A woman holding an umbrella under snowfall

It’s not hard to be a minimalist when it comes to fashion during winter. When the weather is so cold it hurts, the days are grey and gloomy and you’re not motivated to leave your cozy bed for much else than an essential run to the grocery store, getting dressed usually means throwing on the same oversized sweater and warm leggings you wore yesterday—OK, and the day before—and calling it a look. 

In fact, winter is probably an ideal time to build a capsule wardrobe and transition into the slow fashion lifestyle. Building a capsule wardrobe is about paring down your closet to only the essentials. It’s an exercise in creativity that will inspire you to create many different looks using the same staple pieces. In the dead of winter, we’re all looking for a bit more inspiration, right? 

Because the focus of minimalism is on living with less, begin creating your capsule with pieces you already own. Then, shop for new pieces to fill in the gaps from there, but only at the beginning of the season. For your winter capsule, think layering pieces, knits, comfy silhouettes and accessories to keep you warm. 

For your winter capsule, think layering pieces, knits, comfy silhouettes and accessories to keep you warm. 

Below, we’ve gathered a list of essential pieces for your capsule wardrobe that will inspire you to create cute and cozy outfits. You might find yourself getting dressed up and braving the cold to show off your looks (even if it is only around the corner to your favorite coffee shop). 

A Neutral Toned Oversized Sweater 

Sweaters are essential to a winter capsule wardrobe. Not only because they are warm and cozy (the ultimate concern when it comes to getting dressed this season), but because they provide endless options for styling. Stick with a neutral-tone sweater for easy matching and include an oversized option for layering. 

Styling Ideas: 

Option one is to tuck a sweater into a pair of high-waist denim, add heeled Chelsea boots and your favorite accessories such as simple, gold jewelry and a sturdy Rancher hat. 

The second styling idea is to throw an oversized sweater over a flowy midi dress. For a boho look, pair with boots such as heeled Chelseas or a sturdy pair like Blundstones or combat boots. For a polished look, wear it instead with sneakers and tuck the sweater in the front. (Pro Tip: Tie a shoe string around your midsection for something to tuck the sweater into.)

Lastly, try a midi skirt, and tuck your sweater loosely into the front. Dress this look up with boots or down with sneakers. 

Cardigan 

A sister to the classic winter sweater, our lives—we mean, wardrobes—would not be complete without the addition of a cardigan. They wrap you up like a warm hug and effortlessly complete any winter look. 

Styling Ideas: 

Throw a cardigan on top of overalls, pair it with sturdy boots such as Blundstones and accessorize with a beanie. Also, try tucking a plain tee shirt or tank into high-waisted denim, slip on some heeled Chelsea boots and finish your look with a cardigan. 

A Midi Dress or Midi Skirt 

Add a midi dress, midi skirt or both to your winter capsule for those days you’re feeling dressy. 

Styling Ideas: 

Throw an oversized sweater over a midi dress, add heeled Chelsea boots and a Rancher hat. Another idea is to tuck a sweater loosely into a midi skirt, pair with sneakers or boots and add some simple jewelry to finish it off. 

Sweater Dress 

A dress, but make it winter approved! A sweater dress is a winter capsule essential. It’s chic and warm, and it provides many styling options. 

Styling Ideas: 

Pair a sweater dress with knee-high socks under knee-high boots. Add a few pieces of jewelry and a hat to finish the look. Another idea is to pair a sweater dress with tights, heeled Chelsea boots and a belt around the waist.

Jumper Dress 

A jumper dress makes the perfect base piece for layering and creating different looks with. It’s cute and dressy, yet casual and comfy at the same time. From coffee shop outings to holiday parties, you’ll be reaching for it over and over during this season. 

Styling Ideas: 

Pair a jumper dress with a mock neck long sleeve, add tights and combat boots with socks that are showing. For a dressier look, add sparkly tights. For a casual look, go with a beanie. You can also pair a jumper dress with a long sleeve top underneath, and add warmth with knee-high knit socks and a pair of boots. 

High-Waist Denim 

A good pair of denim is essential for winter fashion. We like high-waisted pairs ourselves because they’re great for tucking in sweaters or long sleeve tops. OK, they’re just really comfy. 

Styling Ideas: 

The styling options are endless here. Tuck a sweater into your jeans, and add heeled Chelesa boots and a Rancher hat for a classic winter look. For the coldest days, add a peacoat as well. 

For casual looks, pair denim with a long-sleeve top and cardigan on top and a flat pair of boots or sneakers. You can also try rolling the denim at the bottom to expose a pair of knit socks. 

Wide Leg Pants 

Knit or cotton wide leg pants are ideal for cozy outfits to wear around the house but can also be dressed up. 

Styling Ideas:

Pair with sweaters or long-sleeve tops. Try socks and boots or sneakers if you’re taking your outfit outdoors. Around the house, cotton wide-leg pants and a cardigan are a cute and comfy duo. 

A Layering Top (like a Mockneck or Henley)

A long-sleeve top is essential for layering, and layering is essential for a cozy winter outfit. Add a long sleeve mock neck top or Henley to your capsule for a standalone top or to keep warm under dresses or overalls. 

Styling Ideas: 

Pair a mock neck with a jumper dress like in the outfit above. 

Add a long-sleeve top like a Henley under overalls, and dress it up with heeled Chelsea boots or down with sneakers. For extra warmth and layers, add a cardigan over top. 

A Pair of Boots 

Chelsea boots, combat boots, Blundstones, knee-high boots—there are so many options to choose from when it comes to winter’s favorite shoe. Pick one or a few that fit your style best. You’ll be needing them this season! 

Styling Ideas: 

Heeled Chelsea boots are ideal for dressing up. Pair with dresses or skirts, high-waist denim and accessories like a Rancher hat or simple, gold jewelry. 

Flat-bottomed boots such as combat boots or Blundstones go well with casual looks. Wear them with a midi skirt, a jumper dress, denim and a cardigan and accessories such as tights (sparkle or no sparkle, depending on the mood) and beanies. 

Tights or Leggings 

Would it even be a winter outfit with tights or leggings? They’re both essential to a capsule wardrobe for when the weather is chilly and your outfits require layers for warmth. 

Styling Ideas:

Start with a long sleeve top like a mockneck, add a jumper dress on top, throw on some tights and add combat boots to finish the look. 

Pair an oversized sweater with leggings. Add flat boots such as combat boots or Blundstones, and wear the look with a knit pair of socks pulled up above the top of the boots. For ultimate coziness, add a beanie on top. 

Hat 

If you lean toward the casual side of style, a beanie is the ideal winter hat. If you’re looking for the perfect accessory to elevate your outfits, a Rancher hat is a must-have. 

Styling Ideas: 

Pair a rancher hat with a midi dress and oversized sweater combo, a denim and sweater look, overalls or any outfit with heeled Chelsea boots. 

Beanies complete cozy winter looks like a knit lounge set and sneakers, a cute pair of high-waisted denim and tucked in mock neck or Henley top with sneakers or overalls with a sweater underneath. 

Knit Socks 

Socks in winter are a no-brainer, but they also add a creative finishing touch to any look. We recommend a longer knit pair for fun styling options. 

Styling Ideas: 

For outfits such as a dress or midi skirt, wear it with boots and pull the socks several inches above the top of the boots to show them off (we love socks with a bit of frill at the top). You can even wear knee-high socks with a shorter dress depending on the weather. 

Pair knit socks with open-toed wedges for a chic, creative look. 

Do you feel stuck when it comes to winter fashion or does your style come alive in this season? What are your go-to winter fashion staples?

Image via James Cant, Darling Issue No. 10

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