Five Warm, Cozy Tops You Need for Winter

Living in the Northeast I definitely get a taste of all the seasons, which I love.  However, the subarctic temps that we’ve had this winter have made me really evaluate items in my wardrobe that keep me feeling the warmest and coziest whether I’m just hanging out at home or going out!  If you are having the same struggle, I’ve gathered my top five coziest tops to share with you.  Here’s to all of us being warm and cozy all winter:

 

Barefoot dreams cardigan
You’ll be dreaming in this Barefoot Dreams cardigan!

Barefoot Dreams Circle Cardigan – I first heard about Barefoot Dreams on YouTube.  It is a line sold at Nordstrom and they make robes, sweaters and blankets that are supposed to be incredibly soft and warm.  I purchased the robe and the circle cardigan last year and I have to say that everything is TRUE!  I am always cold, year-round, and this is the only material that truly keeps me warm!  I wear the circle cardigan all the time and not only is it cute, but comfy and warm.  (It also washes really well!) If you don’t have anything by Barefoot Dreams I’d highly recommend it!  It is a bit spendy, but usually some of the items get marked down during Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale (end of summer).  There are many great colors available.  I have the color “Stone,” which is a neutral beige/cream.

Gap fringe cardigan
Stand out from the crowd in this Gap cardigan.

Gap Fringe open Cardigan – This was a recent find at the Gap and was marked down during one of the many after-holiday sales that have been going on.  It’s warm and comfy but also stylish.  I don’t like cardigans that look frumpy, and this one has a special twist with a little fringe detail that goes up and down the sweater.  You could dress it up if you wanted to but still stay warm and cozy!

 

 

 

This sweatshirt is feminine and cozy. Love the rose gold zipper!!

Athleta Cozy Karma Sweatshirt (only color left on website is black)- This sweatshirt is like a slice of heaven!  First can we talk about the beautiful wheat color and the rose gold zipper???  But let’s not stop there!  You have the beautiful criss-cross detail in the front and the back comes down long enough to cover your bum so they are great with leggings! Now for the cozy and warm part – there is a fuzzy fleece inside that is so nice around your neckline and in the sweatshirt.  This thing is WARM!  It also has the holes in the sleeve for your thumbs if you like to wear that way.  This sweatshirt is over $100 but I am really picky and am so happy with the quality and versatility of this piece.  I am already getting so much use out of it!

Athleta honeycomb sweater
This simple sweater from Athleta is so comfy!

Athleta Thermal Honeycomb sweater – I certainly have been doing some shopping at Athleta this season.  I am fairly new to the brand and am really impressed with the fit and quality of their clothes.  This split hem thermal sweater is perfect for lounging around the house or running errands in!  (It is also on SALE!)  It is long enough to wear with leggings but dressy enough so that you look put together.  Casual dressing doesn’t need to be sloppy to be comfortable!

 

 

There’s nothing cozier than a classic cowlneck in the softest material!

LOFT Cowlneck Top (similar) – I found a cozy cowlneck top recently at LOFT.  I’m not sure if mine is still available, but I found something similar on their website and it’s currently 60% off!  This material is not bulky, but so soft and cozy you could sleep in it!  You can wear it with pajama bottoms, leggings or jeans, whatever your mood or style!  Plus, I personally love a cowlneck.  I think it’s a classic, flattering style that is in fashion year after year!

So, I hope you have found some inspiration to be cozy and stylish all winter long!  Please share some of your favorites in the comments.  Let’s all help each other stay warm and comfy this season!

The Athleisure Trend: Don’t Buy Anything Until You Read This!

Read on to learn how to navigate shopping for “Athleisure.”

Athleisure…

What is it?  Well, according to Wikipedia, “Athleisure is a trend in fashion in which clothing designed for workouts and other athletic activities is worn in other settings, such as during work, casual or social occasions.”  There are different theories as to how this became such a popular trend, but I think in our society, the style trend has become increasingly relaxed and casual overall.

There is no denying that this trend has been growing in popularity – Khloe Kardashian, Gigi Hadid and countless other celebrities are photographed with this look all the time.  Recently, Beyonce launched her Blue Ivy line at Nordstrom.  This past summer, Miss Teen USA eliminated the swimsuit competition and has replaced it with Athleisure.

Functionally, I think it is great to hit the gym and then be dressed to go out and run errands or appointments without having to change or vice versa.  But Athleisure is a lot more than just throwing on a pair of sweatpants.  In fact, I’ve spent more money on some Athleisure pieces than I have on office attire!  The look strikes a delicate balance between “casual” and “put together.”

In my quest to stay motivated to hit the gym, I’ve shopped around at a few of the various popular Athleisure brands and can share with you some of my thoughts on quality and price so that you can be armed with this information before you go shopping!

The Align Pant II by Lululemon. The promise of full freedom to move, sweat wicking fabric and “Naked Sensation” were all on point!

Lululemon – this brand definitely has a cult following, but I was hard pressed to find one pair of leggings that was under $100 – I mean, they are LEGGINGS.  I’ve spent less on dress pants for work.  But I have heard so much about it I figured I’d take the plunge and see what all the hype was about.  I settled on the Align Pant II, which totaled $98.  They claim to have a lightweight feel like you are naked (they call it, “Naked Sensation”).  They felt comfortable when I tried them on in the store and the waist band stays in place and does not require adjustment while working out.  I have to say, these were pretty life changing for me!

Athleta – this sport line of GAP is also pricey. I have a couple of pull overs from them and the quality is solid.  However, if I’m going to splurge I probably would go with a different brand first.

Old Navy Sweatshirt – Super Comfy and Great Price!

Old Navy – this is my favorite and most impressive brand.  For the price you are still getting quality and can stay right on trend with the latest cuts, patterns, and styles.  I have leggings, t-shirts, jackets, sweatshirts (link above)  and sports bras from Old Navy and I really love them all!

Kate Hudson has created an affordable line of Athleisure fashion.

Fabletics – This is the brand by Kate Hudson.  Who wouldn’t want to look like Kate Hudson when working out?  Or just look like her, period!? The plus is that this is a very affordable brand.  However, to get the discount prices you need to become a VIP.  So, if you aren’t careful about logging in every month to “opt out” if you don’t want to make a purchase, you will have $50 put on your card.  Again you can spend it in a different month but you do need to be diligent about keeping track of what you are buying and when.  I have enjoyed some pieces from this line, but have found the sizing to be a bit inconsistent for me on a few different styles.

Check out my cute (but pricey) Lorna Jane sweatshirt!

Lorna Jane – This is another higher end line of Athleisure, comparable to Lululemon.  I have not tried their leggings but did recently fork over $129 for a sweatshirt, yes a SWEATSHIRT, but it is really cute.  Would I spend that much on a sweatshirt again?  Probably not, as I don’t think it is a phenomenal shirt or anything – it was more of an impulse purchase for me.  However, I haven’t tried their leggings, sport bras or other shirts so the other pieces may be worth the price.  For what it’s worth, I think the styles are cuter than Lululemon’s.

Calia by Carrie Underwood – cute styles sold at Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Calia (Carrie Underwood’s designs) – I bought some pieces from Calia, which are Athleisure pieces designed by Carrie Underwood.  They can be found at Dick’s Sporting Goods.  Prices vary depending on what you are looking for but it is more affordable compared to Lululemon or Lorna Jane.  And if you catch some items on sale, even better!  Overall, I think they styles are cute and the quality is nice for what you pay for.

SUMMING IT ALL UP

Bottom line, what you spend and where you spend it really depends on what you are looking to achieve.  If you are an athlete and/or spend a lot of time at the gym, I think you may want to spend a little more on some of the pieces for their materials which allow breathability and flexibility.  If you are really just wanting to look on point with the trend, then Old Navy would definitely be a solid way to go on a budget.  Note that here I’ve only scraped the surface of the many brands of Athleisure but hope that my mini reviews are helpful.  Let me know what your experience has been with Athleisure and where you buy your clothes!