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Winter Capsule Wardrobe: Everlasting & Effortless

Photographed by Madison Hill of Carmella Contesti

By Carmella Contesti

Do you find yourself struggling to figure out what to wear when the winter season comes around? Are you left feeling like you never have clothes to wear? If so, you are in the right place. This winter we are curating our capsule wardrobes. For those that do not know, a capsule wardrobe is a limited selection of clothing pieces that complement each other. These pieces are interchangeable to provide the most versatility. Whether you are trying to build a minimalist wardrobe, live more intentionally, or relieve stress, creating a capsule wardrobe is a good place to start.

Why You Should Have a Capsule Wardrobe

There are many reasons as to why we should all have capsule wardrobes. One benefit of this limited wardrobe is its ability to save you money in the long run. Instead of cycling through clothing and being forced to shop each year, you will have clothing items that are timeless. You can then invest your money in other important things in your life. If shopping is one of your guilty pleasures, like most of us, do not worry. Having a capsule wardrobe does not mean you cannot buy new clothes. But it does offer a new approach for what would work well in your closet and not give you buyers remorse. Creating a capsule wardrobe can be affordable without harming your fashion sense!

A common issue for many of us is fashion anxiety. Not having outfits for everyday events can be very frustrating. We have all had moments of looking into our closet full of clothes and thinking that there is nothing. It is never fun trying on outfit after outfit just to wear something that you are not confident in. This may lead to not wanting to go out because you are not happy with what you are wearing. The capsule wardrobe helps alleviate some of that stress. With a capsule wardrobe you can discover what a great wardrobe looks like to you. Having less stuff means you will take less time figuring out how to style it.

The last and most important reason for a capsule wardrobe is sustainability. You have probably heard this word get thrown around many of times but is important that you understand what it means and how you can do your part as a consumer. Sustainability consists of fulfilling the needs of current generations without compromising the needs of future generations, while insuring balance between economic growth, emotional care, and social well-being. Some may not realize the impact that the fashion industry has on the environment. With our fashion consumption habits currently, future generations will suffer due to our lack of responsibility. Building a capsule wardrobe will not only help improve your style and closet but help the future of our planet.

How To Build a Capsule Wardrobe That You Will Love

The first step in creating a great capsule wardrobe is to gut your closet. Go through every single piece of clothing that you own and asses it. A great question to ask yourself is from Marie Kondo, a tidying expert who has helped people around the world transform their cluttered homes. Essentially, the question is: Does your stuff bring you joy? If it does, keep it. If it does not, dispose of it. This question can help you eliminate clothing that you have been holding on to for too long. Also ask yourself: When was the last time I wore this? If you haven’t worn it in a few months, it should not be in your capsule wardrobe. This clothing binge does not have to be stressful. Sit down, grab some snacks, and turn on your favorite show or music.

The next step is planning your capsule wardrobe. You must understand what clothing you love and wear the most. After that, there are no rules! You can do what works best for you. Choose a color scheme that will be easy to interchange. Also, think of styles, necklines, weather, and fibers. Then after analyzing what you do have, it is time to go shopping. Some sustainable ways to shop are at thrift stores. If you prefer new clothing some sustainable clothing brands include Reformation, Patagonia, Made Trade, and Levi’s. Shopping sustainably will help ensure quality of fabric and make your capsule wardrobe last.

An Example of a Good Winter Capsule Wardrobe

This capsule wardrobe is for reference. You have the freedom to cater to your personal style. For winter it is important to have garments that will keep you warm and will last. Neutrals tend to be great for capsule wardrobes because they are easily interchangeable. If you prefer more color, you can incorporate it how you please. The best part about capsule essentials is that if you craft them with intention, they will never be out of style. Listed below is a great base for your capsule wardrobe this winter:

Puffer Coat

A good quality puffer coat is essential in the winter. They keep you warm and never go out of style. If you do not like puffer jackets you could easily swap for long wool coats or fur coats. However, a black North Face puffer will always be in vogue and remain in your closet for years to come.

Leather Jacket

The leather jacket dates back as far as World War I and it may never run out of style. It is a winter classic and can elevate any outfit. You can pair it with jeans, sweaters, dresses, boots- just about anything. This is not essential to all wardrobes but has been found to be a good staple.


A quality pair of jeans can change your life. Have a few pairs of different colors and you are all set. It is true that Levi’s jeans do not disappoint. Jeans have endless styling and can be dressed up or down. Along withs jeans having your favorite pair of pants can be added to your wardrobe. Whether it is sweats, slacks, or leather pants, you can define your style and essentials as you please.

Basic Tee’s

Basic tees are perfect for layering underneath a jacket. You could even style them with a sweater or wear them on their own. Having a few different colors such as black, white, and grey is a good way to interchange outfits. Long sleeve crewnecks are ideal for the winter and a reliable addition to any wardrobe.


If you love sweaters as much as most of us do, it is vital to have some of good quality in your closet. A black wool turtleneck can be layered to create different looks. Also incredibly comfortable and long-lasting are a knit dress and a few big sweaters. If you invest in classic sweaters, they will last in your closet for years and years.

Solid Pair of Boots

Though you may have a few other shoes such as sneakers or heels, a solid pair of boots is all you may need this winter. A black pair of mid-calf boots can be worn every day in all weather. They are timeless and can last for a long time if cared for properly.

Accessories- Socks, Hats, Gloves, Tote-Bag

With the cold weather you may need a hat, scarf, socks, and gloves. Keep it intentional and keep it minimal. You do not need a bin full of accessories. One or two of each will be just fine. Socks on the other hand, you may need more. Also, a tote-bag serves all when it comes to purses and bags. If it is simple and sleek it can hold all you need and be an everyday bag.

This winter capsule wardrobe is a great base for your wardrobe. Hopefully it inspires you to tune in on your style and craft a sustainable, minimal wardrobe this winter season. It is time to say goodbye to stress, money, and wasted time.

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