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Old 03-07-2013, 07:54 PM   #1
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Need help building cold weather wardrobe

Anyone have any advice here? I work in an office, but not so formal. Wearing a suit would be overkill. Also, I don't need advice on outerwear and footwear, but basic pieces I could wear together. When I look this up online, I get blogs showing people in sleeveless tops and last time I checked, that's not cold weather wear. I guess what I have a hard time with is finding sweaters that I can wear with my tops, like most sweaters look dumb with a collared shirt especially since I prefer v necks and tie front sweaters. Any tips or helpful blogs someone could point me to? Lastly, I don't wear brown, so that should simplify things a bit. Ok, 1 more lastly, I have an issue with pin stripe or textured pants being worn with striped, pattered or textured sweaters. I feel like it's too busy. Please help me.

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Old 03-08-2013, 08:48 AM   #2
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Re: Need help building cold weather wardrobe

Can you wear jeans? If you can, jeans go with everything and don't look so casual if you dress them up with a nice top or sweater. I have exactly 3 pairs of jeans and most of my tops are black, white and gray with a few items to add a bit of color. I have a few solid colored sweaters and a couple cardigans and a few long sleeved dress shirts, plus a bunch of nicer undershirts and tank tops (as in, not t-shirts). I wear black ballet flat type shoes every single day.

ETA: my "work wardrobe" easily doubles as my home and going out wardrobe and there is enough in there for about 10 full changes. So I do wear the same things week after week, but I'm comfortable with that.
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:37 AM   #3
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Re: Need help building cold weather wardrobe

Well, this is what I do, although I don't work in an office.

Long sleeve solid colored t-shirts. You could do solid blouses instead if that's too casual.

On top, I wear cardigan sweaters. That way it is easy to be warm but take it off if it is too hot indoors. There are lots of styles of cardigans, you don't necessarily have to do the preppy conservative kind. The ones I have right now are flowy, asymetric hemline with patterned stitches, but they are solid in color. If you wear a small or medium, there are probably tons on clearance right now in any number of stores. I know you say that you have trouble pairing these with collared blouses, but I think you should try a bunch of different styles (not just tie-front ones) because some of them would work with them. They either need to have a collar similar to your blouses, or flat with no collar at all.

Then I have a few heavier nice sweaters I wear on really cold days that work best without a shirt underneath.

You could alternately do plain solid crew/v-neck lighter weight sweaters, and then do lightweight non-sweater more casual jacket type things on top.

Then all my pants/skirts that are not jeans are khaki, grey, or black.
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Old 03-09-2013, 05:32 AM   #4
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Jeans are too casual, even if nicer ones in dark denim. It's weird, but even though I could do a blazer, it looks too formal to me for the place I work, but that's probably just b/c I haven't found the right one. I also do black, grey or khaki pants, but out of the 5 pairs I wear most often, 3 have pinstripes so looking for solid pants in those colors would probably help. Has anyone ever found long sleeve office shirts that aren't casual t shirts or button downs? I find lots of short and 3/4 sleeve, but even with a sweater on top, I'm still cold. Thanks for the tips.
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:12 AM   #5
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Re: Need help building cold weather wardrobe

As for blazers, if you get one in an interesting texture, it will seem less formal and more appropriate for the situation. For example, I have a corduroy blazer and a velvet one that feel much less stuffy than my pin stripe one I wear for interviews. Check Boden and Lands End clearance for blazers or other work appropriate jackets. I also wear merino wool sweaters to work. I have one that is thin, but cowl neck with dolman sleeves from Patagonia. It is beautiful and really warm without being heavy. I also wear wool sweaters from J. Crew, or the fine merino items from the company Ice Breaker. I shop sales and have a smaller but nice wardrobe.
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:21 AM   #6
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Re: Need help building cold weather wardrobe

Do you have a Cato? I bought a blouse there this summer that is longsleeved, but it's a pullover (I know, sounds a bit odd). It has a ruffle down the front, which I admit I'm not wild about, but it is a nice looking shirt and it could be worn with a sweater.
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