Each new season brings some styling challenges no matter who you are. It’s a shift into a new set of essentials, weather and preferences. Having a capsule wardrobe you can rely on makes getting dressed easier and makes you stick to a style. Which makes you feel good, right? By creating a winter capsule wardrobe you can make sure you have the pieces you need without overspending, or buying unnecessary things you’ll never wear. To me, each winter capsule will vary based on your personal style, but today I want to share some of the must-have essentials. Your personal style can shine through by finding these types of pieces in your personal style. No matter your style though, I do think you need some sort of cozy knit pieces, great outerwear, and weather-appropriate shoes!
Capsule wardrobes should be minimalist in the number of pieces and well thought out to maximize outfits. A good place to start is by trying on some of your winter pieces and figuring out what still works, and what you want to expand on. Plus figure out what makes you FEEL your best and what you enjoy wearing the most. Just like I did with KonMari, keep outfits and pieces that make you feel your best and spark joy. This way getting dressed is ALWAYS enjoyable and not complicated.
Winter Capsule Wardrobe
Below is the essential list of what should be in a winter capsule. Everyone may be a little different in that you may LOVE a turtleneck and prefer more of those over cardigans. Or you hate dresses, so you’ll mix in more tops and bottoms. But generally speaking, this is a great list of winter essentials to have for a well rounded winter capsule wardrobe.
I’ve found some great sweaters over the year and always rely on them to stay warm and cozy for winter. A mix of crew necks that can be tucked into jeans, to oversized ones to pair with leggings, having a few knits to rely on is key.
- Crew neck sweater
- Oversized sweaters
- Sweater dress
Depending on where you live will dictate what to include here. I do think everyone should have a great wool trench. A camel coat is a classic and will last you years. And it goes with just about everything. Build from there with more weather appropriate pieces like a down puffer or parka. And for warmer winter days, a leather jacket is great.
- Puffer jacket
- Wool trench coat
- Leather or suede jacket
Again, weather depending, but for me I love a good Chelsea boot and a reliable pair of winter or waterproof boots that are warm.
- Waterproof boots
- Chelsea boot
- Knee high or over the knee boot
- Suede pump
- Loafer, oxford or some sort of flat
My favorite jeans are what I rely on most for the winter along with faux leather leggings. I’m personally trying to get more into winter skirts and dresses as I think they’re a nice update to jeans and are more comfortable.
- Black jeans
- Faux leather leggings
- Midi skirts
Non Knitwear Tops
For easy layering, non knitwear tops are essential. I like to have cotton long sleeve shirts or turtlenecks on hand for layering with sweaters or under cardigans. And my secret is to get the 3/4 sleeve tops because they’re less likely to show around your wrist. My go-to brand for thin layering tees are are the M.M. LaFleur’s pima cotton tees.
- Long sleeve cotton shirts
- T-shirts or graphic tees
And don’t forget about weather essentials to complete any winter outfit like hats, scarves and gloves. And if you’re ever wearing a dress or skirt you HAVE to get these fleece-lined tights. These can also be worn under your more relaxed denim for those bone-chilling days, too.
- Fleece lined tights
- Rain jacket
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How To Build A Capsule Wardrobe For Winter
Be Practical With Your Pieces
Think about the weather your area receives and the types of scenarios you find yourself in. If you need hardcore winter wear to get through snow and slush, this will dictate where you spend some money and how you build out your capsule wardrobe. You don’t want to find yourself half way through winter without the things you really need.
But if you live in the south like myself, I find investing in more light sweaters that I can layer under a coat if I’m really cold. And I’ve also found myself not needing super high-quality jackets thanks to the warmer winter allowing me to grab some less expensive and more trendy jackets over the years. I can easily layer up to stay warm if I need to.
Keep A List Of What You Really Need
To reiterate the being practical tip, it can be helpful to keep a running list when you realize you need something. Sometimes you’ll find yourself getting dressed and wish you had XYZ to complete your look. Add it to a list on your phone and when you have time to do some shopping, you know what you NEED versus things you just kind of want while browsing. This is truly key to maintaining a small capsule wardrobe and not going crazy!
Choose A Color Scheme
This to me is a big part of doing KonMari to figure out your personal style. When I did this method I noticed a consistent color scheme and it was a lot of earthy tones. And this may vary by season, so keep that in mind as well. But if you find yourself in the winter gravitating towards blacks and creams, or even bright colors like hot pinks and colorful stripes, figuring out your color vibe will make creating a winter capsule a bit easier. You’ll easily scale back on pieces you purchase when you have a color scheme in mind.
Invest In Quality Pieces
For winter clothes I do think it’s worth it to invest in quality pieces. They’ll keep you warm better and last longer. You always hear that there’s no such thing as being cold, it’s just having bad clothes. And that comes down to quality pieces and fabrics. Winter is also a great season for more classic pieces that don’t go out of style very quickly. So spend a little money on items that will last, and keep you warm and dry. This is especially true for quality. Warm and waterproof boots and heavier coats made with quality fabrics and fill to keep you warm.
Yes You Need Light Layers
Your capsule wardrobe doesn’t need to be JUST sweaters. I really do believe you should have some easy basics like tees and even tanks. Why? Well, they help to block out the wind coming through that open-knit sweater. They allow you to layer up and not feel too bulky. And if you’re inside and you’re hot, you can then remove the sweater and have a good layer underneath. They also keep any itchy sweaters from annoying you all day. And keep this in mind too when shopping for coats. Can you fit your favorite chunky sweater under your new coat? If not, it’ll be rendered useless.
Photo by Hannah Lozano
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