Since I’m going to spend some more time in Holland this year, I have decided to invest in some new winter clothes. Although that sounds fun, it is not as easy as it seems. After 8 years of almost exclusively buying for hot summer, my winter wardrobe is so depleted that I hardly have any basics or shoes to make the outfits a success. I need to be very smart in my buying choices.

I am also very aware of mistakes in previous years, when I brought many of the wrong clothes.

  1. There is no point creating outfits that are too cold for me. Coming from a hot climate, I tend to get cold VERY quickly. Therefore my outfits need to be WARM first and foremost. Thinking that I can wear that nice shirt with a blazer jacket is just wishful thinking.
  2. I also need to make sure that I bring full outfits. Having a nice outer shell without the supporting turtleneck jumpers underneath is not going to work. It’s hard to imagine that I will still be cold in 2 woollen layers here in tropical Singapore, but I remember I definitely was! I keep making the mistake of bringing half thought-through outfits because I always miscalculate how many layers I need. Of course I always had enough to get by (since there is always the old fleece jumper) but nothing that made me feel really good.
  3. Thirdly, I need to be practical. There is no point bringing heels as they are simply too impractical for my holidays in Holland and Austria. I will be walking a lot and and there may even be snow. My feet get cold too so shoes need to be warm and wide enough for socks.
  4. Lastly, the items can’t be TOO fashion oriented (I need a little bit though). The items need to be practical longer term.

Read our ultimate guide to creating a capsule wardrobe that works best for you.

This means I have to plan for layers and that I need warm jumpers. Blazer jackets are never that warm and tend to be unpractical on my travels. Better to invest in a cashmere sweater as I don’t own any. I need warm leggings and tights to wear underneath pants and skirts. I need clothes that fit at least some of my shoes.

Pleased with this new mission I went shopping without doing much prior planning. Before long I got carried  away (too excited that I could finally pick some of those wonderful winter clothes I’ve been talking about on this site!) and came back with garments in various colors. They would need new shoes to match as well.

Of course I had become aware of this while shopping, so I made sure to only buy pieces that I could safely return for cash. I knew I had to plan better so I started to make an effective capsule wardrobe. I needed to buy clothes that would all work together and would suit various occasions.

I collected all my winter clothes that were both practical and still pleasing to look at. I added some of my new items and placed everything on the bed.

It quickly became clear that this is the direction I’m going with my winter wardrobe capsule.

winteroutfitwardrobecapsule

Of course I would need accessories like scarves, bag and jewelry as well but have left that out for now. I don’t need everything in this collage. Some things like the fancy cardigan, jacket and faux leather tunic are optional. I’m leaving them on for now to give me some options.

This collage was actually a lot more difficult to put together than ‘regular’ ones as I’m working only with items that are perfect for my particular needs, which means that:

  • The fabrics need to be tolerable (I love many of the woollen jumpers but cannot bear them).
  • Items need to be available in shops NOW or already be in my wardrobe.
  • Items need to be warm enough and practical.
  • Items cannot be super trendy (with a few exceptions).

How can you plan for your wardrobe?

Now I’m using this exercize for a winter holiday capsule or more specifically a cold weather capsule, but it’s a really good idea to do this whenever you are planning your wardrobe for a new season. It forces you to make choices and choose the best options. It also makes you realise that you do not need a lot of clothes to come up with many interesting combinations. Below are just a few of the options.

capsulewardrobe

You will have more than one capsule in your closet so you may want to make a separate collage for each capsule. An easy way to do this is to use Polyvore. It can really help you to create a wardrobe that will always give you something to wear.

Doing this exercize helped me to create much nicer outfits and eliminate items I do not need. I am going to return some items I bought and will fill some essential gaps instead.

I’m confident that I can go on holiday now and not feel like frumpy woman as I have felt on previous trips. What’s more, many of these clothes will serve me well over the coming year when I return to The Netherlands twice more. Dutch weather is unpredictable and you need all kinds of clothes there in every season. Some of them I’m even able to wear here.

Most of these clothes are from Zara and Cos. See below some of the lookbook photos from Zara that inspired the capsule.

winterlooks2

zaracollection

I will be sure to photograph some of the final looks when I wear them!

Update: be sure to check out my latest winter capsule wardrobe!

Do you plan your wardrobe? Have you ever done a wardrobe capsule exercize?

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