It’s no secret that cold-weather clothes make my heart beat a little bit faster. I love the depth of warm colors, the versatility and interest of layers, and the creativity that goes into putting together a cold-weather outfit. Although Summer has it’s perks, after a few months of “shorts, t-shirt, flip-flops, repeat” I get a little bit bored. Fall and Winter, though, bring endless potential and seem to give my wardrobe a much needed boost in motivation once October rolls around.
Whether you live somewhere with a definite Fall and Winter (like I do in the mountains of CO where Fall seemed to hit especially early this year) or a warmer climate that doesn’t fluctuate much, you can (and should) be conscious of the way your wardrobe transitions with the weather to ensure it’s as seamless and conscious as possible.
These tips are constantly in the back of my mind (and on the pages of my journal) as I plan my wardrobe each season, decide which pieces to buy new, which to buy used, and what I can be content with until next year.
1 | Buying New: Make A List
One of my most important habits to curb impulse purchases or “emotional shopping” is to keep a physical wish/need list with me at all times. I keep one in my phone and another in my planner, with each divided into categories like “wear,” “home,” “want,” and “need.” If an item isn’t on my list and won’t fill a true gap in my wardrobe, I don’t buy it.
This simple practice cuts down on overconsumption and ensures that your closet is full of items you truly love, not just ones you bought at the spur of the moment.
2 | Buying New: Buy Pieces that Can Be Worn Multiple Ways
Another thing to consider when buying a new piece is it’s versatility. Especially for cold weather, pieces should be able to be worn in multiple ways, lending to their value in your closet and the amount they’ll get worn. Before you buy a piece, along with all of the other questions you should be asking (like “who made this piece?” and “were they paid fairly for their work?”) consider its practicality within your existing wardrobe. Will you be able to pair it with at least three other items in your closet? Can you layer underneath it and over the top of it? Does it allow for tucking in, layering under sweaters or dresses, or over the top of your favorite summer dress?
Questions like these will make sure that the new piece will become a staple in your closet, and won’t just be worn once or twice per year.
3 | Buying New: Fabrics Matter
One more thing to ask when you’re buying a new cold-weather piece is whether or not the fabric can withstand multiple Falls and Winters. Synthetic fabrics sold by fast fashion companies aren’t usually designed with durability in mind. They’re made to sell quickly, be worn one or two times, and then to literally fall apart.
This is why I always recommend “investment pieces” for cold weather especially. Look for brands using non-museled wool, organic cotton, or durable canvas when you’re shopping for sweaters, jackets, and coats. Toad & Co, Thought, and VETTA Capsule are my current favorites for cooler weather.
4 | Staying Content with Your Closet: Get Creative with Layers
Of course, buying new pieces isn’t always possible, so if investment pieces aren’t in your budget, consider getting more creative with the pieces already in your closet. Try layering your favorite sweater over the top of one of your summer dresses. Experiment with popping your white button up shirt tucked into a maxi dress with a cardigan layered on top for added visual interest and warmth.
Looking at your closet with fresh eyes can help you realize that you have more to work with than you thought you did.
For more tips on being a conscious consumer be sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletters.