10 Staple Items That Build The Perfect Winter Capsule Wardrobe

by Sara Wennerstrom / Feb 23, 2023

Remember the pile of fur jackets, metallic tights, and printed knit sweaters sitting in your drawer? Your winter clothes might be sitting in a bin waiting to make their snow day debut, but you can look at that pile and still think you have nothing to wear. There’s a good chance that it’s because none of it is cohesive – among the chunky green sweaters and tinsel-y dresses, the choices are enough to overwhelm you instead of inspiring you.


This season, declutter your closet (and your mind) by building a winter capsule wardrobe with just a few key pieces.


What is a capsule wardrobe?


A capsule wardrobe is a limited collection of pieces that can be combined in many ways to make new outfits. While they are intended to last from season to season, a winter capsule wardrobe focuses on pieces perfect for layering, as well as a few cold-weather add-ons.


Pieces in a winter capsule wardrobe are typically staples or essential items that can be remixed and reimagined. The colors aren’t too bright or loud. The styles are not too trendy. The patterns, when present, are subdued and classic. This ensures the pieces won’t go out of style from season to season.


10 essentials for your winter capsule wardrobe


A capsule wardrobe includes basic layering tees and button-downs among other mix-and-match garments. But a winter capsule wardrobe takes it a step further, adding in pieces that keep in warmth. The principle is the same, however: These pieces can be dressed up or down and paired any which way to match any occasion. These 10 items form the cornerstone of your winter capsule wardrobe.


  1. Turtleneck

This classic winter essential is the perfect building block for a capsule wardrobe because it’s so easy to layer. Add a sweater underneath, pair it with a dress, or rock it with a blazer and jeans – this practical and polished piece can be worn in so many ways. Once the weather warms up a bit, your turtleneck can be worn by itself, paired with a plaid skirt and sheer tights for a great ready-for-work look. Look for turtlenecks in a neutral color like black, navy, or white. You can opt for a bodysuit version of this layering piece, too.


woman wearing casual outfit with designer shoulder bag


  1. A cozy sweater

Chic yet warm, a knit sweater gets you through the chill of blustery, snowy days. Choose between a crew neck for a classic look or opt for a V-neck – choose whichever one you’ll wear more often. A neutral tone like gray or black pairs well with anything else in your capsule wardrobe, and can be layered with other clothing to create new looks.


  1. Straight leg denim

Although denim will always be in style, there are certain styles that work better as cold-weather staples than others. Skip the distressed jeans — they’re quite impractical when the temperature is below freezing — and forego anything too trendy, as that can limit your options. A pair of vintage-washed, straight-cut denim can be a great go-to for your winter capsule wardrobe. You can also reach for a black pair if you think you’ll wear jeans more often than other bottoms in your capsule wardrobe.


straight leg jeans and a black sleek shoulder bag


  1. A large tote

A large tote is practical and minimalistic. It matches everything, and it can carry anything from your laptop to an extra change of clothes. SENREVE’s Maestra bag is made from genuine Italian leather that stands up to wet weather. In colors like chocolate, charcoal, and noir, your Maestra bag will take you from season to season with ease. Best of all, the Maestra converts into other bag styles, so you can get multiple looks out of a single item.


  1. Chunky boots

Especially if you live where it’s snowy, you know the feeling of muddy slush seeping into your new tennis shoes and clean socks. So, as much as sneakers may seem like a practical item to add to your winter capsule wardrobe, this is the time to add a pair of boots to get you through the season. A flat boot or one with a small heel, like the Chelsea style, can work with any number of outfits, casual and dressier alike.


  1. All-weather cashmere cardigan

A polished cardigan pulls together any piece in your winter capsule wardrobe, adding warmth without adding bulk. SENREVE’s coatigan blends the best of both worlds, tapping into the length of a traditional coat while laying open like a cardigan. Soft, breathable, and in a neutral gray, it’s the perfect layer to replace a jacket once the snow starts to melt. Pair with a basic black dress or your comfiest loungewear — it looks great both ways.


  1. A black dress

Fewer clothing items are as timeless as a black dress. Whether you’re going out for a date night, meeting your friends for happy hour, or attending a holiday office party, the versatility of a black dress makes it a must-have for any winter capsule wardrobe. Dress up a midi long-sleeve black dress with a pair of heels and dangle earrings, or dress down for a casual night out with sheer black tights and Chelsea boots.


  1. Warm winter coat

If you live up north, you’ll need a coat that can withstand the rough winter weather. For a capsule wardrobe, think about the timelessness of the garment you buy. The coat you put away in the spring should still work when you take it back out in late fall. Add a puffer coat, wool peacoat, or a leather jacket to your winter rotation and know with confidence it will still be in style the following year. Just keep the color neutral, like camel or brown.


shearling designer purse and oversized coat


  1. A pair of trousers

Workwear, event wear, everyday wear — trousers are the foundation for many outfits that can emerge from your winter wardrobe. These versatile bottoms can pair effortlessly with any number of tops and accessories. For the winter, opt for wool or another heavy material over linen so you stay warm when you dress up.


  1. A shirt jacket

A shirt jacket is a great transitional piece on days when a full jacket is too much but going without is a bit too much to bear. And while they may be new on the style block, shirt jackets are beloved for their versatility, so they’re likely to hang around for several seasons.


When looking for the perfect shirt jacket, opt for one that’s a bit oversized so you can wear layers underneath. For a classic polished look, choose a solid nude or coffee-colored jacket, or if you want to spice things up, choose one in a flannel pattern.


long skirt and classy crossbody purse outfit


Build your winter capsule wardrobe


A few staple pieces built for layering and accessories that work for multiple occasions can take you through the winter. Avoid closets overstuffed with sparkly sweaters, instead paring down to the essentials that you’ll actually wear this season.


When it comes time to complete your winter capsule wardrobe, SENREVE offers a vast collection of handbags and accessories that help you create new and exciting looks out of your trimmed-down wardrobe. Just take a look at a staple like the Alunna bag: It can be converted into a shoulder bag or a handbag, creating many new styles out of a single item. And that versatility is key to a successful winter capsule wardrobe that truly works for any occasion during the colder months.