If we’re being honest – I’m still coming to terms with the fact that this holiday season will have more occasion for leggings and far less for sequins. So in an effort to balance being comfortable and cozy at home but also still feeling a bit festive, I came up with 10 outfit ideas that will be perfect for the season ahead. Lots of relaxed denim, cozy sweaters and simple styling. Hopefully this inspires you to find a new piece or two that will make the holidays feel special or wear something you already own in a new way. The full IGTV video is here and all outfit details are below.
From the general consensus that I’ve gathered on the internet – a lot of us are struggling right now. We’re tired from the election/news cycle, we’re missing our family and friends, we feel daunted by the thought of renewed Covid-19 restrictions (my dear friend in Minnesota just went into full lockdown again in their town), we’re sad that the holidays won’t look like normal this year. I get it. And I feel all of it too.
My family just made the tough decision not to gather for Thanksgiving this year – a first for us all aside from the year that Adam and I were in LA. My brother in law traveled recently so he needs to quarantine, my niece and nephew are still in daycare, Adam still works in the office – so even to have just my immediate family together (3 different households) would put my parents at risk who are in regular contact out of necessity with my two grandparents, both in their 90s. A meal together just didn’t feel worth the risk.
Which means Adam and I will celebrate here in the city for the first time. Since I wasn’t about to attempt to cook a full turkey dinner in our small kitchen, we ordered a multi-course meal from a favorite local restaurant (Friend of A Farmer) to-go. It feels like a great way to support a local business and also get something that still feels special. In a situation that felt like sort of a bummer, I’m now really looking forward to a small, quiet holiday – just the two of us.
It’s that approach of focusing on simple joys that I’m trying to take to heart for the whole rest of this uncertain season. I’m talking Little Women-era basics at this point. The things that you’re otherwise always too busy to slow down and really revel in. Things that feel cozy and content. Here are a few of the simple joys I plan on indulging in this season.
Pick up a holiday scented candle (this one is a favorite) and string some lights. Now that it gets dark early I find the warm glow so comforting in the evening.
Treat yourself to a new flavor of tea or coffee to make at home. I’ve been loving a cup of peppermint tea in the evenings while I read.
Take a long, hot bath – extra bubbles too.
Handwrite letters (or holiday cards!) to friends and family that you might not get to see in person this season. Mail like that really makes people’s day.
Bake something – even if it’s out of a box. We just got a gingerbread mix from Trader Joe’s I’m excited to try. I love when the whole apartment smells like something fresh out of the oven.
Devour a new show – I mentioned on IG stories but The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix is incredible and I’m planning to dive into the latest season of The Crown today (Princess Diana here I come!) – or have a holiday movie marathon. Love Actually is always my favorite.
Play an old-fashioned board game. We bought Scrabble last year and it’s one of our favorite at-home date nights. We usually mix up a cocktail and put on our favorite records too. Finding an online game to play with a friend could be great too though!
Speaking of cocktails – is there anything a homemade hot toddy can’t solve? If whiskey’s not your thing – substitute a hot chocolate with extra marshmallows.
Pick up a new book and get lost in it for an afternoon. I’m currently reading Royal Holiday which is super sweet. And I plan on sharing a whole round-up of other cute holiday-themed books soon!
Houndstooth, buffalo check, tartan.. no matter how you print it, I’ve always loved a holiday plaid. From a small dose, like my favorite knotted plaid headband, to a more statement making houndstooth wrap – from now through New Year’s I’ll be finding lots of ways to wear these festive prints. Below – my top picks on the market this year.
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This set of 4 plaid mugs would make a cute gift for someone along with a selection of their favorite teas or hot chocolate.
I’ve had this bag for a couple of years and love that it adds a pop of pattern to a basic black winter coat.
If ever there was a sign of the times in 2020 it’s holiday face masks. I love the colors in this 3 pack and figure if I’m going to be wearing them constantly (which I most certainly am) they might as well be cute and match my sweaters.
For the plaid enthusiast in your life! I’m swooning over this coffee table book dedicated to tartan.
These sherpa lined blankets would be the perfect thing to curl up with as you watch holiday movies this year.
I just got this kilt-inspired mini skirt and am in love with it. I wore it with boots here but will be pairing it with black tights as it gets colder.
I tend to think a lot of holiday doormats are too over the top but this subtle plaid one is SO chic.
I have these plaid kitten heels from last year (the plaid was more multi colored) and they sold out so fast. I actually love the black watch plaid they come in this year even more – don’t wait on these!
My favorite headband that I can miraculously wear all day without getting a headache. So cute with a simple sweater.
Is it selfish to kick off my holiday content with a personal gift wishlist? Don’t answer that. To be fair, I’m only planning to share two gift guides this year. The first is this one – a ‘just for fun’ round-up of things that I’d love to see under the tree this year, but in all reality will probably purchase for myself at some point because that’s adulthood for you. Ha. And secondly (and the one I’m most excited about) a big gift guide for books which will be coming soon. I personally find myself wanting to buy less and less each holiday season, but I do think a couple of well-chosen items that feel unique to the person you’re gifting are always appreciated.
Expressie Nail Polish: I haven’t had a proper manicure since February, but I like to think in all this time I’ve gotten better at doing them myself. I’ve heard good thing about this fast dry Essie options and would love some new colors in my stocking.
The Koop New York Candles: I came across this Black-owned, NYC based small business earlier in the year and have basically had at least one of their candles lit ever since. Working from home feels calmer and cozier when I have a great scent to surround me.
Apple AirPods: I’m a decidedly late adopter of new technology and figured if my old headphones weren’t broke.. why replace them. But since I’ve been home so much or going on walks around town – it really would be nice to not have to deal with the ever present hassle of cords.
Party Puzzle: If 2020 has given us anything, it’s a far superior selection of jigsaw puzzles than ever before. I would save this champagne scene for staying in on NYE. Which in all likelihood is exactly what we’ll be doing.
Colorful Taper Candles: I’m usually fairly traditional when it comes to taper candles and stick to classic white but I love these olive green ones to put on the mantle in our bedroom as a subtle pop of color.
Holiday Tea Tins: I have been drinking more hot tea than ever this year at home and I have always coveted the fancy Harvey & Sons tea tins but never spring for them myself. This set of 4 holiday flavors would make an afternoon cup feel extra special.
Henley Pajama Set: My pajama drawer has seen better days. I like this cute and cozy striped set for lounging or sleeping on cold winter nights.
Diamond Signet Ring: I buy far less costume jewelry than I used to, instead wanting to carefully add pieces to my collection that I’ll keep for life. This 14k solid gold signet ring with a tiny diamond is just the thing.
‘The Best of Me’ by David Sedaris: A greatest hits collection of Sedaris’ essays throughout the years chosen by the author himself. I’m such a huge fan of his work and would love to get my hands on a signed copy.
Roman Pendant Necklace: Same sentiment as the ring above. I love this Roman coin style pendant necklace on it’s one or layered with some of my other favorite pieces.
Tortoiseshell Popsocket: When I got my new phone a few months ago I never replaced the popsocket on the back and sorely miss it now. A small thing, but it’s on the wishlist!
Shearling Snow Boots: I probably need these the least but they’re so pretty and just look incredibly cozy. And that’s all you need to sell me on something this winter when the furthest I’ll likely be going is to the corner store.
Trouser Socks: Call me boring but I always hope someone buys me socks for Christmas because I hate buying them myself. Adam and my Mom usually take care of me and make sure I’m not wearing hole-ridden pairs year after year. Bless them.
I love jacket season. When it’s crisp enough to need an extra layer, but warm enough to leave it unbuttoned. And even better when said jacket blends in perfectly with the fall foliage. I mean how good is the color of this quilted jacket?! And those leaves?! This is a little town in Pennsylvania that we drive through on our way to the lake house and almost every year we make a little pit stop to walk through the quiet streets. It feels like the set of the Gilmore Girls’ town of Stars Hollow to me.
When it comes to Fall jackets, I tend to air on the side of casual. Especially this year when I’m really not ‘dressing up’ very much. I love quilted styles, like the one I’m wearing here, for fall outdoor activities like apple picking or long walks – and they’re great if you happen to get caught in a little bit of rain. And my other favorite are the cozy, sherpa types – that you can throw on to run to the grocery store or snuggle up on the couch for a movie night. I’ve got my eye on this one that comes in several colors and is super affordable.
Luckily, there seems to be no shortage of good options out there this year and almost all of the styles I picked below are on sale right now!