As a personal stylist I get asked a lot about the wardrobe essentials. The items of clothing that are going to help build the wardrobe from the ground up. And now that winter is well and truly upon us, I’ve been asked about the winter wardrobe essentials.
Here are the must-have items every wardrobe needs in winter to not only keep you warm, but to maximise your existing pieces.
1. THE COAT
I love knowing that even though the temperatures have dropped that I’ll be warm and cosy in a beautiful winter coat. Your wardrobe really only needs one, so I would make it a good one. And if you are going to invest in one good winter coat, choose something that will work back with the majority of your wardrobe. Does this mean classic black, grey, camel or navy? Quite possibly.
As a wardrobe stylist I see a lot of wardrobes with very dated coats. Coats that have been collecting dust in the back of the closet that don’t get worn because the style has dated; drop shoulders, massive shoulder pads, a length down to your ankles… sound familiar? Chances are your very first coat purchase is now also looking very tired. Its time to update!
If you’re going to invest in one good coat, make it knee length. This is going to give you the most flexibility to wear back with your existing wardrobe. Knee length coats work better over dresses and skirts, look dressier and can be used at formal events such as weddings as appropriate outerwear. If possible within your budget, consider a high wool content as this will provide the most warmth. I’ve included a range of options for all budgets below (from budget to splurge) including the wool content.
Sussan Longline Coat in grey, 100% Polyester
Portmans Willow Double Breasted Coat in black and grey (90%polyester 10% Viscose)
Witchery Long Check Coat (64% Polyester, 36% Wool)
Veronika Maine Twill Tie Coat (75% Italian Wool 25% Nylon)
Saba Prudence Coat in black and camel (50% wool 30% viscose 20% polyester)
Viktoria and Woods Centennial Coat in oatmeal, Made in Australia (60% wool, 20% cashmere, 15% nylon, 5% polyester)
Digbys High Neck Long Coat (made in Melbourne) also in black. Italian textured Wool, Alpaca and Poly blend
Camilla and Marc Tatiana Coat (95% Wool and 5% Nylon)
2. THE BOOTS
Ok, so you’ve got the main player covered, now come the pieces to make the real magic happen. A great pair of boots should be in everyone’s wardrobe, because they’re not necessarily just for Winter. If you’ve got a pair of ankle boots, chances are you’ve worn them throughout the year with dresses and skirts (sans tights) but come winter they’re the perfect layering boot.
But you’re probably asking (especially if you read my last blog or watched my IGTV) whether you should be wearing an ankle boot or a knee high? The answer… which ever style works best for you! Here is my case for both options:
– most of us can wear an ankle boot all year round
– they work equally well with bare legs as they do with a tight
– they can be easier to buy if you have larger ankles and calves
– they fit neatly under jeans and trousers
– they can act as a dressy heel in winter
– keeps your legs nice and warm
– can add a vintage vibe to your look
– it’s a style that never really goes out of fashion, other than a style tweak every couple of years
– great if you wear a lot of dresses and skirts because you can maximise their cost per wear by teaming with boots in winter
3. THE KNITWEAR
Over the past few seasons as a personal shopper I’ve seen the rise of the humble jumper. Not the windcheater style we all wore to school, but a stylish, oversized knit perfect for throwing on over a pair of jeans in winter. Most of my clients also love a good jumper because they’re so easy! One layer and you’re done! (you can also add accessories, see below)
The jumper is a more modern look than your old trusty cardigan. It also means you don’t have to think of that third layer to wear underneath, meaning you can just add your winter coat if required!
My favourite places to shop for knitwear (100% wool, or wool blends with cashmere etc) especially locally made are:
Viktoria and Woods (bottom right, made in Melbourne)
bassike (made in Australia)
Creswick Woollen Mills (made in Australia) top right
Jac and Jack (top left)
Harlow (sizes 12-24) bottom left, made in Melbourne
4. THE ACCESSORIES
The easiest items to add to your winter essentials are the accessories. Think scarves, pashminas, gloves, beanies, tights and socks! The only one-stop-shop I can think of for a good range of winter accessories is David Jones and Myer. I’d be keen to hear from you if you know of any others?