Here in Australia, autumn has fled leaving winter in its wake.
You can definitely feel the seasonal change. Crisp mornings where the cold bites at your toes and makes you want to curl under the blankets just that bit longer. Outside our kitchen window is a maple tree and I’ve enjoyed watching it, each morning, gradually turning from green to gold. Now, it’s lost most of its leaves.
I’m a “cold frog”, as my mum would say (I have no idea where that saying came from, but it means that I feel the cold acutely). She’s not wrong. Maybe it’s because I grew up in sunny Queensland where coats and scarves were rarely necessary. Maybe it’s because I’m twenty-six going on eighty – something that my husband laments when I rug up in my oversized pink dressing gown with a cup of tea in hand (I think it’s been one of the best presents I’ve ever received – he disagrees). Whatever the reason, because I tend to live in a coat from March to October having a solid winter wardrobe is important.
While it takes time, curating a collection of classic pieces that can keep you warm and looking polished season after season is well worth the effort.
Below is a list of the basic foundations of my autumn / winter wardrobe. I guess it’s a capsule wardrobe of sorts, but I like to think of it as foundations to build upon, with a few selected statement pieces thrown in for interest and good measure. Kind of like your basic colour wheel from which you can blend different shades and colours. Although some of these items might seem obvious at first, it can be helpful to have them listed in one place so that, at a glance, you can see what staples might be missing.
Although some of the pieces might be investments, because they are classic styles and good quality they last a long time. Remember, you can build up these foundational pieces over time when you find items that you really love and add to it, mindfully, when needed.
1. A neutral coloured coat
Coats are the stars of my winter wardrobe. They pull an outfit together and if chosen and looked after well, they last. I like neutral coloured coats made of good quality fabric with a classic cuts and which are, most importantly, warm! I’m a fan of the beautiful coats made by Country Road or Witchery such as here. Don’t be afraid to shop vintage either, they can be a great way to find one-of-a-kind pieces. As mentioned in my post slower style, I found a beautiful camel coloured coat from an op-shop. Although I haven’t tried shopping at them yet, the Outnet or the The Real Real might be a good place to check out for designer brands at a more affordable price (my understanding is that the Outnet is an outlet for designer items, whereas The Real Real sells second-hand designer items).I
2. A puffer jacket
This piece definitely has warmth in its favour and it literally feels like being wrapped up in a blanket all day! It also lends itself to travelling because it can be compressed and doesn’t crease – practicality for the win! I’ll admit that I haven’t quite mastered the puffer jacket look like the masters (for example, here) but it seems keeping things simple with some jeans or black tights and boots is the way to go.
3. A neutral coloured woollen sweater
When I received my first navy cashmere sweater as a generous present from my mother-in-law I hadn’t realised that there was another way to stay warm without layering on jumper after jumper. The sweater she gave me keeps me feeling toasty on the most blustery of days. I’ve been eyeing off a few beautiful sweaters from Arlington Milne (again, I haven’t tried them but have seen them in a local gift store and they look lovely) and this merino one from Country Road. A word of warning – to make woollen jumpers last as long as possible, follow the washing instructions on the label and don’t put them in a hot wash or in the dryer.
4. Jeans - need I say more?
Pick your favourite style and colour. Black skinny jeans are definitely a staple in my wardrobe, but I also love the classic straight leg jeans. Eventually, maybe I’ll even be lucky enough to find some vintage Levi 501s. The beauty of jeans is that they should last a long time, even with heavy wear.
5. Tailored pants
I currently own a pair in black which is a staple of my work wardrobe and always make me feel like Audrey Hepburn when I’m wearing them – here’s one slightly similar.
6. A few light weight, long sleeved tops, bodysuits or jumpers
These lightweight layers are great for layering without looking bulky. I like to choose neutral colours or classic patterns such as stripes or polka dots because they can mix and match with other items easily – but really, whatever takes your fancy. A pair of jeans, one of these tops, a coat and you’re done!
7. A PAIR OF BOOTS AND SOME FLATS
Australia rarely drops below zero degrees Celsius, so even a “cold frog” like me doesn’t wear boots everyday. I have a pair of ankle boots and then usually wear ballet flats and runners the rest of the time. I can imagine this would be different if you lived in a colder climate If you need inspiration, I do love Bared Footwear’s latest collection.
8. A good scarf
I always feel warmer if my neck is covered and a scarf is a fun way to add a print or colour. Plus, you can find some really beautiful vintage scarves.
So there you have it, eight staples that form the foundations of my Autumn and Winter wardrobe.
I mix things up and add additional pieces here and there (I’m currently looking for a good blazer but haven’t found one yet – I’d love any recommendations). However, on a day-to-day basis I tend to live in these staples and if you have the basics covered it’s a lot easier to add in a few thoughtful and fun pieces now and again.
What autumn / winter basics do you have in your wardrobe? I’d love for you to let me know in the comments below.
The links in this post are not sponsored – I just like these brands. Photos are by my talented friend Adie.