When the cold weather starts to set in, it’s time to start thinking about your winter wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe can be a great way to simplify your life and make getting dressed each morning a little easier.
No matter where you live, it’s helpful to have a wardrobe that is both stylish and practical. Depending on the location, your winter capsule wardrobe might be drastically different from someone who lives in a place with milder temperatures.
For those of us living in climates where there is snow and lower temperatures, our wardrobes will require cozy layers that protect us from the elements of the season. While hats, scarves, heavy coats, and warm boots are essential winter wardrobe basics to keep us warm, we’ll be focusing more on the casual outfits created for indoor living (and we do a LOT of that in winter!)
So, let’s take a closer look at a winter capsule wardrobe and how flexible it can be for us, no matter the occasion.
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Why Consider a Capsule Wardrobe?
Creating a capsule wardrobe is a great way for women in midlife to simplify their style and make dressing easy and enjoyable.
A capsule wardrobe typically consists of fewer pieces that can be used to create multiple looks. With the right combination of pieces, you can easily switch up your style with each new look and feel confident about the outfits you create.
Not only will this help reduce stress when it comes to getting dressed, but it can also be an affordable way to build out your wardrobe since you won’t need to continually buy new clothes as trends change.
Of course, while there are plenty of benefits to a capsule wardrobe, some people may find that they have limited options or miss having a wider range of styles available to them.
Regardless, creating a capsule wardrobe is certainly worth considering as it can help take the hassle and guesswork out of getting dressed each day.
Can Capsule Wardrobes be Seasonal?
Yes, capsule wardrobes can be seasonal! A winter capsule wardrobe is a perfect way to stay on trend while making sure your closet has all the staples you need to get through the season. Not only will it help you craft an easy-to-follow wardrobe plan, but it will also save money in the long run.
The idea of a capsule wardrobe is to limit yourself to a few select items that are versatile and easily styled so you can create many different looks. As the weather outside changes with the seasons, certain pieces in your capsule wardrobe may be more appropriate to wear than others and can be substituted accordingly.
With pieces that are chosen to work together, you can create endless outfit possibilities with fewer items that pair well with one another.
So go ahead, give yourself the gift of a winter capsule wardrobe and discover a new way of dressing that’s stylish and efficient.
How to Prepare Your Wardrobe for Winter
When I lived in South Florida, preparing for the winter months meant making sure that my sweaters and light jacket were clean and ready to go. That was it. Easy peasy and I never had to think about the ‘S’ word (snow).
Now that I’m back in the Midwest it’s a whole different ballgame. So, what should be happening in the closet as we prepare for winter?
As you move through the changing seasons, it’s important to have a plan for updating your wardrobe. When transitioning into winter, start by removing the clothes you won’t be needing—pack away any shorts, tank tops and sandals.
Next, look at what pieces you already own and focus on making them work for the upcoming months.
Consider mainstays such as jeans and sweaters that can be used in all seasons plus outerwear pieces like scarves, gloves and hats that will keep you warm in even the coldest temperatures.
Neutral tones are also great for creating a winter capsule wardrobe; break up darker shades like black with touches of cream or grey for a crisp and modern look. You’ll see that in action in my winter capsule wardrobe detailed below.
Lastly, remember that when curating your closet it’s not just about having enough items – focus on quality to ensure your pieces become wardrobe staples that last for years.
A Casual, Classic Winter Capsule Wardrobe
Okay, I’ve created my ‘perfect’ capsule wardrobe for the winter months, and actually, I already own a number of these pieces (or something similar). Styling winter outfits is so different from those warm, colorful, summer styles we love to wear.
Come the cold weather and gray skies, not to mention the snowflakes, our choices run more to the neutrals, as mentioned previously. And there’s nothing wrong with that, particularly as women in midlife.
My focus is not on the current trends in style, so if you’re searching for a trendy capsule wardrobe, you might be disappointed. Rather, I am approaching this with more of a classic eye as well as a casual overall collection. Many women, myself included, are beyond the ‘9 to 5’ working years and for us, a casual or business casual look works most of the time.
Pieces in my cold weather capsule wardrobe:
- 2 pair black pants
- 2 pair blue jeans
- 2 cardigans
- 1 pullover sweater
- 2 sweater blazers
- 1 short sleeved top
- 3 tunic tops
- 3 blouses
- 1 pair black boots
- 2 pair booties
- 2 pair shoes
- Accessories to include jewelry, scarves, purses
First, here are some clothing and accessory staples for a cold weather capsule wardrobe that you may already own.
Pants and Jeans
black wide leg pants | black straight leg pants | straight leg blue jeans | skinny blue jeans
Most of us have a reliable, faithful pair of black dress slacks. You know what I mean. They live in your closet patiently waiting for that event or gathering that requires a little bit more in terms of style and dress. I’ve had mine for about eight years and they still wear like they’re brand new.
I’m suggesting that if you don’t have any, or need to update the look, a wider leg style could be fun. Along with that, a more fitted, straight leg black pant. Jeans are a wardrobe staple for most (not all, I know!) of us, and a straight leg as well as fitted or skinny jean are very versatile in any season.
Shoes and Boots
black boots | beige ankle boots | black ankle boots | black shoe | brown shoe
These are my suggestions that will give a wide variety of looks for a casual winter capsule wardrobe. No, we’re not putting on the high heels with any of these outfits, although you certainly can if you wish. Most of us are comfortable in a lower heel style, and these black, brown, and beige choices will go a long way.
Sweaters and Cardigans
You might have something similar in your wardrobe already, and if not, here are some versatile suggestions. My comments relate to the outfit images you’ll find below:
- A comfy yet stylish boyfriend style light brown sweater blazer. As you’ll see below, it is quite versatile!
- A longer length, oversized black cardigan. The style shown here has buttons, but an open-front cardigan works just as well. I’m wearing that particular style in my outfit sample.
- A buffalo check longer length open front cardigan. I love the look of buffalo checks! My sweater is a little shorter than the suggestion shown here, and it has buttons. But as you can see, it’s the overall look, and the details of the item are up to you.
- A black longer length sweater-blazer, which is perfect for the outfits that you want to style up a little bit. My example is a piece I’ve had for almost 10 years, and although I don’t wear it often, I love it!
- A denim blue pullover sweater with zip V-neck and collar. A really nice piece for pairing with jeans.
When we come to the tops, long, 3/4, and short sleeve, this is where the suggestions become more specific. Of course you always have options in colors and styles, as you’ll see in my styled outfit with a [purple] tunic top instead of the dark peacock. I was able to create quite a variety of looks using these!
In a season that is full of dark neutrals, I wanted one pretty and soft color in the mix…thus, the pink button down shirt.
- A white round neck short sleeve top – always versatile for layering in the colder weather
- A dark peacock 3/4 sleeve tunic top. Change to a different jewel tone if you prefer!
- A black 3/4 sleeve cotton modal tunic sweater. I have several versions of this in my closet. For additional options in tunic tops, learn more about Covered Perfectly and see why I love their comfy fabrics as well as flattering styles.
- A pretty pink button up shirt with roll-tab cuffs for styling versatility.
- An ivory, long sleeve brushed wide rib split neck tunic. The ribbing and neck detail keep things interesting with this top.
- A white, fitted cotton poplin tuxedo shirt. Very interesting detailing, and the fitted style doesn’t look too boxy.
- A black-white striped shirt with jewel buttons. The buttons take this shirt from ordinary to amazing!
Style Options for a Winter Capsule Wardrobe
I’ve created a number of styled looks based on the casual, classic winter capsule wardrobe suggestions detailed above. These are by no means all-inclusive, but just a sample of what you can do with a relatively limited number of choices.
When putting these outfits together I used accessories to make them interesting, a bit more colorful, and of course, fun. Neutrals and dark colors can become a bit, well, boring sometimes. I didn’t want these to become too hu-hum.
You’ll find shopping details for the accessories as they appear in the outfits.
I’ve also used some similar pieces in my wardrobe to show you how these looks can appear with a real, live person wearing them. 🙂
black cardigan | pink shirt | black pants | shoes | purse | socks | earrings | necklace
A classic look with the black straight leg pants, cardigan sweater, and pink button up shirt. Add the black shoes, fun floral stockings, a versatile black with print crossbody purse, colorful necklace, and gold hoop earrings to complete the outfit.
ivory tunic top | jeans | purse | sweater blazer | cat socks | ankle boots | cat necklace | cat earrings
A neutral combination is given personality and fun with the addition of cat-themed socks and jewelry. If felines aren’t your thing, swap the accessories out for another theme that appeals to you. I love the style and pattern of the vegan leather purse, too!
pullover sweater | white top | jeans | scarf | purse | hummingbird socks | hummingbird earrings | necklace | shoes
A casual look that can take you just about anywhere in the colder weather. Simple foundation pieces are elevated with a colorful striped scarf, hummingbird socks and drop earrings, a silver chain necklace, and brown purse/shoes.
pants | tunic top | scarf | long sweater-blazer | purse | cat necklace | silver cat earrings | shoes
Business casual event, dinner engagement, special gathering…this look will take you there! The jewel toned top and black foundation pieces are an elegant look. Add the striped scarf if you wish for added color. The accessories complete the look.
Here’s my interpretation using the pieces currently in my closet. Note that I decided to wear my long black cardigan, and of course, the tunic top is purple:
tunic top | jeans | sweater-blazer | boots | purse | earrings | scarf
Black is always a good choice, and the slim jeans keep things casual. The scarf adds some color, and the check earrings are a fun finishing touch!
Here is my outfit that represents this look:
shirt | pants | cardigan | white top | socks | boots | purse | earrings
Take stripes, polka dots, wavy lines, jeweled buttons, and classic pieces to create an interesting outfit that can work from day to a casual evening. It’s all in the details!
jeans | shirt | sweater blazer | purse | socks | shoes | cat earrings | cat necklace
This casual winter capsule wardrobe outfit combines soft pink with the cozy sweater/blazer. Your little pink-toed socks, brown accessories, and cat-themed jewelry complete this fun look!
pants | pink shirt | sweater-blazer | scarf | earrings | boots | socks | purse
We’re going to repeat the pretty pink shirt (and the pink-toed socks) from the previous look, and this time we’ll combine them with black foundation pieces that elevate the look. Add in the scarf if you wish – it’s always an optional piece – and the black accessories finish off the outfit.
sweater | shirt | jeans | purse | shoes | earrings
A casual look, of course, with fitted jeans and subtle colors. Then, add these custom-created earrings and complimentary purse and shoes to create a memorable outfit.
sweater | tunic top | jeans | boots | purse | earrings | necklace
If you need to look great but also stay warm and cozy, this outfit will tick all the boxes. the long, buffalo check cardigan layered over the cable knit tunic top, is a wonderful way to layer your way to warmth. Mid-calf boots and fitted jeans do their part, too!
I’m wearing a different style of buffalo check sweater here, but you get the idea!
Whether you are attracted to the idea of a capsule wardrobe or not, there is always value in getting the most out of each and every piece of clothing in your closet.
Take these outfit tips and winter capsule wardrobe suggestions, and see how they can help you feel more confident with your own personal style!
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