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Cozy Girls of Instagram


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Meet the Cozy Girls of Instagram

Cozy Girls A few years ago, back when Nashville was the filter of choice, cozy season Instagram looked something like this: a bird’s-eye view photo of a woman dressed in the comfiest of knits, relaxing on a bed with a steaming cup of coffee in hand and a laptop resting in front of her with a low-light filter edited on top. These photos may have met the dictionary definition of cozy—“enjoying or affording warmth and ease,” according to Merriam-Webster—but they didn’t do it for me.

I didn’t only want to be toasty and warm in the comfort of my own home. I wanted that comfort to follow me as a trekked throughout the brisk New York City streets, when I’m stuck between strangers on a crowded subway car, and especially when the temperature in the office dips so low I start playing musical chairs to find the warmest spot. Uggs don’t usually translate to “office chic,” sitting pretzel-style in a bed with a hot cup of White Chocolate Mocha doesn’t really align with company culture, and I hate the Nashville filter or any rustic-looking filter, if I’m being quite honest.

But scroll through your Instagram today, and a community of self-described “cozy girls” have a completely different aesthetic for wintertime warmth. For them, Air Jordan 1s and Nike Air Max’s take the place of fuzzy house slippers and down-filled puffers and tracksuits are the snuggly alternatives to throw fleece blankets. I’ve finally found my people.

I didn’t have to search too far to stumble upon the cozy girls of Instagram. She lives, eats, and breathes for swooshes (Nike) and stripes (Adidas) and everything in between; she punctuates each outfit with a statement piece, be it an Off-White crossbody, stacks of gold necklaces and rings, a bucket hat or sunglasses, and is frequently featured on Hypebae’s glossy Instagram feed.

She’s Christina Paik (@christinapaik), the mastermind behind the @mykindacozy Instagram account, known for her eclectic mix of streetwear and high end, like wearing an oversized Stussy button-down with a black billowy skirt from Junya Watanabe and a pair of Nike Tekno trainers. “Cozy isn’t about being in comfortable clothes,” Paik tells “Cozy is being comfortable in your own skin. Be you and everything else falls in place.”

 She’s also Jess Gavigan (@juicegee), whose Instagram bio begins “STAY COZY.” The London-based sneakerhead and owner of sneaker shop Small Feet Big Kicks adopted the #StayCozy hashtag as a way “of telling people that you can be sexy and be comfortable at the same time,” she tells “Sometimes I feel my best in my baggiest boyish outfits and everyday sneakers, [especially] since In London, I’m always running around on my feet. Often times, I need a look that goes from day to night, so I learned to make comfortable a ‘sexy look’. We don’t need to be half naked to be sexy.”

After clicking through a bevy of Instagram accounts and hashtags, I found myself deep down the rabbit hole of “cozy girl” Instagram. There were females from all over the world whose versatile sartorial taste rely heavily on comfort and practicality, instead of following societal expectations of how a woman is supposed to dress. And many of them garnered a loyal following and big-name collaborations because of it.

Take Aleali May, stylist and FROW favorite, for instance. Her cozy ethos has helped her become a leader in streetwear culture, which eventually led to her becoming the first woman to collaborate with Nike on the iconic Air Jordan 1 silhouette in 2017, followed by her second Jordan collaboration released earlier this month.

 To these women, “cozy” means more than dressing for comfort, they dress to feel good.Society likes to tell women that to look feminine means to wear heels, soft colors, and tight-fitting clothes or else you’d be labeled a tomboy, as if being both feminine and a tomboy were mutually exclusive. Curious to explore “cozy” culture, I polled a few streetwear enthusiasts about what the term means to them and how to get the cozy look.

Gia Seo (@giaxseo)

 “Growing up in a small-town in Alaska, I didn’t understand traditional mainstream fashion because fashion was very much based on functionality and dependent on the weather. In that sense, all of that practical wear – snow pants, bunny boots with fur in them— became a natural adaptation of myself when I came to New York and something that I didn’t want to let go of. Everything that I own has to be really malleable to my body. I don’t like things that are super structured, don’t love denim, so in that sense I am really cozy. I love super soft fabrics, anything that is silky. A lot of the way that I dress is based on how the textures feel on my skin.

[Being cozy] is always about having a statement piece that you’ve worn before that makes you feel incredibly comfortable, like a jacket that you get a compliment on every time you wear it, so you remember that memory and take it with you the next time you wear it. It always starts with a statement piece. I have a huge jacket and sock fetish.”

Her cozy girl essentials:

  • Snacks – “You cannot self-anoint yourself a cozy girl without snacks. I love anything gummy.”
  • Statement jacket – “When it gets cold, I feel like I’m peeling off my disgusting summer skin and emerging anew. My mood is really based on the season so because it’s winter, I get really excited to put on my coats and boots and every accessory that comes with that.”
  • Durable bag — “I hate carrying large bags so I like to find a medium-sized bag that doubles as a purse but also looks cute while running errands.”
  • Classic pair of sneakers — “I don’t think they need to be a “hype” sneaker. But a classic pair like Adidas Stan Smith or Air Force 1 – anything that won’t be out of date because that shows that you have a level of understanding when it comes to your style.”
  • Sweats – “I’m a sucker for sweats. I think the cozy girl aesthetic is the Aime Leon Dore customer. All of the clothes are immaculately tailored and it reminds me of a less buttoned-up version of APC. Also, any Nike thermal wear. I don’t like to wear thick tights in the winter because it makes me sweat so lightweight but still warm. Uniqlo heat teach is great, too!”

Nneoma Ajiwe (@nneomaluxe)

 “A cozy girl is someone who puts their comfort first without jeopardizing her style. She dresses smart, not trendy. I really love to be comfortable and ‘lax at all times but I think moving to New York 2 years ago really solidified my cozy girl style. There are a lot of things about the city that make me uncomfortable, so dressing comfy kind of combats that. Also, the fact that I walk everywhere made me have to buy more sneakers and find outfits that work with sneakers. When I think of the typical “cozy” girl, it’s Kahlana Barfield. She’s literally cozy, but make it fashion. I aspire to be that once I get my money up.”

Her cozy girl essentials:

  • Tapered sweatpants
  • Oversized sweater
  • Short or long-sleeved concert tee
  • Nike Prestos

Leeanna Williams (@guvmanian)

“I remember looking through old photos of my mom when she was in middle school, which was in the 80s and is one of my favorite eras, and she had a very laid back look. In a specific photo where she had on the infamous baggy sweatshirt-spandex-shorts-high socks-dirty sneakers look, and I was so inspired to dive deeper into that realm of fashion. So when I think of a cozy girl, I see a woman who’s personal sense of style is all about staying comfortable. When I’m in a rush to go somewhere, I find myself reaching for my go-to comfy clothing pieces, but dressing it up with accessories or statement pieces. I am always put into a box when it comes to my sense of style, which usually varies from vintage to 90s, or Y2K, but what I really enjoy most is clashing different trends from different eras into one outfit.”

Her cozy girl essentials:

  • Baggy jeans
  • Chunky sneakers
  • Men’s blazer
  • Grandpa sweater
  • Silver or gold hoops
  • Silver ball necklace

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