I have always enjoyed the process of putting clothes together, trying new looks and mixing and matching what I have in my closet. I hope my ideas and tips on how to put together a versatile winter wardrobe will inspire you to try mixing and matching what you have in your closet as well. It’s easy and fun and you can do it with a relatively small wardrobe….and a lot of things from the clearance wracks or thrift shops! I love dressing for winter and I hope this helps you learn to love it too!
One thing I have learned over the years is that I have far too much clothing. I don’t actually wear about a third of what I own, but I keep it for some sort of false sense of security. The thing is, I have what I call a “base” set of clothing for each season that I wear over and over again. These are all my favorite things- the stuff that fits really well, it’s comfortable, and it’s cute- you know what I mean? These base pieces are the kind of neutral thing you wear underneath various different sweaters, jackets and dusters. After the base pieces you have the things that you wear over them, the “layering pieces”- things like sweaters and jackets and scarves. The third element in this mix-and-match game are shoes and boots. And lastly you have your jewelry. Each element is an important part of the outfit….and each one can help to dress your outfit up or down depending on what you need that day. For example- some days maybe you need to dress your outfit up a little for work or because you’re going into town and want to look a little nicer. On those days you can add a blingy necklace and a jacket to your chambray button-up and add heals instead of boots. While maybe other days you want a little more comfort and warmth, so you can add a cozy wool sweater, a blanket scarf and some flat booties. Layers are also nice for when you’re not sure what the temperature will be at your destination. Sometimes you show up and the heat is turned way up and you can shed a layer easily dressing like this. Still other times you may arrive and it is really chilly, and Voila! You have cozy layers that you can keep on instead of keeping a heavy coat on the whole time.
So here are a few of my favorite elements from my own wardrobe:
The base pieces: A winter white long-sleeved T-shirt, a few chambray/jean button-ups, a dark gray long-sleeved thermal material shirt and a cranberry colored long-sleeved T-shirt. I would also consider jeans a part of the base pieces. My favorite style is a simple dark wash, but I also like to have a pair of the torn up look and a few pairs of colored jeans.
Layering pieces: A cream and black patterned winter vest with wool lining, an olive green safari-style vest that cinches at the waist, a gray “grandpa” style sweater, a black leather jacket, a black herring bone suit jacket, and three duster style sweaters. I would also consider scarves as layering pieces that can be easily switched depending on the color and style of your outfit.
The stand-alone pieces: Your stand-alone pieces are things that don’t necessarily need a layering piece and can even sometimes be one of your base pieces. These would be things that have a statement of their own or only need a piece of jewelry to help them stand out. Mine include a winter-white short-sleeved sweater, a gray sweater with jeweled pieces around the neck and a gray half turtle-necked sweater.
Jewelry: It helps to have a few boho pieces to go with your more casual looks, and some nicer pieces for when you are dressing things up a bit. Some of my favorites are featured in the photos. The turquoise pieces are great for dressing down and I always think pearls add a more classy, sophisticated look to an outfit. Don’t be afraid to try them with a more edgy look as well!
Shoes: It’s amazing how a shoe can change an outfit! My favorites are a flat bootie, a slightly healed bootie, a pair of snake-skinned heals and a very nice pair of leather riding boots. I have learned that having a really nice pair of leather boots can be expensive, but it’s much better than buying a cheap pair every year. Not to mention a really nice pair of leather boots, in my opinion, can go with almost anything.
Then there are also those times when it is really, really cold outside….And that is a whole other thing! You know, like the times when your mom made you wear long-johns under your jeans? Yeah, that is cold! If you don’t know what I mean, you’re probably not that interested in this article to begin with, so no worries! But then again, maybe you are like my sister and live in a warm southern climate and you’re headed to Colorado for vacation this year. Here is my piece of advice to you: Wearing long-johns under your jeans is a drag. You feel like you’r going to pop out of your jeans….like you’re a stuffed sausage. My suggestion is wearing a pair of tights under your jeans, along with a pair of knee-high socks. Not only do tights keep you from looking too bulky, but they actually normally have the added bonus of a built-in control-top that keeps you nice and slim. I don’t have many occasions to wear something like this, but when if you are planning on tromping around in deep snow, it’s a good tip to keep in mind. Don’t forget your heavy wool coat and gloves, and some rubber-toed/wool-lined boots and you should be good to go!
Winter can be long and cold, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look fabulous! Enjoy finding new ways to mix and match your winter wardrobe!