Winter Clothing Essentials: our winter wish list

We’ve been asked a few times now what we consider to be winter clothing essentials, and now that the summer stock is all on sale and the winter clothing collections are starting to trickle in, we figured now was a good time to put together our winter wish list.

In doing this, we have to note that we’ve put together this list from the perspective of people who live in a cold climate, with even colder winters: obviously if you live somewhere warmer, your winter wish list will look completely different – please feel free to tell us about it in the comments!

1. A great coat

If we could only purchase one thing for winter, a great (and warm!) coat would be right at the top of our list. The right winter coat is well worth investing in: some days it’ll be the only thing people see you wear, after all, and if you choose well, it’ll last for years. We like to stick to fairly neutral colours, so the coat will work with different colours of shoes and tights, but a bright colour can also be a great way to cheer yourself up in the dark days ahead – and stand out from the crowd. This season, we’re loving classic camel – ideally in cashmere, but any warm fabric will do! (If your climate is particularly cold, and you spend a lot of time outdoors, you may also want to get yourself a puffy, weatherproof jacket of some description too)…

2. Smart Boots

Once you have the coat covered, it’s time to think about what to put on your feet. We like to have a pair of knee boots (to wear with skirts and dresses) plus a pair of ankle or shoe boots (to wear with trousers), either heeled or flat, whichever you prefer.

3. Practical Boots

If you live in a very cold climate, or do a lot of walking or outdoor activities, you’ll probably also want to invest in a pair of snow or rain boots: ones that will hold up to whatever kind of weather your country likes to throw at you, and allow to to trek safely over snow and ice.

4. A selection of knitwear

Cardigans, sweaters, knitted dresses… you can’t have enough of them at this time of the year, so if you find something you love at a price you can afford, it’s worth stocking up on a selection of colours and patterns. Cardigans are great for layering over dresses or short-sleeved tops to keep out the chill, while sweater dresses can look casual or dressed-up, depending on what you wear with them. For hanging out at home, some kind of zip up hoodie could also come in handy.

5. Tights in a variety of colours and patterns

Gone are the days when tights were black or tan, and that was it. These days they come in every colour and pattern imaginable, and while the trusty black opaque will always have its place, hosiery can be a great way to inject a bit of fun and personality into an outfit. Thick socks are also great for wearing under boots.

6. Scarf, hat & gloves

You know what they say about losing most of your body heat through your head, and the extremities are always the first to feel the pinch of cold, so these are practical essentials, although they can also be fashionable ones. We’re currently loving the look of wide-brimmed floppy 70s-style hats for this winter, but fedoras are always stylish, and it’s hard to go wrong with a beanie or beret.

7. Layering pieces

You’ll feel warmer, and be able to adjust your temperature better, in lots of thin layers rather than one thick one. Long-sleeved t-shirts are perfect for wearing under dresses and sweaters, while leggings can also make a good alternative to tights under a dress. If it gets really cold, consider thermal versions of these instead: you won’t regret it!

8. A great-fitting pair of jeans

We’d argue that these are an all-year-round essential, but a good pair of jeans will come in particularly handy during the cooler months, so if you haven’t found the perfect pair, now’s the time to look!

And there you have it: our winter wardrobe essentials! What are yours, though?


  • August 5, 2010


    Pretty much the same… warm coats, scarves, gloves, jumpers… and above all, boots, boots, boots! Of course hosiery too, and jeans. A nice waistcoat is also “recommendable”, long sleeved-blouses and jackets… I love to wear skirts and dresses, although it’s more difficult in the winter (freezing legs!) But anyway, I still prefer them to pants… even freezing!

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  • August 5, 2010

    Dial V for Vintage

    Layering indeed! I usually wear skirts so when it gets really cold I wear 2 pairs of tights (nylon or wool) and some knee high socks on top of it. I always wear underskirts or I layer two skirts. And lots of scarves, gloves, a warm (but stylish) coat and ankle boots! I like to keep warm during the wintertime ;-).

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  • August 5, 2010


    Love all your choices, where did you get the cardigan & jumper from? I NEED then! lol x

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  • August 5, 2010


    Not for everyone, but my unashamed love of Doc Martens usually sees me right through the winter…
    I can never seem to justify buying another pair on my budget though… handy that they last forever.

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  • August 5, 2010

    Minnie Burton

    My winter essentials can be seen here!

    But for me I can’t get through winter without

    2 coats! 1 casual for shopping and running errands. 1 more dressy and cute.
    Jumpers and lots of them.
    Thick dresses and tights.
    Sensible warm uggs.
    Not so sensible high boots.
    Gloves, scarves and hats.
    Numerous cups of tea to keep the winter gloom out.
    AND lots of moisturise as my skin gets so damaged in cold weather!

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  • August 5, 2010


    I can’t exist without long fingerless gloves.
    I work retail, and my boss insists on leaving our door open all the time. So I have to keep my hands and forearms warm, but still need to be able to type.

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  • August 5, 2010


    Oooh whereas the stripe jumper from??

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  • August 5, 2010

    The Fashion Police

    For the people who were asking about the illustration, the cardigan is from Miss Selfridge and the sweater is from Debenhams 🙂

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  • August 6, 2010


    Jackets! As in, jackets that you can wear underneath a coat. I’m a huge fan, because a smart jacket can make jeans and a t-shirt look dressy.

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  • August 6, 2010


    I always say I’m gonna spend the winter in cute skirts, wooly tights and boots, and then like, as soon as I wake up and it’s cold its jeans and hoodie time. Not this time…I am gonna try sososo hard to be rocking the skirts in winter look!

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  • August 7, 2010


    Great list. I solved the bulky jumpers/cardis/jacket problem with cashmere sweaters and cardis that are warm but really thin. I even have sleevelss cashmere tops that are perfect for the in between seasons and they work well for layering. Best coat ever is my pure camel hair long coat found in a charity shop.

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  • August 9, 2010


    Cuddl duds are a need for me, they’re great for layering because they’re so thin, but they’re very warm. I’ve worn the leggings under tights with a wool skirt and tall boots in a Wisconsin January, and did just fine.

    Also, don’t forget the wonder that is a good set of earmuffs or an earband. They’re awesome for when you don’t want to cover your whole head, but you don’t want to have frozen ears either.

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  • August 21, 2010


    I’ve got basically the same thing, but I’m very tall, so tights don’t work as well on me. I wear thick long socks instead. ^^” Nice mittens are a must, I bike, and your hands FREEZE. Mittens help save heat. Oh, and a huge thermos full of tea!

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  • September 21, 2010


    I love it when it gets to this time of year and I can start thinking about winter essentials. The coats in French connection this year are beautiful so I’m looking to invest in one of those, also I am loving the snoods that I’ve seen this season, very cute but warm and practical.
    Amy xx

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  • […] perfect time to get your closets ready with all the warmer clothing you’ll need. Choose some affordable staples that will keep your whole body warm and layer easily for those times when one layer just […]

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