Maybe I should have done this 15-piece winter capsule wardrobe post last month, but we were all caught up in party dresses, gift guides and trying to look like Claudia Winkleman. So here we are, finally, with a little – I like to call it useful – guide to curating a simple winter wardrobe.
If you’re here for something groundbreaking, look away now as this won’t be much different to last year’s guide. There are a couple of changes, but the point of a capsule wardrobe is that it should be full of classics that can take you through many a year to come. That said, there are a few new trends that I wanted to include, basically because I’m into them and you might be too. I’d also like to precede this by saying I’m utterly shit at keeping to a capsule wardrobe BUT I do find these lists very useful if I’m packing for some time away during the season so, if nothing else, you can use it for that too.
YOUR 15 PIECE WINTER CAPSULE WARDROBE
1. PUFFER COAT OR JACKET: Basically a big, puffy coat that will keep you warm when the weather turns, and it will turn: we’re only halfway through January, so there’s bound to be another cold snap. I think Uniqlo and Arket do some of the best puffy coats on the high street.
2. NEUTRAL OVERSIZED KNIT: Cashmere if you can afford it, as it’s the king of all fabrics. But merino or lambswool are also good and warm. Cos still does (and always has done) the best in my opinion. Don’t forget that for than oversized fit you can always look in the men’s department too. Sometimes the arms are a bit long, but you can turn up the cuffs. Side note: for great cashmere, check the Chinti & Parker sale.
3. MORE INTERESTING JUMPER: Something nice and thick that you can throw on over a T‑shirt to keep toasty. Maybe a bit colourful or with a slogan. At the expensive end, the chunky merino Bella Freud ones are excellent quality and won’t go out of fashion ever (IMO). See also HADES, Fund and the new Suermondt sticker jumpers. I also like this and this for more purse-friendly versions.
4. BLACK LEATHER BOOTS: As the Givenchy ones from last week piqued interest, I’ll go for something with a buckle here as I think they’re going to be big again this year. La Redoute has a great selection: these are my favourite dupes.
5. WESTERN BOOTS: I am very glad I never got rid of my Isabel Marant Dicker boots (to be fair, I rarely – if ever – get rid of any designer shoes that I buy as they will almost always come back around). They never really went away, but I’ve totally bought into the western boots style again. Personally, I’m not so keen on the typical, calf-length cowboy style, so I’d go for either an ankle or a knee-length style with this one. So many good high street options, I think these by Ash are very close to the Marants.
6. JEANS: I think pretty much all jeans styles are in for 2023. Particularly the 90s loose-and-tapered boyfriend styles, but if you’re unsure, stick with a classic straight leg. Levis Wedgie or 501s are an easy place to start. If you’re confused on sizing, I’d say either try to measure your true waist (under the ribs, but above the belly button), or use the rough guide that 28 is a 10, 29 a 12, 30 a 14 etc.
7. WHITE BLOUSE: I think I put this in all my capsules, but find a good white blouse, maybe with a little bit of lace detailing, and it will prove to be a very useful item in any wardrobe. I like this one from Oasis.
8. DRESS: I love a midi, a buffet and a maxi, but in the winter I often favour a mini dress, maybe because you don’t need all that leg upkeep that you do in the summer. No need to shave and tan, just add a pair of 50–100 deniers and away you go. I like this one from Oliver Bonas and this one from Part Two Eyvor.
9. LEGGINGS: I was never a leggings person until 2021, when I discovered the Spanx ones. Since then, I have also bought a pair from SKIMS (blame TikTok, but they are excellent) and a cheaper pair from M&S that also do the trick.
10. WOOL OR CORD TROUSERS: Wide leg, cropped or full length, depending on what you favour. I have to admit that, despite saying I didn’t need any more cord trousers, I caved and bought these from Anthropologie in the sale. But for the purpose of this blog, let’s go for a simple, wool, navy pair from Cos.
11. MINI SKIRT: Similar to dresses, but to be honest, I only really wear skirts in the winter. In the summer, if I want something short, I’ll go for actual shorts. I have two excellent mini skirts that I bought last year from M&S that they sadly didn’t bring back, but I think this one from Oliver Bonas looks good.
12. COLOURED TRAINERS: I’m going for the Adidas Gazelles (or similar) this season. I can’t help it, that Gucci x Adidas collection made me want to try the originals again. They say if you wore it first time around, then you can’t again, but who are ‘they’ anyway? Let’s go back to our Britpop roots. When choosing the colour, go for one that works with the accessories you already have. Helps to tie everything into your look.
13. SMART COAT: I’m sure you’ve all got one of these. I think for the purpose of this feature I’m going to opt for a grey, oversized style as it will go with so much, but any neutral tone will do.
14. OVERSIZED SHIRT: Doesn’t have to be too big, just a nice, comfortable, loose-fitting one. Blue is a good option as that will work with a lot of other things in your wardrobe. This one from M&S fits the bill.
15. CARDIGAN: A layering alternative to a jumper when you might want to easily warm up or cool down. Surely we’ve all got an ‘office’ cardigan somewhere. Or, as I call it now, the ‘hot/cold flush cardi’ as I don’t have an office, but I am prone to the odd perimeno sweat. A simple black one from H&M or a nice cashmere one from Boden would do nicely.
Now that we have that covered, let’s have a look at some outfits you can make using these items. I have added accessories as I don’t really count them as part of the capsule, it would be up to 45 piece if we added hats, gloves, bags etc.
So there you have it, I’m pretty sure you could make another few outfits out of this lot too.