Whitney Port Started This Loungewear Brand After Using Clothes to Deal with Her Own Grief

"The Hills" star opens up about the healing effect of dressing for comfort and the wellness tools she uses to feel ok during tough times.

Whitney Port Started This Loungewear Brand After Using Clothes to Deal with Her Own Grief
Photo: COZeCO

Whitney Port's favorite item in her closet may surprise you. The fashionista, known as a designer and television personality on MTV's The Hills and The City, says she cannot stop wearing an oversized, 90s-style sweatshirt that fills her with nostalgia and memories with her late father every time she puts it on.

Port admits that wearing feel-good, effortless pieces "fills an emotional void" when she's experiencing periods of sadness or grief and still has to "show up" in personal and professional life. (Whether or not you've experienced your own loss in the last year, you've likely still felt moments of grief — even if you didn't label it — over experiences, time, and other things sacrificed during the pandemic.)

So, in summer 2020, she was inspired her to design a line of loungewear called COZeCO, to provide others with the same sense of ease. The line of sustainably made, loose-fitting pieces, designed in collaboration with Avalon Apparel, includes sweat sets, t-shirts, and pullovers — all made to make you feel better. (See: The Best Women's Loungewear for WFH)

"The collection is meant to make you feel warm and comforted, like someone is giving you a hug. COZeCO is the kind of brand you want to wear when you're not necessarily in the mindset or motivation to put together a dressed-up look," she explains. "Those days you want to be cute but you're struggling emotionally or just not the mood to pull yourself together. It does that thinking for you."

In addition to comfy threads, Port shared the workouts and rituals makes her feel balanced, even during a tough year.

Designing with Intention

"You know, launching a business in the middle of a pandemic is something that involves a lot of risk, not knowing what the state of the world is going to be; however, I saw people were really yearning for loungewear that focuses on sustainability. I wanted to marry my passion for designing clothes with an interest and responsibility for helping the world while I do that. The fashion industry is really polluted. There's just so much right now in the market. I wanted to create a loungewear brand that is produced in small batches direct-to-consumer with organic fabrics and completely sustainable." (

Dialing Back Her Workouts

"I've been leaning into low-impact workouts during quarantine. I don't feel as motivated to do intense cardio when I'm at home and I think that's okay. These days, I'm definitely getting up and going outside for a walk. I love hitting the walking path in my neighborhood. The feeling of getting outside, turning off my phone, looking around and observing what's happening around me. This pushes me to be mindful and present.

Outside of walks, my workouts are a mix of yoga and Pilates. I'm loving Melissa Wood Health's classes right now and try to do them outside when I can to get extra vitamin D. I'm also never sitting longer than twenty minutes, I'm either running after [my son] Sonny or walking." (She's not the only one. Fitness pros have been advocating for less-intense workout routines during the pandemic, too.)

Using Tools to Stay Productive

"When I need some motivation, I love blasting loud music and dancing for a burst of energy. Also, meditation works well when I do it long-term, that's when I see the benefits. I consider it a muscle that I'm continuously working out. When I practice regularly, I feel so much more centered.

Sleep is also crucial. I had to figure out what kind of sleep I needed and the best way to get it. It's the foundation for feeling good. As a young mom, I had to figure out how to function without it but I also had a responsibility to figure out how to get it so I can really show up. For me, moving my phone to a different room an hour or two before bed, sipping an herbal tea and being mindful of what I watch on TV before bed makes a huge difference."

Learning to be Direct

"For Instagram, there's a pressure to post the right thing or to post super meaningful captions. I've started to write exactly what I'm thinking and where I'm at. I try to take that mindset into my life in other ways. When I'm reacting to something, I always think: 'what does your gut tell you?' And then go from there." (For example, she shared a moving post following her second miscarriage earlier this year.)

Quitting the Comparison Game

"I'm focusing most on not comparing myself or my journey to anyone else's and really just staying in my own lane and doing whatever feels right to me. That goes for big things and small, everyday decisions. I think part of it is feeling mature in my age and being more confident in my decisions or if this year has pushed me to focus on what I want to do because my happiness and fulfillment really comes from myself right now, since I can't see family and friends like I used to. That comes with focusing on what makes me happy and what makes me feel the most me."

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