Now that the dust has settled from the holidays, I finally found time to put together my winter capsule wardrobe. It may seem a little late, but we’ve been experiencing fall-like weather throughout December and early January here in Pittsburgh, so now feels like the right time. Before I jump into what I’m wearing this winter, here is a little background:
What’s a Capsule Wardrobe?
A capsule wardrobe is a curated collection of essential items of clothing that can be worn together in different ways. They generally follow a certain color palette so items can be easily paired together, but in my opinion, they don’t have to.
How Do I Create My Capsule Wardrobe?
Every season, I go through my closet and remove anything I don’t wear anymore. I make two piles, one for items to donate and one for items to sell.
I go through my closet a few more times until my capsule is only the clothing I would wear on a regular basis (special occasion items don’t count). Some items find a new purpose or I move them to a different season, otherwise they get added to either the donate or sell pile.
Then I evaluate what I need for the upcoming season. If I am missing an essential piece, I’ll budget for it and add it to my wardrobe.
- Stick to It
I try to avoid making any impulse purchases throughout the season and stick to the plan for that season’s capsule wardrobe.
My 2020 Winter Capsule Wardrobe
After following the steps listed above, here is where I ended up:
- 12 Sweaters
- 7 Tops
- 5 Layers
- 10 Pants
- 4 Skirts
- 2 Dresses
- 7 Shoes
Total= 47 Items
For everything I own, I tried to find exact matches online. Unfortunately, I’ve had many of these items for a long time so in many cases I had to find close substitutes. I also tried to find high-quality pieces that will last and tried to avoid linking to fast fashion sites. Some items I could not find at all, but I list out every item below whether or not I could find a link and a nice image. These more expensive options can sometimes be the best inspiration for secondhand shopping.
Some people try to stick to two neutrals and try to choose between either black or navy, but I really love both and find I get use out of gray and black just as much as navy and camel. The variety is nice, especially in the winter when I feel like I am wearing a sweater everyday. Camel and black is my new favorite combo. My print here is leopard and my pops of color are maroon and green.
- Light gray mock neck cable-knit sweater
- Medium gray turtleneck sweater
- Leopard print crewneck crop sweater
- Cream fishermen cropped sweater
- Cream crewneck sweater
- Dark gray cashmere v-neck
- Black cashmere crewneck
- Navy blue cashmere crewneck sweater
- Maroon cashmere crewneck
- Camel crewneck sweater
- Green tunic sweater
Turtlenecks and button downs are great layering pieces, especially in the winter. They are also a great way to add patterns like stripes. The bodysuit is the latest addition and I can’t wait to wear it with skirts or big scarves. My print is this polka dot blouse and my pop of color is this gold top.
- Black turtleneck
- Black and white striped turtleneck
- Navy blue bow tie blouse
- Gold velvet tie waist top
- Gray wrap top body suit
- Chambray shirt
- Blue and white striped button down
I think all of these layers are essential in the fall and winter. The sweater blazer is such a nice option, especially when trying to layer under a winter coat. It’s thin yet still warm. I decided I’m going to try to incorporate my jean jacket this winter and see how it goes. I wore it the other day and it fits layered under my camel coat, so that’s a good start.
There is a mix of work and everyday pants here. Since my office moved to a more casual dress policy, jeans everyday, I haven’t had to break out my dress pants as much, but I still like to have the option just in case I’m giving a presentation. The high-waisted jeans have been great for any cropped sweaters I own and create such a classic look when paired with a tucked in shirt.
- High-waisted black jeans
- Blue skinny jeans
- High-waisted dark blue skinny jeans
- Light wash boyfriend jeans
- Light gray jeans
- Navy skinny pants
- Gray herringbone skinny pants
- Black leggings
- Maroon leggings
- Black velvet leggings
These are all work skirts and are once again just options in case I want a dressier look at work. Black, navy, and gray are all good bases for building an outfit and the plaid is a fun way to incorporate a print. I doubt I will add any more skirts at this point, but I would love to own a camel pencil skirt.
There are so few occasions in the winter in which I require a dress, but I figured I better include these two just in case. The floral print one is actually a summer dress, but I feel like I can easily add layers to this one to make it appropriate for winter. The black dress would be a nice option for Valentine’s Day.
- Black puff sleeve dress
- Flower print dress
I did not include my winter boots here, because I always bring a pair of shoes to change into when I get to the office. So other than my winter boots, my shoe game doesn’t really change much from the fall time. A solid neutral heel is always good as well as a pop of color and pattern like leopard print.