Comfortable and casual fashion go together with autumn like peanut butter and jelly. Once the thermometer starts to dip, we embrace our cozy sweaters, easy knits and drapey cardigans, and look forward to fall weather activities like pumpkin picking in crisp weather, hot toddies by an open fire and watching football on Sundays. So much of autumn is about cocooning and hunkering down.
In theory this all sounds fabulous, and it is, for a little while. However, after too many weeks of this we can start to feel like human goose down comforters in our cozy clothes as they start to give us cabin fever and a serious case of the winter blues. At the beginning of each new season all the clothing that comes with it sounds incredibly appealing (just think how happy you were to wear sundresses at the beginning of summer, and how tired you were of them by Labor Day), but once the novelty wears off it can really start to feel repetitive and boring. In today’s post I am going to show you how to embrace all the comfortable and casual fashion of the upcoming season without sacrificing style. Below are five common fall and winter weather pieces and outfits that commonly get worn and my tips on how to keep them feeling fresh without losing their comfort factor.
Comfortable and Casual Fashion Without Sacrificing Style
Fall weather staple #1- A comfortable pair of drawstring pants
I have yet to embrace the drapey drawstring pants trend that was hugely popular for summer. While they look appealing, and I love the idea of a pair of pants that let my body relax into a comatose state, I seriously wonder how flattering they would be on my body. Yet, I can totally see this pair from J. Crew becoming a staple for many women who want the comfort of leaving the house in a pair of pajama bottoms without the humiliation that comes from wearing actual pajamas outdoors.
If you’re one of these people who are totally into the drapey drawstring pants trend, heed my tips in order to not look like you didn’t bother to get dressed: Add something to the outfit with a little more structure, like this denim jacket, for example. Tailored or structured pieces balance out the softness of the easy pieces and make them look more dressed and less pajama-like. In addition, it’s easy to add styling components to an outfit like this without losing the comfort factor. Here, for example, this outfit, which also includes this graphic t-shirt from Modcloth, looks polished with a pair of shocking pink rubber soled loafers from Anthropologie and a pink scarf from Nordstrom wound around the neck. Lastly I added a few pieces of jewelry, a pair of stud earrings from Rebecca Minkoff and a colorful bangle from Max & Chloe, along with an easy statement weekend bag from Baggallini. Nobody will think you rolled out of bed in this outfit, despite the fact that it will remain as comfortable as your pajamas.
Fall weather staple #2- Leggings
Who doesn’t love leggings in the fall and winter? Not only are they easy but they’re incredibly comfortable, especially when worn with a long knit tunic. In this outfit I kept it comfortable and cozy, but gave it some polish so you won’t feel like a big lump of laundry when wearing it. It doesn’t take much and I certainly don’t want to take away the ease of wearing this look. All I did was add a long necklace to this tunic sweatshirt dress and leggings, both from Ahtleta, a pair of gold slip on sneakers from Nordstrom (which is a huge trend right now and one I will be talking about in tomorrow’s blog) to give this outfit just a touch of polish while not sacrificing any comfort. For a splash of color I finished this outfit with a red Tory Burch tote.
Fall staple #3- A comfortable sweater and jeans
A comfortable sweater and jeans is like the unofficial uniform of fall. Does it get any easier than this? If you have blood running through your veins, and live in climate that sees autumn temperatures, you will probably wear an outfit like this at least once, if not about 5 dozen times before the spring thaw. In fact, you probably have multiple sweaters and pairs of jeans for just this type of look.
If this is your go-to outfit, and after a while it begins to feel like a uniform, spice up the outfit with accessories. Once the weather gets super color you will probably move into boots, but take advantage of the early autumn temperatures and wear this staple outfit with a pair of loafers or ballerina flats, particularly ones that make a statement and add some pop to your sweater and jeans looks. In this outfit, a pair of leopard loafers (that could easily go to work as well), spice up the melange sweater from French Connection and J. Crew skinny jeans. Lastly, I added a pair of gold chandelier earrings, which can be great for face framing when you are wearing a chunky turtleneck, a metallic handbag and cognac faux leather jacket. The sweater and jeans outfit is lovely on its own, but it is through the accessories that this outfit gets some more zing. No comfort was sacrificed in the making of this outfit.
Fall staple #4- The casual sweater dress
Not every weekend activity is super casual. Sometimes we have to get dressed up a bit. However, this certainly doesn’t mean that comfort needs to be sacrificed. An easy sweater dress is a fantastic solution to this, and one I live in when my life requires me to be dressed up in a casual manner. Knit dresses are great to wear because we get a great range of motion and stretch from these pieces while looking a bit more done up.
With this Modcloth sweater dress, you are ready for dressier plans and can choose to either wear tights or not. Added to this look is a pair of cognac boots, that can also be worn with jeans and leggings. Some jewelry was added to give this outfit some effortless finish- a pair of gold earrings from Banana Republic and a leather cuff bracelet from Ann Taylor. Lastly, for a statement, I added this exotic snakeskin tote, also from Banana Republic.
Fall staple #5- The relaxed cardigan
Lastly, the cardigan. Where would we be without a stockpile of these in our wardrobes? The easy cardigan look is another fall staple. In this outfit, nothing about comfort is sacrificed, yet, it is the play on color that gives this outfit some interest. Color combining in unexpected combinations is another way to add style to an outfit without losing its comfort factor. The teal waterfall cardigan from Boden over a grey Lucky Brand studded t-shirt and boyfriend cords from The Gap gets an infusion of excitement with a pair of TOMS striped ballerinas and a purple handbag. Lastly, these gold whistle earrings add some conversational flair to the outfit without creating a fuss.
Start with comfort, end with style
The key to comfortable and casual fashion is to start with pieces that feel this easy and relaxed and to add on elements to your outfits that add a punch of flair while not taking anything away from the ease of what you are wearing.
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Love, love, love this chic, casual, series. Items 3 and 4 so speak my name. When getting dressed I’ll always think of your final statement ” start with comfort, end with style”!!
Bridgette, you are the best!!! Thank you for all your hard work and for using your wonderful brain to bring your fans such joy!!
I’m digging out all cognac accessories to see what does and doesn’t work,
A faithful fan,
Thanks, as always, for the kind words, Pat!
Thank you for this reminder. This morning I was all set to wear a hoodie and sneakers to take my kids to the Museum of Flight, but before I leave the house I will swap them out for a green cardigan and my leopard flats.
Excellent! All it takes are a few little punches to jazz up an outfit!
Thanks for the stylish, comfy ideas. Re the sweater dress, if wearing tights, would you match the dress or the cognac boots?
I would go with a chocolate brown shade.
Love everything and I wear every outfit. However, $98.00 for a pair of sweat pants from J.Crew? I love them, but I couldn’t stomach paying that for a pair of sweat pants. Anything else cheaper, but with the same polished look?
I agree with what you are saying. This style of pants is so popular right now that you can find them at any price point. In fact, i am wearing a pair of lounge pants from Uniqlo right now that could easily be outdoor pants and I couldn’t have spent more than $15 on them.
I never heard of Uniqlo. I will have to check them out. Thank you.
The Uniqlo ones are more loungey and less for outdoors, though you could wear them. I would imagine, however, you can get a pair of drawstring pants at most major retailers. Here is a pair from Old Navy for $30 http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1007620&vid=1&pid=952597002