How to create lots of outfits with a capsule wardrobe for winter

by Sylvia

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As I’m planning for an unexpected trip to Europe, I created a capsule wardrobe for winter. I think it may just have been my best one ever!

Although I’m using this technique for a trip, it is really a smart thing to do for your wardrobe.

Why should you create capsule wardrobes?

A capsule wardrobe allows you to create a large number of outfits with a small number of pieces. You can create one for every ‘function’ of your wardrobe, e.g. one for sports, one for work, casual, date night etc.

I created one for winter.

In my basic winter capsule wardrobe there are only 6 tops and 3 bottoms and 1 jacket. These tops can be worn on its own or layered over each other. Combined with 3 bottoms they create a large number of options and different outfits.

Let’s have a look at a few


Black skinnies can be worn with white blouse on its own (1), white blouse and jacket (2) pink top (3), peach jumper (4) grey asymmetrical jumper on its own (5), grey jumper layered over asymmetrical shirt or pink sweater (6). brown/red top (7).  Of course any outfit can be worn with the coat with either the blanket scarf (8) or silk scarf (9)

Cream skinnies, and faux leather skirt can be worn with the above too, adding 16 more outfit options, so in total you have 21 different options minus the coat outfits.

Of course not all options are equally great but I have tested a lot of them and many do work.

In addition there is also the possibility to either tuck in tops or wear them over the bottoms which gives you even more options.

And then there are the necklaces which also create different vibes with an outfit.

It’s functional too as the capsule provides options both for cool and warmer days. For me it’s especially important to have warm clothes, which is why I packed beautiful warm sweaters, which also happen to be super trendy right now. My blanket scarf will be easy to take with me, can be worn over antyhing and will be super warm.

Winter capsule wardrobe extras

The above capsule in itself is already sufficient for a week’s travel or to use as your winter wardrobe, but if you wanted more options (as I always do) you can add some more variety with a few additional pieces.


Please note that the purpose of this capsule wardrobe was not so much to have a ‘minimal’ wardrobe or to create the most number of outfits with the fewest amount of pieces, but rather to create a versatile wardrobe for winter that gives you lots of options. The extras give you more fun and layering options and a great versatility of outfits.

Of course if you do like to pack for a holiday and prefer only to take carry-on luggage then the basic capsule would be sufficient.

As for myself, that is not my goal. I like to have options and fresh clothes every day if desired. I like to change twice during the day if necessary so bringing as little as possible is never really one of my goals. But I also don’t want to bring too much as I only want to bring what I can easily carry..

I think this complete capsule hits the perfect middle ground.

I’m so looking forward to wearing these clothes!

What I love about this capsule is that it is warm, practical and has great color diversity. It’s all too easy to stick to the standard black, white and gray. It’s much more fun to add some colors too even if it’s done in a subtle way here.

What you will need to do is to select colors that go really well together. I went for a softer, paler palette this time. I can wear a completely pastel look but can also opt for the typical black and white. I know I will indulge in both!

You may wonder about the shoes and it may surprise you that I will only bring the shoes that I wear on my feet, which are my brown silver booties. These booties have a silver shine with a brown undertone which means that they look good with both my black and white outfits as well as the pastel ones. They are so comfortable, I think I can manage with just these booties.

optcreamandwhite (1 of 1)

This is a bit risky (what if they break!) but the fact is, I don’t have any other winter shoes here right now (all my winter shoes are in The Netherlands) and I did not see any shoes I like better than these. As I like the booties both with skirts as well as pants, I think I will be fine. And if I feel I need some more shoes, then of course there will always be shops around.

I have taken many photos of the outfits that I created from this capsule (in the heat no less, I’m still sweating..) and I will share them with you over the coming weeks!

Clothing details (clothes were from the Winter 2015 collection)

White asymmetrical shirt: Stella Carakasi
Black Skinnies: Cos (old)
Gray asymmetrical sweater: Stella Carakasi
Cream skinnies: Zara (old)
Peach sweater: Zara
Faux leather skirt: Zara
Black blazer:  Stella Carakasi
Brown layered top: c/o Stella Carakasi
Pink sweater: Stella Carakasi
Blanket scarf: Zara
Silk scarf: present from Suzanne Carillo
Jewelry: Suzanne Carillo and Jewelry to your Doorstep
Grey coat: Zara
Grey sleevesless long vest: Stella Carakasi
Dress: Porto GetDressed2
Gray asymmetrical T-shirt: Stella Carakasi
Cashmere blue poncho:
Leggings (worn as tights): Uniqlo
Cream corduroy pants: Zara
Layering tops: Uniqlo
Shoes: Laura Bellariva

Want to see all complete outfits?

Just click on the image below for the final roundup post.


Do you create capsule wardrobes?


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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }


I really like your picks, Sylvia – they have a lot of personality! xox



Thanks Patti. I think I will enjoy wearing them!



Hi Sylvia,
Thanks for this inspirational capsule idea. Can you share the source for your lovely brown silver booties?



They are from Laura Bellariva. I bought them in a small shop in The Netherlands and have not been able to find them online.


glenda Bibbero

I really love this idea. I have such a hard time visualizing and this really helps. It would be even more wonderful if you were in the clothes when you took the pics. I know that is a lot of work but it would help me further with the concept.



You are in luck Glenda. I have taken many pictures in a lot of combinations of these clothes and will share them over the coming weeks!


Glenda Bibbero

Yay! I can’t wait 🙂



This is a really helpful breakdown of a winter capsule. I’m one of those rare people who never seems to bring enough, so being able to see what pieces you’ve chosen and how you put them together shows me how and where I need to focus. Looking forward to your photos!



Glad you found this helpful SE. Photos to follow…



Thanks for this Sylvia. I am about to head off for a holiday and will definitely follow your ideas. You have put together a beautiful set of clothes and inspired us all as well.



Thanks Aileen. Enjoy your holiday!


lorna mai

I love all of the items you have here. The a-symmetrical skirts and tops are so contemporary and I love the way the colours all flow with each other. It’s so amazing that you can create so many looks with just a few items.



Thanks Lorna. Good planning is the key!



Seriously I’m going to borrow that skirt from you! You have one stylish “cold weather” wardrobe. All interesting choice and a nice break from dark tones. Love the silver shoes and interesting coat.

blue hue wonderland


Sabina @Oceanblue Style

Great choices and did I just encounter your grey skirt and bulky sweater??? Love the pieces. xo Sabina @Oceanblue Style


Greetje Kamminga

Great idea. It doesn’t work well with me, but that is because I always want to wear the most perfect combination as you know. And yes, sometimes there is more than one perfect way. So I do wear things with more than one other thing, but not very often. Anja once remarked (being very surprised) that I wore clothes as sets (and stuck to those sets). I thought I had moved on from there, but that is not really true. I still do it.
And vlack with a bright colour is still my signature style. I was rather surprised you have all these light colours in your winter wardrobe.
Glad you took pictures of the outfits as I cannot imagine how these clothes will look on you, by just looking at them on a hanger. I have the same problem in the shop (sigh).



I love the wardrobe. Wish I could afford it . Love love love the booties. Would love to be able to source them or a reasonable facsimile. Very appreciative of the advice. May I ask how tall you are?



Some of these pieces are very affordable and many similar items can be acquired at Target, H&M or Zara. Perhaps just start with 1 or 2 items. I’m sure you have similar items already in your wardrobe? I’m 5 foot 6 (1.72 meter)


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