Building yourself a capsule wardrobe, Winter edition


Ariel Wang, Dougherty Valley High School

Now that the holidays are over, we’re transitioning to the “most wonderful time of year.” Uggs and sweaters are taken out of the depths of our closets and worn again as temperatures drop.

However, there is one element that most Californians will most likely always miss: a cold winter with snow. We can only dream of snow as we admire the earmuffs and scarves sported on the East Coast. While our mild winter weather may be disappointing, here are some of my favorite winter pieces to take your mind off of our mundane seasons.

In no way is this a definitive list. There are countless pieces that could be considered “timeless” depending on personal tastes. Take all recommendations with a grain of salt, and remember that you are the best judge of your own style. 


Turtlenecks: Turtlenecks are one of my favorite pieces to layer ever. If you’re looking to purchase a turtleneck, I recommend a tighter-fitting, ribbed cotton black or white turtleneck to begin with (the lighter the fabric the better for layering).

How to style it: For a warmer winter day, layer a black turtleneck under a tank top or a graphic tee. For cooler days, layer a jacket of your choice. Top it off with a light dainty necklace.


Plaid skirts: I love investing in all types of skirts and dresses, but when it comes to picking only one out of the bunch, I would without doubt choose plaid skirts. My favorite skirt style would be low-waisted and boxy; I feel like this style is a little more chic than a schoolgirl-esque high-waisted, pleated skirt. 

How to style it: For more cohesion, match the colors of your plaid skirt to the color of your long sleeve. Pair platform oxfords with ankle-high socks to emphasize the outfit. 


Blazers: Blazers are my favorite go-to type of outerwear! I love experimenting with different styles, so I admire how versatile a plain black blazer could be. Paired with the right basics, it can transform an entire outfit.

How to style it: For one of my more business casual looks that I occasionally pull for school, I like to put on a slightly cropped black blazer over a longer white tank top to match with my medium wash, low-waisted bootcut jeans. Finish it off with your favorite black boot to tie it all together.

Knit Sweaters/Cardigans

There hasn’t been a single winter season where knit sweaters and cardigans were ignored. When I think of the winter season, the first thing that comes to mind is being bundled up in a cozy cardigan, drinking a cup of hot cocoa while a cheesy Hallmark movie plays in the background. However, most knits pill easily, so I recommend either saving up to invest in a high-quality cashmere sweater or durable cotton sweaters.

How to style it: Shrug on a classic, oversized cream knit cardigan over a patterned multicolor sweater for a snug, comfortable look. 

Shoes & Accessories

Oxfords: When opting for a more formal, classy look, pull on a pair of oxfords to elevate your entire look. Oxfords are incredibly versatile and can take you anywhere from semi-formal to the most formal events. If you’re just as in love with its closed lacing design as I am, I would definitely recommend investing in a high-quality vegan leather/leather pair of oxfords.

How to style it: For a more feminine look, layer white ruffled socks underneath black oxfords to create a beautiful contrast. Pair this with a v-neck collared sweater and a skirt to show off the accessory details. 

Black Tights: While we can’t have earmuffs and winter gloves, black tights are the next best thing. Whenever I want to wear a skirt or a dress in California’s mild winter, I opt for black tights to not only keep my legs warm but also tie in an entire outfit.

How to style it: Layer black tights under a dress or skirt of choice and tie the black together with a pair of platform combat boots or oxfords.