Winter Styles So Comfy You'll Forget To Change When You Get Home

In the spring of 2020, office workers were sent home from their jobs with little or no warning and instructed to install Zoom on their computers to start working remotely. Chaos ensued and lasted for months. But there was one silver lining: Those workers quickly discovered they only had to look professional from the waist up (via The Wall Street Journal). From the waist down, they could remain in pajama bottoms or yoga pants all day long. Of course, many jobs couldn't be done remotely. Doctors, nurses, postal workers, supermarket staff, delivery people, and countless others were forced to make a choice between risking infection and getting fired (via Documented).

For a lot of people, it was stressful, exhausting, and completely devoid of glamour. In August 2020, the New York Times Magazine ran a story titled "Sweatpants Forever." The demise of the fashion industry seemed imminent. By July 2021, however, Katherine Watts at Stitch Fix told Refinery29 that people wanted to start "dressing up again while maintaining comfortability." But today's consumers want more than just comfort and demand inclusive sizing for all body types as well as fashion options that do as little harm to our fragile environment as possible. 

So now that's winter's right around the corner, let's get cozy and shop responsibly!

Something festive

Depending on where you live and your health status, you may not have done too much holiday celebrating over the past few years. But if you do plan to attend parties or get-togethers this year, you may want something special, beautiful, comfy, and simple.

Eileen Fisher's Velvet Classic Collar Long Shirt, available in sizes PP-3X, checks all those boxes. First of all, did we mention that it's velvet? No fabric says holidays like velvet. The moment you button this shirt, you'll feel more luxurious. Seriously. Velvet's the fabric of royalty. Of antique fainting couches and classic chaise lounges. And the rope that bouncers in the late '70s lifted to allow celebrities and other chosen people to enter New York City's infamous nightclub Studio 54 (per NPR).

But guess what? It's also the fabric of cozy nightgowns and robes. Blankets you can wrap yourself in and sleep half the day. Velvet is all those things and more. This shirt isn't cheap, but it comes in five different sophisticated colors and will never go out of style. It's made from viscose and silk and is machine washable. It was also dyed without the use of hazardous chemicals.

Comfy pants for any occasion at all

We're betting these super cute easy pants in black denim from Nettle Studios (available in sizes XS-XXXXL) will make your life a lot easier and less stressful. They're incredibly versatile: Dress them up with a fancy top for formal occasions, or pair them with a t-shirt when lounging around the house. Either way, you'll love the comfy elastic waistband that sits right above the belly button.

And speaking of love, we also love Nettle Studios' approach to the environmental crisis. You see, Nettle Studios is a slow fashion brand. And slow fashion is pretty much the polar opposite of fast fashion. Unfortunately, we all see a lot of fast fashion when we shop these days. Fast fashion manufacturers are responsible for most of the trendy, inexpensive garments that tend to get worn a few times, tossed in the trash, and end up in landfills forever (per TreeHugger).

Nettle Studios is doing its part to change how humans think about shopping and clothes by designing items made to order that last many years. Nettle is a tiny company (only five employees total). The two owners met in college and took great pride in their work. For fabric, they use either linen—more sustainable and less wasteful than cotton—or other materials from factories and other suppliers no longer in business. How cool is that? Definitely check out their Fall '22 online catalog, which features 28 fun, comfy products you'll adore.

When you need a dress for a special event, this is the one

As we've already made clear, we're huge fans of velvet—especially for winter events. And despite the fact that pants are almost always the most comfortable option, sometimes you still want to wear a dress. Thank goodness, then, for Universal Standard, a unique company that strives to be size-inclusive and environmentally sound while also doing a lot of community outreach. As their website states, "We show up for our communities and give back at every opportunity. From our annual Denim Drive with Blue Jeans Go Green recycling program, to our work with Dress for Success and First Step via Fit Liberty and our co-fundraisers with Planned Parenthood, we feel that shopping well also means doing good."

If that sounds good to you, wait until you see their Holiday Shop, which features some of the most wearable, lovely clothing available. Each piece is offered in 22 sizes, engineered to fit nearly every body type on the planet. The gorgeous dress pictured above (available in sizes 4XS-4XL) is just one option. What's not to love about the one-shoulder/long-sleeved design, engineered to be sexy all night long while staying put all night long, too? Not to mention the sophisticated length and shape that hugs your curves without being constricting? Is red your color? Or do you prefer gunmetal gray? The choice is yours.

A sweater to wear for life

Yes, Oliver Charles, an innovative new clothing brand out of California, actually promises that if you purchase one of their sweaters, it can be worn for the rest of your life. The innovative company is run by Slater and Jack, "a couple of lifelong friends on a mission to get the world to rethink their wardrobe." Their sweaters—and in this article, we're focusing on the all-season version—are made from a type of yak wool called khullu. Khullu sheds naturally from Tibetan yaks and, according to the Oliver Charles website, is "celebrated for its exquisite softness, durability, sustainability, outstanding thermoregulating, and antimicrobial properties." The fabric feels like cashmere but is far easier to care for.

All Oliver Charles sweaters are available in men's and women's sizes XXS-XXL in crew neck and V-neck styles. They're offered in six great colors and come with a lifetime guarantee. In other words, per the FAQ on the website, "If your sweater becomes damaged from holes or snagged threads, send it back and we'll restore it to the best of our abilities."

A French terry vintage jogger for every body

If you're someone who enjoys thrifting, you're almost guaranteed to adore Tuesday of California. Because how many times have you found the perfect vintage item in a thrift shop, only to try it on and discover it doesn't fit? Tuesday of California is working to solve that problem. The company's owner and founder is Tuesday Bassen, an artist who creates "highly illustrative clothing pieces based on her work." The focus is on manufacturing beautiful, vintage-inspired clothes anyone can wear and enjoy.

One example of their offerings is this incredibly comfortable Piped Varsity Jogger (top and bottom, available in sizes XXS-7X), which features classic styling and looks adorable whether you wear it to bed or the mall—or both! The website adds, "this garment is fitted and true to size. It has ample stretch and is a triblend French Terry. If you'd like it to fit looser, size up!"

But wait: There's more! Tuesday of California also strives to reduce carbon emissions and make the planet a cleaner, safer, better place for everyone. Per their website, "Tuesday of California (places) an emphasis on adjustable fit for body diversity. We are proud to carbon offset all shipments, use sustainable materials whenever possible, and use fair wage labor at our sweatshop-free sewing houses."

A 100% recycled cotton long-sleeved T-shirt

It's hard to imagine going wrong with an adorable "Be Kind" T-shirt from For Days, available in sizes XS-XXL. Like every product manufactured by For Days, this tee is made sustainably but goes a step further. You see, the shirt—which features cute graphics on both the front and back—is actually made of recycled cotton! Why not order one for yourself and get one as a gift for someone special this holiday season? For Days strives to keep its prices as reasonable as possible, which is always a plus.

If that's not enough, get this: The shirt—along with all the company's offerings—can be returned to For Days when (or perhaps we should say "if") you decide, for any reason, that you no longer want to wear it. Yes, For Days is so committed to reducing waste and keeping textiles out of landfills that they offer Take Back Bags which can be ordered for $20 from their website and filled with used clothing of theirs (or any other used, clean textiles) for recycling. And if you order a Take Back Bag, the $20 cost gives you an automatic $20 credit on your next purchase. Nice!

A blazer we actually love

Does the word "blazer" conjure up visions of prep school? Does it call to mind itchy, "professional-looking" jackets that cramp your shoulders and make it difficult to bend your elbows? Well, say hello to this affordable, button-down shacket blazer, available in sizes XS-4X from Target's Universal Thread brand. It's got all the good qualities of blazers—it functions as an outer layer, it's warm, it has pockets—and none of the cringy stuff. In fact, they actually call it a shacket because even though it's a jacket, it's nice and soft, like your favorite shirt. What's not to like about that?

This classy piece would look great as a second layer at just about any social event. It's also perfect for tossing on when you head out for a walk on a day when the weather's a bit iffy. Leave it open if it's sunny but cool; button it up if it turns chilly. And if you realize you can't get by with just one of these, the shacket blazer comes in three colors: cream, red plaid, and brown. Need another reason to order one? Its soft jersey fabric is made from at least 20% recycled polyester.

Girlfriend Collective black Cleo halter bra

Until now, we've been focusing on warm and cozy separates, but Girlfriend Collective's shapewear and activewear are too cool to ignore. And on a chilly winter day, even the warmest sweater will feel warmer and more complete with a great bra underneath. Of course, everyone has their preferences when it comes to sports bras. Still, it's hard to find anything slightly negative about the Girlfriend Collective Cleo halter bra, available in sizes XXS-6XL. For starters, it's pretty enough to wear alone as a top, and the "bra-as-shirt" trend is hot right now (per Stylecaster). It's also supportive, moisture-wicking, and built for working out. So, if you're a fan of versatile fashion, you definitely want to check out this bra.

Here's a cool fact: The Cleo halter bra, like many other items by Girlfriend Collective, is almost entirely crafted from recycled soda bottles. Its fabric is 90% recycled plastic bottles and 10% spandex. According to the sustainability report on Girlfriend Collective's page, manufacturing the bra saves ten bottles from landfills, 13.6 pounds of CO2, and 2.43 kWh of energy. It's also recyclable through ReGirlfriend when you're finished wearing it. How great is that? The company also makes some of its nylon fabric from discarded fishing nets and other waste found in the ocean.

Finally, if Girlfriend Collective becomes one of your go-to faves, the company offers several options for joining the collective and saving money on purchases.

A perfectly cozy turtleneck sweater

Working in a hybrid situation that occasionally requires you to pop into the office on short notice? Madewell's impossibly soft Sadler merino blend turtleneck sweater, available in sizes XXS-4X, will serve you well and keep you warm while doing errands, meeting with your boss, having coffee with coworkers, and chilling on your couch later on. The fit is loose and boxy, the shoulders are wonderfully slouched, and it's slightly cropped for a stylish twist. The heather mauve color shown in the picture above is our fave, but it also comes in black, dark brown, caramel, and cream. We think you may eventually decide you need more than one of these sweaters.

Madewell is a brand with a meandering origin story (via Refinery29), but the important thing is that it sells high-quality clothes and is committed to working on saving the environment. The company sells a small number of pre-owned, vintage clothing and other fashion items on its website. It also partners with superstar online thrift and consignment store ThredUp to help you recycle clothing you no longer wear.

Comfortable underwear

We hope you've found some new favorites. Maybe you've even already ordered a few things. But wait! Is your underwear looking a bit shabby lately? Your underpants don't breathe properly? Not everyone likes discussing undergarments, but wearing the right stuff is more than a fashion decision—especially when bottoms are involved. According to Healthline, people should seek natural fibers like bamboo or cotton and avoid synthetic fibers because natural fibers allow for better air circulation. 

So, what's a girl to do when almost all the lingerie available is made of nylon, spandex, and synthetic lace? Enter Pansy! Like most other companies in this article, Pansy's very small. Comprised of just five individuals, it started in 2012 when its two female founders took a road trip and started discussing the underwear they wished they could buy.

Pictured above is an example of Pansy's product: their Stretch Shorts, available in ten gorgeous colors in sizes XS-5XL, are made from 100% organic cotton with no spandex. The shorts feature an extra comfy high rise and are made to be cozy, not tight. Browsing Pansy's website is the best way to understand the company's philosophy and product. In a nutshell, they make beautiful, simple garments—for every body—from domestically grown and milled organic cotton. Pansy uses spandex made from 100% recycled plastic when stretchiness is necessary, and all elastic is naturally sourced. Dyes are non-toxic, and all production of Pansy garments happens in the United States.

Sometimes it's so cold, you need a hat indoors

Hats are often written off as fashion accessories, but did you know they can literally save your life in cold weather (via the BBC)? It's a good idea to keep at least one warm hat on hand at all times because you never know. And if you're planning on buying one, it may as well be cute and made by a company that cares about our planet. Here's a suggestion you'll absolutely adore: Patagonia's everyday beanie.

First, it's adorable and can be worn either cuffed or uncuffed, depending on the temperature and preference. It's also available in six colors, is gender-neutral, and is stretchy enough to fit most heads. Fifty percent of the beanie is composed of postindustrial recycled cotton; 47% is from recycled polyester. Patagonia is a company with a conscience, too: They source their products responsibly and work only with factories with fair, safe work policies, according to their website.

Patagonia's owner, Yvon Chouinard, also gifted Patagonia—a company worth $3 billion at the time of this writing—to a trust and nonprofit devoted to preserving our environment. Chouinard told The New York Times, "I didn't know what to do with the company because I didn't ever want a company. Now I could die tomorrow and the company is going to continue doing the right thing for the next 50 years." Yeah, we'll take a couple of those beanies!