My Winter Wardrobe Reflection
It feels like it’s been a long time since we’ve seen the warm sun – this winter’s been a long one! I was curious to see how it’d play out, since this was my first full winter since starting to downsize my wardrobe and shop consciously.
To give you an idea, I have about 200 items in my year-round wardrobe including shoes and outerwear – so it’s quite a bit. I made a point of taking the “downsizing” very slowly. I find it helps me stay focused, happy, and encouraged with my progress rather than throwing a ton out and suddenly feeling like I have nothing! It’s also a great way to extend the life of garments and keep them out of landfill, if you still love them.
Still, I HAD slimmed down my wardrobe since last year.
I walked hesitantly into winter thinking:
- Will I have enough sweaters?
- Has my style changed too much for my winter wardrobe?
- Will I get bored halfway through the long slog of cold?
- Will I actually need to cave and get a parka?
And the good news is, I managed to get through it and still love my clothes! To be honest, I think there are still tons of combinations I could make with what I have. But I’m definitely ready for some flats and warm sun!
While I don’t work with capsules, I still thought it’d be fun to highlight my winter MVPs (most valuable pieces) – so get ready!
I’m dividing this into 3 sections:
1. Favourite new additions
2. Old faithfuls
3. What I let go
Ready for it? Let’s go.
Favourite new additions
My old boots were desperately salt-stained and questionable in their ability to repel water in their old age. So I invested in these leather booties part-way through the season. I love them and wore them almost every day the snow or rain wasn’t around! They even held up in the frigid cold fronts. (closest style linked)
Wearing boots in the office is not my jam. Something about boots makes me feel constricted and sloppy, and in a season where I already feel down, I need something to perk me up! Heels are it. As soon as I’m at the desk and I slip them on, I feel like I can just kill! It! (closest style linked)
I’m an avid winter-skirt-wearer, and these sustainable, consciously made stockings are my go-to. Tip to make them last: size up 1 size, and wear them with socks overtop or underneath!
The softest cardigan I’ve ever owned. If you know me, you know a good long cardigan is the most important thing in my closet. This one is fleecy on the inside and made me feel like I was wearing a pyjama robe everywhere. While still looking profesh. Now I can’t wait for it to double as a jacket come spring!
I didn’t wear this as much as other pieces, but the pop of ochre just brought me so much joy! It’s a fun one for the slightly warmer days, or when I just needed a good pick-me-up!
The Goodall Poplin is out of stock for the season, but you can shop other Tradlands styles here.
Hands. Down. Best. I wore this thing for a week straight during the last polar vortex. It’s sold out now that winter’s over, but I couldn’t NOT mention it. Also, making everything look professional when I felt like I was in a giant blanket? WIN.
The Robe Coat is out of stock for the season, but you can shop the rest of the Brass Clothing collection here.
I always want to throw on a t-shirt and jeans, and go. And that’s what these do for me. Only, they’re the softest tops you’ll ever own. The tiny rib detailing is gorgeous, too.
Because I couldn’t have just one Kotn turtleneck. This year I added more light neutrals to my cold-weather closet because I always feel so bummed by the end of winter. Having some lighter neutrals kept me interested, helped it feel fresh, and gave me a bit of the taste of spring while still staying warm.
I’ve had this for almost 3 years and it’s still like new. Why it’s an MVP? Goes with everything, keeps my neck warm on cold commuting days, and the fabric is still light enough to be breathable through the day.
Shrunken Ochre Sweater
My aunt shrunk this and realized I’d be able to fit in it! It’s become my FAVOURITE winter sweater. And such a gorgeous colour! What I learned about this? Having a slightly cropped crewneck sweater is a must for me. Easy to throw on without having to worry about a sloppy tuck.
What can I say? I’m still finding new Canadian Tuxedo combinations, so I’ll keep wearing this. I never thought I’d love a denim button-up so much.
Plain Knit cardigan
I bought this YEARS ago at WalMart, of all places. And I tell you, it’s lasted! Still a backbone of my winter wardrobe because of its boxy, structured, light style. Try Everlane for consciously made options!
Chunky knit sweaters
These two didn’t get the love they should have last year because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to tuck them in, or leave them out. This year I embraced the full tuck into oversized vintage jeans, added a belt and it fulfilled my chunky knit dreams! Try Everlane for tons of sweater options!
I couldn’t have gone through winter without this belt. Nice and secure, no cold winds flying up my shirts, and the perfect way to make a basic outfit more polished when I really just feel like wearing pyjamas.
These old tops are my winter version of the basic tee. Light, layerable, professional, cozy. Need I say more? I find myself wanting to reach for them almost every day because they make looking good way too easy. Try Everlane for consciously made mock-necks!
Vintage Levi’s 501s
Well, you know my love for these. The oversized nature of this style made them a dream to tuck thick sweaters into!
A bright ray of sunshine in my (usually all black) winter wardrobe. I think these jeans helped me stay happy through the lack of sunlight!
These were still pretty new to my wardrobe when winter started. I found myself wanting to wear them all the time because they’re instantly professional, classic, and perfect for a night out if I wanted to stay warm in the cold and not change after work.
This was your favourite, too! A fun and flirty style that added some dimension to the cycle of always reaching for pants when it’s cold. Try Father’s Daughter for consciously made alternatives!
Wore this every. day. I don’t own a parka (you heard that right – a Canadian without a real winter coat), so I layered up with this coat from Canadian maker, Kazz Clothing. Still looks great, and honestly none of my other coats are anywhere as comfortable!
When it was above -5°c, these were my go-to! So good for trudging through slushy, salty roads when I didn’t want to damage my leather booties. I call them my “commuter boots.” I used to hate the idea of commuter shoes, but because these ones actually look good, I was darn happy to put them on in the mornings!
When it was -30° and snow was deep as my knees, I had to bring out the big guns. I’ve owned these for quite a while, and layer them with nice thick camping socks. Alice + Whittles has higher boots like these, for an ethical and sustainable option!
Brown Ankle Boots
These little guys have been around for a few years. Old fast fashion, but cute for days without salt & snow. Try Fortress of Inca for conscious alternatives!
What I let go of
Well, this list is almost too extensive (and to be honest I’m not sure I want to drag them all out for photos) so instead I’ll just give you a quick recap!
A lot of the things I let go were sweaters that simply weren’t working. Sleeveless ones, itchy ones, ones that were handed down to me and I had never moved on from. I was apprehensive about trimming my sweater count, but having 3-5 pullovers that I truly love instead of 8-10 that are so-so actually made me feel so much happier and more confident in my choices each morning.
Next, I let go of patterned tops I had grown out of. Quite a few were from college, and I had never mustered the courage to let them go. Now that I’m sure of my own style, it’s easier to distinguish what I may have once loved, but simply won’t reach for anymore.
So that’s it! My winter closet summary. What about you? Did you have winter closet heroes? Or were there some items you realized you had to let go?
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