Six fashion items to see you through this winter and beyond

As we head into the depths of winter, it can be difficult to know what to wear. 

It’s tempting to buy a whole new wardrobe when seasons change, but first, check what you already own for these hardworking items that can be worn all through the year. Easy to dress up or down, and practical as layers, these are modern classics that you’ll turn to time and time again.

White sneakers

The older we get, the more important comfort is when getting dressed. This is especially true when you’re going to be walking around all day and need to kick off your look (pun intended) with footwear. Luckily, sneakers have been a major trend for years and there’s no sign of them disappearing any time soon. The most versatile is the white sneaker, which comes in various guises from old-school slip-on types with elastic sides to the chunkier ‘dad sneaker’. Worn sans socks, they go with everything from the more obvious athleisure wear and relaxed denim to tailored pants and even boxy suiting, taking you from casual summer beachside strolls to winter gallery cruising and beyond. Try them with your favourite jeans and pants if you’re still getting used to the look, or if you’re feeling confident, pull them on to instantly bring long dresses and maxi skirts up to date. 


Perhaps the most obvious item in a list of wardrobe essentials is a pair of denim jeans. Available in all manner of fits, lengths, colours and washes, and in fabrics designed with inbuilt stretch for ease of wear and care, today’s jeans are nothing like stiff, traditional denim. Just as you would with regular pants, take the time to find a pair that makes you look and feel your best, regardless of current trends. By the same token, if you’ve worn a particular style of jean for years it may be time for an update: try a looser boyfriend cut if you need to get away from skinny-leg styles, for example. A change in your jeans silhouette can greatly alter how you style outfits, and as jeans can take you from mornings walking the dog through to lunch gatherings and all but the most formal of evenings, time spent finding the perfect pair will be well spent.

Black pants

One of the most versatile pieces in any wardrobe is a pair of black pants. Whether slim-fitting cigarette pants, softly tailored trousers or a relaxed palazzo style, they’re an ideal foundation for any outfit. Team them with flat shoes and a shirt for a classic look at any time of year, and add a jumper, scarf and warm jacket in the cooler months. For pants that work hard all year long, choose a medium weight fabric such as a cotton or viscose blend in a relaxed fit, as they can be worn on their own in summer or layered over tights or thermals in winter. 

Lightweight longline cardigan

Thanks to today’s conveniences, it’s possible to completely ignore the winter weather – we can leave a warm house, crank up the heating in the car and spend the day in air-conditioned comfort. So on all but the coldest of days, a lightweight cardigan may be all you need when indoors. In a neutral tone such as black, navy or cream, a longline cardigan gives even casual outfits an elegant finish, or choose a jewel colour or patterned version to add interest to your look. While it’s easy to wear a cardigan loose, some quick accessorising can completely change the effect – adding a narrow, subtle belt or tie at the waist can create a more streamlined, feminine silhouette, or choose a wide belt with a large buckle to make a statement. Knitted dresses are popular right now, so if the cardigan has buttons all the way down the front, try wearing it as a dress, accessorised with tights, boots and a blazer.

Grey marle T-shirt

Must-have wardrobe lists generally include white T-shirts, but white can sometimes seem too summery and make some skin tones look flat or washed out. Grey marle, on the other hand, has tonal variations in the yarn, creating a slightly textured, warm effect that works across the seasons and flatters most complexions. Style a grey marle T-shirt with the sleeves rolled up for effortless chic on a casual occasion, or use it as a neutral base to which you can add a shirt open at the collar and accessories such as scarves or necklaces. While readily available in cotton, if you can find one in a lightweight wool it will be wearable not only in the summer months but during winter as a warm base layer to which you can add jumpers, cardigans and coats

Chambray shirt

Always in style, the chambray shirt adds soft colour to wardrobes as well as infinite styling options at any time of year. Wear it buttoned all the way up and pop the collar or leave the neckline open, roll up the sleeves or leave them long with the cuffs undone, tuck it into pants or tie it at the waist – those are just some ideas for styling the shirt on its own. Once you factor in the various layering choices (over a T-Shirt or turtleneck in cool weather, peeking out from under a woolly jumper or chunky vest midwinter, and in summer, worn over your swimsuit as protection from the sun or tied around the shoulders just in case the weather gets chilly), you’ll realise that this is one item that is definitely worth the cost per wear. 

Do you have winter basics you love all year round? Why not share your favourites in the comments section below?

Also read: The dos and don’ts of ageing hair

Leeyong Soo
Leeyong Soo
Born and raised in Melbourne, Leeyong has combined her interests in words and fashion throughout her career. Starting as a fashion assistant and editor, she spent eight years at Japanese Vogue magazine in Tokyo, during which time she was also a correspondent for fashion forecaster WGSN. Since returning to Melbourne, her experience has included sub-editing and writing at community newspapers, copywriting for a major Australian fashion and lifestyle brand and various projects as a freelance writer and translator.
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