The beginning of the year naturally brings thoughts of “fresh starts.” This mindset trickles into many aspects of our lives, including our wardrobe. If you are looking to build a wardrobe that works for you across occasions, the first step is securing quality wardrobe basics. Wardrobe basics are the building blocks of a functional wardrobe. Once you have your basics, insert what I call “personality pieces,” which explain your style story. These pieces may include shoes, bags, accessories, or clothing items that go beyond “basic” in their style.
Your Winter Wardrobe Basics are:
One great sweater in a style that works for your body will keep you cozy on frigid days, dress down a fun skirt, or create the perfect “French girl” aesthetic paired with straight jeans. For those who are busty, open and v-necklines are best. Those who are less endowed wear turtlenecks and crew necklines well, typically. A cardigan can be worn closed like a pullover, or wear it open over a tee or blouse for a “sweet” extra layer. See my shopping catalog for recommendations.
The sweater vest is trending, but don’t be afraid of it going anywhere anytime soon. This wardrobe item is fast becoming a staple. Wear it over a blouse for an extra layer that is more “business casual,” pair it with a cotton shirt and jeans for a crisp “power casual” ensemble, or wear it alone with shorts once the temperatures allow. I have been enjoying mine, and I’m mighty tempted by the ones I found for the shopping catalog. Take a look!
Gray / Black Jeans
Your color palette may not include gray or black, but don’t let this stop you from wearing a piece that’s chic enough to wear to a party with a sparkly top but casual enough to wear to the grocery store with a t-shirt. Dark jeans are a winter wardrobe workhorse. Note: your jeans should fit snugly when you first try them on. If they feel “just right” when you first put them on, they might be too big. Jeans will “give” over time because of the stretch fabric. I’ve included a variety of styles in my shopping catalog.
I call these the jeans of winter. I always have an iteration or two of corduroys in my wardrobe. Right now, I own three pairs: a winter white flare leg I purchased at Gap last year, a cropped straight leg pair from Banana Republic (shown in the photo at the top of this post) and a hot pink pair I “impulse” purchased last January from the winter sale. Corduroys are just as versatile as jeans; however, they often come in a variety fun colors, giving your wardrobe a much needed mid-winter punch. These are almost a sold out item, but I found some for the shopping catalog. Hop on it if you see something you like.
Right now, the most versatile boot style is the ankle boot because you can wear them with tights & dresses, straight leg jeans, or trousers. How much you will wear boots depends a lot on where you live. When I lived in Seattle, I acquired at least a dozen pairs ankle boots, and I wore them in rotation. Seattle winter weather is made for a boot. Since moving back to Dallas, I don’t reach for them as much as my sneakers and flat shoes (since it’s less cold and wet here). That said, I’ve thrown a couple of non-boot styles into my shopping catalog to give you other ideas.
Puffer Vest / Jacket
The item of clothing that used to put us in direct conflict with our moms on cold winter mornings is now a wardrobe “must have.” Never say never in fashion. Depending on where you live, you might only need a vest. A vest is perfect for a place whose winters are mild (ahem, Dallas). I have both a vest and a puffer jacket (shocker, I know). The nice thing about a puffer is it works for play and dress up. Plus, you can find it in fun colors and styles. My red one from Lululemon in the photo here went with me all over London, keeping me warm and making me easy to spot in a crowd. It is now sold out, but I’ve linked two of the same style in different colors in my shopping catalog. John is wearing his vest over a warm knit jacket.
Even if you are not an “accessories” person, the one accessory you might consider using in winter is a scarf. A cashmere scarf keeps you looking chic while staying warm when the temps drop. I rarely removed my Burberry scarf on our U.K. trip. A lighter-weight cotton scarf looks pretty over a sweater or a top when it’s cool but not cold. Scarves come in many colors and prints, and there are oodles of ways to style them to show your personal flair. I found a nice collection for the shopping catalog.
When I met Angela Scott at an event in Chicago in 2016, she was wearing a black beanie with her California chic ensemble. It was the perfect sartorial touch for the windy city. Eight years later, I’m kind of in love with a beanie. Hats might not be your thing. If so, skip this section. A beanie not only keeps you warm on our coldest days, but it also adds pizazz to an outfit. No need to remove it once inside. Take a cue from Angela and keep it on as part of your ensemble. Other hat options include a beret, a cloche, or a bucket hat. My eyes always go to the person in the room in a hat. See my shopping catalog for some nice options.
Okay, face cream is not a wardrobe staple. However, there is no point in going out in a fabulous ensemble unless your face is well moisturized. Depending on your climate, you might need a quality face cream year-round. I discovered this during the summer in both West Texas and Santa Fe, NM. My skin was screaming for moisture. I have linked some of my favorites in my shopping catalog, including the one that saved my face in Sata Fe this summer.
When I had pink eye right before the New Year, I dried my hands out from all the hand washing. My saving grace were the hand creams in my shopping catalog. Chapped hands catch on clothing and cause snags. So, while this item isn’t a wardrobe staple, it will help you keep your wardrobe staples in their best condition.
I’m Here for You
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the task of creating your dream wardrobe, email me. I’d be happy to guide you this year toward a style that reflects who you are and a wardrobe that expresses your style. I’m here to make that part of your life easy.
The Shopping Catalog
The items I’ve linked in the shopping catalog (including everything in this collage) are pieces I personally love and endorse. Some of the retailers linked in the catalog pay me a small commission when you make a purchase directly from the catalog. This is always appreciated and one way of supporting my small business. Thank you!
Happy New Year!
Wishing you a great start to 2024! I look forward to continuing to support you this year.