But the decisions have been made and a collection of 47 bottoms, shoes, tops and even a dress will make up my wardrobe for the months of January, February and December. I did things a little differently than I did when choosing my summer or fall capsule wardrobes because I’ve learned a few things since then. But, it turns out that there was still more to learn this time around…..
Lessons Learned in Creating my Winter Capsule Wardrobe:
1 – Take the time to decide what you will love wearing
I spent the month of December wearing my cold-weather clothes to see what I didn’t want to take off at the end of the day and what was bothering me before noon. After Thanksgiving, I dug out my winter clothes that weren’t included in my Fall Capsule, with the goal of wearing each piece for an entire day (to find out more about this, check out my Instastories highlight on Instagram). This is the only way to know if you want to keep wearing it. Something might be cute and comfortable when you try it on, but after tugging on it all day, you know that you won’t choose to wear it again, no matter how many times you see it in your closet.
If you are in a time crunch, or feel like giving yourself a month to make the decision of what goes in your capsule means you won’t make the decision, then skip this step. At the very least, make sure that you try on EVERY SINGLE PIECE before making a decision.
Confession: I consciously decided not to start my winter capsule wardrobe until January so that I could include Christmas presents because I was so hopeful that I would get two new pair of leggings. And I did.
2 – Be realistic about seasonal requirements
I started my winter capsule wardrobe by taking out short-sleeve t’s, 3/4 length sleeves and lightweight cardigans. It is just too cold in Minnesota in January through March to even consider wearing any of those items. It’s possible that they could work with layering pieces, but the idea of a capsule wardrobe isn’t trying to make things work, but rather, finding the pieces that do what you need them to on their own.
When choosing my shoes, my requirement was that it had to cover my ankles. There’s too much other stuff in my life to deal with that I don’t need to add ‘dry and warm my ankles’ to that list. So, no tennis shoes, Toms, Tieks or heels in the winter capsule wardrobe. But my toes are toasty.
3 – Be realistic about your lifestyle
The clothes required for your lifestyle should make up the preponderance of your capsule wardrobe. I love business clothes – dress pants and blouses and heels – but I don’t wear them. My life as a stay-at-home mom and part-time employee at a church don’t require such attire. And, no matter how much I love them, if I’m never going to wear them (because there isn’t a day where I would look in my closet and think ‘this is appropriate for what I’m doing today’), then they shouldn’t be included in my capsule wardrobe.
I want to wear leggings every.single.day. I love my jeans and I found a style last summer that fit like a glove. But even with that awesome fit, they’re not as comfortable as leggings. So, of my 10 pair of pants in my winter capsule wardrobe, 6 of them are leggings. Because that’s what works well for my lifestyle and it’s what I defer to when choosing my outfits.
4 – Build your capsule choices around one another
Like I said earlier, I started my winter capsule wardrobe by choosing shoes. After that, I moved on to choosing bottoms and started with only choosing pants that would go with the shoes I had just picked. There’s a pair of trouser jeans that I love, but none of my winter capsule wardrobe shoes would go with the jeans, so they didn’t make the cut.
Because the majority of my bottoms were leggings, I intentionally chose numerous tops that could be worn with those leggings. Even if 9 out of my 10 bottoms were leggings, it wouldn’t do me much good if I only had 5 shirts that could go with them.
My winter capsule wardrobe contains 10 bottoms (6 leggings, 4 jeans), 5 pair of shoes, 7 layering pieces, 1 dress and 24 tops – for a total of 47 pieces. This does not include accessories, which, for me, is mostly scarves. I, occasionally, throw on a necklace, but it is rare.
Use this template to get you started for basic winter capsule wardrobe pieces.
Here is my final product – what I will be wearing for the next three months.