A Winter Capsule For Work: My Go-To Essentials


I have been back in the office three days a week since taking on a new role. I had not worn any of my work clothes in THREE years. I spent 2019 pregnant with our second and then the week I was supposed to go back to work was when most employers, including mine at the time, decided to do the “two-week trial” working from home. The rest, as they say, is history.

Getting Dressed For Work, Done: A Winter Workwear Capsule Wardrobe

I will be the first to admit that it’s hard to find clothing that fits because my body has changed after having a baby and having turned 40 days before giving birth. I have tried working out, but after a long day of working, adding in 2 kids, and a puppy, I am usually too exhausted to want to do anything. I do have times where I will go to hot yoga at least twice a month.

Because I’ve had to replace most of my wardrobe (I am happy with the size I am), slowly creating a winter capsule wardrobe for work was the only way I could think of to make getting dressed in the mornings so much easier. If you’re creating a winter workwear capsule wardrobe, start here:

winter workwear capsule wardrobe

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1. An Easy, Layerable Dress (Sometimes Sleeveless)

winter workwear capsule wardrobe


A dress is what I reach for on those mornings when one of the boys has been up most of the night yelling for mommy and I have bags under my eyes. The last thing I want to do as I get ready for work is put forth any effort into putting together an outfit. I like a sleeveless dress because it becomes more versatile — during the winter months, I can throw on a cardigan, a blazer, or a thin turtleneck like my go-to J. Crew tissue turtleneck.

2. Versatile Sweaters

winter workwear capsule wardrobe


Sweaters are a staple for any winter work capsule wardrobe. So many options out there in terms of style; crewneck, v-neck, mock neck, half-zip, and turtlenecks to name a few. I used to wear v-neck sweaters, but I have come to the realization that I never quite feel like myself when I wear them. As I have worked on adding versatile sweaters to my work winter capsule wardrobe, I have been gravitating towards crew neck and mock neck sweaters. I can easily layer them over a sleeveless dress and it looks like I am wearing a skirt with the dress.

3. Cotton or Silk Blouses

winter workwear capsule wardrobe


When it comes to blouses, I always go for cotton or silk because both fabrics are breathable and can be worn year-round. Thesee washable silk blouses from Quince are great to have since you don’t have to worry about getting them dry-cleaned. As much as I love color, when it comes to a capsule wardrobe, if you are just starting out, then I would suggest going with neutrals. This makes everything much easier to pair with other pieces in your wardrobe.

4. Midi Skirts (Preferably Pleated)

winter workwear capsule wardrobe


I love wearing skirts and during the winter months I prefer a pleated midi skirt or the fit and flare style. These pair well with tall boots and any other type of shoe you might want to wear. I am not a fan of wearing tights which I could get away with during the winter months when we lived in Tennessee. Now that we are in Ohio, there is no way you will catch me outside wearing a skirt and no tights. I have owned this two-pack of denier tights for almost 3 years. The thing with denier tights is that you want to go for a higher number (denier 100, etc.) because those are thicker and it takes a lot to rip them.

6. Neutral Trousers

winter workwear capsule wardrobe


No matter what kind of trousers, pants, or slacks you choose, I think a pair of black or camel trousers is essential in any work capsule wardrobe. I also like to play around with texture and to add depth to my closet I try to pick different fabrics and styles. I have a straight-leg wool pair, a faux leather pair, and a wide-leg pair. I pick what pants I wear on any given day based on my mood. Faux leather fabrics can be a bit tricky in the workplace which is why I pick the ones with a more matte look. Do not forget a pair of dark wash jeans is another great option to have on hand. I talk a bit more about that in two of my recent posts, 5 chic ways to style denim for the office and the best non-distressed jeans that you can wear to work.

5. A Tailored or Oversized Blazer

winter workwear capsule wardrobe


A blazer is one of my favorite pieces in my work wardrobe. If you are investing in one great blazer then I would suggest going with a tailored blazer. If the tailored blazer is not your style then an oversized blazer is another great option. If you are going to go for an oversized blazer then make sure you are buying one that was designed to be oversized because the fit is so much better than when you go up a few sizes.

6. Long Wool Coat

winter workwear capsule wardrobe


I tend to alternate between a long, wool coat or a puffer jacket. I prefer an oversized wool coat because it allows me to wear a bulky sweater underneath. Easy, warm and chic.

7. Comfortable, Polished Shoes

winter workwear capsule wardrobe


Loafers are a great staple to have in your closet because you can wear them year-round. They’re comfy, polished, and can dress up jeans, pants, a dress, and a skirt. Suede boots or pointed-toe heels would also make great additions to a winter capsule wardrobe.

9. A Work Bag To Fit It All

winter workwear capsule wardrobe


A great tote that can fit a laptop and withstand the test of time is one of the most versatile pieces you can invest in as part of your work capsule wardrobe. I prefer tote bags like this one from Tory Burch but on occasion, I’ll use Everlane’s Transit Backpack.

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If you have any work-wardrobe q’s, send them our way or be sure to leave us a comment.