If you’d love to see more capsule wardrobe ideas, including everyday wear, workwear or travel, visit our capsule wardrobe index here.
It’s about six weeks until spring and it’s about at this mid-way point of the season that we can start to tire of our wardrobe, especially the weekday part. To save you from seasonal wardrobe fatigue, I’ve come up with 15 ways to refresh your winter work wardrobe. Implement one or two of these ideas and you may just feel a little bit more excited to get up and get out the door for work. Maybe 🤔
1. Look through your wardrobe. I mean REALLY look. If you’ve not given it an edit and tidy for some time, then do not read any more of this post. HAH. Well, maybe skim it, and then come back after you’ve implemented this tip. Remember, you have gold sitting in your current wardrobe. It’s just waiting to be rediscovered and re-worked into an outfit. Here’s how I edit my wardrobe.
2. Outfit plan every Sunday for the working week ahead. This is always what I come back to when I find that I’m reaching for and wearing the same types of outfits or the same clothes every week. Consider it like menu planning for week-day dinners. Doing that saves time at the end of the day. Outfit planning saves time and stress at the beginning of the day. Write a list on your phone, hang your outfits up ready to go (with accessories) or use our free downloadable planner.
3. Create your own workwear capsule wardrobe. I know I talk a lot about capsule wardrobes. I do so not to limit your wardrobe choices but to maximise any purchases you make. If you can create a 15 or 30-piece workwear capsule, specific to your style and office dress code, then the weekly planning becomes simpler. You create a uniform of sorts, which I talked about in this blog post. You could take the same ideas represented in that blog post and create a winter capsule to suit your needs.
Here are a couple of examples of my work-from-home winter work wardrobe capsule …
4. Plan outfits that are different from your work-day default combinations. I know I’m SO guilty – particularly in winter – of reaching for a “jeans plus” outfit. I work from home. My jeans are so easy and comfortable to pop on and then it’s just a case of adding a top, blazer and boots if I’m heading out. But easy can quickly slide to boredom and that feeling that you don’t have anything to wear. Change things up a little; switch out the jeans for leggings and a tunic dress (#1 or #2 pictured below).
5. Challenge: make one outfit each week a totally different outfit combination that you’ve never done before. Look for inspiration by following the #everydaystyle hashtag I started in 2013 – you’ll find women of all ages, shapes and sizes from around the world sharing their daily outfits. We also have the SY Everyday Style group for Styling You subscribers. So many share their outfits in this community. Subscribe HERE.
6. Change up your weekday makeup look with a pop of lippy. The good news about making the lip the focus of your makeup look is that you don’t have to worry too much about getting the eyes looking perfect. Everyone will be distracted by the colour. I love wearing black, so in winter I love wearing a red (see #11 pictured below) or burgundy lip for interest. It immediately freshens up a neutral look.
7. (Mindfully) treat yourself. What’s the first thing that tends to happen when we get bored with our wardrobe? Yep, we get easily seduced and distracted by anything new and shiny being marketed to us. You know what? I’m ok with falling for such seduction. I’m guilty of being seduced. And disclaimer: I’m also trying to seduce with my own label – HAH. But what I want you to think about – especially as we’re on the downhill side of winter – is that if you buy anything new, make sure you do so knowing how you can wear it now AND when it warms up.
8. Block colour tops add an instant pop to existing bottoms. There are some vivid pops of colour out there in retail land – candy pink (#8 pictured below) and purple (#9 pictured below) I’m looking at you. Or maybe French navy is more you (#7 pictured below). Whichever way your colour wheel spins, the addition of a new block colour to your wardrobe can give you just the work-day lift you’re looking for. Choose a style that will transition into spring and you’ll get longevity out of your purchase.
9. Mix up your textures in one outfit. This is the perfect time of year to get tactile with what you’re wearing. Take a pleather/ponte skirt (#5 pictured below) and contrast it back with a chunky knit. Or take a slinky skirt and work it back with a tee and a leather jacket. The textural contrast is what makes the outfit sing.
10. Keep investing in animal print anything. I cannot help but rejoice that my animal print obsession continues to be marketed at as trend. This means my favourite neutral is still available on just about any piece of clothing and in just about any store. If looking to buy now, look for a print with a lighter base colour – like #1 and #6 pictured below. These will easily work back with a spring neutral colour palette when it starts to warm up. Remember animal print is a classic print that will continue to look great long after the powers that be in Fashion Land declare it “so last year, Sweetie”.
11. If in doubt, add a blazer. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Nothing finishes an outfit more completely and in a way that makes you feel put together than a blazer. If investing now, look for a colour (like #3 pictured) that will work back with your winter palette but easily transition to an early spring favourite. Office workers know that a blazer can be a year-round need on account of arctic air-con situations.
12. Invest in a new bag. I’m still ALL about the cross-body bag as an outfit accessory, even if you’re carrying a tote to work. It keeps all your essentials at the ready and means you can duck out at lunch time without having to lug your large bag with you. Guaranteed #4 pictured below will make the right accessory statement on weekdays – and it will happily do overtime to take your weekend outfits up a notch too.
13. Use hair accessories as distractions. Distract from what you ask? From three-day hair being held in place and pulled back into a pony because it’s just too damn cold and labour intensive to wash and dry it before work when you may or may not have hit the snooze button three times. Jump on the scrunchie/hair scarf and hair pin trend (#10 and #12 below) and no-one will question your necessary hair hygiene ways.
14. Change up your shoe look. Always teetering to the bus stop in heels? Swap them out with flats that look good but that are also good for your foot health. You can whip those heels out and on at the office if you really need to but if choose a style like #14 or #15 pictured then your outfit may just be complete without the day-long pain.
15. Sparkle in the day time. I’m all for sequins at any time of the day but maybe that’s a bit much for you? Why not start subtly with a pair of studs like #13? They’ll give you a little lift and it will be one of the first things others notice about your outfit. Remember, when you sparkle, you’re giving others permission to sparkle. Go forth and bring your 💫 game to the office. The world needs more sparkle. Full. Stop.
1. Styling You The Label Jane dress $169
2. Witchery dress $149.95
3. Bohemian Traders blazer $127.95 (on sale)
4. Arlington Milne saddle bag $289.95 (BabyMac Shop)
6. Belle Bird skirt $109.95 (Birdsnest)
8. Witchery shirt $119.95
9. Country Road soft blouse $159
10. Trove hair pin trio $29.95
11. ModelRock lipstick in Major Betsy $25 (Adore Beauty)
12. Nest of Pambula scrunchie $19.95 (Birdsnest)
13. Fred & Ginger studs $25
14. FRANKiE4 Footwear BEC flats $199.95
15. FRANKiE4 Footwear AiNSLEY flats $199.95
So, tell me, where are you at with your winter workwear wardrobe? Needing to freshen things up? Hanging out for spring?