4 Cozy Winter Basics (Ethically-Made!)

I used to get dressed in the winter, used to rally against the cold and put together a somewhat-presentable uniform for my weekly grocery run or a library return. Once, lifetimes ago and certainly pre-children, I dressed myself up for an afternoon matinee, heels and all, a double layer of mascara.

What’s the occasion? the ticket girl asks, slightly bewildered, and all I can think of is that any day with buttered popcorn certainly qualifies as a special occasion.

What I’m getting at is that “Overdressed” could easily have been the title of my memoir, or at least the early years. (Related: the birthday dress.) But oh, how the genteel have fallen. These days, comfort beckons and I find myself picking up tomatoes, chili powder with a bathrobe not-so-discreetly hidden beneath my parka.

In case you’re in the same category (former birthday dress notwithstanding), I added a few ethically-made basics to my winter rotation last fall and found the 4 coziest had become fast favorites. Here’s the best-of-the-best list:


Ken smirks at me often for this statement, but there are times when even leggings feel too restrictive, and for me, those said times are in the cheese-eating months of dead winter. (I know; I would’ve never made it in the dark times of lacy corsets – or gasp! – pantyhose.) These sweatpants from KOTN are ethically made in Nile Delta, Egypt with 100% long-staple local cotton – both sustainable and substantial. Bonus: the cut feels just modern enough to dance around the kitchen to Rod Stewart and not feel (too terribly much) like zany Aunt Rita.


I wear these daily in the winter, and there is absolutely, positively no other sock for me. Made in the U.S. from fair trade, organic wool, my (perennially) chilled toes are as warm as the team that produces them. Highly recommend!


I was never much of a long-sleeved tee kind of gal until my friend Marisa sent over this one, and it’s the perfect blend: tissue-soft, but not tissue-thin. Made in Peru from the purest pima cotton, I’ve washed-and-worn it dozens of times with nary a fade. (Mine’s in black, because #avocadostains.)


After years spent borrowing Ken’s robe (the drape is so much better!), I’m loving the unisex neutrals at Oddbird. Constructed from handwoven Turkish towels and sewn by local artisans in Istanbul, Turkey, Oddbird’s robes are warm but not bulky and are versatile year-round. Tip: pair this one with cutoffs and a tee or a sundress when the weather’s warmer – and poof, it becomes the loveliest of duster cardigans.

Tell me: what are you wrapping up in these days? I’d love to hear!

p.s. A few more honorable mentions: these slippers, this hoodie and pants for the littles!
p.p.s. Thank you all for your comments re: this post. Your grace, kindness and wisdom has 100% made this my favorite space in the big, wide Internet. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • Kotn is one of my very favourite ethical brands! So excited to see you recommending fairly made garments, Erin. This made my day! <3

  • You probably have this info somewhere on your blog already, but can you list your favorite skinny jeans? I am still struggling to find mine. I am willing to pay if they will last and look geeat. I need a short length- this is usually my problem. I am 5 feet 3 inches and 110 pounds, so pretty petite. Skinny jeans tend to be too long and bunch up on the ankles.

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  • Those neutrals from Oddbird are stunning, it is so lovely to see someone sharing ethical brands as I am always on the look out for new ones! I will definitely be checking out KOTN too, their stuff sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing!

    Holly from The Art of Being Holly xo

  • erin, thanks a lot for the article post.Much thanks again. Fantastic.

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