As the weather cools, you’ll need to start thinking about changing your outfits to suit the changing temperature while making sure you still stay stylish. What are the winter essentials you would like to have in your closet this year?

You’ll find mine below. Let me know if you agree with my list of winter clothes – or if there’s anything you would add.

Casual winter wear

I’ve concentrated on casual clothes for winter when putting together the following winter essentials.

However, if you do have formal events to attend, you’ll find plenty of inspiration in these articles on festive party outfits, cocktail dresses and little black dresses.

You may also want to take a look at this article on 28 essentials to see you through the year.

Now, onto your cozy, casual, winter essentials…

1. A cozy sweater

Kim wears a red sweater with her winter outfit |

It goes without saying that a warm sweater is one of the first items of clothing you will want to think about when putting together your winter essentials for the upcoming season.

Think about what style suits your body shape. For instance, do you find v-necks or crewnecks more flattering? You could choose to add an element of luxury to your closet by choosing a cashmere sweater, or you could use your sweater to add color to your look.

Kim (above) chooses a bright red sweater which looks fabulous with her red hair.

Recreate her look with this similar sweater, jeans, sneakers, belt and necklace.

Amazon Essentials cable crewneck sweater |

Amazon Essentials cable crewneck sweater

2. A long cardigan

Winter essentials - Fonda wears a long cardigan |

A long cardigan is a great addition to your closet for many reasons. If the weather isn’t quite cold enough for a coat, you could wear a sweater instead. A long cardigan also creates long, lean lines so can be a good choice if you want to hide a belly or you want to look taller and slimmer.

Fonda (above) opts for a long black cardigan with her leather-look pants and leopard print booties.

Check out this similar denim shirt, cardigan, leggings, booties and scarf.

The drape cardigan (below) from Amazon is available in 22 different colors and has good reviews, with women saying they bought several cardigans in several shades.

Urban CoCo drape front open cardigan |

Urban CoCo drape front open cardigan

3. A long sleeved top for layering

Julia layers her long-sleeved top with a poncho |

A lightweight long-sleeved top is incredibly useful for wearing as a warm layer under your other clothing.

Julia (above) wears her long-sleeved top under her poncho.

Get her look with this similar layering top, poncho, leggings, boots and handbag.

Chelsea28 layering top |

Chelsea28 layering top

4. A turtleneck

Winter essentials - Suzie wears a turtleneck |

You can wear your turtleneck alone, with your jeans, pants or skirts. Or, you could layer under your summer dresses to make sure you can wear them as the temperature dips.

Suzie (above) wears her turtleneck with utility pants and buckle booties.

Recreate her look with this similar turtleneck top, pants, lace-up boots, earrings and sunglasses.

BP. turtleneck ribbed top |

BP. turtleneck ribbed top

5. A casual shirt

Winter essentials - Nagore wears a white shirt |

A shirt, whether you choose white, checked or striped can be worn under your sweaters for added interest and warmth. Or, you could always wear as outerwear over your t-shirt or dress.

Nagore (above) creates a classic, casual look with her white shirt and v-neck vest top.

Check out this similar shirt, vest, jeans, booties and sunglasses.

Grayson button-up shirt |

Grayson button-up shirt

6. A long warm coat

Winter essentials - Abi wears a checked coat |

Of course, you’ll want to either shop your closet for your winter coat, or treat yourself to a stylish new one to make sure you stay warm.

Abi (above) wears an on-trend checked coat with her jeggings and ankle booties.

Steal her look with this similar belted coat, mock neck top, jeans, booties, handbag and necklace.

Ellen Tracy plaid belted coat |

Ellen Tracy plaid belted coat

Take a look at how to choose a coat for more inspiration.

7. A leather jacket

Cassie wears a moto jacket and maxi skirt |

A shorter jacket is also a useful closet staple, particularly for transitional weather. You can create interesting layers with a moto jacket by wearing longer layers underneath.

Cassie (above) wears her moto jacket with a long maxi skirt.

Check out this printed skirt that you can wear with this similar moto jacket, top and booties.

French Connection suedette moto jacket |

French Connection suedette moto jacket

8. A warm casual coat

Lou wears a warm, casual winter coat |

As well as a long winter coat and a short winter coat, you may decide you would like a warm casual style, for winter walks and lazy days.

Lou (above) wears her long puffer coat with her athletic outfit.

Get her look with this similar pullover, jacket, leggings, sneakers and beanie.

The North Face water repellant hooded parka |

The North Face water repellant hooded parka

9. Warm winter leggings

Winter essentials - Deborah wears warm leggings |

Leggings are a good addition to your winter closet. You can wear them with a long shirt or sweater. Or you can wear under dresses for extra warmth. Choose a warm, fleece-lined pair of leggings to stay cozy.

Deborah (above) wears her leggings with a warm sweater and calf-length booties.

Recreate her look with this similar sweater, coat, leggings, boots and earrings.

UGG knit leggings |

UGG knit leggings

10. A great pair of jeans

Winter essentials - Melissa wears a casual jeans outfit |

Jeans are a closet staple, no matter what time of year it is. If it’s really cold, you can always wear your leggings underneath.

If you choose a skinny pair, you can wear knee-length booties over them.

Melissa (above) wears her jeans with a casual outfit of a sweather, parka and sneakers.

Steal her look with this similar sweater, jacket, jeans and sneakers.

AG high waist skinny jeans |

AG high waist skinny jeans

11. A pair of winter pants

Fee wears black pants and a cowl neck sweater |

A pair of winter pants can be perfect to wear with your sweaters. Choose a versatile black pair or opt for on-trend plaid.

Fee (above) wears her winter pants with a cowl neck sweater.

Check out this similar sweater, pants, suede booties and earrings.

Wit & Wisdom plaid ankle trousers |

Wit & Wisdom plaid ankle trousers

12. A sweater dress

Tanasha wears a winter sweater dress |

Your sweater doesn’t have to be waist-length. You can wear a sweater dress if you prefer dresses to jeans and pants. You can wear your leggings and a pair of booties with it.

Tanasha (above) wears over-the-knee booties and a stylish hat with her sweater dress.

Recreate her outfit with this similar sweater dress, over-the-knee boots, handbag and hat.

Halogen sweater dress |

Halogen sweater dress

13. A leather skirt

Nikki wears a leather skirt and blouse |

Winter can be a great time to play around with different fabrics and textures. A leather skirt (or a pair of leather pants if you prefer) will look great with a blouse or sweater.

Nikki (above) wears an animal print blouse with her leather skirt.

Steal her look with this similar top, leather skirt, tights and lace-up boots.

BOSS faux leather wrap front skirt |

BOSS faux leather wrap front skirt

14. A warm hat

Sally wearing a a warm hat and coat for winter |

It’s a well-known fact that heat escapes from your head in cold weather. A hat can add an extra element to your outfit as well as keeping you warm.

Sally (above) opts for a casual look in olive green.

Recreate her look with this similar jacket, pants, boots and beanie.

Halogen pom cashmere beanie |

Halogen pom cashmere beanie

15. A scarf

Hailey matches her scarf to her sweater |

A scarf can add instant style to any outfit, it can help to pull the colors in your outfit together, and – of course – can keep your neck warm.

Hailey matches her blue and green scarf to her sweater and jeans.

Get her look with this similar pullover, jeans, sneakers and scarf.

Barbour check scarf |

Barbour check scarf

16. A pair of gloves

Patrician wears tan gloves with her winter outfit |

As the weather cools, choose a pair of gloves that will keep your hands well-dressed and warm. Either add a pop of bright color, or choose neutrals.

Patricia (above) opts for tan gloves with her warm, winter outfit.

Check out this similar jacket, crossbody bag, leather gloves, earrings, scarf, beanie and sunglasses.

Barbour tartan gloves |

Barbour tartan gloves

17. Base layers

Oxana wears winter layers |

In cold temperatures, it’s impossible to stay truly warm unless you layer properly. Opt for a camisole, vest or long-sleeves base layer under your outfit.

Oxana (above) layers her top, cardigan and coat.

Check out this similar top, cardigan, coat, jeans, booties, belt and sunglasses.

HEAT HOLDERS thermal sleeveless top |

HEAT HOLDERS thermal sleeveless top

18. Warm tights

Melinda wears opaque tights with her leopard print skirt |

They fulfill many of the same functions as a good pair of leggings, but you may prefer to add tights to your wardrobe if you like to keep your feet covered rather than have to wear a pair of socks.

Melinda (above) wears her tights with her leopard print skirt and booties.

Get her look with this similar dress, coat, tights, booties, crossbody bag, earrings and sunglasses.

lamibaby fleece lined winter tights |

lamibaby fleece lined winter tights

19. Booties

Marina wears tan booties with jeans |

A pair of short booties are very versatile. You can wear your booties with your skirts, dresses, jeans or pants.

Marina (above) keeps her outfit neutral with a pair of tan booties with a camel coat and check scarf.

Check out this similar coat, jeans, booties, bag, scarf, necklace, earrings and sunglasses.

Clarks bootie |

Clarks bootie

20. Tall boots

Shanna wears beige boots with jeans |

As well as ankle booties, you may wish to add a pair of knee high, or over-the-knee booties. You can wear over your skinny jeans or with your dresses and skirts.

Shanna (above) wears her beige ankle boots over her jeans.

Recreate her outfit with this similar sweater, jeans, suede boots, earrings and sunglasses.

Sole Society knee high boot |

Sole Society knee high boot

21. A crossbody

Jenny wears white jeans and a crossbody bag |

As well as your clothes and shoes, you’ll want to add some accessories to your closet. A crossbody is a good match for a casual winter capsule.

Jenny (above) wears her crossbody over her outfit as well as showing that you can still wear white jeans during winter and fall.

Check out this similar sweater, jeans, booties, crossbody bag and belt.

Ted Baker London leather crossbody bag |

Ted Baker London leather crossbody bag

22. A tote

Sarah carries a Gucci tote |

If you want to fit more in than you can in a crossbody, you could choose a tote to take all of your daily essentials with you.

Sarah (above) chooses a classic tote with her check blazer and leather-look leggings.

Check out this tweed jacket that you can wear with this similar pair of leggings, combat boots and Gucci tote.

Tory Burch leather tote |

Tory Burch leather tote

Here’s how you can put them all together into one winter essentials capsule

Winter essentials capsule wardrobe |

Continue reading:

  1. How To Create The Perfect Winter Capsule Wardrobe To Keep You Cozy And Chic In Colder Weather
  2. The Ultimate Guide To Creating A Capsule Wardrobe That Works For You
  3. The Best Winter Coats For Women This Season And How To Choose A Coat

What are your own winter essentials? I’d love to hear what your favorite closet staples are during the winter months.

Like this post on winter essentials? Share it on Pinterest!

All the winter essentials you need in your closet this year |

Feature image by Abi


Sylvia is 40+style’s editor-in-chief and has been helping women find their unique style since 2011. An alumni of the School of Color and Design, she is devoted to empowering women of any age to look and feel their best. Read more about Sylvia and 40+style on this page.

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