Grouchy Morning Items

As the weather has been getting dramatically colder and as I’ve been having more early morning meetings scheduled, I’ve found myself waking up occasionally in a….very grouchy state. On these days, there’s no way that you’ll find me in a complicated dress, or high heeled patent leather shoes. Instead, I always reach for a few comfortable and cozy mainstays, that always make me feel better when I’m up and about early on a cold, very long day. Today, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite “grouchy morning items” to wear, from top to toe!

1. T-shirts and sweaters: The most important item! I hate feeling uncomfortable in a restricting shirt or itchy sweater, especially over a long work day. On grouchy mornings, I always put on a t-shirt (my current favorites are from Splendid), and them top it off with either my Helmut sweatshirt (reviewed here), or one of my slouchy J.Crew cashmere boyfriend sweaters. Super easy.

Helmut Lang sweatshirt (via this post)

2. Scarves: I always will wear a scarf on a grouchy morning, it’s something warm and snuggly to dig your neck into and escape in when you’re in a 7:30 AM meeting that seems like it may never end. I like to grab a big shawl in the morning right before heading out the door, but even if I forget, I keep a black version of my favorite Nordstrom’s shawl at my desk. They’re under $90, great quality and have a ton of colors.

Hermes Nordstrom Shawl

Hermes cashmere/silk shawl (left), Nordstrom cashmere shawl (right)

3. Pants: I have three identical black pairs now, of these Ann Taylor knit pants. I’m not even a big Ann Taylor fan – these are one of the only items from the brand in my closet – but these pants rock. They are incredibly comfortable and easy to wear and my #1 choice to be comfortable and warm on a gloomy morning. You can see the pants worn, here.

4. Boots: Jimmy Choo biker boots. I’ve written about these boots a few times on this blog, and that’s because I love them! I’ve had this pair for a solid three years and they’re still going strong (I actually was just wearing them a few hours ago, tromping around a very cold Paris). The quality is fantastic and I feel like Daria in them. They’re my favorite thing to pull on, on a cold dreary morning. My boots are lined in rabbit fur so they feel just like Uggs – you can find this version at Saks.

What are your grouchy morning go to items? I would love to hear them!

Also – wishing everybody a wonderful holiday week! Thank you so much for reading my little site, I am truly, truly grateful.

I’ll still be updating periodically, but I know that many of you will be off and traveling/celebrating if you haven’t begun already. Best wishes for a wonderful remainder of 2013!


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  • Tabitha
    December 23, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Yes, we are dressed like twins just now!

    • Katherine
      December 23, 2013 at 10:58 am

      If I’m twins with you that is a dream!! Happy holidays Tabitha!

  • Mila
    December 23, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Love that jcrew sweater. I have it in light grey. Helmut Lang sweater is also my favorite and I bought after your review :-). I have to try now those Ann Taylor pants. I love my citizens of humanity cords – warm, soft and so comfy. AG also makes their version and its also equally comfy and flattering.

    • Katherine
      December 23, 2013 at 11:01 am

      Hi Mila, so glad you like the sweater! I have the AG cords you are talking about and your message is a reminder that I should pull them back out! So soft and easy to wear. Happy holidays!

  • Natalie {Use Your Words, Little Girl}
    December 23, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Great choices! I have a black Nordy’s shawl and that is my favorite cozy item on a grouchy day…and when traveling! I also like to keep some cozy, ridiculous slippers under my desk. Something about slipping them on as I start to weed through my emails makes me feel better about the day ahead.

    • Katherine
      December 23, 2013 at 10:58 am

      Ooh I would love to wear slippers at work! I think I might steal your idea 🙂

  • Anonymous
    December 23, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Thank you so much and love your blog. Happy holidays!

    • Katherine
      December 23, 2013 at 2:02 pm

      Oh thank you for reading! Have a wonderful holiday!

  • Sybil
    December 23, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    LOVE that Helmut Lang Moto Sweater! What size is that? I am trying to figure out which size would be good for me. I am 5’3″, 99 lbs. What do you think???? It comes in Small and Petite … does the Petite mean XS? I don’t know much about Helmut Lang sizes. Thanks!

    • Katherine
      December 23, 2013 at 2:38 pm

      Petite would be for you! It is the same as XS 🙂 Enjoy, I love the sweater!

  • Ammu
    December 23, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    I rarely wake up grouchy in Kathmandu, but my favourite go-tos on most mornings involve a gray cashmere pullover (made in Nepal), worn over a cotton tee and skinny blue Levi’s. I always wear a scarf, even in summer, and am enjoying a couple of ikat cashmere ones I picked up here recently. Usually worn with Converse or Lanvin sneakers or my miu miu brogues…as it’s getting colder though, I am looking at investing in a pair of flat ankle boots.

  • Groupthink7
    December 24, 2013 at 5:28 am

    Hello Katherine…. love your posts. I work at Ann Taylor and I am curious to why you don’t like the brand. I love the ponte pants that you showed… I own quite of few. I would love to hear your insight on the brand because I may have the same reservations as you… and I work there.

    • Katherine
      December 24, 2013 at 9:34 am

      I remember you saying you worked there! It’s funny, when I was buying my third pair of these pants the SA at AT turned around and showed me she was wearing them as well, lol. So comfortable.

      For me it’s not so much that I don’t like the brand, it’s just that I’ve placed quite a few orders over the years and almost nothing has worked out – usually due to fit. I also work in casual workplace so many of the items just wouldn’t be appropriate for me as well.

      I’d love to hear your thoughts on AT – I’m sure you have some very insightful ones especially as you are working there.
      Happy holidays!

      • Groupthink7
        December 25, 2013 at 7:45 am

        I definitely agree with you in regards to fit. I always suggest you go into the store and try on things first so you can get an idea of how to order when you order online. Do you order petites? Petites can be kind of funny. You may have longer arms or a longer torso but the petites will run a little shorter in both areas. Ann Taylor has become a little more casual now. It is elevated; however, there maybe some pieces such as the ponte pants that you ordered that fit the bill. I work in an business casual environment at a university as well and I tend to wear a lot of button downs, sweaters, and ponte pants with an edgy boot.