Hello and welcome to the first post of 2022. I thought I’d go straight in with your 15-piece winter capsule wardrobe. Now, I’d love to say I live by this, but if I’m honest, I don’t. BUT I do find myself wearing the same things over and over and these are the building blocks of my daily dressing. So I’ve thought long and hard and compiled a list of the 15 items I reach for more than others when the winter sets in.
I’m sure most of you have a lot of this list – or something similar – already, so use it as a guide for easy, everyday looks. I’ve also NOT included bags, socks, tights or thermals in the 15 items as we’d be here all day. I’ll include some in the outfit collages after you’ve waded through the capsule collection list, so without further ado, here it is…
For wearing over your dresses or layering over thinner knits and tops with trousers and skirts. I like this boxy number from & Other Stories and this fancier one from The Great that’s on sale. Also check out Navygrey and ME +EM for really well-made, classic cardigans and knitwear.
I’m pretty sure you’ve all got a favourite pair in your wardrobe already. I’m very much into the chunky Chelsea boot this winter. Two price points for you to check out – the higher end at Air & Grace and the more affordable at H&M (above)
You need a more substantial shoe in the winter months – nothing too flimsy – so let’s go for a good brogue. Dr Martens do the classic, timeless style. You can of course stick with your chunky loafers from the autumn capsule wardrobe.
Doesn’t have to be your classic, loose-all-over, buffet-style dress, but ideally something that’s not too fitted at the waist. No one wants tight-fitting in January. I really like this William Morris print from People Tree, and I’m obviously also drawn to this jersey cord one from ME + EM
As ever, denim is ALWAYS in my capsule wardrobe edits. This time, we’ll go with the Whistles Hollie jeans again as they are still one of my favourite styles. Take your regular size; they are slightly cropped, so perfect for wearing with your chunky boots.
Basically something warm and oversized enough to layer-up underneath when it gets proper cold. My top favourites are this navy one from Cos and this bottle-green one from Piglet in Bed. Ideally, look for ones made from wool rather than man-made fabrics as they just feel better and warmer.
OK, I’m cheating a bit here by lumping these three together, but they are your very important winter accessories. My favourite hat is this one from Navygrey. I also really like the ones from Staple. I love a good cashmere scarf from Cos, and take another look at Uniqlo for very handy padded gilets to wear under your coat on extra-cold days; again, go for the men’s version as they just look better. The women’s ones are a bit ‘lady fit’ and you know how I feel about anything ‘lady fit’.
I’d say your best bet is a camel or black tailored coat. Neither of which will go out of style. This one from River Island is very smart indeed, a more affordable alternative to the Jigsaw one I have.
Really just adding these as I practically live in mine right now. I can only recommend the Spanx Look At Me Now ones as they are the only ‘proper’ pair I own. But if you’re a faux-leather girl, then Commando come highly recommended, and for sporty types who want to go from the gym to lunch, Sweaty Betty do great plain black leggings. I have their leopard-print ones, so I’m assuming the plain ones are just as good.
I’m going to be utterly predictable again here and go for a classic, long-sleeve stripe top. Because they are always so useful and stripes work with everything. Boden does a perfect one as does small brand Ivy.
The fabric is your choice. I love me a pair of leather trousers in the winter; they are wipe-clean AND waterproof, so what’s not to like? PLUS if you don’t already own a pair, then finding some in the sales is a good plan. These culottes from Hush look right on the money, as do these crop ones from Warehouse. For corduroy, these Cos chinos are great and for wool, Jigsaw have a classic pair in their sale.
Because, as mentioned before, you CAN wear a mini skirt at any age, and winter is the best time to do so as you have the safety of your 100 deniers. This cord one from Matalan is a bargain and comes in three colours.
I’m currently slightly obsessed with Nike Jordans. If you can find them. They sell out in minutes. I found these at Net A Porter. You can also try downloading the SNKRS app at the Nike site and that will alert you to new ‘drops’. (Look at me with the lingo!)
Phew, so now that we’ve got our basic list of 15 items, let’s put them together for some outfit ideas…
LEATHER TROUSERS & BROGUES
Sometimes the simplest of outfits can be elevated with a really good pair of socks. If you’re a long-time reader, you will know my love of a good sock knows no bounds. In the winter, you’ll need a few pairs of knee-length ones to wear with your cropped trousers. For patterned ones, look at Genevieve Sweeney, or Gucci if you’re feeling flash. For plain knee-highs, I still like good old M&S.
LONG SLEEVE DRESS & LEGGINGS
In the winter, you can wear your leggings under your maxi dress and add boots. They don’t really need to be ‘secret’ at this time of year. I’d go for a Uniqlo heattech top under the dress and a cardi on top. Wear with either your football-manager coat or your smart coat.
PUFFY COAT & MINI SKIRT
Basically, once you zip it up and add tights, it’s toasty enough for the journey to wherever you’re going. Then, once you get there, ditch the coat and look smart in your chunky knit, mini and boots. A quick one on tights. My favourite ones for the bleak midwinter are the Falke soft merino wool ones. Not cheap at around £37, but they LAST and they don’t go baggy when you wash them.
1. Piglet in Bed bottle green merino wool jumper
2. Cos cashmere navy scarf
3. Uniqlo +J oversized puffer coat
4. Boden breton stripe top
5. H&M leather Chelsea boots
6. Matalan burgundy corduroy mini skirt
JEANS AND LINER VEST
The beauty of this Uniqlo liner vest is that it’s thin enough to go under your regular coat, but padded enough to give you an extra layer of warmth. You can also fold down the collar into a v‑neck so it doesn’t show. I swear by these for the football in the winter. They pack down so small that I can pop one into my handbag along with my snacks and put it on as a special warm treat at half time.
1. Piglet in Bed bottle green merino wool jumper
2. Uniqlo ultra light down compact vest
3. Whistles Hollie button front jeans
4. River Island long camel coat
5. Nike Air Jordan 1 faux fur lined trainers
CHUNKY JUMPER & COORDINATED ACCESSORIES
Would I match my socks to my hat? Well, yes I would. Adding a splash of colour to your head and your feet brightens up an otherwise fairly plain outfit. These Danish Endurance socks are super toasty but not too thick. Perfect for wearing with boots.
1. Cos navy cable knit jumper
2. Navy Grey red wool beanie hat
3. Uniqlo + J oversized puffer coat
4. Whistles Hollie button front jeans
5. Danish endurance merino wool walking socks
6. Air & Grace Troupe black leather Chelsea boots
LEATHER TROUSERS AND HI TOPS
I don’t know about you, but I think footwear with leather trousers is quite important. I feel that if I wear leather boots and leather trousers then it’s all gone a bit too ‘Suzi Quattro on a motorbike’. So I tend to go for trainers. The hi-tops work a treat with a crop trouser. I feel cool when I wear them too. I was at the petrol station the other week and a youth in a Golf GTI shouted out the window at me, ‘Excuse me, excuse me.’ I thought he was going to tell me my tyres were flat or something, but no, he just said ‘I love your trainers’, and that made me feel good for the rest of the day!
MINI SKIRT, STRIPES AND BROGUES
I tend to go with a more ‘manly’ shoe when daring to wear a mini. I just like the balance between ‘legs out’ and a manly shoe. Stripes will always have a place in any of my capsule wardrobe edits. I might do another stripes appreciation post next week.
LEGGINGS WHEN NOT WORKING OUT
This is basically what I live in at home these days: a comfy jumper, leggings and then add a hat and warm coat for taking the dog around the back field. I do have to substitute the trainers for wellies though. As I’ve said before, the best wellies are the Barbour Wiltons. Comfortable, warm, waterproof and easy to get on and off.
Give yourself a big pat on the back for getting to the end of this mamouth post! I hope it was useful.
P.S. If you want the shopping links without the chat, I’m trying to remember to publish all my pick to the LTK app. It’s easy to search for items on there. You can see my profile here