This month marks two years since Jase and I moved from Australia to Switzerland and it is our third winter here! Looking back I don’t know how I went from an Aussie summer into the deep, foggy depths of a Swiss winter and dealt with such a big move at the same time.
I had no idea what I was in for when it came to a freezing, snowy winter. But I’m very happy to report that now I’ve gotten to know winter and all of the good things about it (and exactly how many layers 0°C days require) I’m feeling good about the season ahead. And yes our little getaway back to Australia for Christmas might also be helping my spirts!
So here it is… my sustainable winter capsule wardrobe for 2018/19…
Oh but first , if you are new around here and want a little intro on capsule wardrobes before you dive into this post you can check out my capsule wardrobe 101 series here.
My Ethical and Sustainable Winter Capsule Wardrobe ECO
One BIG change I am making this season is the conscious effort I am making to ensure any new pieces I add are coming from ethical/sustainable brands. When I first started my capsule wardrobe I always knew this was where I wanted to take it. But first I had to ditch my shopping habits (yes… borderline addiction) and get used to incorporating the concept into my life.
I am now at a point where all of that is easy breezy, and so I am taking that next step into advocating slow fashion and educating about the harm fast fashion does to people and the planet. After doing lots of research about the best (and most beautiful – because let’s face it, it’s still important to love what you wear) ethical/sustainable fashion brands I put together a list of my favourites here.
Look for the ECO symbol next to items that are from ethical and/or sustainable brands.
Black / White/Teddy + Blush / Ash Pink / Ruby
The base pieces for this sustainable winter capsule wardrobe are neutrals – black, white and teddy brown. I like to keep half of my capsule wardrobe in neutrals (which for me also includes denim) because it makes mixing and matching different pieces much easier. It’s also a good idea to choose staple pieces (that you want to keep for years) in neutrals so they are more timeless.
I’m embracing the warm colours to help me keep toasty for this capsule with three accent colours – blush (always), ash pink and ruby. I love the visual warmth these colours create – which definitely helps lift my spirits on those cold, grey days.
In my creating a capsule wardrobe post series I give guidelines around 30, 40 and 50 piece wardrobes. For my sustainable winter capsule wardrobe my total count came to 33 pieces. I have had a varying number across my capsules so far and I have found that between 35-40 is a good number to try and stick to – enough pieces to mix and match but not too many that you start to get overwhelmed with choice.
I’ve to include one cami in my sustainable winter capsule wardrobe because they are great for layering underneath sweaters and over tees or long sleeves on cooler days and they can be dressed up or down. I decided to purchase a new cami because my old black one wasn’t getting worn – I’ve decided I don’t really feel good wearing black. This cami is from a really amazing sustainable ethical brand called Bird & Kite and it will work perfectly in the warmer months by itself too.
If there is something I have learnt so far with my capsules it’s that basics go a long way. They are far easier to mix and they are more timeless – so I don’t get sick of wearing them. I’ve included a combination of five different short sleeved tops to suit my casual and travel based lifestyle. One of my new favourites for basics is Everlane – an ethical/sustainable brand with an incredible about of transparency around their products.
As you’ve probably noticed I do love my basics, or basics with a little frill, tie or ruffle! Especially in winter when tops are always getting smushed under layers of sweaters and coats – I don’t like fussy things that get crinkled.
I love including a mixture of light and heavy sweaters – the lighter ones aren’t too hot to wear inside with the heater on and the heavier ones are great for spending time outside. I’m especially in love with my new investment piece from Club Knit (hand made knitwear from Switzerland) – this chunky sweater is 100% wool and so warm I can wear it without a coat in 5°C.
My puffers are usually my go-to for everyday errands and extra cold days or nights, so that is why I have two! I’m especially excited about my Everlane Renew Short Puffer because it’s made up of 99% recycled plastic bottles. Then I have my dressier jacket and coats which I’ve tried to keep quite neutral so I they are easy to mix and match.
Obviously winter is not the best time for dresses and skirts, but when done with the right layering they can work! I always opt for short to midi length for winter, maxi skirts and dresses are just awkward with all the layers. I will layer with a thermal top underneath, and thermal leggings with boots and coat over the top! Moving forward I am also trying to choose dresses that are very classic and simple so that they last through different seasons and across the years. You can make a dress look so different with layers and accessories.
You know I’m a bit obsessed with jeans, but I did actually want to add a ‘proper’ pair of pants this season. Which I decided against because there were other pieces that were more important to update. So keep an eye out for my next capsule because I plan to work on my pants game! One new item I love is my Lucy & Yak dungarees, they have longer legs that can be rolled or left down, are made of organic corduroy and are so cute but also so versatile. I plan to layer with sweaters underneath for winter and transition to tees in spring.
Shoes is a category I have been working on minimising and also investing in classic shapes and colours to last me across seasons and years. Honestly I think I’m missing a more formal pair of closed in flats or boots this time, but I chose to invest in my new Blundstone Chelsea boots and will think about adding something more formal next time.
This capsule wardrobe has been put together for a northern hemisphere winter so is suitable for temperatures ranging from -10-15°C (15-60°F). Including a balanced mix of short sleeved tops, long sleeve tops, outerwear, bottoms and shoes, my winter capsule wardrobe has a range of layering and mix and match options to keep my looks varied throughout the season.
Work from home / Travel / Casual
We all have unique lives and styles so this capsule has been put together as an example. It also gives you some good insight into how many pieces you may want to include in each category. I work from home, travel quite a lot and have a casual style. This means that I choose comfy pieces that layer well without crinkling and are easy to pack. As an example, if you have an office job and/or dressier style you could swap long sleeve tops for blouses or button-up shirts, jeans for capris and sneakers for flats.
If you have a very contrasting style for work and home (for example you like being dressier for work and more casual for home) you may want to consider having two smaller seperate capsules to cater to both, or one larger capsule to include everything.
Want a little tour through my autumn capsule wardrobe in less than five minutes? Take a look at my try on video!
Sometimes I use affiliate links and feature products that were kindly gifted to me, all gifted items are marked with a *. However all opinions are 100% my own. I only ever recommend brands and things that I personally love!