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25 Winter Capsule Wardrobe Essentials for 2021

Today I am sharing my top picks for this year’s winter capsule wardrobe essentials. This collection includes classic mix and match staples that will keep you cozy and comfortable all winter long. It will also allow you to hit snooze on those dark winter mornings because you will save time with these ready to wear options.

Sample women's winter capsule wardrobe; jacket, vest, sweater, jeans and boots

What is a Winter Capsule Wardrobe?

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When I think of winter I automatically think warm and cozy. At the same time, I want to be comfortable and look pulled together.

That is why I love capsule wardrobes!

But what is a capsule wardrobe?…The answer is going to depend on who you ask, but here is my definition:

A capsule wardrobe is a pared down collection of easy-to-coordinate, mix-in-match pieces that makes getting dressed and looking put together completely fool-proof.

-Lauren Tingley @ Simply well Balanced

A winter capsule collection meets all these objectives but is full of clothes that are appropriate for winter weather to keep you comfy and cozy all season long.

As a busy mom, I was drawn toward the idea of creating a capsule wardrobe for multiple reasons:

1) I don’t have hours to spend shopping and trying on clothes

2) Most of our clothing budget goes toward our growing children who wear-out and out-grow clothes quickly

3) I need to get dressed quickly in the morning, so that I can get everyone out the door on time.

To be honest, creating a capsule wardrobe was the way I found my style again after having kids.

It was a huge part of learning how to fight the frump as a busy mom with two kids who had no idea what to wear or what I looked good in anymore.

(Speaking of that, you can check out this guide to help you get started too…enter code simplywellbalanced for 10% off!)

Why Women Are Loving Capsule Wardrobes

In theory having a huge closet packed full of clothes sounds like a dream come true.

In reality, it’s more like a nightmare. When you have a lot of clothing:

  • You can never find what you are looking for
  • Laundry takes forever and is never done
  • The hanging and organizing is a constant battle

If this sounds like familiar, you would probably benefit from creating a capsule wardrobe.

By simplifying your closet to just the essentials that you love and wear often you will avoid so many of these struggles. No more feeling frustrated, overwhelmed and frantic when you are trying to choose an outfit in the morning.

Anyone can create a capsule wardrobe by selecting mix and match items that are practical and that you love to wear.

If this sounds like something that you need in your life, here is my favorite resource for getting started with capsule wardrobes.

Your Winter Capsule Wardrobe Checklist

Over the years I have tried different variations of a capsule wardrobe for each season. Through trial and error I have discovered the specific pieces and color schemes that work best for me.

My goal is to share my strategy with you as a “starting point” for you to create a simplified wardrobe that works best for you.

Depending on the climate where you live and your lifestyle you may be able to skip some items, or you may even need to add a few. (It doesn’t snow where I live)

The idea is that you have enough items to create a variety of outfits, so that you feel like you have a completely packed closet without any of the stress and maintenance.

Below is a quick rundown of the pieces that I find I get the most use from year after year.

I have included numbers next to each item. This is not a guideline or a rule, this is simply what has worked for me.

Please note that winter accessories are not included on this list. That being said, it’s pretty obvious that winter is all about layering and staying warm.

In addition to the pieces listed below my winter capsule also consists of gloves, scarves, leg warmers and hats.

Outerwear

  • Warm down jacket (1)
  • Rain coat (1)
  • Peacoat (1)
  • Down vest (1)

Tops

  • Cardigan Sweaters (3)
  • Lightweight Sweaters for Layering (2)
  • Long Sleeve T-Shirts (3)
  • Tunics (3)

Bottoms

  • Jeans (3)
  • Leggings (3)
  • Black or Grey Pants (1)

Shoes

  • Rain boots (1)
  • Winter boots (1)
  • Leather boots (1)

For example, all of the pants and cardigans I wear year round. The long sleeve t-shirts, tunics and vests are also part of my fall closet.

So, as you can see these items really help to save money and they get plenty of use.

I would rather wear and item so frequently that it eventually needs to be replaced, than to waste money on 30 items that sit in the back of my closet and never get worn.

There you have it mama! Your perfect winter capsule wardrobe checklist to help you simplify your closet today!

Capsule Wardrobe FAQ’s

How do you make a winter capsule wardrobe?

I always suggest that when creating any capsule collection, that you start with what you already have.

  • Go through your closet and get rid of anything that doesn’t fit or that you haven’t worn in over a year – this will give you a nice clean slate to start with.
  • Next, start sorting your clothes by season. Since we are talking about winter in this post that means that all your tanks, shorts and summer dresses get set to the side for now. ( I actually suggest storing all off-season clothes in storage bags under you bed).
  • Now, start looking for items that you love, wear all the time and are timeless classics – these are the things you are going to keep and build your capsule from. Be sure to pay close attention to colors. Your staples should be black, white and grey and then 2-3 other colors you are naturally drawn to.
  • Be sure to let go of any remaining items that are not versatile or easy to mix and match with other items in your new wardrobe.
  • Lastly, make a list of any essential items that you know you are going to need but don’t currently have and shop for only the items on the list to finish out your capsule.

These are the basic steps that I follow and suggest to others. This tends to be a simple to follow process that avoids overwhelm and stress and saves a lot of money because it focuses on what you already have rather than going out and buying an entirely new wardrobe.

How to choose a color scheme for your capsule wardrobe

You will notice that the colors I gravitate toward include black, white, grey, navy and camel or tan. I have found that these colors are classic and tend to stay on trend from year to year.

Additionally, if you have some more colorful favorites in your closet already that you plan to keep they will most likely coordinate easily with the basics included in this capsule.

How many items should be in a capsule wardrobe?

This depends on how you plan to create your capsule wardrobe.

If you plan to create a capsule for each season, a popular standard is around 33 items. This is the method that is featured in Project 333, which is is the gold standard.

However, if you live in an area where you can wear most of your clothes year-round you might be able just add a few more season staples and have a great capsule with 50 items or less.

I am a huge believer that a capsule isn’t about having a specific number of items; it’s really about making your life easier and getting rid of excess items that you don’t wear.

A simple winter capsule wardrobe checklist for women.

3 Comments

  1. Hey Lauren,

    This post is a life saver!!

    I’ve been thinking of creating a winter capsule wardrobe for literally years. But I always get overwhelmed at the thought of it. I love this simple and straightforward method. And for some reason I never thought to check out Amazon’s clothing lines but I think it’s time to use the Prime membership!!

    Thanks again, Lauren

    1. Glad to hear that what works for me makes sense to someone else. I absolutely love shopping on Amazon because it allows you to search for exactly what you are looking for. When I go shopping in stores it seems like I never find what I need and end up buying something that doesn’t work with my capsule.

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