A Guide to Crafting the Perfect Winter Capsule Wardrobe
When honing your capsule wardrobe, you need core pieces that you can style whatever the weather. However, if you live somewhere with a colder climate, you’re going to need some additional key items for transitioning to wintertime.
Navigating the colder months doesn't mean you have to sacrifice style for warmth! Instead, it's an opportunity to embrace the concept of a winter capsule wardrobe.
In this guide, I’ll delve into the art of creating a capsule wardrobe that not only meets the practical demands of the season, but also reflects your unique sense of style.
How to start a winter capsule wardrobe
A winter wardrobe should be an extension of your regular capsule wardrobe. It’s about curating items of winterwear that you can style with core pieces from your all-season outfits. The process can, and should, take you some time to hone.
Here are my top tips for getting started with a capsule wardrobe:
- Think about your style, personality and lifestyle — your aim is to curate a wardrobe that really works for you. It should reflect your personal style, but also be practical for who you are and what you love to do.
- Declutter — developing a capsule wardrobe is the perfect opportunity to clear out what’s not working for you. This can help you to decide what’s essential, and to be more considered about what you’re adding to your wardrobe moving forwards.
- Identify your colour palette — this is a great starting point to work from. If you know what your base and accent colours are, you have a much better idea of the sorts of outfits you can put together.
- Choose versatile key pieces — creating a capsule wardrobe is all about maximising the use you can get from individual clothing items. Choosing core pieces that can be styled multiple ways will give you lots of room for creativity.
If you’re new to the concept of building an intentional and sustainable wardrobe, read my handy guide to Classic Capsule Wardrobe Ideas to get you started.
How many pieces will I need?
There’s no right or wrong number of items to include in your winter capsule wardrobe. However, ‘less is more’ is very much the guiding principle when it comes to creating any type of capsule wardrobe. It’s a minimalist approach to owning clothes — although the resulting aesthetic certainly doesn’t have to be minimalist, it should reflect your personal style!
7 Essentials for your winter capsule wardrobe
The essentials that you need as the foundation of your winter capsule wardrobe should be items that you can wear year after year. Think trendless and timeless. Buy less but better wherever you can.
Here are my top recommendations for what to include in your winter capsule wardrobe.
One of the most important staples of your winter wardrobe is, of course, a winter coat. Go for something classic that you can style with multiple outfits. A longline wool coat, puffer jacket or parka are all great choices.
At the heart of a winter capsule wardrobe is the ability to layer clothing items (for style and warmth). For this, you’ll need a few great long sleeve tops in your choice of base colour. Thermal layers, long sleeve cotton tops and lightweight sweaters and jumpers fall into this category.
When layering up for winter, you’ll want your choice of bottoms to provide some structure to your silhouette. This can be achieved with sleek black tights and leggings if that’s your vibe. You can also choose tapered trousers or a rigid denim jean to contrast any bulk from layering. Whatever your preference, choose a style and colour that will go with as many other items in your wardrobe as possible.
Nothing says winter quite like a snuggly piece of knitwear. But if you think about it, knitwear isn’t just a winter capsule wardrobe staple. It’s something you can wear virtually all year round when you need to add another layer to your outfit. Because of that, it’s worth investing in something that really brings you joy – but is also well made, and that you can trust to last season after season.
A cable knit jumper isn’t just for keeping you warm on a cold, winter walk, it can be dressed too. Style it over a fitted dress or skirt to elevate your look. Maxi cardigans are also really versatile and can be styled on top of almost any outfit.
Dresses & skirts
Something form fitting that can be layered under other pieces is a great way to go with dresses and skirts. If you’re wearing knitwear or chunkier layers on top, choose something with a contrasting fabric (like a silky slip dress or a leather A-line skirt). These items are pieces that you can style all year round too.
If you’re looking for a statement addition to your winter wardrobe, go for a knitted jumper dress. Or, for even more versatility, you could invest in a knitted co-ord skirt and cardigan set. This way you can wear it as one outfit combo, or style each piece separately with multiple other looks.
To complete any outfit, you need the right accessories, and winter outfits are no exception.
You’ll need a pair of boots that you can style, whatever the weather. If you prefer a chunky boot, then you may be able to get away with one pair for your capsule wardrobe. However, if you want something more glam, a pair of knee-high boots might do the trick. A sleeker design of ankle boot such as the classic Chelsea boot could also be styled with multiple outfits.
Hats and scarves
As with other types of knitwear, hats and scarves are a much-needed accessory from autumn through to spring. Chunky knits and oversized styles can look really elegant. Choosing a matching hat and scarf set is also a simple little hack for making an outfit look ‘put together’.
Timeless capsule wardrobe
Creating a winter capsule wardrobe is a real labour of love. It’s not about buying all the latest items from a “must-have trend”. In fact, it’s the opposite to this. It goes hand in hand with the slow fashion approach — buying less and buying better. You’re unlikely to achieve your perfect winter wardrobe in one season, and that’s ok!
Take some time to sort through what you already have and fall back in love with your clothes. Make intentional choices about anything you’re adding to your collection. And most importantly, have fun with it! A capsule wardrobe is all about you, what you feel comfortable in and how your outfits reflect your personality.