How to build a wardrobe part 2 – Organize and select your essentials

by Sylvia

How to build a wardrobe part 2 - Organize and select your essentials |

Last week I spoke about step 1 in the our wardrobe building process: the foundation for your wardrobe. This week let’s talk about building it further.

Once you have determined who you are and what looks good on you, it’s time to see if your wardrobe reflects that.

Build your wardrobe step 2: Organize, try on, and clear out

Sometimes we tend to buy a lot of new things for a new season without being aware of what we already have.

So once you are familiar with your body, lifestyle and style preferences it’s time to go through your wardrobe and see what you already own.

Often, you have much more to wear in your closet than you realize, but sometimes we get stuck in a rut of wearing the same thing over and over again because it’s the first thing we see or we become too comfortable with what is familiar. When building your winter wardrobe, take the mantra of “organize, try on, and clear out” to heart.

Organizing your closet will allow you to see everything you own. Make an effort to schedule a time to organize your closet. Take all of your items out, and similar to a department store begin to take inventory of what you own.

Next, try on items in your closet to gauge whether or not they’re worth keeping. If you find yourself often saying, “I might wear this” or “This could work”, chances are you’ll put those pieces right back to the rear of your closet or in the bottom of a drawer. Try on your pieces to see what is worth keeping as it is, taking to be altered, or donating.

Remember, style is defined by quality and not quantity.  

For more tips on how to do this, please read how to edit your wardrobe.

Step Three: Select the essentials of your wardrobe

Now that you have figured out what you should keep in your closet, take the opportunity to see how many of your pieces are a great foundation for the perfect winter capsule wardrobe. Here are a few examples of what those essentials could be.

12 Winter Wardrobe essentials

No matter the trends or year, the following are 12 basics almost every style personality could build upon. They are timeless, classic pieces that are resistant to change and coordinate with most any trend you will encounter. Consider these the foundation of your winter wardrobe and invest in quality pieces that will last you quite some time.

Think of these like the frame of a great painting, where they are a neutral force that help to anchor your wardrobe. Depending on your personal style, you can fill in with prints, textures, colors, and styles that will create a unique look that reflects you.

A dark blazer

winter capsule wardrobe: dark blazer |

Although I selected black here, these could also be another dark color.

Neutral long sleeve t-shirt

neutral long sleeves |

White button-down blouse

White button-down blouse |

Versatile cashmere sweater

Versatile cashmere sweater |

Sleeveless black dress

winter capsule wardrobe: black dress basics |

Neutral trench coat

trench coat : basics winter capsule wardrobe |

Tailored wool coat

winter capsule wardrobe: wool coat basics |

Dark wash jeans

winter capsule wardrobe: dark wash jeans basics |

Black tights

winter capsule wardrobe: black tights basics |

Knee-high boots

winter capsule wardrobe: knee high boots basics |

Leather gloves

leather gloves |

Oversized scarf

oversized scarf: basic winter capsule wardrobe |

Putting it all together

Select one item from each of the 12 categories above. This should provide you with a 12 capsule wardrobe that will serve as the perfect foundation for your winter capsule wardrobe. Make sure you focus on selecting pieces that fit your body shape best and are of a high quality (especially as they will endure being worn and cleaned multiple times).

How to build a wardrobe part 2 - Organize and select your essentials |

Next week we will add to these essentials and create unique capsules for each of the styles we discussed in our first article on building your wardrobe.

For now, concentrate on the basics and let me know which are your essentials for your winter wardrobe?


P.S. Want help creating your ideal wardrobe? Our Style Course will help you create the perfect wardrobe for your style so you always will have something fabulous to wear!

You can shop the pieces featured in this post here below:

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Heystella

I would have included a classic trouser in this grouping…black, navy, khaki


2 Sylvia

Yes that would be a good choice too.


3 Sherry Edwards

So much good advice. Love all the items
Still cannot “edit” but I will make that my goal for next year, ha! ha!!


4 Carol

Beautiful, classic pieces. Yet no hat? For women in a truly cold climate, a hat or at least something to cover the ears, is often a necessity. What kind of hats can provide that coverage while still keeping the dressy, mature look?


5 Sylvia

Yes definitely. A beret is always a good choice and a bigger one can be drawn over the ears. I actually use ear muffs in winter to keep them warm!


6 Susie

Color where’s color my personality would shrivel with this wardrobe. I agree jacket slacks shirt coat skirt and dress are essentials. But I wouldn’t choose black and white try same pieces in colors use scarf to tie together I’m not sure that I think knee high boots would be my first choice of basic shes



Thank you, Sonia this is so useful.


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