Style Panel: 8 ways to be cozy in your sweats all winter long without looking too casual

Cozy Casual

The idea of any type of clothing that is prefixed with the word “sweat” may make most stylish ladies shudder, but the fact of the matter is sweatpants and sweatshirts are pretty darn comfy. This week, our Style Panel was challenged to dress up their go-to cozy sweatshirts, sweatpants, tights and thick socks and did it so well that no lady ended up looking slobby, but rather perfectly on trend (and warm).

Thanks to the recent street style overload of Balenciaga’s sci-fi sweater this past season, and also to Holt Renfrew’s artistic sweaters that were sold to celebrate it’s anniversary a few months ago, comfortable clothing is clearly right on trend this fall. And our two newest Style Panel members, Krystin Lee of Suburban Faux-Pas and KD Faustino of The Girl with the Messy Hair both worked it well this week. They each spruced up their sweatshirt and thick sock adorned outfits with a skirt and tights, making what could have been a potentially drab outfit really stand out.

Question 29: How do you wear comfy winterwear without looking like a slob? Read the answers now! »

Or jump to: ALEXANDRA GRANT, VANCOUVER | BARBARA ANN SOLOMON, TORONTO | CARA MCLEAY, VANCOUVER | CHRISTINA CRAVERO, TORONTO | KAYLA SHORT, HALIFAX | KD FAUSTINO, CALGARY | KRYSTIN LEE, TORONTO | MELISSA KNIGHT, VANCOUVER

Cozy Casual KD Faustino

KD Faustino, 28
Calgary | The Girl With the Messy Hair

Winter is all about the cozy knit. However, being cozy and warm doesn’t necessarily mean you have to look like a slob. To make a knit look more polished, try putting it over a button-down shirt. For a monochromatic outfit such as this one, it’s nice to incorporate your old stuff from last spring/summer season and add a hint of colour into it even with just the collar. And just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t wear a skirt! A leather skirt like this one is a must paired with tights and chunky winter socks for a warm yet nonchalant vibe. Top it all off with the right amount of accessories and you’re good to go!

KD’s wearing: Top, thrifted. Skirt, Danier. Boots, Aldo. Sunglasses, D&G. Watch, Michael Kors. Bracelets, Marc by Marc Jacobs and Cruciani. Necklace, Adorie Jewels.

Cozy Casual Krystin Lee

Krystin Lee, 26
Toronto | Suburban Faux-Pas

This week’s how-to-wear question was a timely one inquiring as to how I dress up my dressed down items. I must admit, track pants and sweats aren’t items that exist in my wardrobe or vocab. That being said, nothing beats a cozy and comfy outfit!

This is my go-to combo for the recent chilling winter weather. The v-neck sweater and fleece gingham shirt pair nicely with a glitter bib necklace for a girly touch. By pairing these items with a leather skater skirt (stretchy waist!), tights and flats, I’ve added a sophisticated touch and avoided the dreaded ‘S’ word of winter: slob!

Krystin’s wearing: Sweater, Aerie. Shirt, Joe Fresh. Skirt, Forever 21. Sunglasses, Karen Walker ($218, revolveclothing.com). Tights, Joe Fresh. Necklace, Forever 21. Shoes, Tahari. Bag, Tory Burch ($400, bloomingdales.com). Watch, Michael Kors.

Cozy Casual Alexandra Grant

Alex Grant, 25
Vancouver | To Vogue or Bust

In Vancouver, our biggest concern is not so much the cold as much as it’s the rain. The city is wet…think rain 29 days out of the month and that’s what we’re usually contending with. Rain boots are an absolute necessity out here on the west coast, and the oft-favoured Hunter brand tends to make the most flattering styles. Since I spend most of the fall and winter shuffling around the city in chunky rubber boots, my focus is always on keeping the rest of my outfit sleek. Thin cashmere layers with a silk camisole underneath keep me warm while a relatively water-resistant yet chic leather jacket stylishly tops the whole look without adding more bulk. Finally, skinnies are your best friends, in as many rinses or colours as possible. They’re really the best and only option for boots, so now’s the time to stock up!

Alex’s wearing: Boots, Hunter Boots. Jacket, Twenty8Twelve. Jeans, Fidelity Denim. Top, Club Monaco. Bag, Rebecca Minkoff. Necklace, Keltie Leanne Designs. Ring, Brooklyn Designs.

Cozy Casual Christina Cravero

Christina Cravero, 27
Toronto | The Style Mogul

There is nothing I love more about winter than dressing up in comfy clothes, however sweatpants are not really my thing unless I’m relaxing at home. The closest thing I get to a sweatpant is leggings, and the great thing about them is you can still layer them! Layering is the easiest way to pair all of your warmest items together without looking over dressed and most importantly like a slob! I’ve layered light items with a thick knit sweater and a flannel vest. Since it’s not below 0 here in Toronto and thankfully no snow in sight, Hunter rain boots are my favorite casual boot.  Although not the warmest, the trick is to layer your socks like I have with my knee highs!

Christina’s wearing: Knit sweater, Gifted. Vest and scarf, Forever 21. Leggings, Gap. Striped Sweater & mitts, Joe Fresh. Hat & knee high socks, H&M. Rain boots, Hunter. Sunglasses, Rayban.

Cozy Casual Barbara Solomon

Barbara Ann Solomon, 25
Toronto | Barbara Ann’s Style Blog

There is something sexy about staying in and being cozy in sweats. I worked at Roots for eight years, and picked up an impressive collection of warm and authentically Canadian sweats and yoga wear. I loved my time there, and often made it a challenge my colleagues and I to show our customers new ways of wearing traditionally dressed down clothing; by dressing it up either with jewellery or mixing it in with your everyday clothing for an unexpected look. My favourite key item for being cozy are the Cabin socks, and my soy yoga pants, both from my time at back at Roots.

Barbara’s wearing: Sweater, Topshop. Jacket, Danier. Yoga pants, Roots. Socks, Roots. Necklace, Vintage. Boots, Seychelles.

Cozy Casual Kayla Short

Kayla Short, 26
Halifax | Short Presents

On the weekends I am always heading to and from the dance studio, and so I’m often trying to minimize time spent changing a thousand times a day. That being said on the weekend you will undoubtedly find me in thick socks, tights, boots, and cozy sweater. I think the best way to avoid looking frumpy is to mix and match your cozy pieces with other more structured items. I love combining sweatshirts with more formal bottoms like a sleek black dress pant or a pleated accordion skirt, and then topping it off with a great pair of boots and a fabulous necklace. I always make sure to accessorize my more cozy outfits with great statement necklaces, earrings, and/or bracelets. Be sure to also keep your hair and makeup clean and fresh (a little blush goes a long way). If you’re strutting outside in your cozies, you don’t want to look like you just rolled out of bed, so opt for a sleek ponytail and/or great topknot.

Kayla’s wearing: Sweatshirt, H&M. Skinny pants, Smart Set. Socks, Roots. Necklace, Sears. Watch, Fossil. Bracelet, Alex and Ani.

Cozy Casual Melissa Knight

Melissa Knight, 30
Vancouver | Miss Melissa

Over the years I have collected a few sweatshirts that are a little dressier and can be worn as more than just a post-workout cover up. On days where comfort is my priority I will wear them with jeans and flats or shorts and tights for an effortless and comfortable look.

Melissa’s wearing: Sweashirt, Urban Outfitters. Shorts, Urban Outfitters. Pumps, Aldo. Bag, Zara.

Cozy Casual Cara McLeay

Cara McLeay, 28
Vancouver | A Fashion Love Affair

I am a summer girl at heart, but living in Vancouver I can’t wear just a summer dress all year round…so layering is essential when it comes to the cooler months, and a cozy sweatshirt is the perfect topper for one of my favourite dresses on a chilly day.

Cara’s wearing: Dress, BB Dakota. Sweatshirt, Zara. Bag, Coach. Necklace, Pree Brulee. Heels, Aldo.