5 outfits for a cozy winter week

Are you traveling this winter? Whether you're traveling for Christmas, another holiday you observe, or just to visit, with a small group or a huge family — winter trips are the perfect time to be cozy and comfy. Something about traveling in the winter feels so special, between the cold weather, early nights, time with family, and inward focus of the end of the calendar year.

The popular thing would probably be to post about festive outfit ideas, holiday party dresses and suits, sparkly sequins and velvet. I love a fancy outfit as much as anyone else, but for every fancy party, there's many more opportunities to be snuggly and relaxed amidst the hectic season!

Last week my husband and I visited my family in Alabama. My family doesn't do much in the way of Christmas traditions, but we always make time to spend a week together each year. This weekend we're headed off to my husband's family for a few days, too. I wanted to put together a suitcase full of cozy, comfortable, easy pieces, as stylish as they are perfectly suited for chilling on the couch at home.

or for snuggling adorable puppies you meet in coffee shops

I created a handful of outfit ideas that would work for all the winter trip activities we'd be doing. My style statement for this trip might be summed up as classic, easy, and comfortable. Here in Texas and Alabama, it's been "cold" and by that I mean in the 40-60s F, just fine for sneakers and hardly cold enough for a wool coat. For each outfit idea I put together, I thought of how I'd love to style it, and some fun picks if I was shopping to put that outfit together. But I'm also showing you how I actually wore it.

Going out and about

For a walk downtown in my parents' quaint little bay-side town, I wanted something a little sporty but polished, like a fitted dress with an oversized fleece or sweatshirt, but sneakers to keep my feet cozy while walking. A nice shoulder bag looks fancier than a tote and balances out the casual sneakers.

If I was shopping...

I envisioned this outfit with a long sleeve dress and cozy, oversized fleece — two things I don't even own! I can't get enough of a good long-sleeve dress, though they're not exactly a year-round wardrobe item for me.

I love this knee-length ribbed olive green one from Aritzia link, not ethical and although ruffles aren't always my jam, this gorgeous navy number from Odeyalo link, ethical, made in Canada. But for something a little more dramatic, this v-neck sweater midi from Modern Citizen link, responsible is so elegant! I actually gasped when I saw this on Instagram for the first time.

I wore my cropped hoodie, since it's what I brought, but in my head I styled this with an oversized fleece. Isn't this plum zip-up from Nau link, sustainable beautiful, and of course there's Everlane's half-zip version link, responsible. But I confess I would love something super-oversized, and I can't stop eyeing the new Outdoor Voices megafleece link, responsible after seeing Salina looking so cozy in it.

There's not as many options for ethical sneakers as I'd wish, but the best part about this outfit is that it works with the ones you've already got! I wore my athletic sneakers, because again, it's what I brought, but I finally caved and bought a pair of cream cozy wool Allbirds link, sustainable after a year of debating them. I think this outfit would be super perfect with a leather sneaker, too, like some classic all-white lowtop Veja Esplars link, sustainable or these lovely olive green leather Nisolo sneakers link, responsible.

I carried my trusty Mansur Gavriel lady bag link, veg-tanned/not ethical, but a smaller crossbody like the Stowe Evelyn veg-tanned bag link, responsible would be gorgeous. I have it in black, and love it. I also can't stop eyeing Caroline's Polene bag. The No. 1 mini link, responsible she's been sporting in her Insta stories is just beautiful and so classy. For something a little more affordable and bigger, in the same spirit, Live FashionABLE's Maria tassel shopper link, ethical would be perfect.

How I actually wore it

I styled my new Kotn mockneck dress link, ethical with my favorite cropped hoodie link, not ethical and go-to black sneakers link, responsible. A little more sporty than I'd imagined—but I sure was comfy. My lady bag link, responsible made it feel a little dressed up, and was perfect for toting around my new camera.

i promise this dress is actually a dark green

Future photo albums

On that one day we'll definitely take family photos (it's inevitable), I wanted to go classic: comfy, straight leg jeans, a cashmere sweater, and mules. In my dreams, a camel coat would be the perfect topper, but in defense of a lighter suitcase, I chose not to bring my loose sleeve camel coat.

If I was shopping...

The jeans make this outfit. I brought my AYR Superba jeans link, responsible, sold out which have a bit of a flare, this Riser pair link, made in the US is made from the same fabric, which is stretchy but structured and easily the most comfortable denim I've ever worn. For a straighter leg, everyone seems to love the AGOLDE Riley link, responsible and I don't blame them, although they don't fit me. I can vouch for how comfy the Everlane Cheeky Ankle jean is link, responsible too, but I have the lighter color.

I just got the Everlane crop mockneck link, responsible in ivory, so that's what I wore. I dream of chunkier knits, though, and I love this Modern Citizen mockneck link, responsible, or Kordal's absolutely beautiful handmade “sheep inspired, human desired” textured sweater link, ethical.

This would also be lovely with a festive winter, forest green, like Odeyalo's balsam fir turtleneck, or a cute sweatshirt like this cream one from Amour Vert.

I wore my favorite pair of mules, my Freda Salvador ones. They're no longer available but look at these incredible shearling ones link, ethical! How cozy would your toes be in these? (Of course she makes them in this lovely croc leather without shearling, too.) Coclico just came out with these gorgeous textured slingbacks link, ethical which I'd love to have, and for a warmer color combo, I'd get these Live FashionABLE's suede Marlene mules link, ethical.

I wore my AYR Neptune jacket link, responsible; I sometimes struggle to feel fashionable in it, but it's sleek, soft, perfectly warm, and has great huge pockets, so it's a no-brainer when I travel. At home I would have worn my camel coat, but if I was shopping (because we know I need more coats in Texas), I'd love a longer length robe style coat, like AYR's gorgeous Robe coat link, responsible, or this beautiful Paloma Wool coat which comes in both a lovely rust color and navy link, responsible.

How I actually wore it

Funny story, though — we ended up doing photos on the day I wore sporty leggings! We sure made a bright photo, between my red leggings, my mom's bright blue puffer jacket, and my dad's plaid shorts. So much for classic and polished.

I did wear this sweater and jeans combo on another day, though, topped with my navy jacket and sneakers. My poor mules didn't get much love, since it rained all week. Woe. Maybe next trip — with my camel coat!

Not leaving the house

I don't know about you but I love spending a good part of my holiday vacation time on the couch with a good book. Maybe you're a movie-watching family, or maybe you play board games, but this is the perfect time for an ultra-cozy outfit: a lounge-y jumpsuit in a soft fabric, maybe paired with a turtleneck if it's cold, and sneakers (by which I mean cozy socks).

If I was shopping...

Cozy, cozy, cozy. Does it get any more cozy than Corinne's fleece pull-on jumpsuit link, ethical, handmade, woman-owned? This is the first thing I wear out of the laundry, and it's impossibly soft. If I was shopping, I would just buy this again! Although this textured Kordal jumpsuit link, ethical, handmade looks delightful, too. And for something that looks like it would be equally at home on the couch or out to dinner, this Taylor Jay long sleeve jumpsuit link, WOC-owned is just perfect.

I'm not much of a layering person but a black-on-black turtleneck under my jumpsuit just makes sense when it's cold out. The one I have from Kotn link, responsible is sturdy and thick, and completely opaque, too.

I thought these wool Vejas link, sustainable were a great combo with a jumpsuit: a little sporty, a little classic. But let's be honest, doesn't a cozy sock sound better? These cashmere ones from Hansel from Basel link, responsible, look so cozy, and what about these amazing print ones from Thought link, sustainable? Or if you want to get fancy and festive, these velvet Darner socks look so dreamy link, responsible.

As for the book — well, I don't know what you like to read, but here's three of my favorite books I read this year. First, if you haven't read N.K Jemisin's Broken Earth series link, go read it right now! She won an extremely well-deserved Hugo for this series; it's deeply engrossing, twisty and surprising, beautiful and painful by turns. The world-building is incredibly unique, but beneath that is a story of history and oppression that could only have been informed by Jemisin's experience as a Black woman, and a lesson. But it's also sci-fi/alt worlds at its best, and you'll be thinking about it for a long long time after.

In a sort of similar vein, I loved Naomi Alderman's The Power link, a compelling story about what happens to our world when teenage girls suddenly develop the power to electrocute people through their hands. The subtle intro/outro will shake you, too. Lastly I have to recommend Lara Elena Donnelly's Amberlough series link, a delightful and tragic mashup of 20's cabaret counterculture and the rise of facism, through the story Cyril, a spy forced undercover, and his lover, Aristide, an unscrupulous but honest drag queen, and the political upheaval around them. What are you reading right now?

How I actually wore it

Just as pictured — except I didn't take a picture! Trust me, it was comfy.

For doing things

If you get enlisted to put up lights or cook (or was that just me?), leggings or loungewear is the way to go. Cozy and comfy! I chose festive winter red leggings and paired them a slouchy, cozy, fleece top and sneakers. I wish I had had these cozy wool Allbirds, but I mostly wore my athletic sneakers around.

If I was shopping...

I don't love prints, but a good color-blocked legging feels fun and bright. I wore my new Michi leggings in this red combo link, sustainable, woman-owned, made in Canada, but Outdoor Voices always has some excellent seasonal colors, like these hunter green high rise leggings link, responsible. If you're not into leggings, how cozy do these high rise knit joggers from Live the Process link, woman-owned, responsible look?

As for a cozy top, I have to suggest Corinne again. Her Bucket sweater link, ethical, handmade has a soft, loose turtleneck and drapey wide bracelet sleeves, with that same ultra-soft fleece inside.

I love this slouchy Epic long-sleeve top from Joah Brown link, made in US, too. I have it in light grey and it's so so soft. This Groceries Apparel Sage sweater link, sustainable is a tencel-fleece which sounds delightfully soft, and it looks totally #teamlongsleeves. I also love Aliya Waynek's Ami sweatshirt link, WOC-owned, handmade in the US, with its perfect crop and classic shape.

How I actually wore it

Just like I planned — around the house to cook dinner and help my Dad put up lights, and it was supremely cozy. Then again, this top would be cozy with just about anything!

Getting dressed up

There's always one night you go out for the one nice dinner that you don't cook at home. Thankfully it wasn't too cold for a silky midi skirt—it's on trend but in black will be a forever wardrobe item that goes with everything. (Plus, not constricting!) I wore my Everlane sweater again, and used my navy AYR jacket to balance the looser shapes. I wore my mules of course, but was envisioning this with a colorful bootie and sweater combo to be a little more festive.

If I was shopping...

I love my Elizabeth Suzann Bel skirt link, ethical, handemade in the US, woman-owned, but there's so many good options. Lauren Winter's Sage skirt link, handmade in the US, woman-owned comes in black, ivory, and a delightfully bright red wool. Plus, that waistband is so subtly special. For a more affordable Bel-skirt style, I'd get this Mimumaxi Peek skirt link, woman-owned, which looks slinky and comfortable. And I couldn't talk about winter skirts without mentioning Miranda Bennett's velvet paper bag skirt link, ethical, handmade by women, supports refugees. Of course it comes in black, too, and a few other divine deep winter colors.

Lena is pulling this look off extremely fabulously, in her gorgeous velvet skirt and cream sweater!

For a jacket, I love the contrast of a cropped or very structured jacket with a slouchy sweater and loose skirt. This Aritzia cropped wool sweater-jacket link, not ethical has an amazing boxy shape and I love the stand-up collar. For a more artsy take on my navy jacket, I love Heinui's Taishi jacket link, ethical, handmade by women. She uses the most beautiful indigo-dyed fabric from Japan and this jacket is no exception.

For something fun, how about this fluffy coat from Reformation link, sustainable? More casual, but looks cozy! And then there's this showstopper of a metallic double-breasted blazer from Modern Citizen link, responsible — how fun is that!?

I wore my mules, but it was once again raining, and I was wishing for my boots! At home I'd probably wear my black Mars mules, but these Live FashionABLE suede booties link, made by women, ethical are so dreamy (and more affordable!) — that adorable tassel! For something intense, but also a flat, how cool are these cheetah print Freda Salvador chelsea boots link, ethical? I feel like that totally counts as a neutral. Red does too, right? These Marais USA suede ankle booties link, made in the US, look fab. Lo reviewed them in this camel style on her blog.

I'm not much of a necklace person, so a statement earring is my favorite way to top off an outfit. I wore my favorite super-lightweight Shop Machete tortoise hoops link, woman-owned, to complement my ivory sweater. But if I was wearing more color, it'd have to be these gorgeous triple-stack coin earrings link, handmade, WOC-owned I picked up from Alicia at Lingua Nigra at Renegade Craft. She also has these beautiful concave studs link that would be perfect if you're not a fan of a dangly earring.

How I actually wore it

I just got my Bel skirt, and am putting it to good use. It's perfect for dinner, because it's so classic and lovely, but it's elastic waist and not at all constricting. This look ended up being a bit more black-and-white but next time I'm trying it with a lot more color! Alas, my feet ended up quite cold and wet since it was pouring, so maybe boots next time!

How I'm switching it up

We're heading out on Saturday to Houston to see my husband's family, and I'm pretty much packing the same stuff for the same activities: hanging about the house, with kiddos on Christmas day, and a nice dinner out. It was in the 40's and rainy at my parents, but the 10-day forecast says it will be 70 and sunny on Christmas day!

My mules will fare better in that weather, for sure. I also have those cream allbirds sneakers now, and I'm looking forward to pairing them with my green Kotn dress. If it's not too warm, I'll be pairing my rust turtleneck with my Bel skirt for our nice night out.

AO rust turtleneck secondhand, Elizabeth Suzann Bel skirt, Freda Salvador mules, Lingua Nigra earrings
Are you traveling this winter? What's on your winter trip packing list?