Style Guide: Winter Capsule Wardrobe Essentials Checklist

Do you already have a winter capsule wardrobe? Having a stylish seasonal capsule wardrobe that is filled with timeless fashion trends is really awesome. When you build a stylish winter capsule wardrobe, you will be able to easily dress up with chic and fun outfits for each and every occasion this winter season.

Waking up on a cold morning and dressing up for the day can be stressful if you don’t know what to wear in winter. From workwear to date night outfits and also comfortable airport outfit, assemble a stylish winter capsule wardrobe so that you know exactly what to wear everyday. Put together a winter capsule wardrobe that will work well for you all winter long.

It’s not easy to create a winter capsule wardrobe from scratch that is both work and travel friendly. If you tried to build a capsule wardrobe before and completely failed, then you might have assembled the wrong list of basic essentials that every woman needs in her closet.


Pros And Cons Of Having A Winter Capsule Wardrobe

There are pros and cons to consider when owning a winter capsule wardrobe. But, the secret is to gain more pros and reduce the cons with the right capsule wardrobe essentials.

If you successfully accomplish this, then there is no need to worry about staying on trend and looking fashionable this winter season. Be creative when gathering your basic essential items that every woman must have in her closet.


Pros of winter wardrobe:

  • Be able to dress up creatively with less pieces.
  • More closet space in a tiny home.
  • Getting dressed is easier and quicker.
  • Able to save money.
  • No need to chase after fashion trends.

Cons of winter wardrobe:

  • Not many items that you can wear in other seasons.
  • Fewer outfit choices every morning.
  • Results in doing laundry more often.
  • Quality items often lead to costly purchases.


How To Build A Winter Capsule Wardrobe

In some places you live or travel, winter can be long, or even the complete opposite and be relatively not cold at all. It really depends on your location, lifestyle and travel destinations in order for you to create a perfect winter capsule wardrobe for all occasions.

Here are 4 steps for how to build a winter capsule wardrobe:


Organize and clean your winter clothes

Take one or two hours to pull out all of the things that are hidden in your closet. From boxes to hanging bags, you must know everything that you aren’t going to wear.

Pro tip: If you aren’t sure about certain items, make a small pile in a box with a label on in. Creating a capsule wardrobe is much easier when you are working with a small amount of clothing items.


Start with your winter base

To build a strong framework for a winter capsule wardrobe, you need to start with the best base layers for cold weather. The base is not the typical day-to-day clothes, but instead it is all extra clothes. There is no exact magical number for how many base layer clothes you can have.

Pick your favorite styles of clothing that you wear regularly, from casual outfits to edgy style, and also sporty clothing to date night outfits. Some categories will include more than 10 items and some will include much less, such as date night outfits, that is unless you are party girl!

Pro tip: If you have already started to make a spring, summer or fall capsule wardrobe, then you can skip this part because the basic essential items do not change throughout the year.


Build your winter capsule wardrobe

Build your winter capsule wardrobe checklist filled with pieces you have and need in a planner. This will save you from buying duplicate items or help you plan for missing items that you must have in your closet.

Pro tip: Winter is all about layers. Make sure you have enough t-shirts and turtleneck tops so that you can easily layer them underneath a sweater or coat.


Enjoy and Evaluate

Of course you want your very first winter capsule wardrobe to be perfect, and that’s totally ok. Enjoy your outfits everyday and always evaluate each item to see how it works for you on every occasion. Upgrade and rearrange items as needed.

Following this step by step guide for how to build a winter capsule wardrobe will make the project much easier. Building a wardrobe with versatile and high quality essentials will make you look stylish and keep you warm all winter long.


Winter Wardrobe Color Combinations

Winter Wardrobe Color Combinations

Because winter is all about layering, have fun playing with winter capsule wardrobe color combinations within your outfit.

Do you know why we gravitate towards dark color clothes in winter?

Because dark colors naturally absorb the sunlight and help to keep us warm.

So, what kind of colors should you wear in winter?

Here are the 5 best classic winter color combinations you must have for your winter capsule wardrobe:

  • Gray / Hunter Green / Maroon
  • Navy / Mustard Yellow / Light Blue
  • Bright Yellow / Tangerine Orange / Black
  • Chocolate Brown / Burgundy / Army Green
  • Teal / Plum / Brown

Play around when upgrading your winter capsule wardrobe checklist so that you will avoid wearing the same black or grey outfits everyday.


How Many Pieces In A Winter Capsule Wardrobe?

From 10 to 50 pieces of clothing, there are numerous different ways of approaching the suggested number of pieces for a winter capsule wardrobe. The goal is to get creative when varying the outfits you select everyday using the basic essential items in your closet.

Down sizing and minimizing your basic items into 30 pieces will really help you create 1000 outfits for the season. Here is a winter capsule wardrobe essentials checklist for you to evaluate:


Winter Capsule Wardrobe Checklist

source: @ritamaslova_

A capsule wardrobe for the winter season is slightly different from planning for any other season. Winter capsule wardrobes require heavier layers and high quality functional outerwear items. It is important to keep warm and cozy when it is extremely cold outside.


Wool Coats

Wool Coats

Wool coats are much warmer than down jackets and are definitely the most popular coat option. Finding high quality wool coats will help you to stay warm and dry throughout the snowy weather season.

Pro tip: Make sure to read the content labels in order to ensure a high percentage of wool.


Puffer Jacket

Puffer Jacket

Puffer jackets are a lightweight essential in the winner. If you are an active outdoor sporty type of girl, grab a chic black or bright pop color puffer jacket to layer with your casual pieces.

Pro tip: Make sure you look for a fill power rating of at least 550 before making any puffer jacket purchases.


Rain Jacket

Rain Jacket

Rain jackets are a necessity to keep you dry and looking stylish. They are a basic essential item for wet winter weather areas.

If you live in or are traveling to the sunny west coast, pack a classic solid or playful print pattern rain jacket. This is the perfect outerwear item even if it’s not raining.


Turtleneck Top

Turtleneck Top

If you don’t have a black turtleneck top, then you are missing out. It is a necessity to look cool and stay warm all winter.

For a winter capsule wardrobe, owning a black, white, and heather grey colored turtleneck tops will save lots of time planning. Easily assemble workwear outfits, casual daytime clothing and also fun date night outfits.




Seriously soft and warm sweaters are a basic essential winter item. If you find the right one, you will want to wear it all winter long. There are 8 different types of sweaters to select for your winter capsule wardrobe.

Make sure to choose wisely in order for you to be able to duplicate outfits multiple times and never get sick of them. On the bright side, you can always evaluate your favorite sweater items and upgrade your style next winter.


Sweater Dress

Sweater Dress

Sweater dresses that you can wear with your knee high boots are everyone’s go-to outfit for looking gorgeous and stunning on any occasion. That is the reason, why sweater dresses are so popular for every body type.

In addition, they never go out of style. When creating a winter capsule wardrobe, use these styling tips so that you can choose the right sweater dress. As a result, you will look elegant and flattering every time you put it on.


Quilted Vest

Quilted Vest

Quilted vests help you to become a layering pro in every season. This basic essential item is fall, spring and winter season friendly. It makes you look good with any casual outfit, no matter what you wear underneath.

From workwear to date night outfits and also casual weekend clothing, there are so many creative ways to wear a quilted vest with your favorite things in your closet. Make sure you have at least 2 or more convertible classic quilted vests if you are a capsule wardrobe beginner.




Keep it warm and stylish with the best winter gloves that fit perfectly on your hand. This small basic essential item sounds like a joke when it comes to building a winter capsule wardrobe. But, you will be surprised how warm this tiny piece will keep you.

Make sure to have at least one pair of gloves and mittens in your closet. When it feels a bit colder outside, grab a pair of mittens because they are much warmer than gloves.


Tights And Leggings

Tights And Leggings

Thermal tights and leggings are not the same as the ones you wear during any other season. Depending on your lifestyle, make sure you have the right fabric and color to go well with your winter capsule wardrobe pieces.

Helpful hint: In general, having one black thermal tights and one regular black leggings is a great start for you to stay warm and look stylish. Grey leggings also go with a variety of winter outfits


Tote Bag

Tote Bag 

Find a tote bag that is versatile enough to carry for both work and travel. When it comes to evaluating a classic tote bag, choose a black leather or warm brown color so that it goes well with every outfit.

There is no need to look like you are going to Farmers Market everyday.


Blanket Scarf

Blanket Scarf

Do you know there are 12 different ways to wear blanket scarves in just 5 minutes? From workwear to date night outfits, a simple blanket scarf will instantly upgrade your look.

No wonder blanket scarves are a popular and timeless piece for winter fashion. Make sure you have a simple solid color scarf for workwear and a multi-color plaid scarf for casual outfit.




From a beanie to a fedora hat, there are variety of warmest winter hats that brighten up your outfit easily, and also help you to avoid having a bad hair day. If you aren’t a hat person, try fedora hat style, which is even four season friendly.

Pro tip: Avoid acrylic made hats if you have any allergic reactions or sensitive skin.


Pump Heels

Pump Heels

Pump heels that won’t hurt your feet are totally a dream come true. From classic black leather to fun suede or even velvet heels, there are so many types of pump heels for you to pair with your workwear and date night outfits.

If you are creating a minimalist chic french capsule wardrobe for winter, don’t forget to grab classic leather pump heels.


Ankle Boots

Ankle Boots

Ankle boots are actually four season friendly footwear that goes well with jeans, floral dresses and mini skirts. Not only that, but ankle boots with lower shafts makes your leg longer.

When you are evaluating a boots selection for your capsule wardrobe, look at shaft height, heel type, material and color. Depending on your lifestyle and weather conditions, also consider closed or open toe.


Over The Knee Boots

Over The Knee Boots

From flat to low heel, the over the knee boots style goes with many winter outfits. If you are a tall boots person, you might notice your boots can’t keep up with you.

Pro tip: Make sure you make a boot bra for your new and old boots to keep up with you this winter. As a result, you will never have to say good-bye to your favorite pair of tall boots.


Using this winter capsule wardrobe essentials checklist, you can create over 1000 outfits this winter with only 30 basic essential items. Dress for success everyday with ease and no headaches.

Adjust the number of pieces for each category and find your own true winter color. As a result, you will be set to enjoy the cold winter weather everyday.  Look stylish wearing your winter capsule wardrobe for all occasions, no matter how cold the weather is outside.

Do you have a winter capsule wardrobe essentials checklist?

Share your essential capsule wardrobe tips and hacks with us!


Style Guide: Winter Capsule Wardrobe Essentials Checklist

Soonjoo Uh

I graduated with a bachelors of fine arts degree in fashion design. I worked in the fashion industry as a lead designer for major brand name labels such as Stitch Fix, Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom, and Dillards. Now, I am the founder of the website Fashion Wanderer where I share current fashion trends, style tips and how to build a capsule wardrobe collection.

  1. I’m pretty easy. I basically just wear jeans all year long. I’ll switch from t-shirts to hoodies and sweatshirts with it gets cold. I’ve never been one that cared what I wore.

    1. Casual outfits work well too, but sometime we all want to dress up a little bit more. For these reasons a winter capsule wardrobe filled with basic essential items is important.

  2. This is a really great winter capsule wardrobe post! Thank you so much for sharing. I know I need to go through my clothes and get rid of a ton!

    1. Thank you Alissa! Really appreciate the feedback. The first step to building a quality winter capsule wardrobe is to minimize and reduce the clutter. Then you can access the quality items that you love most and pair them together with others to make your favorite winter outfits.

  3. you’ve got some great selection of winter capsule wardrobe items in here! loving the color schemes, they’re so perfect for the winter and any cold season in general. i love the mustard color the most. I agree with your pros and cons. Despite the items to be really costly at times, they all are actually good items, with excellent quality, and will never get old in style! So, having a few pieces in your closet will always be welcome.

    1. Thank you very much Sandra for sharing your personal experience with us. I love a crispy mustard color in the wintertime too. It really helps to contrast with all the grey and black that everyone else is wearing during the season. In addition, I couldn’t agree more about having a few high quality items in your wardrobe that you love most. The better the material and design, the more often you will find yourself wearing those items. These basic items will then become the main focus of your winter capsule wardrobe. In this case, less is more and better quality means needing less items in your closet.

  4. What a useful winter wardrobe style guide! I need to practice the principle of “less is more” and really get rid of a ton of extra clothes and just keep these basic essential items for the season. I like the winter color guide and I find it really helpful.

    1. Thank you Thur-Linh! The goal was to provide a winter color guide so that others could have a few ideas of what to pair with there winter capsule wardrobe. With a little inspiration, this will allow people to mix and match colors that suit them best to create the perfect winter capsule wardrobe for them.

  5. This is a comprehensive list of winter capsule wardrobe essentials! I will share with my wife who will be interested.

  6. I’m loving sweater dresses with tights and knee-high boots now that the weather is changing. I could be tempted to upgrade my coat this winter after seeing some of these winter wardrobe essentials.

    1. Thank you Lindsay! Sweater dresses and knee high boots are so sexy! Absolutely love the look! Investing in a quality wool coat is my recommendation when adding a basic essential item to your winter capsule wardrobe. A wool coat is something that every woman needs in her closet.

  7. The cold that hit me today already is making me start looking for some coats and boots and more sweaters. I really needed this winter capsule wardrobe style guide.

    1. Thanks Joan! The cold weather always creeps up on us quicker than we expect. That is the exact reason why we should build a winter capsule wardrobe that is reliable all season. Then we pack it up until next year when we get to pull out our favorite basic essential items for winter again 🙂

  8. This is such a comprehensive list of all winter fashion must have. I will need to look further into a winter capsule wardrobe. From your post, I need knee boots and a blanket scarf. Thanks for the ideas! I love that sweater dress with belt too!

    1. Thanks Terri! I really tried to cover a diverse range of taste and style so that many people would feel comfortable building a winter capsule wardrobe for themselves. The winter color chart is really helpful also so that people don’t get stuck wear the same old grey and black colors all the time 😉 Glad that you found this post to be helpful for you!

  9. This post is full with so many style suggestions for a women winter capsule wardrobe. Great post. I am gonna share it with my friends. I hope they will find it very useful for them

  10. In our country we dont have proper winters and also they are not so cold! So a sweater is just enough for us! But I love to wear winter wear!

    1. Winter capsule wardrobe items are all about layering effectively so that you can stay warm when its cold outside. But sometimes a sweater will do, depending on the day and destination. 😉

  11. I love the idea of the winter capsule wardrobe. I’m from a cold climate and use to the winters but never ever considered winter clothes a capsule wardrobe. It sounds so trendy and fashionable to phrase it that way

    1. Winter capsule wardrobe does sound like a chic and trendy term, but it truly helps to alleviate the struggles for dressing up in the morning time. With 35 basic essential items, you can easily create 1000 different outfits. So pull out your winter gear and lets start styling! 😉

  12. This is some great advice to make the most out of your winter capsule wardrobe for the coming cold and wet season. Especially with a limited number of quality pieces.

    1. Thank you Shanab! Its easy for us to forget, but with 35 winter capsule wardrobe items, we can easily create 1000 different looks and styles. So lets build a capsule wardrobe filled with basic essentials every woman needs in her closet!

  13. Wow! What a great selection of winter capsule wardrobe items. That turtleneck top caught my eye. All of the basic essential items are beautiful!

  14. Awesome post filled with basic essential items for winter! Everything you might think of is in this winter capsule wardrobe! I’m so boring in the winter because I always throw my jacket over everything lol.

  15. These are great staples for a winter capsule wardrobe! I love the plum, teal, brown combo! I love how you are able to create so many looks with so few basic items. I love my blanket scarves I am going to have to check out the style tips!

    1. I love to wear a variety of colors in my winter capsule wardrobe. I glad that you liked the winter color chart and found the combos to be helpful for your style too 🙂

  16. Those flat lays are just beautiful! We are just entering the winter months and reading through this post makes me ready to dress for success in the cooler season!

    1. Dress for success during the winter season with the proper capsule wardrobe basic essentials. Fill your closet with seasonal capsule wardrobe items so that you are prepared for all occasions 😉

  17. What perfect timing for bumping into this blog post! It’s actually my first winter weather experience and I have absolutely zero idea on how to choose winter wear to keep myself warm. Thanks for this winter capsule wardrobe guide, really helpful… Keep it up!

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