Winter Wardrobe Essentials

winter wardrobe essential featured image

January 11, 2022

I’m Julie.
After my life transformed through style, my mission became sharing that process to help women experience that same magic - to live out the life of their dreams, too.

One of THE biggest pain points I hear from women when it comes to their closet: putting together an outfit feels like the world’s most complicated jigsaw puzzle.

“Why do I have SO many clothes and feel like I have nothing to wear?”

Sound familiar?

There are a few reasons you might be feeling this way, and we are going to tackle one of those reasons now.

But before we do – if you want to hit this pain point at its core, it starts with a CLEAN SLATE!

That means an epic closet cleanout to clear that decision fatigue that’s cluttering your closet, making your “what do I wear” decision MUCH harder than it needs to be.

If you need some help with what to keep and what to toss – this blog post should be very helpful.

Ok – so now what?

We’ve cleaned out – fresh, clean slate.

If you feel like you have nothing to wear, there are a few reasons you might feel that way. One of those reasons: you might not have the right pieces to create unlimited outfits. Those versatile pieces you can mix and match for a wardrobe that works for you with outfit potential you can be excited about – instead of overwhelmed by.

So let’s make sure you have closet building blocks, shall we? That means the essential pieces that are going to create a closet of endless outfit options because they can be mixed and matched in a number of ways.

I found multiple options for each of these essential pieces for fall and winter – all linked below as well as in this ULTIMATE WARDROBE CHECKLIST which covers all the seasons!

Good news! While these pieces are essential for a versatile (and stylish!) winter wardrobe, most of the pieces will be essential for you year-round, and not JUST during the cold months. #winning

Let’s break down each piece, along with links to multiple choices for each items that I’ve chosen at an array of different price points and styles to cover many different body type and tastes!

Here we go!


Throw on a sweater with jeans – blue or black OR with a skirt OR leggings. A lightweight, chunkier, and a turtleneck sweater are three different sweaters that are essentials for a versatile wardrobe (especially in the cooler months). A couple of neutral sweaters go a long way. I tend to like to size up one in most sweaters to get that effortless, oversized look and keep what I’m wearing on the bottom more fitted to keep the outfit balanced.

Lightweight Sweater

A light sweater will be the perfect layering piece for casual or dressy affairs. Pair with anything from jeans to leggings to a skirt and you have an essential that works for you in a number of different ways – and through the seasons!

Chunky Turtleneck

A chunky turtleneck will serve the same purpose as a cozy sweatshirt, but a stylish version, equally as comfortable. Style with jeans and booties, leggings, or even a skirt for a chic, cozy look that will be equal parts style and comfort.

Lightweight Turtleneck

A perfect layering piece that can be worn alone with denim, boots, and a belt for a clean, chic look, or can be worn under a vest, jacket, sweater – you name it! A lightweight turtleneck is a winter staple not to be missed!


Long Sleeve Blouse

Blouses – think of them as a piece that you can not only wear a little more dressy to the office or to dinner – but they’re super chic with distressed denim, or even shorts!

Button Down Blouse

A button down doesn’t have to be dressy – but it can be! Pair it with denim to feel more casual and an underutilized way to wear a button down? Over a bathing suit! Makes an amazing coverup.

Long Sleeve Top

Basic tops! They’re the base of your outfits so some great staples are going to be amazing to layer up with jackets, scarves, and accessories to change up your look. A bodysuit is an option that will be a seamless staple to wear alone or layer without worrying about tucking!

Long Sleeve Bodysuit

A bodysuit is an option that will be a seamless staple to wear alone or layer without worrying about tucking!


Long Open Sweater

A long open sweater/duster and a short cardigan will add a third piece that is equally parts warm and comfortable, without sacrificing style, while giving you options for which length suits your outfit that visually pleasing.

Short Cardigan

Wear a short cardigan alone as your top or layer it over a tank, bodysuit, long sleeve top, or even over a dress or paired with a skirt. So many options!


Blazers and light jackets are another layer that adds instant elevation to your cami, your tank, or your t-shirt. And when you think of a blazer, I know you’re thinking the transitional pants-suit – and YES I do love a good pants-suit, but blazers are SO modern and versatile, while still keeping class. You can wear it with shorts, with jeans, over dresses – endless styling possibilities!

Moto Jacket

These jackets need their own category, too. A leather jacket is one of THE easiest ways to add instant-chic to any outfit. Over leggings, a dress, jeans – literally – anything! Actually – they’re one of my favorite things about fall fashion. The selection is incredible this year, and at all different price points. If you don’t already have one – this is one of the first pieces to consider adding from the sale!


Long Coat

A long, more dressy coat option, and then a more dressed down option that makes you feel good are essentials to complete your look in the fall and winter. In fact, a great coat can MAKE your whole outfit.

Puffer Coat

Choose the fit and color to math your body type and preference – a puffer or down jacket can dress an outfit down, while still feeling chic – as long as you choose a flattering fit!


Blue Denim

I’m a big believer that we should have at least one pair of QUALITY jeans that we love and fit us well, that we know will last! To note about denim: relaxed and flare styles are definitely “in style” – however – choose denim that complement YOUR figure! Regardless of what’s in style – you’re going to feel best in what looks best on YOU!

Black Denim

Black denim is a staple for fall and winter. They’re a great alternative to a traditional blue denim.


Dress them up, dress them down – feel like you’re in PJs, but look like a million bucks? Sign me up! One of the most versatile bottoms that is underutilized, but packs a punch!

Legging/Ponte Pant

If you’re stuck in the “leggings” rut – I recommend upgrading those babies! Try one with a sheen for an elevated look. And a great more dressed up alternative? A ponte pant. They can be worn dressy or casual alike, but will feel more put together than a plain legging.

Midi Skirt

Think about skirts the same way you think about dresses. An alternative to pants that can be worn just as easily with a sweater as it can be with a fitted turtleneck. Throw on some combat boots, tall boots, or booties – and you have an instantly stylish fall look. The basic skirt selection is fabulous this year!


Long Sleeve Dress

Contrary to what you might think about dresses – they do NOT have to be just dressy! They can be, of course, but they can easily transition from the office to happy hour to weekend casual. Simply change out your shoes and layer and you have a fabulous core piece in your wardrobe that makes you feel like a million bucks!


Fashion Sneaks

We don’t ONLY have to be in tennis shoes to be comfortable. We can be comfortable WHILE still fashionable! LOVE a great pair of “fashion sneakers”. They’re a really fun way to incorporate a print you love AND even get crazy with some glitter 😉


Another comfy and stylish alternative to sneakers, plus a bit more dressy – is flats or mules. These are a great transitional shoe when it’s a little chilly for sandals, but still not quite freezing! They’re also great for the office! They work casually so I love their versatility to transition from work to play.

High Boot

A high boot can be worn with dresses, skirts, denim – you name it. Extra perk – they’ll keep your legs warm!


BOOTIES! Flat, heeled – little heel, skinny heel, chunky heel – you do you on that one. Choose what will be most functional for you, but a great boot or bootie is OH so important – a neutral one, a black one, a printed one – whichever most of your closet will go with!

Combat Boot

These needed their own category. Why? 1 – Instant chic & cool. 2 – Comfort! They’re so much fun to style and practical – because they’re comfortable! Just as easy to pair with a pair of leggings as they are with a dress. If they’re out of your comfort zone – even better! Time to experiment


Sunnies, Bags, Hats – oh MY! Finishing touches that can change your look in a snap, add some instant-chic, and you can wear year round.


I have “real” sunglasses and I have plenty of dupes. And while I love my Amazon sunnies, there is a CLEAR difference in quality between sunglasses that are $15 and the real thing.


Meet your hair’s best friend in the fall and winter – a fedora or panama style hat. You might not think you can pull it off – but you CAN! Try it, own it, and rock it! It’ll hide your dirty hair, it’ll cover it when it rains and it is INSTANTLY stylish.


A bag is a great way to show your style personality and a nice touch to elevate your look. Bags often go overlooked, but remember they’re just as much as part of your outfit as your clothing and can MAKE your outfit!


Belts are another category that will add to your outfit, change its look, and add the third piece to tie your outfit together.


A fabulous way to add color, pattern, pops of print – while keeping warm.

And there you have it! Basics that will work together for a versatile wardrobe. Want over a year’s worth of outfits already done for you? Check out my outfit guide where I’ve done all the leg work for you using all the pieces covered here.

And want to take it even further to learn all things creating a wardrobe of your dreams? My free class takes you through my proven framework. Watch it on demand here.

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Julie Kraus | Stylist
〰️ I help you take the struggle out of style
Founder of CHIC▫️Podcast Host▫️Mom of 2