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What Does Cozy Look Like in 2021? Take the Quiz.

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As creatures of comfort, we’re resurrecting ELLE.com’s Cozy Week. In order to armor ourselves for 2021, we’re prepping you during the hazy days between Christmas and NYE, covering all things sweatpants, bath goods, and all the feel-good content we deserve to close out the year.


This year, nothing was as cozy as snuggling up to a space heater scrolling through TikTok, dismantling systemic racism in your favorite hoodie, or wearing a fuzzy beanie while standing in line to vote early, but overall, 2020 was a time we struggled with the term ‘cozy’ altogether. Living through a year plagued with a global pandemic, social unrest, and political turmoil has been a never-ending act of self-preservation that a face mask never soothed. The act of forced relaxation has, for many, induced an anxiety attack that makes you question, How can I be cozy while the world is burning?

The worldwide pandemic unsurprisingly created a rise in anxiety and depression amongst young adults, and quarantine eerily resembled that hazy week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, where days melt into one another and your parents’ general acts of kindness suffocate you. As our stay-at-home orders lengthen, we’re prepping ourselves for 2021 with the armor we need to make it through the end of the year: We’re resurrecting ELLE.com’s Cozy Week to get our feel-good needs met.

But first, let’s get figure this out: what is cozy in 2021? Do the old iconographies of hygge still hold true? Are fireplaces actually cozy, or just cozy in theory? We investigate and ask you, our fine readers, to weigh in. Remeber, this isn’t a matter of whether you like the following things—who doesn’t enjoy a toasty fire or roasted butternut squash blitzed into a creamy soup—but whether they are actual bring you the feeling of comfort and ease. Sound off on all the disputed symbols of coziness in our contentious quiz below.


String lights

string lights christmas cozy

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I once engaged in a lengthy discourse over our love of string lights, but has the romance faded? Now relegated to dorm rooms, string lights don’t twinkle quite like they used to. But can a cozy space even be established if tiny bulbs aren’t scotchtaped to the walls? Becasue if string lights can’t live through this year, what will light our path to the new beginnings of 2021?

Editor’s note: string lights in a backyard is totally different and forever OK.


Leggings

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If quarantine taught us anything, it’s that sweatpants are the superior leisurewear bottom. Leggings, by contrast, are tight by definition. Unless you’re working out, how many of you actually love a restricted calf, suffocating in lycro?


Leather couches

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The cabincore aesthetic of a chesterfield couch or a well-worn brown leather sofa is cozy on paper, but what happens when skin-to-leather contact occurs? Velvet couches can also take a seat in this conversation because sweating is not cozy, and therefore a debatable.


Drinking a hot beverage in bed

girl in bed with coffee cup reading a book

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According to scientists and Instagram influencers, people sometimes drink tea atop plush duvet covers. Brazenly handling a mug filled to the brim of dark liquid really makes you appreciate side tables, but when your home has become your entire world through the pandemic, it only makes sense to sip a bev in bed. This activity should be reserved for Getty stock images and 2000s-era indie movies we can no longer stomach watching in full, but how many of you deem it cozy?


Heated blankets

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The benefits of a toasty throw blanket is undisputed, but heated blankets are a fire hazard. Maybe for some, the anxiety of baking a yeast infection is lower than others. Cozy, or not?


Bonfires

bonfire burning on beach

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Sitting at a bonfire is a schooching game of musical chairs. Loser gets smoke in your eyes.


Nap dresses

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The trend of nightgowns as day dresses spurred the nation this year, as lounging in one definitely helps cosplay as a Jane Austen heroine. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t find hiking up a dress to pee in the middle of the night to be a cozy pursuit.


Monochrome living rooms

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If you don’t spill red wine over your eggshell bouclé couch or your freakishly clean faux sheepskin rug, I just don’t think we’d get along on a spiritual level. Monochrome living rooms are becoming an aspiration interior design aesthetic, but how cozy are they? Does living in an all-white room make you feel safe and snug, or are you trapped in a sci-fi film?


Wool

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Matisse Throw M-4

Matisse
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$325.00

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We, as a society, have evolved past this inherently itchy fabric thanks to cashmere and faux fur throws. Sure, wool blankets look cozy across an armchair, but who wants to bundle themselves up in a scratchy textile to watch Bridgerton when your skin is suffering from seasonal eczema?

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Gayle King Says Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Are ‘Frustrated’ by Royal Family’s Response to Interview

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Gayle King Says Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Are ‘Frustrated’ by Royal Family’s Response to Interview


It has been over a week since Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s big interview with Oprah aired. While the royal family didn’t say much publicly on the matter, and Meghan and Harry have kept silent, Gayle King did share an update on CBS This Morning about how the couple is feeling. There have been private discussions between Harry and his father Prince Charles and brother Prince William—but they were not productive. The royal family has not talked to Meghan and it has been frustrating to the couple to see the royal family do nothing as Meghan continues to be disparaged in the British tabloid press.

As King put it, per royal reporter Omid Scobie:

Well, I did actually call them [Meghan and Harry] to see how they were feeling, it’s true, Harry has talked to his brother and he has talked to his father, too. The word I was given was, those conversations were not productive. But they are glad they at least started a conversation.

I think what is still upsetting to them is that the Palace keeps saying they want to work it out privately but yet they release these false stories that are coming out that are very disparaging against Meghan still. No one in the Royal Family has talked to Meghan yet or at this particular time. And I think it’s frustrating for them to see that it’s a racial conversation about the Royal Family when all they wanted all along was for the royals to intervene and tell the press to stop with the unfair, inaccurate, false stories that definitely have a racial slant. And until you can acknowledge that, I think it’s going to be hard to move forward. But they both want to move forward with this. They want healing in this family. At the end of the day, it’s Harry’s family

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King also addressed the couple’s thoughts on the bullying investigation the Palace has opened into a two-year-old complaint filed against Meghan. She reiterated what Meghan’s friend Janina Gavankar said recently: Meghan has evidence to back up everything she said during her interview with Oprah.

As King put it:

The bullying thing was raised in 2018 and now there’s an ongoing investigation about bullying for Meghan Markle when anyone who has worked with her will tell you exactly who she is—you know, she’s really a very sweet, caring person. And, as I say, Meghan has documents to back up everything she said on Oprah’s interview. Everything.

The family has to acknowledge that there are issues and right now, no one is acknowledging. Houston, we have a problem here! That’s really all they want. They want a conversation.

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Michelle Obama Hopes Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Find Closure and Forgiveness Post-Oprah Interview

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Michelle Obama Hopes Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Find Closure and Forgiveness Post-Oprah Interview


Former First Lady Michelle Obama has spoken out about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s bombshell-filled interview with Oprah. And Obama, who Meghan interviewed and called her “friend” in British Vogue back in 2019, had nothing but empathetic, kind words for the couple.

Obama was asked about the interview during a chat with Access. She said, “My hope is that, when I think about what they’re going through, I think about the importance of family and I just pray that there is forgiveness and there is clarity and love and resolve at some point in time because there’s nothing more important than family.”

The royal family has opted to keep their discussions about what was said in the interview private. In a statement released two days after Meghan and Harry’s interview aired, Buckingham Palace said on behalf of the Queen, “The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Meghan and Harry. The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately. Harry, Meghan, and Archie will always be much loved family members.”

Meghan and Harry have not said anything publicly since the interview aired. But at the end of the interview, Meghan spoke about her one regret from her royal experience and how she feels about her life now, living as a non-working royal with Harry and Archie in Montecito, California.

“My regret is believing them when they said I would be protected. I believed that,” she started. “And I regret believing that because I think had I really seen that that wasn’t happening, I would have been able to do more. But I think I wasn’t supposed to see it. I wasn’t supposed to know. And now we’re actually on the other side, we’ve actually not just survived but are thriving. This? Miracles. I think that all of those things I was hoping for have happened.”

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Inside Alex Rodriguez’s Fight to Save His Relationship With Jennifer Lopez: He ‘Has Made Many Promises’

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Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez’s four-year relationship, E! reported over the weekend, was on its last legs amid breakup reports and later a statement from the two saying they’re still together but “working through some things.”

Things were bad then: “Alex is fully aware that this relationship is currently hanging by a thread,” a source told the outlet. Now, Rodriguez has flown to the Dominican Republic, where Lopez is filming her new movie Shotgun Wedding, to fight for their relationship in person.

E! and TMZ got details about his effort and everything A-Rod is doing to try to convince J.Lo their relationship can be salvaged. Page Six, meanwhile, got a better picture of what things were like last week: that up until Friday with its breakup reports, Lopez was still hopeful their wedding could go on despite their relationship’s problems.

“There were issues between them, but she was still sitting for fittings for [her wedding] dress last week,” a source told Page Six.

Now, Rodriguez is trying to prove to Lopez their relationship can be saved. “They are trying to figure things out,” E!’s source said. “He absolutely does not want to split up and has made many promises to try and keep her.”

“He flew out to be with her and to prove to her how serious he is,” the source continued. “They don’t know what’s going to happen. Untangling their lives, business dealings and families would be devastating to everyone involved.”

TMZ was told that part of the reason they’re trying to work through things is because their four children (Lopez’s 13-year-old twins Emme and Max and Rodriguez’s two daughters, 16-year-old Natasha and 12-year-old Ella, from previous marriages) had become very close and were shocked by the breakup.

“Neither of them expected news to break on Friday about their split,” TMZ wrote, “and as a result, they didn’t have time to prepare their four children.” The outlet noted that while kids were a heavy factor in their Friday night discussions, their blended family was not the only reason that Lopez and Rodriguez ultimately released a statement saying they hadn’t split.

Rodriguez and Lopez have not addressed reports about their relationship discussions directly on their social media. But yesterday, Rodriguez posted an Instagram Story of himself in the Dominican Republic, captioning it, “Happy Monday. New week. New day. Onward. Upward”—a seemingly subtle message about the state of the J.Lo-A-Rod union now.

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