How to create a teenager winter capsule wardrobe on a budget

How to create a teenage winter capsule wardrobe on a budget

Charlotte McArdle Fashion, How to 29 Comments

Editor’s note: Last week the author of this post, Charlotte McArdle, came to spend a week with me doing work experience. I don’t usually take on school-aged work experience students but Charlotte is the youngest daughter of a girlfriend I first met 23 years ago in ante-natal classes. Charlotte is motivated and excited about working in the digital media space around fashion. Even though she’s just 15, she’s started a blog (it’s not yet public – I’ll share it when she’s ready!). She took to the writing and capsule curating task I set her below like she’s been doing this for some time. Read on for her tips – you don’t need to have a teenage daughter to pass this on to, you may just want some of these pieces for yourself! Nikki


Being a teen in Australia, winter clothes that are practical for our weather and are on-trend can be hard to find, especially at a reasonable price that our weekend jobs can afford.

To help you help your teenage daughter (or maybe you like a good bargain shop yourself), I’ve taken on a challenge to create a 15-piece budget teenage winter capsule wardrobe, plus I’ve included my tips for shopping for a teenage winter wardrobe. 

How to create a teenage winter capsule wardrobe on a budget | Charlotte McArdle for Styling You

I’m wearing (from my wardrobe): Glassons top; Seed culottes; Dissh denim jacket; Country Road slides

9 tips on how to create a winter capsule wardrobe 

  1. A new season offers a new opportunity to change up your style

Winter screams fresh. Fresh screams clean slate. This season is an opportunity to switch up your style. Whether you’re going from chic to vintage or statement to minimalism, use the change in seasons to mix things up.

  1. Pair a mix of seasonal fashion pieces

Before you shove all of your summer pieces to the back of your drawers, remember that in some parts of Australia, we don’t need to be 100% rugged up to fight off the non-existent snow. Pairing some of our tees and camis with a jacket and jeans can make for a perfect, everyday winter outfit.

  1. Spend more on winter staples

The winter staples such as jeans, jacket, and boots aren’t easy to find at a budget price but you’ll need these items to complete an outfit. So, for winter, part with that extra cash and buy an item that will will work throughout the season and for seasons to come.

  1. Beanie or hat?

Some winter days can feel like your ears are about to fall off and something that covers them is essential. Controversy sparks over whether beanie or hat is the more fashionable option. This decision is completely up to you! Sometimes beanies aren’t too popular purely for the fact that some people (including myself) feel like they look like a frog in them. You’ll never know whether you’re going to rock it or become my fellow frog sibling until you try it out. If beanies simply aren’t your thing, then make the most out of your caps from summer or treat yourself to a new one!

  1. Where should I go if I’m looking for more winter items?

Being a teenager, sometimes we’re too big and the styles are too childish to wear items from the “kids” section at stores and other times the sizes are too big and the styles too mature for our age in the women’s section. Particular places I’ve found that offer the best of both worlds are: H&M, Sportsgirl, Glue store, Cotton On and ASOS.

  1. Comfort is key

If you’re going out with friends and you feel like the world has been frozen over by Princess Elsa (no matter how many times I watch that movie, I swear, I can’t get enough!), but you know that your friends will still wear shorts with a crop and maybe a jacket, break the chain. You know deep inside your going to be uncomfortable and shivering all night, so instead enjoy your night and dress how you’d like to! In comfort!

  1. When in doubt, always pack it

If you’re going out and don’t know whether you’ll be too hot if you wear your jacket or you’ll be too cold if you don’t bring it, here’s an easy solution: always pack it. I know it may be annoying to tug around with you, but, trust me, you’d rather be hot than freezing cold and wanting to go home.

  1. Keep your body warm from your feet up

Maybe it’s just what my parents told me, or maybe it’s known fact, but apparently, your body heat escapes fastest through your feet. Rug up those toes. Although, on the days it’s just a bit chilly but not freezing, I like to pair pants with a nice pair of slides. I’d suggest not wearing the socks and slides, but hey, that’s only my opinion. You do you.

  1. Accessorise it up

I feel in summer the extent we go with accessories is maybe adding a purse and a nice pair of studs. Now that it’s winter the accessories are endless. Complete your outfit with a statement earring and a minimal handbag or a bold pair of boots with a simple cuff.

The capsule below is my style: classic minimalist. It might not be your style but you might use this as a starting point to create capsule that is more your style using the foundation pieces as your base. Each piece is priced at $30 or less (except the boots).

You can choose how casual or formal you want each outfit combination from this capsule to be. Each item can easily be dressed up or down with whatever you accessorise it with. Don’t forget to check what’s already in your wardrobe before you go shopping for more clothes and accessories. Don’t forget your mum or sister’s wardrobes either. You may find that the handbag your mum is about to throw out will work perfectly with your new winter culottes.

How to create a teenager winter capsule wardrobe on a budget

1. H & M top $14.99 

2. H&M dress $19.99 

3. H&M top $24.99 

4. H&M sweater $29.99 

5. H&M sweater $29.99

6. Sportsgirl earrings $12.95

7. Sportsgirl tote bag $29.98  

8. H&M jeans $29.99 

9. Kmart culotte pants $18 

10. H&M scarf $14.99 

11. Sportsgirl pouch $24.95 

12. Sportsgirl cuff $14.99 

13. Sportsgirl slides $19.95 

14. Rubi Shoes sneakers $29.95 

15. Rubi Shoes boots $49.95 

So, tell me, got a teen or a tween girl in your house? Where does she like to shop? See anything you’d like for yourself?

Comments 29

  1. Please do more teen posts – there is lots of fashion out there that just isn’t practical – my daughter 16 loved this post – gave her lots of ideas!

  2. Thank you so much for this Nikki and Charlotte! This is wonderful. My daughter is just going into teens and already I am lost. I find shoes the hardest to find

  3. Thanks Charlotte for a great capsule wardrobe. My nearly 16 year old daughter not only shops at the stores you recommended but also picks up pieces from Dotti, she got some well priced boots and Denim jacket from from Myer with their Super Saturday sales too.
    Thanks Nikki for posting this. It was great for a Mum to read. Sharon

  4. My 13 year old has many similar pieces, her favourite shop to buy clothes from would probably be Sportsgirl, which was also my fave back in the day. The one issue I do find frustrating is the lack of decent shoes (I would not regard Rubi shoes to be decent, just cheap) in bigger sizes. She is a size 42 or 11 and so many places don’t like to make shoes bigger than a 41 or 10.

    1. Haha I’m the same! I need to know where all the “soft” sporty clothes are for my 16 year old son! He’s not fashion conscious at all – just wants everything in t-shirt fabric – hard to find!!!

  5. Great post! I’m 32 and want most of these goodies. I hope that means you’ve picked classics and I’m not trying to find my inner teen! 🙂

  6. Great mix, my 12 year old would love all these. I can’t find the bag online though do you know the name?

    1. Hi Lisa, Charlotte (author) here, I’m not too sure where that bag has gone? I looked at the Sportsgirl website and it seems to have gone. Other bags from Sportsgirl I recommend, would be the ‘Mina Drawstring Tote Bag’ or ‘Becky Spliced Sling Bag’ which are both under $30 also!

  7. I showed my sixteen year old – who lives and breathes fashion and styling – she loves the winter capsule and really enjoyed reading the blog post. It’s a thumbs up from your friends in Melbourne.

  8. A great post – original and funmy writing. Love the line about being a frogs and beanies. Very talented young woman.

  9. I have just shared this post with my 14 year old grandaughter. Me thinks there is a shopping trip in the wind with Granny:-)

  10. Thanks for sharing Nikki, my Miss is 12 and is wanting to create her own Instagram page to show her style. Another cheap and cheerful option is Boohoo and currently I’m impressed by shoes in Kmart and $30 boots and metallic sneakers in Rivers. Good luck to Charlotte and please let us know when her blog launches.

  11. Gorgeous capsule wardrobe and tips for young girls! Fantastic post Charlotte,thank you for sharing Nikki Xx

  12. What a fantastic opportunity for Charlotte, bet she loved every minute of her week with you! I enjoyed this post, will read Charlotte’s blog for sure. My granddaughter who is 11 going on 25 (as they do) loves clothes and shopping. She would love most of Charlotte’s picks, and I wouldn’t mind a few of them in my wardrobe either. x

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