Knowing how to dress for Winter among the layers and layers of clothes can be difficult. Having a French Inspired Winter Wardrobe capsule can be helpful because you can focus on specific items of clothing to mix and match.
The French are always among the most timeless and classic examples of wearing pieces over and over and looking chic. I looked to them when putting together this French inspired winter wardrobe capsule.
We all have those dreaded days when it’s too cold and dark outside and you don’t even want to think about getting dressed. The easiest thing is to throw on a pair of joggers and sweatshirts and be done but don’t let that way of thinking determine how you dress for Winter.
You can be just as chic and stylish in the Winter as you can in other months. I happen to think it’s easier to be more classic and timeless with Winter fashion than with Summer.
A capsule collection can help you with this because these are pieces you can wear year after year. No more wondering what to wear every day and getting frustrated with your closet.
The following French inspired winter wardrobe pieces are meant to be versatile and able to mix easily with other pieces in your closet. You’ll find all neutrals with a variety of price points. Sometimes, it’s better to invest in a quality item that will last for years, than to buy a cheaper version that only lasts a season.
What’s A Winter Wardrobe Capsule
A winter wardrobe capsule is all about creating mix and match outfits out of a certain number of items you have in your wardrobe. The thought behind this is it helps you to be more intentional about what you wear versus continuing to buy new clothes over and over. You start with a foundation of great basics and build out your outfits from there.
Some people will say you can only have a certain number of items but I don’t believe in that. I believe you should just have a closet full of quality pieces you love.
Start with a good foundation of basics and you will always have something to wear. The trick is just knowing how to mix and match them. When you have fewer items it forces you to get creative with what you’re wearing.
You know the old saying about 80% of your customers come from 20% of your business, well it’s basically the same when it comes to your closet.
You probably only wear 20% of what you have 80% of the time. Think about those items you tend to reach for over and over.
What Should You Have In Your French Inspired Winter Wardrobe Capsule
Again, I don’t think there should be a specific set limit of items you should have in your closet. Just make sure they are items of high quality that will last and ones you love. People tend to think a capsule collection is all about rules and that they can be quite boring.
Completely, not true. You can always dress up your outfits with great shoes, a beautiful handbag, or a stylish coat. Basic never has to be boring.
You also have to think about your lifestyle and where you live. Someone in a cold state is going to have a completely different wardrobe than someone who lives in a hot state all year.
Here’s a reference of items I’ve put together for my French inspired winter wardrobe which can hopefully give you some inspiration for your winter wardrobe capsule.
Cashmere Sweater– A great cashmere sweater is perfect for layering and one of those luxury items everyone needs in their closet. Taken care of this sweater can last for years. Make sure to buy one ethically made and with attention to quality. For a more affordable option, this Quince cashmere is great.
Oversized Sweater– For days when you want to cozy up just throw on this oversized sweater with some jeans.
Stripe Sweater– Nothing is more classical French than a striped sweater. Stripes can easily be worn with jeans or pants and layered under a blazer as well. Go for a few stripe sweaters with one black and one navy. You can never go wrong with stripes, it’s a French classic. A less expensive option is available at Mango.
Turtleneck– Easy to layer under coats and blazers and helps to keep you warm. A great option is to have it in multiple basic colors like black and camel.
Long Sleeve Tees– Practical for so many reasons, have these in a variety of colors because you will always use them. Perfect for layering and wearing by themselves.
White Tee– To layer under blazers and coats.
Knit Black Dress– A very chic Winter look is a knit black dress with knee-high boots and a long coat.
Straight Leg Denim– Huge fan of straight leg denim because you can wear them with any kind of shoe basically and they look great on everyone. I am so happy with the amount of straight-leg denim this year and hope it continues. Everlane also has a great pair of affordable options.
Flare Jeans– Perfect French look with a looser sweater and boots.
White Jeans– White jeans in Winter are beautiful especially when paired with a lighter cream sweater and boots. Think of wearing different shades of white and cream to give it a tonal look.
Black Pants– A staple for work or business meetings, you can wear black pants with blazers, sweaters, turtlenecks, and even a tee. On the weekend you can casually wear black pants with boots and a sweater.
Wool Skirt- Perfect with knee-high boots and a sweater to look stylish and chic. A wool skirt is easy enough to wear casually or dress up for work.
Grey Blazer– Just like a black blazer, a grey blazer is the perfect option for the days when you don’t want to wear a heavy coat. Wearing a blazer with a sweater underneath and a scarf. Another favorite option is this one from Everlane.
Cardigan– Another item easy to wear and layer with a turtleneck or long sleeve tee. A cardigan will help to keep you warm especially on the days you just want to throw on a pair of denim and sneakers. Another option is this long coat which could be worn as a long cardigan as well.
Black Wool Coat– When it gets colder a black wool coat is a great option to have that goes with everything.
Chelsea Boots– There are many types of this classic style of boots but the most popular right now are Lug sole. They provide better traction during the winter months and they are waterproof. I wear mine nonstop during Winter. Nordstrom also has a great selection of Chelsea boots.
Suede Boots– Suede boots are a great way to change out the style of your boots, just make sure to spray them with a protectant ahead of wearing them for the season.
Knee High Boots– To wear skinny jeans or wool skirts. Knee-high boots are functional and very chic.
Ankle Boots– A classic pair of everyday black boots is what everyone needs to last through Fall and into Winter. Get a pair made of high quality, take them to a cobbler to sole the bottoms and you’ll use them forever.
Sneakers– The best way to look chic and casual at the same time is with a pair of white sneakers. My Veja is my favorite pair to wear with jeans, pants, and even dresses.
Black Leather Bag– A great leather bag is timeless and will go with everything in your closet. Spend the investment here and it will last you a lifetime.
Tote– For carrying around more than the essentials, a tote might be necessary. Go with something unexpected like Navy and you’ll be surprised how many Winter outfits it will go with.
Where To Buy Winter Capsule Wardrobe Pieces
Always try to choose quality over quantity and this applies to your winter wardrobe as well. Hold out for a piece you love versus just buying a piece because you feel you need it. This is the whole idea of a capsule wardrobe.
I would rather pay more for a piece of clothing I know I can wear for years versus paying less for something I have to rebuy every year. With that being said, not everyone can afford to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe. So, invest when and where you can.
Here are a few of my favorite retailers for purchasing a french inspired winter wardrobe. Some are investment places and some are more affordable. I also put together a few ideas for outfits using the pieces above.
This article contains affiliate links, if you should make a purchase I will make a small commission. Merci.
This post was originally published in November of 2021, I have updated the items which originally sold out.