Building a capsule wardrobe is a way to simplify your closet with timeless, elevated pieces that transition seamlessly through the years and work for various occasions. Trends may come and go, but style remains forever, so it’s great to invest in items that will wear well and stay in style over time. A winter capsule wardrobe allows you to build a dreamy collection of luxe coats, dreamy boots, and cozy accessories that balance fashion with function, making it one of our favorite seasons for shopping. We spoke to two fashion experts about 12 of their favorite winter capsule wardrobe essentials—keep reading to see what pieces are sure to become chic staples this season.
Meet Our Expert
Christina Abayomi is the co-founder of Re Ona, which offers seasonless, elevated basics for building a versatile, classic wardrobe.
Nicky Deam is the senior director of brand creative and marketing at A.L.C., a clothing line of considered classics with a modern twist.
Like it or not, winter weather dictates your wardrobe, and puffer coats are as practical as they are stylish. “It is a practical, warm, lightweight choice,” says Re Ona co-founder Christina Abayomi. For a crisp, cold day, an option like Ami Paris’s Alexandre Mattiussi Puffer Jacket ($1675) is an ideal choice. Hoods are a matter of personal preference, and we love that this one is removable so you can switch it up depending on the day. “To style it, I would suggest pairing it with a monochrome sweatshirt and jogger set and casual shoes like the Samba OG or Mexico 66,” Abayomi tells us.
Never underestimate the power of a good oversized scarf. The Acne Studios Fringe Wool Scarf ($240) is available in a variety of colors and is made of 100% wool for exceptional warmth. “An oversized scarf is quite versatile and can be worn with many outfits,” Abayomi says. “I would wear an oversized scarf with an oversized wool coat, a vintage leather jacket, or even an oversized blazer.” Another great option is Re Ona’s Smokey Grey Scarf ($110).
Base layers are essential when bundling up on a chilly winter day. We love something lightweight (like this Spanx Better Base Long Sleeve Turtleneck, $78) if you’re layering for the slopes, plus there’s also the option to try a lightweight knit. “A handful of beautifully crafted layering knits will enable you to style warmer-weather pieces like button-down shirts far into the colder months,” says A.L.C. senior director of brand creative and marketing Nicky Deam. “Long-sleeved, high-necked styles with hardware are ideal for punching up basics.” A slightly heavier option is A.L.C’s Piper Knit Top ($350).
If you’re going to invest in one winter item, let it be an elegant winter coat. “A long, tailored wool coat is a timeless investment,” Deam says. Providing warmth and sophistication, a good wool or cashmere style instantly elevates your wardrobe. Tove Studio’s Loren Lambswool Coat ($1782) is the ultimate statement piece and is oversized to layer over your favorite sweaters. “Look for classic cuts, luxe fabrications and thoughtful hardware,” Deam adds. A pick like Simkhai’s Carrie Coat ($895) is sure to turn heads.
A sweater dress is one of the simplest items to style in the winter. “The ultimate in one-and-done winter dressing, a sweater dress is ideal for days [when] you don’t have a lot of time to style yourself,” Deam tells us. Naadam’s Marled Cashmere Turtleneck Tunic Dress ($350) takes the work out of getting dressed in the morning. Throw on your favorite knit dress, then style it over tights with knee-high boots. H&M’s Cable-Knit Dress ($50) is a chic, cost-effective option.
If you’re looking to make a statement with your sweater dress, Deam says, “Extra points for a versatile iteration: an adaptable off-the-shoulder style that can be rolled up or down for added drama.”
Jumbo Shoulder Bags
While micro handbags can be a fun statement, we’re grateful that roomier, more practical styles are trending again. A jumbo shoulder bag can fit all of your cold-weather accessories with plenty of room left over for your everyday essentials. “For anyone who’s ever needed to stuff an oversized scarf into their jacket pocket, you know the value of a roomy shoulder bag in the winter months,” Deam tells us. Reformation’s Oversized Vittoria Tote ($698) is roomy and available in four quintessential winter colors. “The most stylish versions feature artfully draped silhouettes, thick handles, and rich shades that will elevate—but not overpower—your day-to-day wardrobe,” Deam adds. If you’re looking for a splurge, we recommend Khaite’s Sara Tote ($2980) in hunter green suede.
Stylish Snow Boots
I’m a big fan of snow boots. It may be because I grew up in New England and had to love winter, but I love a good après-ski look. Abayomi feels differently: “I’m not the biggest fan of snow boots; however, I’ve seen some cute looks with a beanie, oversized sweater, and denim jeans,” she tells us. Canada Goose’s Alliston Boots ($850) have a waterproof membrane and rubber lug sole for extra traction, and Sorel’s Caribou Fleece-Trimmed Snow Boots ($200) are another great option. Style your pair of choice with your favorite long underwear and a coordinating turtleneck for a monochromatic winter look.
Cozy Knit Sweaters
“Sweaters are the linchpin of a comfortable winter wardrobe,” Deam emphasizes—and there are so many styles and silhouettes to choose from. “Styles in vibrant hues or with artisanal finishes will infuse a little whimsy into the season,” she adds. Take A.L.C.’s Landry Wool Fairisle Sweater ($495): The boxy silhouette and a multicolor fair isle motif are perfect for layering. If you’re looking for a classic cozy cable knit, Madewell’s Cable-Knit Oversized Sweater ($148) is an ideal choice.
Looking to dress up during chilly winter months, but don’t want to expose your legs to frosty conditions? Enter fleece-lined tights. “On occasions when I want to wear a mini skirt or mini dress on a colder night, fleece-lined tights are a great winter staple to complete the outfit,” Abayomi says. “It’s a practical and stylish option that also nods to the sheer tights trend from the ’90s.” Keep things nostalgic with a sheer pair like these Stems Skin Illusion Lightweight Fleece-Lined Tights ($58).
Trousers are a year-round staple, and we love the ways you can style them in the winter. “A luxe, tailored trouser makes anything look instantly elevated,” Deam says. “Look for styles in a silhouette that works for you, whether that’s a pleated, high-waisted style or a sleek wide leg, and you’ll reach for it again and again.” Re Ona’s Bobbi Trousers ($185) are a straight leg style with a pleated waistband and side seam pockets. If you’re looking for a wide leg silhouette, try J. Crew’s Wide-Leg Essential Pant ($170), which offers a more relaxed, tailored fit.
Winter accessories can really make or break a look. It is important to incorporate high quality items that can keep you warm while they play into the trends, like Rag & Bone’s Blake Beanie ($95). “I appreciate a high-quality cold weather accessory, especially on frigid days in Canada,” Abayomi says. “For an evening out, I usually opt for leather gloves because they are super chic and functional.” Nordstrom’s Cashmere Lined Leather Touchscreen Gloves ($99) have been in my closet for years. There’s no need to take your gloves off to answer a call with these, and the cashmere lining adds an additional element of warmth.
Knee-High Leather Boots
Last but definitely not least, a good pair of knee-high leather boots will always withstand the test of time. “Knee-high leather boots are perfect for winter, keeping you stylish and warm,” Abayomi says. She would style a pair with leggings and an oversized sweater for a casual look. Stuart Weitzman’s Mercer Bold SW Logo Slouch Boot ($895) is crafted with a flat block heel, making it the perfect choice for icy winter conditions. For times when the weather is milder and you want to make a statement, the Brother Vellies Paso Tall Boot ($865) features a cap toe, a higher heel, and a trend-forward slouchy silhouette.
Read the original article on Byrdie.