A Winter Capsule Wardrobe

December 03, 2019

A Winter Capsule Wardrobe

It wasn't that long ago I was putting together my Autumn capsule. The weather has taken a sharp spike downwards and we're facing minus temperatures already - it's only early December! It's time to switch out my options for heavier, warmer clothes.

I've learned a lot from putting together seasonal capsules this year. It's become quite easy to identify what clothes I'll wear, and which ones I won't. I'm noticing the items I pull time and time again; that are hard-working through all the seasons. More importantly I'm noticing the items that perhaps maybe should be decluttered from my wardrobe permanently because I'm not reaching for them as much as I thought I would.

Even after years of maintaining a minimalist wardrobe, I still don't wear everything I own as much as I should or, in rare cases, at all. There's a few items I could easily declutter and never miss. That's true for a lot of us. In the UK, 73% of our clothes go unworn. Perhaps we should all declutter our wardrobes and work on making better purchases (or none at all) next year.

Winter has a tendency to strip us of our personal style as we have to bundle up in winter coats, scarves, and gloves. I was mindful of this when putting together my capsule. Having clothes that can be worn all year really helps build a wardrobe your enjoy wearing. Layering, I've found, is the key to preserving personal style while in the depths of the winter months. I'll be wearing base layers (like my lifesaving bodysuit) when the weather is just too cold to handle.


A Winter Capsule Wardrobe

Outwear

Heavy Winter Coat by All Saints (second-hand). This coat is the most expensive purchase I ever made. I bought it in brand new condition second-hand and it was well over £300. I didn't know at the time that it would become the oldest, most reliable piece in my wardrobe. It's so thick and warm I can only wear it on the coldest of winter days. It's a beautiful coat that 10 years on I still enjoy wearing.

Camel Coat by Great Plains (gifted, old). It's a classic for a reason. This coat elevates my outfits and makes me feel more dressed up. Everlane sells a similar coat, The ReWool Overcoat. Although, as the name suggests, it's made from recycled wool, which as a low waste vegan I'm in two minds about and believe you should stick to buying second-hand rather than new "recycled" clothing.

Grey Coat by MUJI (second-hand). Another second-hand coat in my wardrobe although this one was much cheaper at only £20. It just goes to show you can find what you need at a good price if you're willing to look. This is my casual coat option for throwing over the top of bulky winter outfits. Patagonia can help you find a suitable winter coat if you insist on buying new.



Knitwear

Striped Jumper (second-hand). I always find great knitwear in charity shops and this has become one of my favourites. It has a slightly cropped boxy fit with 3/4 quarter sleeves. I find knitwear often looks bulky or too big on me and this fits perfectly. The style makes it look smart(er) when paired with culottes or more laid back when layered over dresses.

Oatmeal Jumper (second-hand). A cream sweater is such a cliche choice for winter knitwear but I loved the interesting neckline on this jumper. It’s essentially a turtleneck with a vintage twist. It’s super warm and perfect for when I know I’ll be outdoors in the cold for long periods of time. This People Tree Jumper has a similar-ish vibe without the vintage flair.

Funnel Neck Jumper by Paisie (old purchase). This is a big jumper with a high funnel neck, long sleeves, and ribbed texture. It looks sleek and sophisticated tucked into culottes or worn underneath a jumpsuit yet doesn’t feel overly bulky or cumbersome to wear. I can't find anything similiar but this Textured Cable Sweater is cute.

Crop Cardigan by Everlane. I find Everlane's knitwear always runs large on me so I sized down to keep the relaxed style in check and it worked. It's slightly more fitted, the sleeves aren't voluminous, and it hits me right at my smallest point so the fit is perfect. I wear this as a top on warmer days with nothing underneath and layered over outfits for extra warmth when it’s chilly out.



Dresses

Constellation Dress by The WhitePepper (gifted, old). I don't usually do patterns in my wardrobe (especially not stars!) but I kept this dress because every time I wear it I get compliments, and it's quite fitting for this season. It's a collaboration piece with Hattie Stewart so when you look closely at the pattern you notice it's not a typical constellation print and has little eyes all over it.

A-Line Dress by Monki (old purchase). A real hard-working piece in my wardrobe; I wear this dress all year round. It has a classic A-Line shape with sequin detailing on the shoulder. I can wear this as a little black dress in the evening or during the day with a cardigan over the top. It's comfortable and effortless even in the coldest of weather. For a more formal style try this People Tree Dress or this Thought Clothing Dress; or the Everlane Shirtdress for a casual look.

Sleeveless Dress by MUJI (old purchase). A surprising choice for winter; this sleeveless linen dress is fantastically versatile. I can wear shirts underneath and knitwear over the top, transforming it from a typical Summer piece to an adequate winter dress. It’s my first time picking it for a winter capsule so I’m curious to see how well it wears. For something similar, try this Nadinoo Gingham Dress.



Tops

Classic Shirt by Uniqlo (second-hand). Simple, effortless, and versatile. A classic black skirt that can be worn loose, tucked in, or layered. I picked this up for a couple of pounds in a charity shop and it's become a staple in my all-seasons wardrobe. I like Everlane for shirts if you want to buy new.

Collarless Shirt by Everlane (gifted). This is a very thin shirt that requires an extra base layer underneath to make it work in winter. I included it because it's just so easy to wear and feels great on.



Bottoms

Culottes by MUJI. A really versatile piece in my wardrobe that has seen me through the entire year. They're comfortable and effortless, looking great with a pair of smart shoes and handbag or more casual knitwear.

Trousers by Uniqlo (second-hand). Sometimes you just want to throw on a jumper and pair of trousers and be done. These trousers are made from a linen-cotton blend so they relax with each wear. I love when they get loose and baggy because they become super comfortable and less structured. These Lucy & Yak Trousers are very similiar and a great price.

Jumpsuit by Avec Clyde (gifted). I'm putting this jumpsuit to the test. It's rather lightweight because of the tencel fabric but I'm convinced I can make it work in winter. It's such an easy-to-wear piece, I knew I'd miss not wearing it even in colder weather. With knitwear thrown over the top and a thick pair of socks, I think this jumpsuit can see me through winter.



Shoes

Shoes by Dr. Martens (old purchase). No matter the season, my trusty Dr. Marten shoes will see me through. I wear these in heavy rain and intense sunshine. They're practical, reliable, and comfortable. I've had my pair for years and they're still going strong.

Chelsea Boots by Wills (gifted, old). A slightly smarter alternative to my Dr. Martens. Chelsea boots are such a classic choice and winter is the perfect time to wear them. These pull-on boots are comfortable and smart, giving me the option I need for winter evenings.



Accessories

Backpack by Kanken (old purchase). Always useful, forever practical; my Kanken Mini comes through with a functional bag option. In winter I tend to carry more with me and need a little extra space. This gives me the room for the umbrella, scarf, and coffee cup (for hot drinks on cold days) I'll inevitably need to pack. Kanken is a good reliable brand to choose, alternatively Kula Bags have a great selection.

Beret (second-hand). I bought this last year and I'm excited to wear it again. I'm not usually a hat wearer but a black beret looks pretty good on and adds to an otherwise standard winter outfit. If you're put off by second-hand hats, most wash really well. I put mine on a gentle cycle but hand washing would also work if you're worried about your machine ruining the hat.

Scarf. Everyone's winter essential. Not much to say about this except I'll be wearing it a lot.

Minimal Jewellery by Oh My Clumsy Heart. I’m seeing myself layering the Crescent Necklace with one or two other minimal necklaces like the dainty Diamond Necklace and the Personalised Letter Necklace. I haven’t removed my Diamond Ring and I’ve been stacking it up with a few plain rings and textured rings. These are all available in sterling silver too.


I wanted to add a little note about labelling clothes. In future posts, I'm going to be more specific about how I acquired certain items and how long I've owned them. A lot of my clothes are old purchases and press gifts I received years ago. Some of which may be from fast fashion brands I would never buy now. I think it's helpful to know whether something I'm featuring is a new purchase or one I've owned for years, if I bought it second-hand or new, or if I was gifted the item by a brand.




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