winter wardrobe

The Secret To The Perfect Fall, Winter Wardrobe: Start Stocking Up Now

I’m a summer girl at heart, but the styles that consistently win over that heart are those meant for fall and winter. So, I figured I should share the best-kept secret to finally attaining that cooler-weather wardrobe that you dream of all year, alongside the pumpkin-flavored beverages and cozy holiday parties that dance in your mind. Ready for it? It’s simple…

Start now.

No, I’m not crazy. I recognize that we’ve barely broken 100 degrees here in Arizona, but I mean it. If you wait until the cool temps are nipping at your front door, you’ll have to spend a fortune all at once shopping for what you need — or be left to pine over what you wish you had. Start by setting aside a predetermined amount you can (reasonably) afford to spend per paycheck on clothes through the end of the year. Smart financial planners call this budgeting; we can call it “necessary fashion investing.”

If you give yourself $100 per paycheck for smart shopping starting now, you will have a vast closet enviable by the world’s most style-conscious come December.

I begin by making a list of my winter wardrobe essentials. If you must know, this includes:

  • jeans,
  • skinny jeans (to wear with boots),
  • boots,
  • cardigans,
  • boots,
  • jackets/sweaters,
  • long-sleeved shirts,
  • and did I mention boots? (Clearly, I have an unhealthy obsession.)

But really, make a list. Yours might look identical to mine, or it might be more well-rounded, but figure out what you need.

Inventory your closet and decide just how many pairs of jeans you need and in what colors based on what you already have. It’s a lovely chain reaction: The more specific you get in your inventory of “haves” and your list of “wants,” the more intelligent your decisions will be, and the more luscious your wardrobe will become.

One reason so many women fail to have an expansive fall and winter arsenal of clothes is simply because these items are often expensive. If you get them all at once, your personal cash flow is out the window before you’ve started. So, buy gradually. Get one pair of boots one paycheck, a couple pairs of jeans the next, and so on.

If your favorite stores aren’t showing the frosty seasons any love yet, take to the indomitable world of the Internet. While on the Web, remember to get creative. Even if everyone you know shops at Nordstrom for their clothes, maybe you can’t afford to do the same. Get Googling, lady! I guarantee you can look like a classy, New York City socialite in the midst of a picturesque Times Square winter if you just put a little work into searching for steals.

One more tip? Be diverse. Don’t heavily stock up on pants, but forget about tops, cardigans and jackets. Get a healthy array of pieces, so that if autumn decided to pop in a month early, you’d already have some complete outfits raring to go.

And, as I always say, have fun! It may be trite, but it’s true. Fall and winter are a perfect time to play with your own sense of style. Try some scarves, kick around in some ankle boots, and give a sexy turtleneck a whirl! You won’t know if you love it until you go for it. Then when that thrilling crisp finally hits the air, you’ll pull back your closet door, and voila — your advanced planning paid off, and you can be crowned Miss Cool-Weather Trendsetter 2012.

Some ideas for getting your winter wardrobe’s engine revved:

Stella Colored Jean Leggings in dark blue ($79.90)
Faux Fur Jacket in beige ($59.95)
Jessica Simpson Collection: Naveens Smoky
Taupe Boots ($198)
winter wardrobe winter wardrobe