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Don’t Sleep on Muji’s Clothing Line

Yes, the home goods are perfect, but so are the sweaters.

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A model wearing a flannel shirt and black leggings and sneakers
Muji’s perfect flannel shirt.

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To know Muji is to love it. Fans of the Japanese retailer speak of its products as life-changing, preach its ethos like true believers. This is ironic, since the company is built on the core concept of anti-branding — “Muji” was originally Mujirushi Ryōhin,meaning “no brand quality goods” — but still, Muji is immediately recognizable to those in the know.

Its acrylic desk organizers, clear-capped gel pens, and woven storage boxes when seen in the wild signal calmness and order. When you walk into a Muji store, those neat rows of stationery, containers, textiles, and potted plants feel like promises that everything in life can have a place, and that that place can be beautiful. So it’s easy to focus solely on these functional collections and to ignore the unassuming walls and racks of shirts, dresses, outerwear, and accessories. I am here to tell you that you are cheating yourself if you do.

A model wearing a gray Muji sweater
One of Muji’s cardigan sweaters.

It started with the socks, which I first saw on my friend Alicia. They were a kind of deep dusty rose, providing the only color in her otherwise all-black outfit. I loved them, and told her so. “Muji!” she said, pulling her pant leg up. “And they actually stay up all day!” This was not a quality I knew to care about, but it sounded like she cared a lot, so I figured it must be meaningful.

I’d shopped at Muji plenty, but had never really registered the clothes. I was always too busy mapping out my new bathroom or imagining how my new desk setup would jump-start my productivity. But this was a low-cost and low-risk purchase, so I figured, why not? I bought two pairs, the above-mentioned dusty rose plus a hunter green, and was quickly converted.

No longer could I abide the flimsy cotton that made my former socks either feel like nothing or like too much, bunching up around the ankles or (god forbid) slipping into the lip of my boots and collecting around my heel. These were snug, substantial, and worth showing off. I get compliments almost every time I wear them.

But it’s not just the socks, though they are good enough to warrant an essay of their own. (Like, for instance, the site exclusively sells “right angle” socks, which look hilarious but the science behind which has convinced me??)

A model wearing a Muji wool cape
A Muji sweater and scarf.

Once I’d ventured into the clothing side of Muji, it was easy to fill my arms up with more: the gingham flannel, so soft but just as sturdy as all the men’s shirts I’d purchased out of frustration with women’s button-ups in the past; the shirtdress my sister said could just as easily be pajamas as real-world clothing, which some may read as a backhanded compliment but which only fortified my satisfaction; the jersey housedress I probably wash too infrequently because I hate to be without it; and the draping wool cardigan (preferably over the plain gray turtleneck), which lets me pretend I’ve already achieved my dream of being a semi-retired English professor grading papers in my cabin with some wine.

I’ve not yet tried the underwear (I am a staunch Uniqlo gal) but friend and Racked senior editor Alanna Okun gives it a solid 10/10, and I’m inclined to trust her. Its efficiency makes the Muji clothing line accessible to people who might not care about clothes, but it might also be the reason it’s often overlooked by those who do. Again: grave mistake.

Because buying Muji clothes is like buying Muji houseware, which is to say, it’s just as much about buying a lifestyle as it is about buying objects — and that lifestyle is, for lack of better words, one of having your shit together. Muji-adorned me is so breezy, so hardy, so down-to-earth. In my muted tones and breathable fits, I’m all about minimalism, serenity, comfort, posi vibes. At the very least, I look good.