Winter dressing doesn’t have to be a daily struggle with your closet. By curating a basic winter capsule wardrobe, you can simplify your style choices while looking effortlessly chic all season long. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the process of creating an elevated basics winter capsule wardrobe. We’ll focus on timeless, versatile pieces that mix and match seamlessly, ensuring you’re prepared for whatever the colder months throw your way. Say goodbye to wardrobe stress and hello to easy, stylish dressing this winter.
In this post I am sharing basics that are not basic, but essentials that will elevate your overall style. And help you dress better in the cold weather.
These 19 pieces are versatile and will make you look polished, modern and chic.
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What Are Elevated Basics?
This is the first question you need to ask yourself before you add pieces for your capsule wardrobe. Basics are pieces that you will wear a lot and are versatile.
You can easily pair them with other clothes in your wardrobe to build a lot of different outfits. Usually these basics are not stand out pieces.
Elevated basics on the other hand are clothing items that have a bit more personality and even though they are not very fancy, will make you look much more polished and stylish. These clothing items when paired with any other clothing items will dress up your outfits effortlessly.
That is why these elevated basics make or break your capsule wardrobe. And in this capsule wardrobe, I am only focusing on these key items.
Elevated Basic Tops For Winter
A good quality turtleneck sweater will keep you warm and cozy when the temperatures drop drastically. But it does more than that. The turtleneck style of the neckline adds some sophistication to your outfit.
You look put together and neat in a turtleneck, we all know that. It makes your outfit stand out even if you are wearing it with jeans.
When it comes to the material of the turtleneck sweater, if you can spend some extra dollars on a good quality cashmere sweater. Honestly, they look way better than regular sweaters and are much warmer because of the natural fabric.
I always feel like my neck looks slimmer and I look much more put together in a turtleneck sweater. In terms of color, I would recommend a black cashmere turtleneck. If you already own one, you can pick a white or a color that you prefer.
Collar details in a sweater adds more sophistication. If you compare a V neck sweater to a collared one, you will see how a collared sweater makes you look smarter and put together.
While V neck sweater could be your basic, a collared sweater will be your elevated basic which you can pair with trousers, jeans and skirts to create a polished workwear look.
Even if you are not going to work, you can still wear a collared sweater with denim skirt or regular jeans, but the collars make you look smart.
This is why you can either pick a lightweight collared sweater which you can wear under coats and puffers.
Fitted Turtleneck Knit Top
This is a hidden gem ladies! A fitted turtleneck top does not have to be a sweater. And this top can be of any color or print. The goal is to have a lightweight turtleneck that gives you the same style as a turtleneck sweater without being too heavy.
This is the perfect top that you can wear with skirts and trousers to create a dressy outfit for any occasion. You don’t need to buy fancy clothes, this style of top makes your outfit dressed up. Just add a leather skirt or satin pants for occasion wear.
But you can also wear them with jeans for an everyday look where you look polished and ready.
Over the years, I have collected them and wear them on repeat when the weather gets cooler.
The neckline keeps me warm but I can add thicker coats and puffers when it’s too cold. And when indoors simply take that off and I still am cozy but not sweating. You know what I mean.
In terms of fabric, you should pick cotton or jersey material, because these tops are fitted, they need to be stretchy so you are comfortable.
Stripes are a classic and timeless pattern that looks great on everyone. And if you pick a striped sweater you are getting best of both worlds – function and a classic French chic style.
Pair it with the most basic bottoms (including skinny jeans) and you will see your outfits look much better than a basic solid colored crewneck sweater.
I do prefer heavy knit fabric in the striped pattern because you want to wear it by itself and maybe have a coat as a third layer or scarf for additional warmth.
I will say this again and again, you don’t need to shy away from prints. Prints are your friends in the cold weather because everything else you are wearing would be solid colored.
But the goal is to find a basic which means it goes well with all your bottoms. So when picking a printed top, go for a printed button down shirt with a dark base and lighter prints.
This way you can wear it with blue, black and white bottoms. And the collared details will elevate your outfit whether it’s casual or work.
Elevated Basic Bottoms For Winter
Straight Leg Jeans
It’s time to update your skinny jeans ladies. And a straight leg jeans is your gateway to that. Don’t just take my word, you are seeing everywhere that they just look better on us. They make us look much more put together.
And they don’t even cost that much. I have worn Levis straight leg jeans for couple of years now and they look high quality.
But there are other high quality straight leg jeans brands that also don’t cost arm and leg. It’s all about finding the best one that suits your overall style.
And you can wear boots with straight leg jeans too.
In terms of color, you should have a black one and a blue pair. But if you only had to pick one, go for black.
Wide Leg Jeans
Wide leg jeans can dress up your denim outfits instantly. They will create an hourglass shape by giving your hips some width. If you look boxy in skinny jeans, they try wide leg jeans.
They also look much more polished and sophisticated because of the wide leg detail. Since they are not that fitted, they look classy and add that to your overall look.
You can wear them with all the tops that I shared above to create an elevated winter outfit.
Pick a dark wash wide leg jeans for daily wear that still looks nice or you can also pick a white one that will look even better.
Checkout some styling Inspo:
Sweater Midi Dress
Sweater dresses are a must have for cold weather. But instead of going for the over the knee short sweater dresses that looks childish and outdated, let’s go for midi sweater dresses.
They are versatile, you can wear them anywhere. And they also look great on all body type. Most importantly they look sophisticated compared to short sweater dresses that look either edgy or too casual. You can’t even sit in them without feeling conscious.
And there are so many different styles of sweater midi dresses. But avoid the ones that are body con unless you have the perfect body for it. You want to pick something that has a relaxed fit, which will give you an effortless classy style.
Leather Midi Skirt
Leather becomes your friend when it’s cold. But you don’t need to wear real leather to stay warm. A good quality faux leather skirt will also look great and will keep you warm. I love midi length fit and flare style faux leather skirts or pleated faux leather skirts.
Both of these styles are versatile and can be paired with different styles of tops to create chic and sophisticated winter looks. And any body type can rock them.
Checkout some outfit ideas with a brown faux leather skirt that would inspire you to wear them more.
And if you wondering what shoes you can wear, I have a complete shoe guide for midi skirts for winter weather.
Leather pants will look so smart and sophisticated in the cold weather. We all know we love leather jackets and boots because they just give us the cosy vibes.
That’s exactly what leather pants do, they make you feel comfortable in the cold weather and they look much more elevated. Ofcourse, don’t wear leather pants in summer heat, because they are not summer weather appropriate and will look tacky.
You don’t need to wear real leather, you can pick faux leather pants with knitwear or regular cotton and jersey fabric to create sophisticated winter outfits.
Elevated Basic Outerwear For Winter
Black Belted Coat
Black wool coat is a must have to layer with any colored outfit in the cold weather and all of us probably own one.
But coats tend to drown us and make us look bulky will all those layers. If you pick a belted black coat that has built in belt, you can tie it to create a waist definition.
This gives your outfit some shape and makes you look lean. I was blown away when I tried a belted coat. I saw the huge difference it made in my outfits.
This is a great wardrobe essential for all you mid size ladies out there who struggle with looking bulky with multiple layers in winter.
Winters are usually all black or all solid outfits and they tend to look pretty basic. A patterned coat can add more interest and elevate your boring solid colored outfits.
Just pick a structured double breasted plaid coat in gray or any other neutral shade so you can layer it on any outfit and look put together instantly.
These jackets are effortless chic winter essential that you can wear with colored and black or white outfits.
Belted Puffer Coat
Puffer coats are an essential for winter no matter whether you live in Northern California or in Colorado. They protect us from cold and rain. But they are also really bulky and we literally look like blob in them.
Even though the puffs add some detail, most puffer coats don’t elevate our body shape. But if you pick a belted puffer coat, you can actually do that by adding a waist definition.
This way you can define a breakpoint in your outfit giving yourself some shape. I wish I knew about this before.
Faux Leather Puffer Jacket
Just like puffer coat, puffer jackets become an essential for us too. But they look a bit basic in the plain polyester fabric. But a faux leather puffer jacket looks much more elevated because of the leather texture.
And would update your casual puffer jacket outfits. The detail of the fabric instantly changes the whole outfit.
So, if you want to wear a puffer jacket, pick a faux leather puffer jacket.
Elevated Basic Footwear For Winter
Pointed Heel Ankle Boots
I know heels are uncomfortable and a lot of us avoid it. But heels actually look dressier than flats. That is the reason many women wear it even if they are uncomfortable. But short heels in ankle boots are not at all uncomfortable.
Most boots need some heels in the sole otherwise they are uncomfortable to walk in. Pick a good black suede ankle boots with narrow heels in about 2 to 2.5 inches and you won’t even notice them.
The soles of the boots will balance it out. But these styles of ankle boots will dress up your denim outfits as well. You can pair them with skirts, sweater dresses and other style of winter outfits to elevate your overall look.
Lug Sole Ankle Boots
Lug sole ankle boots are an elevated alternative to your basic flat boots. They look great with leggings and skinny jeans by adding some bulk to your feet. And they also make you look tall even if you are wearing flat boots.
They are comfortable to walk in because of the thick sole and are non slippery in the wet winter or snowy areas.
You are actually getting the best of function and style in them. You can wear them with straight leg jeans as well. And if you pick block heel lug sole boots, you can also wear them with wide leg jeans.
Knee High Tall Boots
Tall boots are a must have for cold weather. They also dress up an outfit if you pick the right one. When it comes to the height of the tall boots I prefer them to be below knee.
They are easier to walk, sit and move in and make you look taller and also are structured pieces.
In terms of style, pick a simple block heel tall boots with pointed toes or narrow toe style. They will elongate your legs and make you look sharp even when paired with casual outfits.
You can pick white or brown tall boots that will be versatile and will become a signature piece in your outfit.
These are perfect alternative to flats for all year. But they specially look awesome with sweater outfit. The hardware and stitching details elevate your outfit and make you look polished.
And these versatile pair of shoes can be worn with dresses, skirts and jeans too. No matter what you wear them with, they always look amazing and make you look put together.
So for winter when you can’t be bothered to wear boots, wear them instead to run errands.
This is not it though. To update your winter looks, you should also invest in the right winter accessories that you can add to your outfits. These winter accessories will add some extra touch to your outfits and make you look chic.