Published on december 16, 2019

Here are the 15 Best Cold Weather Clothing Essentials Every Woman Should Own

written by Team thredUP

The transition from fall to winter is a little less dramatic on the closet than say, summer to fall. Just a few minor updates to your wardrobe and you’re set ‘til April. So, cozy up with a cup of cocoa, shake off those winter doldrums, and start shopping for warm clothes at up to 90% off.

1. Wool Coat

A wool coat is the hardest-working piece in your winter wardrobe. It’s the one thing you and everything else will be seeing the most of over the next few months. Typically relegated to cute-outfit cover status, modern silhouettes and bold statement colors give the wool coat it’s time to shine.

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Style Tips
— Pick one in a classic neutral—navy, camel, black, or gray. And one in a bold statement hue.

— Look for modern silhouettes and fashion-forward details to stand out from the crowd

— Consider a looser fit to ensure wearability over chunky layers.

2. Polished Blazer

Sometimes a wool coat or pea coat just doesn’t cut it for work. Keep your layers warm and your look polished with a tailored blazer.

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Style Tips

— For easier layering, opt for an oversized blazer so you can seamlessly slip a sweater (or two) underneath.

— A wider lapel (that’s the collar) broadens the chest and a narrow lapel offers a slimming effect.

— Your blazer doesn’t have to be boring! Opt for a fun print or pattern to pep up your look.

3. On-Trend Puffer Coat

Puffer jackets and coats are continuing to have a moment and we’re here for it! This down feather-filled outerlayer is extra warm and extra trendy.

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Style Tips: 

— Opt for a slimmer and thinner style to layer underneath a larger jacket.

— Want to make a statement? Reach for an oversized puffer jacket. If you don’t want to get swallowed by it, choose a cropped silhouette.

4. Leather Jacket

Every girl needs a leather jacket in her fall/winter closet! From fringed affairs to classic moto styles, there’s a leather jacket or coat to suit every taste.

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Style Tips: 

— Suede jackets are our favorite festival layer! For a warmer alternative that you can wear during the colder months, pop on a shearling jacket for that extra warmth and textural pop.

— If you’re looking for a statement jacket, look no further than a patent leather jacket. All gleam, all personality.

5. Shell Hooded Rain Jacket

Practical and cool, a protective, water-resistant shell is a must-have rainy-day layer. Look for one that you can easily slip inside your tote in case of an unexpected shower.

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Style Tips
— A hood is a must. A hood you that zips up along the collar when you don’t need it, even better.

— Black and white are always good options, but when it comes to rain day clothes, the brighter the better.

— Zip it on over a dress, jeans and a tee, or a chic jumpsuit.

6. Snug Sweater Dress

Yes, you CAN wear a dress in the dead of winter. A knitted dress is so cozy and so, so stylish.

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Style Tips: 

— We love a turtleneck sweater dress.  A mock neck will slim down the neck, while cowl neck offers extra warmth and an eye-catching layered look.

— For extra warmth, wear your favorite sweater dress with stockings.

7. Chunky Cableknit Sweater

Trade in your lightweight crew for a chunky knit sweater when the temps drop. Sometimes it’s all you need to ward off the chill. Jacket not required.

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Style Tips

— The ‘it’ knit right now? A Fair Isle intarsia ski sweater in a bold pattern.

— Pair it over a dress for a quick top-skirt changeup.

— Look for a relaxed fit that you can comfortably layer over a long-sleeved tee.

8. Chic Turtleneck

The under layer of all under layers, a chic turtleneck does double duty as heat protector and style essential. It’s the foundational piece for all your winter outfits—from work to weekend.

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Style Tips

— Style under a sleeveless shift dress for an unexpected (and warm) winter transition.

— Stock up in basic colors to last you all season long.

— Brands we love: Gap, J.Crew, LOFT, and Old Navy.

9. Long-Sleeve Layering Tee

Stock up on the long-sleeve tee in multiple colors and fabrications. It’s the layer you’ll reach for over and over this season.

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Style Tips
— Pick one in a bright solid and let the hem and cuffs peek out from underneath a neutral sweater.

— Layer under a dress or sleeveless jumpsuit.

— We love basic tees from Zara, Old Navy, and Madewell.

10. Wide-Leg Pants

Don’t banish your jeans to the back of the closet just yet, but the wide-leg pant is the style to own this season. Made famous by the cult favorite designer Jesse Kamm, you can now find this must-own silhouette from your favorite brands like Everlane, Madewell, and Gap.

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Style Tips
— Create a super flattering silhouette by tucking a flowy blouse or tee into a high-waisted pair.

— Get a little lift by wearing a heeled clog or ankle bootie.

— Look for sturdy fabrics that will hold up to the elements like a thick, denim-ish cotton.

11. Versatile Leggings

FYI, leggings ARE pants. These bottoms are great for layering or wearing on their own. Choose from classic black to all the colors of the rainbow!

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Style Tips

— The best thing about leggings is that they stay close to the skin, making them a great match for your favorite over-the-knee boots. Just slip on and go!

— For extra cold days, layer your leggings under jeans or slacks for an extra bit of warmth.

12. Extra-Warm Tights

Sheer to thick-enough-to-be-leggings, tights are an essential part of any woman’s winter arsenal. Don’t forget this must-have accessory!

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Style Tips

— Rocking a dress in winter? Choose nude tights so you’ll look as warm as you feel.

— Patterned or accented tights are great for adding some character to an otherwise glum winter outfit.

13. Coziest Beanie

Super functional and always stylish, the beanie is your chilly weather (and hair!) savior. Don’t underestimate the power of the beanie. It’s undeniably cozy and comfortable, and adds the perfect amount of cool-girl non-chalance to your everyday look.

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Style Tips

— Stock up on cotton and cashmere versions in neutral and bold colors.

— Style it with your favorite off-duty looks.

— Adjust the wide fold for a more slouchy look and to create the signature beanie shape.

14. So-Soft Scarf

Don’t forget the one extra that’s guaranteed to keep you cozy. Stock up on various styles and experiment wearing them different ways. Long and loose, wrapped closely around your neck, or knotted once at the chest.

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Style Tips

— Try an ‘Infinity’ scarf—an endless circle of comfort and cozy.

— Invest in a cashmere scarf in a neutral color. You’ll reach for it over and over again.

— Find a scarf that’s long enough to be worn draped loose or knotted for extra versatility.

15. Warm Boot

Step it up this season with an insulated winter boot to keep you cozy all season long. Look for a water-resistant upper and a warm lining to protect your toes from freezing temps.

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Style Tips

— Pair with a pair of cute graphic socks for extra warmth and extra cool.

— Cute warm boot styles we love: furry-lined clog boots, Timberlands, and shearling-—trimmed ankle boots.

— Wear them with everything this season, from dresses and skirts to jeans and wide-leg pants.

What are your favorite winter essentials? Tell us about all your cozy secondhand finds in the comments below!