When the goal is "cute," but the mood is "bed."
We love to get dressed. Really, we do! From fancy dinners to fall brunches, no occasion goes without an outfit idea at InStyle. But sometimes — more than we care to admit — we're in cozy-girl mode. What does that mean, exactly? We're either wearing our warmest sweatpants, softest old T-shirt, and slippers watching Gilmore Girls from season 1, or we want to be.
If this sounds familiar, you're in the right place. Because not only did we find ultra-comfy outfits to wear for those lazy days when you wish you could cuddle up all day long, but they're just as stylish as anything featuring hard pants (that is, non-sweats). Ahead, find 20 cozy outfit ideas to wear when you want to look cute but feel like you're in pajamas, and thank us later.
A Knit Matching Set
A roomy cream sweater and coordinating midi skirt is as soft as your favorite sweat set, but looks so much more polished. Add sophisticated accessories, like gold earrings and a cute little clutch, to complete the look.
A Shoulder Sweater
Have you heard? The new way to layer your sweater is by tying it around across your shoulders — or around your waist, or diagonally, or basically any way aside from wearing it normally. Try it as a way to break up your set and still stay warm.
A Bright Layer
One way to distract the eye from the fact that you're essentially just wearing grey sweats, a T-shirt, and sneakers? Wear a neon-pink jacket on top and carry a bag that says "these are not sweatpants, I don't know what you're talking about."
Yes, this is legitimately just a sweatshirt and matching pants. But with a sleek tonal monogram, a perfect fit, and a button-down collar peeking out, they're dressed up enough for the great outdoors — or at least brunch. Can't bring yourself to put on heels? Try ballet flats or loafers instead.
A Slick Puffer
We really lucked out when puffer coats came back in style, because they're the clothing equivalent of wearing your comforter out in public. Throw on a cropped, shiny black version over a striped shirt and black cargo pants for an outfit that's put together yet low-key.
Laid-Back in Logos
A designer logo adds a bit of fashion gravitas to an otherwise simple grey sweatshirt. With jeans, sneakers, and slightly fancy accessories, it's a cozy outfit that feels surprisingly upscale.
A Cropped Sweater
A soft cropped sweater is one of the most versatile pieces in your fall wardrobe. Not only can you throw it on with jeans for an easy outfit, but it looks great with a slightly dressier tea-length skirt, as seen here, or even layered over a maxi dress for added coziness.
We love a one-color 'fit around here, and not only because it can hide the fact that you're essentially wearing pajamas in public. In the case of model Paloma Elsesser's look here, she's gone a step above in pants and a matching button-down, but the real showstopper is her super-snuggly long coat.
A Shearling Jacket
Shearling is one of the rare cozy materials that has a luxe appearance. So even though it feels like wrapping yourself up in a blanket, it helps dress up an otherwise ultra-casual outfit.
A Cutout Sweater
Another knit you need? One with unexpected cutouts, such as this one with a slashed shoulder. It's got the ease and comfort you're looking for, and feels just fashion-y enough to pair with this patchwork denim maxiskirt.
A Maxiskirt and Hoodie
The hoodie and sneakers are mainstays of cozy dressing. But instead of pairing them with jeans, swap in a maxi or midi skirt — it feels just as chill but looks a bit more intentional.
A Sweater and Trousers
Another alternative to jeans is a relaxed trouser in a soft — not restrictive — fabric like silk or corduroy. Tuck in the sweater of your choice, and add a belt if you're feeling ambitious.
A Sweater and Skirt
Alternatively, you can use that same outfit formula, but pinch-hit a skirt for the pants. We also love the addition of the slouchy boots here, which give it all-weather appeal.
Layered in Leather
A perfectly worn-in leather jacket is the ultimate outerwear addition to a crop top and zip-up hoodie. Add ripped jeans, a baseball hat, and combat boots and you're ready to take on the world, comfortably.
A Cardigan and Dress
For a lighter take on the cozy outfit: Try buttoning up an oversized cardigan on top of a lightweight dress. It's great for those in-between weather days, and an easy way to bring your summer dresses into fall.
Leggings and Clogs
Another option for layering a leather jacket over your hoodie is when you're running out the door in black leggings. The jacket adds that extra bit of polish, while socks and clogs bring the whole look together.
A striped sweater is the lazy-girl's styling essential, because it adds that extra bit of something, while still being, at its core, a cozy sweater. Throw one on with broken-in jeans and your favorite Birkenstocks, and you're good to go for a day of errands.
Glam in Sherpa
If you must go to a dressier event, you can still do so cozily. Exhibit A: This look, featuring a glam gown topped off with a floor-length shearling coat.
All Wrapped Up
As mentioned earlier, this is the year of wearing your extra sweater every which way except as originally intended. And as you can see here, the right one makes an excellent makeshift scarf.
One way to keep your cozy outfit more "quiet luxury" and less "be quiet, I'm sleeping," is to focus on the color palette. A taupe sweatshirt layered over a black top adds a little but of contrast, and while a cream puffer coat complements without being too matchy-matchy.
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