- What exactly is the meaning of cozy?
- Now what is cozy?
- What is called a cozy look in western Europe?
- What do Southern Belles call a cozy outfit?
- Where are winters the most chilliest
- What is cozy in Colorado and Illinois?
- What is comfortable to wear at which temperatures in Alaska?
- Stylish Monday linkup party
What exactly is the meaning of cozy?
When you speak several languages, you know that there are words that don’t have just one meaning in a different language. Or words that don’t even exist. Or a word relates to the different cultural content in which the native speakers use the word.
Cozy is one of them. The word cozy translates to the German word gemütlich. However, when I hear the former, I think of being inside on a cold Alaskan winter day cuddling on the coach with my cat, a thick blancket, a book and a mug of hot chocolate, or of a romantic dinner with my husband in downtown Fairbanks sitting on a table at the window and watching the snow falling illuminated by the twinkle lights while eating minestrone, salad, pizza or spagetthi and drinking a glass of valpolicella. As an Alaskan also the image of a miner in his dry cabin sitting at his wood stove in winter during the Gold Rush times pops up.
On the contrary, I associate gemütlich with a half-drunken, beer-dop crowd overeating on pork or sausages with dumplings and Sauerkraut, singing and jelling along with the music in a beer garden, in a tent on Oktoberfest or in a local brewery’s beer house. The song Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit comes into mind. When you watched the TV-series Winds of Wars, you may remember the scene when the Americans fleeing from Poland were served beer and food by the Germans on their way to Stockholm. After several 1 liter mugs of beer, they started to link arms and swayed from side to side (Doing so is called “schunkeln”.); most of the crowd sang along this song to the music that was played by a live band.
Now what is cozy?
It’s not an absolute. It depends on the conditions. Let’s start with the German understanding of the word. In case of Bavaria, the outfits worn in the gemütlich environment would be a Dirndl and Lederhosen with a large size gingham patterned button-down shirt (blue-white or red-white) and a janker jacket for the women and men, respectively (see post at the link for a description). A Dirndl must be snug and tight, Lederhosen are thought to be good when they can stand on their own. These properties aren’t cozy at all, neither comfortable nor homely, pleasant, homey, leisurely, you name it.
In case of the other German Federal States, the outfits would be casual, i.e. at least comfortable and may be leisurely. Think abong the line jeans and Tee with sneakers or Birkenstocks to dressed-down business casual. See the photo below for dressed-down business casual style in an East-German restaurant that is considered “gemütlich”.
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What is called a cozy look in western Europe?
Western Europe has a maritime temporate climate like that in the Pacific Northwest (see the post at the link for more information on this climate region). I lived in this climate for 38 years. I found the cold season just miserable.
In the Netherlands, Ireland and Great Britain, temperatures rarely drop below 0F (-18C). Their weather that makes you feel the most uncomfortable, is temperatures around the freezing point with humidity close to 100% and strong winds. Such weather frequently occurs in winter in mid-latitudes coastal regions on the west side of the continents. These weather conditions cause slight to moderate cold stress when staying outside for a while even when dressed appropriately like the next three bloggers.
Nancy Baten of Nancy’s Fashion Style bundled up in a chic midi coat with a faux fur collar and leather pants. Leather is perfect to keep the wind out. The purple color really brightens up such such winter days. It’s a great way how to up the mood on rainy days everywhere. She wears an updo for style, but it also helps to protect hair damage caused by friction in windy conditions.
Emma of Style Splash lives in the UK. She faces the weathers in an interesting three neutral colors outfit. She keeps the look chic with a stripped Teddy jacket that picks up the colors of the other pieces like the jeans, turtleneck sweater, tall boots, matching balloon hat and crossbody bag. She also creates interest by working with structure – smooth leather vs. rough Teddy faux fur. The air stored between the fiber of the Teddy fabric provides insulation. A balloon hat won’t fly away in windy weather. To learn more about creating all neutral outfits visit the guide at the link.
Hilda Smith of Over the Hilda features her classic cut navy multon winter coat. This material is well suited for wet climates (learn more in the post at the link). I love how she shows off the winter weather in this photo. See how she fights with the wind blowing her hair into her face.
In mid-latitude marine temperate climate, a scarf or turtleneck are Must-haves to keep your neck warm. Since the wind would play with a scarf that is styled hanging over the coat, your best options and chicest to protect your neck from the cold are an infinity scarf like Nancy’s, wearing your scarf in a European Loop under or over your coat (see this post for examples), or wearing a turtleneck sweater like Emma and Hilda do.
What do Southern Belles call a cozy outfit?
Andrea Schwartz of Pearls and Pantsuits is a real Southern Belle living in American Southeast. This region has subtropical humid climate (see post at the link for more about the conditions). While there temperatures rarely go below the freezing point, I would wear an outfit like hers up here in Alaska at temperatures between 5 and 23F (-10 to -5oC). People adjust to the climate region they live in.
Robin LaMonte of Hello I’m Fiftyish is also from the US South. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia. In the Interior, stylish Alaskan women would wear her look with pumps at temperatures between 23 and 40F (-5 to 5oC) as long as there is no snow on the ground. When there is a snow cover, a stylish Alaskan woman would wear her look with pantyhose and booties. Yes, in Alaska you would wear the sunglasses because of the light reflections of the low Sun on the snow. While most Alaskan women wouldn’t wear a hat at these temperature condition, I would wear the hat to look stylish.
Nina Bandoni of Sharing a Journey also lives in the humid subtropical climate zone. When you follow her on social media, you know she still calls Florida her home, but intends to move into the mountains.
Yes, you can wear white in winter. Here at the Last Frontier, I would wear an outfit like hers on rainy days in summer when temperatures are in the 50s (10 to 15oC).
Like these outfit ideas? If so, please feel free to pin them to your own Pinterest board.
Where are winters the most chilliest
In college, I once was at the farewell party of my bff. She had bought an old house in the Provence, just 25 miles (40 km) drive from the Mediteranian Sea. One of the guests’ significant-other asked her to where she would move. Her answer was “I move to where the winters are the most chilliest in Europe.” Everyone was in shock. Then she said “Didn’t you know that old houses in the Mediterranean region have no furnace? Thus, you freeze your bum off in an old house like mine in the middle of the rainy winter.”
Suzanne Ball the stylist at Ask Suzanne Bell lives in a Mediterranian climate in Northern California. She quite bundles up to stay comfortable. Their short winter comes along with slight cold stress for all who live there. However, when an Alaskan woman like me visits there for a week in December, feels like she gets a little mini summer. Everyone runs around in puffer coats, while the crazy Alaskan wears a light blazer – open of course.
What is cozy in Colorado and Illinois?
Cindy Scurry of the Middle Sister Style Blog lives in Denver. See this post on how to adjust to the climate in Denver for more information on the subtropical steppe climate she lives in. She wears a trendy teddy bear coat to stay warm when it’s cold outside. She styled it with a classic long leopard print scarf. Underneath she wears a winter white sweater with a pendant necklace.
Julie Augustyn of Fashion, Trends and Friends calls Illinois her home state. Here you have humid continental climate (see post at the link for details on the weather). She shows how she layers for comfort.
What is comfortable to wear at which temperatures in Alaska?
As you see when looking at the above examples, what a person considers to be cozy strongly depends on the ambient humidity, temperature and wind conditions of the environment they live in. Nina and I demonstrated already last February how different a spring work outfit is in the South vs. North.
In Fairbanks, cold season temperatures range from around the freezing point to way below -40 F/C. The cold season starts in October and ends in late April, i.e. it lasts seven months. In the Interior, people fear wind more than 40 below. At 40 below, a bikini look is a Must-wear at least once for many Fairbanksan women, which is not cozy at all, but donning it once makes everything else feel cozy in comparison.
Now let’s see what I find cozy. When cuddling at home with the cat on the coach or in bed while reading a book and drinking choco, it surely is a PJ. I love the ones that are cut like a men’s PJ were cut in the mid of the last century. Preferably with a print like stingray, leopard, hounds tooth, polka dots, or abstract florals. Since a furnace even when burning fuel 24/7 fails to heat the room of a 5 star rated house to 68F (20oC) at below 40 (-40oC), one made of flanel is fine.
In the case of a cozy dinner with my sweetheart, I wouldn’t speak of a cozy outfit at all. I would wear a dress or a skirt-top outfit. The outerwear would be appropriate for the outside temperatures. Typically, snowfall occurs between -4F and 36F (-20 to 2.2o in Fairbanks. Thus, my navy blue downcoat, gray shearling or light denim coat would be it with a beret or wool felt hat and a scarf. Here the coats are listed in the order from the coldest to the highest temperature. None of these looks would feel cozy at all even for longterm Alaskans who are adapted to the cold environment. A long walk to the car, which hopefully would start despite not been plugged in, would lead to some degree of cold stress. Sure, you could bundle up more, but what will you wear when the temperatures drop even lower than -4F? It is important to identify the best downcoat for the temperature range. Below, see my outerwear in form of a thermometer.
40 to 50F (5 to 10oC)
10 to 20F (-12.2 to -6oC)
-15 to -4F (-26.1 to -20oC)
below -20F (-28.9oC)
20 to 40F (-6 to 5oC)
-4 to 10F (-20 to -12.2oC)
-20 to -15F (-28.9 to 26.1oC)
below -20F (-28.9oC) indoor outfit
You can find indoor cold (and warm) season outfits in my lookbook what to wear in Alaska series.
What is your understanding of a cozy OOTD? I am curious. Show me by tagging your IG look with @highlatitudestyle.
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Stylish Monday linkup party – Cozy outfits
Now let’s see what you wore lately. If one of your looks falls into the category of todays theme, mark it with the hashtag COZY and I will pin. Please spread the word about the party by tweetingSee my look at the Stylish Monday #linkup party. #MondayOutfit Click To Tweet See these inspiring outfits at the #StylishMonday #linkup party. Click To Tweet
Photos of me: G. Kramm
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