Winter Wardrobe Essentials Your Closet Might Be Missing
'Tis the season for bundling up! Once the cold weather hits, it's time to get your winter wardrobe ready. Whether the winter tends to be long or short where you live, you may feel like you're wearing the same combos again and again. But you don't have to get bored with your wardrobe after a few weeks of winter weather.
If you feel like you're in an outfit rut, there are some winter wardrobe essentials your closet might be missing! We've got tips on cold-weather clothing must-haves from basics to trends, and we'll even tell you how to put everything together. Have some fun this winter and create new cozy outfits!
What Do I Need for a Winter Wardrobe?
We'll give you the specific winter wardrobe must-haves, but first, let's talk about what makes clothing and accessories perfect for winter. When you get winter essentials, remember to prioritize the following.
- Quality pieces: For clothes that last more than one season, pick quality pieces and fabrics. You'll get more use out of them, even after plenty of wears and washes, which is useful if you prefer to keep a smaller wardrobe. These high-quality pieces will not only be more durable for winter, but they'll also be warmer for those below-freezing days.
- Warm layers: You want to be comfortable in the winter, and depending on how cold it is where you live, part of the solution is cozy layers. Bundle up with an under layer, the main layer, a mid-layer and an outer layer for the ultimate warmth. Add tights or leggings — bonus points if they're fleece-lined! — to skirts and dresses to keep your legs warm, but still look stylish.
- Sleek layers: While warmth is the name of the game, you don't want to look and feel overstuffed. Shirts with sleeve details don't fit smoothly under a cardigan or other outerwear, creating a bulky look, so go for something more fitted. You'll also want bottoms that tuck into higher boots without bunching up or a pair that drapes over the shoes.
- Waterproof outerwear: Water-repellent shoes and coats keep you and your clothes protected from the elements. That doesn't mean you have to pack away suede boots or other materials that aren't waterproof. Instead, use weatherproofing spray for shoes to keep the snow and slush away while still wearing your favorite styles.
- Functional pieces: We love dressing for fashion, fun and showing off our moods or personalities, and you can still do that in the winter. But when it's cold and snowy, we also have to dress to stay warm. Because of that, winter wardrobes need useful pieces, but that doesn't mean you have to compromise on style. Wear trendy hats and other accessories that keep you cozy and suit your tastes.
- Safe footwear: Winter can mean icy conditions for fashionistas in cold climates. Now's probably not the best time to rock high heels, but if you need a bit of height in your look, opt for chunky heels or wedges that provide good grip and aren't too tall.
Winter is also all about cooler colors, though deep jewel tones and rich shades also come out when it's cold. Explore the rainbow of shades or build a color palette in your winter wardrobe with some of these popular cold-season colors:
- All shades of blue
- Deep shades of green
- Dark purple — think eggplant and plum
- Mustard yellow
For patterns and prints, plaid is the most popular for winter. It feels rustic and cozy and comes in plenty of colors, many of which are perfect for winter. You'll also find some other prints that bring fun into the season, like polka dots, and some florals even make an appearance when it's cold. Now it's time to put those prints, colors and everything else you know about winter essentials to use and create your cold-weather wardrobe!
Start a Winter Capsule Wardrobe
Get winter wardrobe essentials in their basic form by following the capsule method for a closet overhaul. With a capsule wardrobe, you use as few pieces as possible to maximize your wardrobe. Neutral colors and simpler styles mean you can mix and match for endless combinations, getting you through winter without an outfit rut. Check out what you already have in your closet to figure out what you need for the cold season. Once you get rid of styles you don't wear anymore, you can add these versatile, timeless and neutral pieces.
- Tops: It's no surprise that sweaters are winter wardrobe essentials. Have a turtleneck in your closet for extra-cold days and a versatile scoopneck. Add in a neutral three-quarter-sleeve top and a couple of short-sleeved options to layer or for any surprise warm days throughout the season. Choose a few different necklines and styles for a capsule closet with even more stylish combinations.
- Outerwear: A good winter coat will go a long way. Choose a versatile style that you can dress up or down to keep just one coat in your closet, or get a casual option and something chic for evenings out and other formal events. And don't forget the layers under your coat! Cardigans and vests in neutral colors are versatile and comfortable, all in one.
- Bottoms: Just because you packed your shorts away doesn't mean your lower half has to be boring. Long pants are perfect for work, and they come in neutral colors and patterns that go with plenty of tops. Jeans are also a winter must-have, with a dark pair of skinny jeans working with any outfit and many types of boots.A pair of thick, black leggings will also go a long way in your winter wardrobe, whether you wear them under a dress or with a casual sweater. And don't forget a neutral skirt that falls near your knees for a chic and work-friendly winter capsule must-have.
- Dresses: Capsule wardrobes always include at least one dress to have for special occasions. A neutral color will go with your winter layering pieces and footwear, and a long-sleeved dress will help keep you warm. Choose a sweater material for extra winter comfort or something lighter you can wear during different seasons.
- Footwear: Boots are winter wardrobe essentials, but you've got a lot to choose from. For your capsule wardrobe, choose one or two pairs in neutral colors. Ankle boots or booties are versatile and timeless, sure to last you more than one season.
- Accessories: Since the goal of a capsule wardrobe is to have as few pieces as possible, go practical with accessories. Hats, gloves and scarves will keep you warm while adding some personal flair. And don't forget the tights if you want to wear a cute skirt or dress when it's cold out!
Don't be afraid to layer pieces from warmer seasons with cozy winter outerwear, either. If your office keeps the heat high or if you run hot-blooded, light layers will keep you cool. You'll maximize your wardrobe if you can use pieces from every season year-round.
The point of a winter capsule wardrobe is to create new combinations with pieces that mix and match well together. Make sure you choose comfortable clothes that will keep you warm and that you'll want to wear all season long to maximize what's in your closet. You can also alter how much you have in each category based on what you prefer and need to wear. If you can rock a casual outfit at work, add more jeans and casual tops to your winter capsule wardrobe, but if you enjoy dressing up more often, add some more skirts and dresses to the mix.
Winter Wardrobe Essentials for 2020
A winter capsule wardrobe will get you the essentials in timeless ways, but sometimes you want to indulge in the trends! This year is about making a statement with your style, from your footwear to your accessories. Add these pieces to your capsule wardrobe or go all-out with bold trends.
- Play with prints: Plaid, as we've said, is trendy in the cold months, but animal prints are making a major comeback. You'll find anything from jackets to dresses, sweaters and even boots. Add a wild touch to your winter basics and style the print any way you like for a fabulous look.
- Try something different: Layer your look with pieces you don't always wear, but are still on-trend. While cardigans are a winter favorite, a flannel gives your winter outfit a trendy, vintage touch. Add other fashionable pieces to your winter wardrobe with a poncho or blanket scarf to wrap up in eye-catching comfort that you might not usually wear.
- Stand out with a statement piece: If you're spending a lot of time outside, make your outerwear or bottoms the statement. Bright colors or eye-catching patterns may be overwhelming in every part of your look, but with a single statement piece, you get the perfect balance. Colorful coats, in particular, are an on-trend choice these days, but you can wear your favorite, bold piece or whatever you enjoy wearing the most.
- Add trendy accessories: If you aren't wearing a scarf with your winter outfit, add a large necklace to make a statement. Chain necklaces with large, dramatic links are in style this year and pair fabulously with dark neutrals. For a practical accessory that still meets the trends of the year, try a wide belt that defines your waist and gives shape to oversized winter clothes. Even sunglasses can be practical, yet fashion-forward, on a bright winter day.
- Give yourself footwear options: Ankle boots are versatile and reliable, but they aren't the only shoes you need for winter. High boots will never go out of style. They'll also protect your legs more from the cold and snow than shorter options.
Depending on the trend, you could get use out of it for one or two more seasons, but it won't be as timeless as the neutral options from the capsule wardrobe. If you refresh your closet every season anyway, you won't mind a frequent rehaul, but if you shop smart and incorporate a few statement pieces with neutral ones, you'll get a closet that lasts longer.
Plus-Sized Winter Outfits
Time to take your cold-weather clothing must-haves and turn them into fabulous outfits! Check out some fab combinations that work for plenty of occasions and outings, even when it's cold and snowy.
A Cozy-Chic Winter Outfit
Take this look to work, out to dinner or on an everyday outing when you want to dress it up a bit! The base of this outfit makes it easy to swap in your fave accessories and layering pieces, but we love it in this look:
- A classic black sweater dress
- A cardigan or vest for layers and comfort
- Chic black over-the-knee boots
- A cozy scarf
- Earrings for color or elegance
An Everyday Winter Outfit
During winter, you want something easy to put on, but you want to look and feel fab in what you wear. You can add accessories and layers to this base or keep it simple with a winter outfit that includes:
- Sleek skinny jeans
- Neutral, ankle-height boots
- A comfortable sweater in your favorite neckline and color
A Casual Winter Outfit
Stay in from the cold or run a quick errand with a comfortable outfit that's perfect for winter! Throw this outfit on to feel cozy, yet oh so cute:
- Simple black leggings
- A fuzzy pullover in sherpa or other plush material
- Sneakers if there isn't too much snow
A Statement Cold-Weather Outfit
Stand out or show off your personality with a statement outfit that keeps you warm. Pull in some fun prints, colors and textures with an outfit like this:
- White jeans or colorful leggings to brighten your outfit
- A colorful plaid top that goes with white or the color in your leggings
- A neutral faux-fur vest for some flair
- Booties if you're wearing jeans, or knee boots with leggings where either can go with your top
A Winter Outfit for a Night Out
Date night or a fun evening with your friends calls for the perfect winter outfit. If you're going out dancing, wear fewer or lighter layers to tear up the dance floor without heating it up too much in this outfit:
- Faux-leather leggings that can give your outfit some water resistance
- An off-the-shoulder or cold-shoulder top for a dramatic reveal once you remove your coat
- Booties with a chunky heel or wedge that's easier to walk in
- A faux-leather jacket unless you need to bundle up in something warmer
Get Winter Wardrobe Must-Haves at Perfectly Priscilla
Don't wait any longer to get your wardrobe ready for the winter months! At Perfectly Priscilla, we have the perfect layering pieces, all with fab quality and exclusive styles and sizes. Rock your favorite looks this winter or try something new with your Perfectly Priscilla finds.
Add our sweaters and outerwear to your winter wardrobe, or explore our other tops, dresses, bottoms and shoes. Find versatile neutrals to add to your capsule collection and stock up on winter wardrobe essentials for 2020 trends. Stay warm and fabulous this season with Perfectly Priscilla!