By  on January 26, 2009

Plunging temperatures. Darkening sky at five o’clock in the afternoon. Flannel sheets.

Let’s face it: none of these things exactly inspire one to slip into a little something silky. Indeed, the seasonal change from warm to icy weather is the cozy-clothes bellwether, the time when delicate underthings get relegated to the back of the drawer.

But a few designers have their eye on toasty undergarments and sleepwear that don’t scrimp on style. take, for instance, Only Hearts’ Helena and Kaya Stuart, who developed two new rib qualities for their knit lingerie. “a cozy, wintry feeling,” was the look — and comfort — the designers were after, crafting bra sets (as well as leggings) out of heathered yarn.

Elsewhere there’s arlotta, designed by chris arlotta, which hews to the luxury-loungewear aesthetic: cashmere hoodies and wide-legged pants, long zip robes and tunics (each in wintry grays and icy pinks). In fact, cashmere plays a major role in many designers’ cold-weather creations, though the impact on the wallet varies.
While marc Jacobs has long turned out terrific waffle-weave cashmere thermals in a kaleidoscope of colors, the price tag for such pieces is not exactly recession-friendly (a pair of leggings can run upwards of $500). victoria’s secret, on the other hand, has begun putting forth cashmere boy shorts and bras in a whimsical pointelle pattern, retailing for under $100, and the company’s drawstring pants and sweaters look fireside-lounge-ready.

For the more pragmatic woman — she who eschews the sexy lingerie once november hits — Natori is offering simple tops and pants in a buttery-soft knit that drapes gently around the body, a combo the company calls the Beijing. “[it’s] the ultimate at home for cold weather,” explains Josie Natori. “We designed the  most easy and comfortable silhouette in the softest and most cozy fabric that feels good.”

And then there’s american apparel, a company whose layered leisurewear is easily worn in the chillier months. The label may trade on sex appeal, but its hipster shorts and array of leggings — in cotton, ideal for piling on — offer the right kind of coverage.

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