Workout clothes, all day everyday.
You know the temptation. I know the temptation.
This outfit is the remedy. It’s for those days when I want to wear workout clothes but I need to wear real clothes.
Stretchy leggings, check. Loose fitting shirt, check. Flat boots, check. Cozy sweater cardigan, check.
Can it get any cozier?
Well, actually … if I was surrounded by fuzzy puppies … yes.
But puppies aside, this outfit is at pajama level comfort while looking top-notch.
Also … in case you’re wondering: Yes, I’ll be wearing a coat when I go outside. But since you’ve seen it before, I figured I’d just show you what’s under my wrap coat. That’s probably going to happen a lot these days.
So tell me … what’s your “one step up from workout clothes” outfit?
Bottoms: J.Crew Factory (similar)
Shoes: Kenneth Cole (similar)
Stacking Rings: Moulton
Loved it so much :D
Victoria B says
Question for you – I recently switched out some items from my fall capsule. It was my first one, and I had a few items that just didn’t feel like me, and there were a few pieces that I knew I was only going to wear once or twice, and wanted to replace it with something that would get a lot of wear. Would you ever consider doing this in your own wardrobe? What are your thoughts?
I’m doing this too – my fall capsule is actually supposed to last until Spring since winter is fairly mild in Seattle. But one of the sweaters I chose is way too thin to offer any warmth so I’m going to swap it out, and a skirt I had been eyeing for fall went on a major sale so I bought it and will swap out one of the skirts I haven’t worn at all.
I think we all need to create our own “rules” but part of this exercise is about learning what works and what doesn’t, and changing course accordingly.
Amanda Bee says
I’m not Caroline, but I think she’s said in the past that you should do what works for you. I ended up switching things mid-fall because it got WAY colder here than I was expecting, so all the wool sweaters and big jackets came out this week. And, yeah, I’ve swapped some stuff out because I just realized it didn’t work for me like I thought. It’s a learning process – if you’re being thoughtful about it and keeping the closet pretty minimal, I think that’s true to the spirit of the challenge.
Joanna O says
This is the perfect look for a nursing mama like me! I can be comfortable running around with my toddler and still have easy access for nursing, while looking put together. Thanks for the inspiration!
Tania [girlwithanakita] says
Your blog helped me figure out that comfy doesn’t have to be dumpy. I am embarrassed to admit that I spent my entire college life in scrubs (warm days) and sweats/hoodies (cold days). I’m so sad to learn very late that regular clothes can be comfy and effortless just by looking for the right fabric + fit!
Jackie (York Avenue) says
My go-to comfy outfit is usually jeans and an upgraded sweatshirt…but this is definitely a better looking ensemble! I don’t even own a crisp white shirt like this, but it seems like I probably should. I love how you styled it to be cozy, rather than the way I usually think of it, which is kind of corporate or really fashion-y. I never would’ve thought of this outfit! I definitely would have just put the sweater with a plain white tee underneath. I love how your outfits get me thinking sort of outside the box, and yet they’re still totally approachable and easy.
Kaitlyn S says
Love this sweater. Bought it after I saw it in your collection and have had to put it on forced hiatus because I was wearing it too often. My new “comfy” outfit is the Athleta metro tights (also in your collection), and this boden tunic sweater in charcoal (http://www.bodenusa.com/en-US/Womens-Knitwear/Sweaters/WK995/Womens-Textured-Off-Duty-Sweater.html) with either these flats (http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/dr-scholls-original-collection-deltoro-flat-women/3804908?origin=stylenumsearch) or my frye boots.
This outfit looks both super comfy + put together, but I’m afraid I might not feel totally comfortable wearing leggings without a longer shirt. I do own some thick leggings (which these look like to me), but I’ve even worn them with tunics that were on the shorter side and it didn’t feel like quite enough coverage. Do you have any thoughts on this or general rules for yourself? Because I definitely love this look, and I’d love to integrate leggings into my outfits more regularly in a way that would work for me. Thanks!
Tania [girlwithanakita] says
Chrissie, I found the jackpot of all ‘leggings’ at H&M! It is like ~$17 and it’s thick with seam lines going up and down. The seams make it look more like pants than leggings + it’s thick enough that it doesn’t give you the dreaded see-thru issue. I wear it to the office with tops that cover mid-bum (like sweaters, blouses, etc) only to hide the giveaway no-button, no-zipper legging-ness of it all. Fair warning: Their stuff shrink so I general hang dry it.
Thanks so much, Tania! That is so good to know. Maybe I just haven’t tried a pair yet that have that pants-feel that would make me more comfortable wearing them with tops like that. I’ll check into these!
Eddie Bauer has these “Girl on the Go” leggings in dark colors that are a really nice thick fabric as well. Definitely not inexpensive, but they have washed really well and I feel comfortable wearing them as pants.
those leggings also happen to be on sale right now!
I love the way you break down why your outfits work. It’s made it so much easier for me to tweak the “recipe” do it works for me. I’d swap the leggings for a jersey pencil skirt and black tights. I’m so grateful for the blog, and your inside and out beauty and style!
*so it works, not “do it works”. :-)
My one-step-up from workout clothes is either boyfriend jeans and an oversized sweatshirt (still VERY casual) or leggings with a sweater dress.
Ok….I have the QUESTION of QUESTIONS! (For the Fall and Winter season). It’s been a stumper for 2 years now:
What outerwear do you wear over drapey/slouchy/shawly cardigans?
When it comes to what outerwear to wear over the flowy/open/oversized cardigans and sweaters we all so love right now…my stumper always comes when I have to head outside. Most of these cardigans have heavy drapey collars too, much like your Mango shawl coat, so the weird part is trying to find a coat that doesn’t double up on collars/bulk, but allows for the shape of the cardi underneath.
Thx! Anyone have any ideas?
Tania [girlwithanakita] says
I think you stumped everybody, Julie!
I know what you mean with the bulky shawls. When I wear something that bulky in the front, I make a conscious effort to go thin with the rest of my items. I stay away from shawl coats (even though I think they are gorgeous) because I’m bigger on top so the extra bulk makes me bigger.
I like to wear shawl-y cardigans with an open coat because the bulk acts like a scarf, but of course this doesn’t work when it’s dead-on winter and you need to trap your heat in.
I’d love to know other ideas!
I’m not sure this is the perfect answer for everyone, but for me, when I wear thicker/slouchier cardigans and sweaters or wraps, I wear a short belted trench by Ellen Tracy. It makes necklines of the sweaters/cardigans look more like a scarf, plus you can tie the belt to keep everything in place and give definition to your waist. My jacket also has a removable hood so you can take away some of the bulkiness that’s happening around the neckline. I hope this helps!
Hey Caroline! I just sent out my Christmas list, and this drapey cardigan is officially on it! Do you know where I could find a shirt like the anthro one for less? I really like the green color they have in that shirt, and I think something of that shape/structure (or lack thereof) would look really great with the blackberry color of the cardi! Thoughts? Anyone else?
What a great outfit! In the warmer months my “one step up from workout clothes” is linen bottoms (pants, shorts, skirt, whatever) and a shirt made of jersey but with an interesting cut and/or design. It feels like I’m wearing yoga pants and a t-shirt, but it looks like so much more! In the winter it is definitely a chunky sweater or sweater dress with leggings and tall, chunky socks. I love hand knits so much and wait all year long for it to be warm enough to bust out my wool sock collection!
Ok, I broke down and ordered that sweater. I’ve loved every outfit with it so far and I hope it looks just as good on me as it does on you!
And I have to say that as a mom to a 4 month old I need more outfits that are just as comfortable as workout clothes but make me feel like I actually got dressed for the day!
Step one is a lace bralette – it’s like the “real clothes” solution for wanting to wear a sports bra instead of a regular bra. Step two is stretchy jeans – Levi’s Curve ID are form fitting but so stretchy that it feels like you’re wearing leggings or something. Step three is a chambray – cozy but loose-fitting. Step four is flat shoes – I love my sandals from Madewell! Wore this outfit yesterday and I literally remember saying “I feel like I’m in work-appropriate PJs”
Until it snowed, it was a striped maxi dress with a 3/4 sleeve sweatshirt or a tee or a thin hooded sweatshirt. I wonder what I wore before I found that dress. It looked cute but felt like wearing pajamas.
I stumbled upon your blog last week while on vacation. The first thing I did after I unpacked my suitcase was empty out my closet (big job!). I now have a capsule wardrobe for fall/Christmas in my closet and in three days have already come up with three new outfits from clothes I had but never put together before. My style is different than yours as I am in my forties and work in an office but the concept still works great! I know it will make me put more effort into deciding which items to purchase in the future and I am all for that! Thanks for sharing!
Speaking of leggings ( and that look is perfect by the way) I was reading an article where they asked Vera Wang what kind she wore and she said Dankin Supplex leggings. As I am currently wearing my pair- she was dead right that they are the best leggings ever.
Nice! Thanks for sharing this with us, Gibson! xo Caroline
Dankin or Danskin? I’m finding danskin ones on amazon?
Yay! Love this post. I live in workout gear and I am always trying to get out of it. As a trainer I love to actually wear my leggings + my workout tank, add a cute pair of boots and on top a cute hippie top, scarf or sweater. it makes it simple for me to go from working in the studio to meetings. I too buy many of my tops from Anthro. Your outfit is perfect for this cool day. Thanks.
Hi Caroline! I discovered your blog two months ago and am in the middle of wearing my first capsule wardrobe! Loving the simplicity in the morning and how it has helped me define my style~ However, right now when all the Black Friday sale brochures are starting to be released, all I want to do is go shopping!! Any tips on “curbing your cravings” mid season?
Hi Nicole! I’m planning a post about that right now, but in the meantime, check out this post:
My go to comfy outfit is leggings, a short dress and my super cozy sweater blazer. I look super dressy and put together, but feel like I’m in pj’s. Love it!
Definitely the sweater dress + leggings. For summer I have an A-line dress in the softest thick jersey knit (french terry cloth). And Birkenstocks of course.
I might add your combo as well though. Lately I’ve been craving comfy outfits and that vest make temperature control a lot easier from the sweater dress.
Amanda Bee says
I love this! I like the idea of leggings but I need some bum coverage, the long sweater over the looser shirt is a classy way to do that. Now I just need to find sweaters long enough to cover my bum – tall girl problems ;)
I was wondering if you could help with sizing on this cardigan. I am usually between a medium and a large but given how oversized the cardigan is I don’t want to be totally swimming in this!
I am a medium/sometimes-large myself and bought the M/L and I am swimming in it and planning on mailing it back to exchange for the next smaller size even though I think that will cost me an additional $8. My biggest complaint isn’t so much the oversized-ness of it, but the length! I don’t know how much shorter the XS/S runs, but I wish I had paid attention to the fact that the sizing info says the model is wearing a S and is 5’10”. It hits her where I would want it to hit me, but of course on my 5’6″ frame it is coming down to my knees, which I think looks a little ridiculous. I saw your comment only because I was referring back to this post to see where it fell on Caroline in the picture (clearly higher than her knees!), and see if anyone else had asked her in the comments what size she is wearing.
Thanks for sharing! I went ahead and ordered the small, in the plum color. So I have to wait til christmas for it to arrive, ugh!!!
I was looking for a size reference as well & found this review of the cape online…. the woman speaking says she is a petite size and from what I can tell the cape in her hand is an XS/S.