 75% recycled wool and 25% Tencel. I’m obsessed with the lilac colourway, which is so thick and fluffy and comes with a jersey lining, which makes it extra snuggly. I’m loving a loafer right now, and I think these look great with the tracksuit, particularly the juxtaposition of a smart shoe with more casual clothing.” — Cat Patterson