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Your basic winter wardrobe

The big question is what makes up your basic winter wardrobe.

Well, what do you need?

The winter season can vary dramatically from moment to moment. Because of this, you'll need a quite a range of different items to suit the winter climate where you live or travel to.

When deciding on what winter clothes you need, you'll have a wide range of winter clothing to choose from as there are many department, retail clothing stores and sports store. Getting winter clothes orientated is key to keeping warm and comfortable during winter. Your basic winter wardrobe is going to include quite a wide range of clothing, footwear and accessories.

Here are the key items you'll need for your basic winter wardrobe. Now, you'll need several sets of the same things too so you can mix and match. At a minimum, having upwards of about ten plus combinations for your upper body and five to ten different types of winter-weight pants would serve you quite well for a winter season.

Basic winter wardrobe 

You'll need a variety and several multiples of the following:

  • Winter-weight pants
  • Long-sleeved heavier weight shirts
  • Turtlenecks
  • Long-sleeved winter tops or t-shirts
  • Long underwear
  • Sweaters and cardigans, shawls

For men, here's what the list would look like taking physical shape in your wardrobe:

Men's winter clothing wardrobe

For women, here's what your winter clothing would look like. There's more though ... you might also need several sets of winter suits and skirts, a few winter dresses and perhaps some formal winter attire for that special event too.

Women's winter clothing wardrobe

Be winter-aware

Here are some insights and recommendations that I've found to work very well for me over the years in preparing and enjoying the winter season. You can probably add your own recommendations after a winter season or two.


  • Warm clothes that you can use for both indoors and outdoors. The difference is how many layers to add when outside or take off inside
  • Adding or taking off layers is the key to a comfortable winter, both indoors and outdoors
  • Some materials are better than others like fine thin wools or man-made synthetics so there is less weight on you to carry around
  • Wearing textured tights or thick legging under long pants and skirts works well for women
  • Wearing zipped fleece sweaters or jackets are very warm and are lightweight
  • Wool and fleece are the warmest fabrics
  • A loose fitting outdoor coat to allows you to add layers underneath it if necessary.


  • Boots must have thick non-slip or rubber soles so you won't slip on ice. This is really important!
  • Boots with thick-soled insulation to better keep your feet warm
  • Buy waterproof boots that cover your ankles to minimize any cold drafts
  • Mid-calf boots that has insulation adds extra comfort
  • Buying boots slightly larger to accommodate thicker socks is something to consider. Not too much as you don't want your feet to slide too much
  • Wool socks keep your feet warmer unlike cotton or cotton/poly blends.

Outdoor clothing

  • Coats with zip-up fronts keep the wind and cold out better than coats that have buttons
  • Fur trims on hats, gloves, jackets and boot tops add further warmth and style
  • The weight of wool coats versus the lighter man-made fibre coats or jackets. Is it a consideration? Wool will definitely be heavier to wear
  • Mid-length jackets or coats offer better protection over more of your lower body.


  • Hats should be wool or fleece as they are the warmest fabrics to wear on your head anytime. Remember, most of your body heat is lost through the top of your head.
  • Wearing a scarf around your neck keeps the draft out and allows you to have something soft around your face to reduce the impact of the wind or cold
  • Gloves need to have a good warm lining and definitely be waterproof.


  • Wear cosy flannel pajamas and long flannel sleeping shirts instead of lightweight summer cottons
  • Sleep on comforting flannel bed sheets too instead of cool cotton sheet sets.

Winter sports clothing

  • Ski clothing should be as warm as possible as you'll be spending hours outside in the snow and cold
  • Wear multiple layers of clothing, usually three layers including the outer waterproof layer
  • Sports jackets with elasticized wrists and ski pants with elasticized ankles to keep the snow and cold out
  • A jacket hood is essential so you can pull it over your hat to add that extra layer against the winter winds
  • Choose waterproof and windproof materials for any outdoor sports clothing
  • Same goes for any other winter sport that you do outdoors like skating or tobogganing.

There are other things to know about how to assemble your winter wardrobe. Getting winter orientated is important. Learning about the best winter clothing strategy that works in all types of winter weather from coast to coast is also important.

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