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6 essential items every winter wardrobe needs

Photography By Michael Comninus for RIISE
Published 13.07.22

When you spend all your spare time scrolling Y2K fashion the world didn't need to see again, it's easy to forget that clothes are meant to serve an extremely functional purpose: protecting our bodies from the elements.

Bejewelled butterfly tops and boleros are great and all, but they offer little in the way of warmth or utility, two things we need most in the cooler months.  

This winter we are pushing back against micro-trends and impractical clothing by embracing simple, functional staples. These are the tried-and-true basics that form the foundation of every good winter wardrobe, regardless of the wearer’s age or whatever happens to be trending at the time. If you’re in need of extra warmth this season, here are six essentials we recommend. 

1. A classic black turtleneck

The uniform of the original hipsters (beat poets) and a certain tech entrepreneur (Steve Jobs), the classic black turtleneck is at once effortlessly chic and deeply practical. When it comes to full upper body coverage, you can’t go past this garment. Perfect for layering under sweaters, coats or a cute, knitted vest, turtlenecks are also surprisingly versatile. This one is made from buttery deadstock cotton with a ribbed finish that will have you looking and feeling like the most sophisticated version of yourself. (It also comes in men’s sizing for coordinated dressing with your boyfriend, brother or bestie.) 

2. An oversized knit

Did you know oversized dressing is scientifically proven to keep you warm? Loose clothing actually traps a layer of hot air next to the skin – cool, right? 

Arnsdorf’s Caro Rollneck Sweater will envelop your body like a warm hug. It’s relaxed yet luxe, with a thick collar and ribbed trim adding that stylish edge Arnsdorf is known for. The perfect blend of comfy and refined, this knit wouldn’t look out of place at a fancy dinner or even a winter wedding. And, you can almost feel how light and fluffy the organic wool yarn is just by looking at those cloud-like sleeves. 

3. Warm pants

Linen pants and jeans just don’t cut it in the dead of winter. For something that feels supple and warm against your skin, opt for elevated loungewear like these 70s-inspired
Frances Flares from NICO. The brushed organic cotton pants come in rich shades of chocolate brown and navy blue. They are figure-hugging without being tight, making them perfect for all your working from couch and weekend brunch needs. Pair them with the matching button-up shirt, chunky sunnies and a coat for a relaxed look that’s straight out of the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen street style playbook.  

4. A hoodie 

Thanks to the rise of streetwear, hoodies have gone from guilty pleasure to fashion must-have.  

JHL’s Luxe Hoodie is one of the most high-end takes on this winter wardrobe staple we’ve seen yet. The knitted hoodie is made from a cotton and cashmere blend that more than lives up to the “luxe” label. The thick drawstrings made from the same fabric as the body and wide seams add to the elevated look of this oversized sweater. Luxuriously comfy and easily styled up with a winter coat, there’s a lot to love about this casually classy hoodie.  

5. A cosy vest  

Vests have experienced a renaissance in the past couple of years, but it’s hard to understand how this practical garment ever went out of fashion. Layering our torso with a cosy woollen vest is one of the most effective and stylish ways to keep warm. Made from a silky merino and alpaca blend, Arnsdorf’s Viola Knit Vest is our pick. The V-neck cut and snug ribbed sleeves mean the vest is a finished look all on its own, just add your favourite denim jeans and a coat. On colder winter days, it can be layered with T-shirts, long sleeves or turtlenecks.  

6. Socks

Our secret winter wardrobe weapon? A pair of extra-long socks. It sounds obvious but seriously, how often do you find yourself rifling through your smalls drawer and only pulling up anklets? 

For a pair that won’t compromise on practicality, style or comfort, we love these bestselling mid-calf socks from NICO. They’re made from a recycled cotton blend that’s equal parts soft and stretchy and feature a ribbed texture for extra grip and a firm band to keep them in place.  

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