My Winter Capsule Wardrobe

My Winter Capsule Wardrobe - The Calm Collective

Hey guys! I’m writing this while nestled up in snowy Traverse City, Michigan where I couldn’t feel more cozy and stress free now that I’m officially in my sabbatical from photo shoots until the spring.  Something about these few months where I get to hit refresh spark a new sense of creativity in me, and I value it to the very core.  I feel grateful for the ability to take the time to rest, and never ever take it for granted.  It comes at the perfect time, too, since the holidays are just around the corner and with that comes its own types of stressors. I’ll be diving into some posts next week centered all around taking care of yourself during the holidays and avoiding unnecessary stress and chaos during this time of year, so stay tuned for that :)

Okay so on to today’s post. As the post title says, we’re diving into my winter capsule wardrobe! I was such a fan of my fall capsule that I knew I wanted to give it another go.


Recap on my fall capsule wardrobe

It literally felt like it only lasted one week, but in reality, it was a month.. haha! Still super short, but it was a good learning curve.   I wanted to dive in to the pieces that I ended up choosing – what got worn, what didn’t, what I returned, etc.  So let’s get started.

My Winter Capsule Wardrobe - The Calm Collective

What I did & didn’t wear

I ended up wearing my skinny jeans, these warm leggings and my favorite leather leggings the most, hands down. These made an appearance here and there, while this dress and these drawstring pants only came out from hiding one time.  I wouldn’t add the dress again, as it was just a bit too chilly to pull it off – even when paired with a warm sweater cardigan.

Speaking of sweaters, this one from Anthro was a repeat offender, and often times also doubled as my jacket. I got SO many compliments on it, which made the price tag worth it. (the quality is just so good, too). In addition to that, I frequented the bell sleeved sweater and my black oversized cardigan the most.  I ended up returning this – even though it was so incredibly soft, I just never felt warm enough (it’s pretty thin) and I also returned this fluffy thing and got this one instead. (It was shedding everywhere!)

I wore all of my tanks and satin camisoles, my favorite gray tee, and all of my accessories, so all in all that was a major success.  The only bummer is that my quilted backpack ripped (I blame my old laptop which weighed like the size of an elephant), so it’s been replaced with this one and I could not be happier.

I also returned these shoes and opted for these white ones instead. Great choice, considering they’re so much more comfortable and don’t make it look like I have clown feet (ha). I was just a little self conscious each time I’d put them on, and that’s just not worth it.

My Winter Capsule Wardrobe - The Calm Collective

So what’s different about this season’s capsule wardrobe?

This time around, my goal was to be incredibly warm and I wanted everything that touched my skin to be incredibly soft (even down to my socks!) I also decided to add a little bit more color (emerald green is really speaking to me right now), and I also wanted each piece to transition well from day to night (even the super casual pieces).

Just like my fall capsule wardrobe, I opted to stick around 30 pieces – and came out with 30 on the dot (that’s including my cashmere gloves and a blanket scarf) Not bad, right?

Go ahead and see below for what I chose for this season’s capsule wardrobe. For those of you who also live in the Midwest, you feel my pain when I say that we know winter will last at least 5 times as long as fall did ;)  So good thing I absolutely love everything I chose!


My Winter Capsule Wardrobe: In detail

Click the + to view the item


Bottoms

FLEECE LINED LEGGINGS by Shopbop / similar here and here

Because I never (ever) mess around with being warm in the winter time. I literally have 3 pairs of these because they’re always in rotation! I love that they double as lounge wear, too.  The high waist is a major plus, because the fleece lining can at times make them fall down (I had an old pair that was impossible to keep up, haha) Plus what woman doesn’t love high waisted pants?! ;) 

FAUX LEATHER LEGGINGS by Nordstrom / similar here

Another go to and repeat offender. The best part about these leggings are that they can so easily be dressed up (sweater and booties) or dressed down (oversized sweatshirt and sneaks).  For as thin as the material is, they’re surprisingly warm, too. 

WHITE SKINNY JEANS by H&M / similar here and here

I really never bought into the whole “no white after Labor Day” approach, and quite frankly – I think white in the winter is magical. Hell, I’m a fan of white on white! Plus, they go with everything. 

DENIM SKINNY JEANS by Rag & Bone from Nordstrom / similar here

Hands down the best jeans for softness, as well as being able to wear (snow)boots and booties without your ankles bunching up. 



Sweaters

GRAY OVERSIZED CARDIGAN by Target / similar here and here

I’ve been absolutely loving the look of baggy cardigans (especially when paired with a silk cami) for that perfectly un-done look.  I actually found this cardigan in the plus sized section at Target, which worked well to my advantage. It’s an XL, and I’ll admit it right here that I wear this around the clock. It’s my go to for when I’m lounging around and need something on my shoulders. 

NAVY BLUE CARDIGAN by H&M / similar here and here

Not veering off too far from the above statement, this cardigan isn’t as oversized, but it’s equally as comfortable. I don’t have much navy in my wardrobe, so I wanted to counter balance all of the white, black & gray I have going on :) 

GRAY OFF THE SHOULDER by H&M / similar here, here and here

I love this sweater so much. It can be paired with any of the bottoms I have within my capsule, dressed up or dressed down, and while it’s a little bit difficult to navigate your arms (think T Rex arms when trying to reach for the salt & pepper shaker), its still a favorite. I get compliments on this all the time – men and women alike. 

BOYFRIEND SWEATSHIRT by Urban Outfitters / similar here and here (I also have this one and love it)

Again, comfort is the name of the game this season and this is a home run. I actually kept my boyfriend’s sweatshirt (so I’m quite literally living by the name) and wear it once a week. My friend Meg introduced me to pairing it with a button down underneath to give a more feminine touch which I haven’t tried yet – but I’m intrigued :)  Personally, I love it paired with these and these. 

EMERALD GREEN CROP SWEATER by Target / similar here

This color is haunting me in the best way right now. I saw this sweater at Target and was immediately drawn to it – and then I touched it and knew I had to have it. Probably the softest thing I own (or maybe an even tie with the below item!), I have to talk myself out of wearing this every single day. 

WHITE FLUFFY SWEATER by Zara (old) / similar here, here and here

I’m so sad that the sweater I have personally isn’t at Zara anymore, but there are so many similar options. These plush, fluffy sweaters are all the rage right now and for good reason. It’s like walking out of the house with a blanket! My favorite way to wear it is shown in the images in this post – but I also love wearing it with my white jeans, too for a more wintery look. 



Tops & Layers

3 PACK TANK SET by ASOS / similar here

I wear one of these close to every day. They’re so comfortable, the perfect basic under any layering piece, and I really like the thickness. 

BLACK CAMI TANK by H&M

In addition to this black cami tank (which I love for the lacing detail), I also have a navy blue and beige cami that I’ve added to the mix as well.  It’s my favorite thing to wear under an oversized cardigan to give it that feminine, put together look. 

WHITE BUTTON DOWN WITH SPLIT BACK by Cloth & Stone from Anthropologie

This is probably one of my favorite articles of clothing that I own. Oddly enough, I’m not a huge of fan of button downs since I don’t think they look great on me, but this one is a game changer. The collar/neck line is super relaxed, so it’s anything but structured, and the slit in the back gives it a bit of a racy yet delicate vibe. Cloth & Stone is one of the best brands out there, in my opinion, because every single thing they make and put out on the market is so insanely soft you’ll start to wish they would make a bed linen line (wait, why don’t they?!)



Jackets & Accessories

GRAY WOOL TRENCH COAT (old) / similar options here, here and here

This is my favorite coat I’ve ever had. Ever. (I’m wearing it in these blog photos!) For a couple of reasons.. one is that though it’s not very heavy, it’s super warm. The other reason is that I like that it dresses up anything I’m wearing in the most modest way.  I had to run into Target last night and literally strolled in wearing my pajamas, but I swear this coat (paired with my beloved scarf) makes it look so much less homely, haha. I plan on having this coat for years to come. 

OLIVE DOWN JACKET WITH FAUX FUR TRIM from Costco / similar here

I know, Costco? Ha. So random.. but when I went with my girlfriend a couple of weeks ago I was pleasantly surprised by how soft this down jacket was.  My packable down just wasn’t doing it for me style wise (though I still bring it when I’m traveling!) so I knew I had to replace it with something more substantial and in line with my every day look.  This coat was the winner, hands down. It looks eerily similar to this one, to give you a better idea. 

VEGAN LEATHER LAPTOP BACKPACK by Matt & Nat from Nordstrom / similar here and here

There are no words. I ordered this a few days ago and it just came today, and I couldn’t love it any more if I tried. First of all, it looks really sleek and not bulky at all – but when you open it up, it’s shocking how big it is and how much you can fit. I have 2 laptops in there now (long story), two chargers, my hard drive, a pair of gym clothes, a phone charger, a snack, my water bottle and my wallet – and I could still fit more if I needed to. The color is so pretty, too. Matt & Nat also happens to be one of my favorite companies (my first weekender bag was by them back in high school!) 

BLANKET SCARF (old from Zara) / similar here

I bring this with me everywhere. It’s basically attached to my jacket at this point, but I also love bringing it with me when I travel. It doubles as my pillow and my blanket! 

GRAY CASHMERE GLOVES from Nordstrom / similar here and here 

This may make me sound like a diva the fact that I’m wearing cashmere gloves, but my hands have never been happier.  Not only are they so warm, but the fact that their cashmere clearly means they’re holding up to my number one rule: they’re soft. I take pretty good care of them to ensure they don’t rip, since I’d like to get my money’s worth. If you need a good gift idea for someone in your life this holiday season, cashmere gloves should be high up there!



Shoes

HUNTER BOOTS from Nordstrom

My girlfriend Natalie wears her Hunters all the time, and I also noticed that I was staring at them just a little too long. Then, I was photographing a model the other day for a commercial shoot and she had a pair on, too that I kept obsessing over. That’s when I knew I had to bite the bullet. I had been thinking on them for so long, and couldn’t shake the fact that I loved them. So, money well spent. The best part is that they’ll transition well into spring (skip summer) and back into fall. 

SALTWATER TIDE WEDGE SNOW BOOT by Sperry from Nordstrom / similar here

I debated on these cute snow boots online for quite some time, and finally just decided to order them and give them a go in person. I could always return them, after all. Well, no need. I’m actually wearing them right now as I type this, and I love them so much. They are SO WARM, so comfortable, and perfect for all of this snow we’re getting here in the Midwest. The one thing I really dislike about this time of year is that you have to fall victim to bulky, unfeminine fashion just because the weather turns.  But these ivory snow boots (that have suede laces with traces of slate blue!) are the perfect compliment to my style. Love ’em, love ’em. 

BLACK & WHITE ADIDAS SUPERSTARS by Adidas from Nordstrom / similar here and here

I’ve had these for years, and while I love my Superga sneakers that I just got back during my fall capsule wardrobe, canvas sneakers in the winter didn’t feel wise ;) So these are making another appearance! You really can’t go wrong with them as they’re such a basic staple. I love wearing mine with my leather leggings and an oversized sweatshirt. 

MALIBU SLICED ZIP BOOTIE by Paul Green by Nordstrom

I actually have these in silver metallic (as seen in the blog post photos!) but sadly I can’t find them anywhere! I was shopping with my mom last year and she was sweet enough to gift these to me, basically saying “you can’t not have these”. I get it – because they’re so insanely comfortable.  The limit before my feet start to hurt is about 6 hours, which is good for a small heeled bootie. I also get so many compliments on these, and love them in black as well. 

BLACK MOTO BOOTIES from Nordstrom / similar here 

Another staple that you can dress up or dress down. I probably wear mine about 2 times a week, especially if I know I’ll be walking a lot. 

 



Sidenote: Keep in mind my capsule wardrobe doesn’t include my undergarments, lounge clothes / pajamas and my work out clothes.


6 Tips for Creating Your Capsule Wardrobe


So there you have it! My winter capsule wardrobe in full detail.  Building the fall capsule was a lot more work considering I had never done it before and had to shift through my closet entirely. This time around, I filled out my capsule sheet, tried on each piece just to make sure I wanted it in the rounds, and just like that – I was done.  It only gets easier with time, so if you’re someone who’s interested but dreading all of the work – I hear you! Pour yourself a glass of vino, print out your FREE capsule wardrobe sheet and get to work. You won’t regret it ;)

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