How to build up your winter wardrobe – Look Post

It has taken me a few years to grasp the concept of quality over quantity. I have spent copious amounts of money on clothing and shoes that have only lasted for one season. Only now have I realized that in order not to break the bank each time winter rains in, I have to start building up a sustainable winter wardrobe the smart way. How does one do this? I get asked this question a lot and up until now have not been able to answer this. Now after shopping around, doing sufficient research and chatting to those in the know I can confidently say I am able to assist YOU in creating your winter wardrobe while still looking and feeling on trend.

Very important to remember is that if you make the conscious decision to BUILD up your winter wardrobe, emphasis on the word BUILD, then you need to be prepared to do this over a period of 2 years. If you’re a woman on a budget and earn an average salary it’s extremely tough and tiring trying to build up a winter wardrobe in just one month, which is why I recommend doing this over a period of time. With the costs of clothing as it is now, most of us can only really afford to buy 2 jerseys in one month.

Know and drill this into your head, quality wins over quantity EVERY time! Spend your money on timeless pieces that will give you a 5-year wear.

Timeless pieces being:

  • Black coat
  • Good quality or genuine leather jacket
  • Black trousers / pants
  • Denim jacket
  • Camel/ cream trench coat
  • Cashmere cardigan or jersey
  • Black pair of leather boots
  • White sneakers

These are items in my opinion where I would spend the most amount of money. Essentially you want to get a full 5 year wear out of your timeless items. If you look after your clothes correctly (looking after your clothes – this is a whole new blog post still to come) you can even extend the wear of your clothes and shoes by an additional 5 years.

When buying your timeless pieces, I will always opt for a neutral colour, preferable black as black is a timeless colour and one that will NEVER go out of fashion. I also urge you to stay away from buying timeless pieces that are trend related. For example, instead of buying a leather jacket with shoulder pads, studs and buckles rather opt for a plain structured leather jacket, one that can take you through many winter seasons.  Apply the same thought process when buying all your timeless items.

Before heading into a store, plan ahead of time, ask yourself – “what is my objective?” Know what you need and go only with that item in mind. This way you won’t be distracted by all the pretty items in store calling to be bought. Put those blinkers on otherwise you will be wasting your money and end up with a wardrobe full of useless items. If you want to buy something that catches your eye, you need to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do I need this?
  2. How many different ways can I wear this item?
  3. Will this item of clothing carry me for two seasons?
  4. Is this a one-time shine kind of item?
  5. Am I only following a fad?

OK now that you have your timeless pieces in the bag, let’s move onto basics. Basics are what will make your wardrobe go a LOOOOOOOOONG way. I need to stress this if you have good basics you will never appear to be wearing the same outfit twice.

What basics should you have?

  • White & Black t-shirt & vest
  • White & Black long sleeve tops
  • Black leggings
  • Black skinny jeans
  • Denim jeans
  • Black & Grey cardigan
  • Black turtle neck
  • Black jersey

I have mentioned black a lot and that’s because black is a great basic colour for winter when needing versatility. Also remember that you could be spending a good amount of money on some good basics. Why? Basics are what will carry your wardrobe, you will be wearing these items almost every day. So it’s important to shop for quality basics that won’t fade, tear and loose shape after two washes. However, you can find great bargains at great quality, which is why it’s important to shop around.

Once you have your basics covered you can now start shopping for your “accessories” and by accessories, I don’t just mean earrings and necklaces.

I mean:

  • Handbags
  • Scarfs
  • Beanies
  • Hats
  • Jewellery

Once you have your basics you may now go out each week or so and buy a few trendy items. When I buy trendy items I don’t splurge out on these, I would much rather go to an affordable store. You don’t want to spend money on trendy items that will most probable NOT be in fashion next season. Your trendy items shouldn’t cost you more than R500.00. Your trendy items are what you will wear to create a whole new outfit each time. Trendy items combined with basics and timeless pieces will build up your winter wardrobe.

About this look:

Possible one of my favourite looks to date! Tegan and I had so much fun shooting this look, I think it’s safe to say we were both very surprised at how well this look photographed.  I wanted to shoot this look to showcase just how easy it is to wear only the basics and still have a fire outfit. I love black, and even more so if its black on black on black. All clothing items are items I would consider ‘basics’. This look can easily go from day to night with a simple shoe swap. I love how versatile leather jackets are and how they add a beautiful edge to any look.

Leather Jacket – China Town (Such a good find!)

Top, Leggings and scarf – Cotton On (Great for basics)

Boots – Woolworths (An investment piece)

Photography – Tegan Smith Photography 

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