As I get ready to transition from winter to spring content here on the blog, I thought I’d write a post about my most worn winter wardrobe staples.
Not too long ago, I did a post on My Must-Have Black Wardrobe Staples. In the comments of that post, or perhaps it was on Facebook, because I can’t seem to find the exact comment, someone suggested that I follow it up with a post about the supporting wardrobe pieces that I integrate with my black pieces to create complete outfits.
I loved the idea, and that got me thinking about what other wardrobe pieces I wear over and over again, which brings me to today’s post!
My Most Worn Winter Wardrobe Staples
These tend to be my investment items because they are pieces I find myself wearing over and over again. I’m willing to spend more on these because they add so much value and versatility to my wardrobe, and the cost per wear averages out to be quite low over time.
These are not trendy, statement pieces… although there is a place for those as well. I find myself wearing more of those in the warmer months, for some reason. In the winter, for whatever reason, I really gravitate to the basics.
1. Pullover Sweaters
This will surprise no one. I am unapologetically basic when it comes to my winter uniform — cashmere pullover sweaters and jeans. I like to be comfortable, and I hate fussing with layers, and the easiest thing to throw on is a sweater and jeans.
I try to have a variety of necklines and colors, but most are pullovers, and most are about the same length too — my sweet spot is right around 24″.
I’m not a fan of tunics, as they make throw off my proportions and add visual bulk, making me look bigger than I am; and cropped sweaters just look weird to me. So if they are longer than 25″, I almost always front-tuck them; and if they are shorter than 23″, I usually pass.
When you know your sweet spot length for tops and sweaters, it makes online shopping SO much easier. Most websites offer that measurement, and you will notice when you start to pay attention to the measurements, that sweaters and tops often show differently on the models.
Oddly enough, they usually look longer than they are, even though models tend to be taller than us mere mortals. But anyway, my point is, it’s helpful to figure out your ideal sweater length. And that’s enough about sweaters!
2. Skinny Jeans
Sorry, I had to… I mean, if #1 was sweaters, #2 had to be jeans.
If you’ve been hanging out around here for any length of time, you KNOW how much I love my skinny jeans. They just make so much sense in the wintertime because they tuck so neatly into boots, and they also work really well for my body type.
I know some of you can’t wait for skinny jeans to die, while others want to hold onto them for dear life. I’m excited to play around with some other silhouettes this spring, but I don’t see myself getting rid of my skinnies anytime soon. #sorrynotsorry
3. Puffer Coat
I love my wool coats and my shorter quilted coat, but this has been an extremely cold winter here in Philly, and my long The North Face puffer has been worn exponentially more than any other.
I really don’t have much else to say about that! I’m just really glad I invested in this coat during the 2019 #NSale. It’s hard to get excited about dropping a couple hundred bucks on a coat in the middle of summer, but that is definitely the time to do it.
Don’t shoot the messenger, but the 2021 #NSale is just around the corner! You may want to start budgeting now for next fall/winter wardrobe staples.
4. Ankle Boots
In winters past, I wore a lot of tall boots, but for some reason I hardly wore them at all this year. Granted, I didn’t go many places, but I have a pair of casual OTK boots that I wore a TON the last few years, and this year, I don’t think I broke them out even once.
This year, it was all about Sorel winter boots and the Vince Henderson Chelsea boots. I actually ended up with several new pairs of winter boots this year, which is unusual for me. I guess I needed an update.
I wore them a lot, but not as much as the Vince Henderson boots — another #NSale purchase, now that I think about it! It really is worth budgeting for that sale, you guys. SO many of my winter staples were purchased during that sale over the past few years.
As we all know, 2020 was the year of the jogger, the year of loungewear, the year of life as we know it getting #canceled. I have never worn joggers until last year, and now I am the proud owner of four pairs.
Okay, I’m not exactly proud of it, but I’m not ashamed either.
I actually really like how versatile they are, and how stylish they can look paired with a fitted jacket and a quality t-shirt.
Joggers are going to forever change my travel uniform, if nothing else. When I drove Caroline to Boston for her college visit last fall, I wore a very similar outfit to the one above with the Vuori joggers, and I was so comfy.
I have plenty of jeans that I find very comfortable and easy to wear traveling, but I’ll admit, the joggers are a whole new level of comfort. Yes, please!
6. Fashion Sneakers
Even though winter is usually for boots, I found myself wearing sneakers a lot this year… and not just with my joggers, although of course, that is part of the reason. But I also found myself wearing them with a lot of my jeans and sweater outfits.
My skinny jeans and sweaters are all fairly classic styles, and fashion sneakers give them a more modern, cool-girl vibe.
7. Crossbody Bags
I’ve always been a tote girl, or at least a shoulder bag/bucket bag/hobo bag kind of girl. I like to carry a lot of stuff, and I want plenty of room for stashing extra junk when I’m out and about.
In the past, crossbody bags were relegated to date nights and other dressy occasions. Whenever I took one out with me, shopping or wherever, I would always find myself needing something from my bigger bag that I left at home.
Actually, in all fairness, I downsized my handbag and purse essentials at the end of 2019 when I got the Gucci Soho Disco for Christmas. It’s more of an everyday crossbody, whereas most of my crossbody bags in the past had been dressier. Of course, it was a big investment, and I started carrying it a lot.
The large wallet that I always loved to carry in my totes and shoulder bags didn’t fit well inside the camera bag, so I found a mid-size wallet that works for me in all my bags. For a while, I switched my bags around a lot and carried the bigger ones sometimes still, but when Covid hit, I started carrying my crossbody everywhere.
It seemed more sanitary because I didn’t have to hold it, or set it in the shopping cart. I also don’t usually go out for long periods of time anymore, and over the past year, I realized that I didn’t need all the crap I was carrying in my bigger bags.
So, as it turns out, 2020 was the year of the jogger AND the crossbody.
And that, as they say, is a wrap! I could go on, but I think this covers the big ones, and I am eager to get a move on here. I plan to post a try-on haul tomorrow, and I still have some pictures I want to take, plus writing those posts always takes AGES.
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photos: Alison Cornell