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Winter Clothes Essentials

    • 3111 posts
    December 11, 2014 6:04 AM PST

    In the spirit of living on less, let's take a look at an area many people spend too much money on and end up with overpacked closets.

    What are the essential clothes needed for winter? Share what articles you and your family must have for daily wear, warmth, work, school and other activities that require specific clothing.

    How much do you think a winter wardrobe has cost you?


    • 1271 posts
    December 11, 2014 8:37 AM PST

    Goodness, it's hard to say how much a winter wardrobe costs between DH and I.

    For daily wear/work wear I have tights in various colors to extend my dresses and skirts, and cardigans to go over sleeveless shirts and dresses I'd wear during the summer. I have several tailored blazers and slacks. Nice sweaters, button down shirts, long and 3/4 sleeve blouses, camis for layering. Heeled boots. Thicker-weight scarves. A slate gray peacoat, slate gray thick-knitted infinity scarf and black leather gloves for outer wear during the work week.  I have one or two Old Navy fleeces for out-side of work wear, a single sweatshirt and microfleece lounge pants for when I'm not leaving the house.  Fuzzy socks. 

    DH of course has long sleeve button downs, sweaters, nice fleece vests and tailored blazers. Also a few sweatshirts and hoodies and microfleece lounge pants for home/weekends.

    We've acquired bits and pieces here and there.  We tend to make big clothing purchases on Black Friday sales from Kohls and the like. I'm a fan of Zulily.  Good Will is great for basics like long sleeved shirts and sometimes nice sweaters too.

    We do work somewhere that people notice and will remark on clothes, so looking nice is important for upward mobility.

    This post was edited by JessYeast at December 11, 2014 8:38 AM PST
    • 1125 posts
    December 11, 2014 11:31 AM PST

    Well, my winter wardrobe is my summer wardrobe with different tops.  I wear jeans and hiking boots for work.  In warmer weather I add a decent button down shirt, with or without a shell underneath depending on the top and the weather.  As I noted in a different thread, I'm wearing 5 wool sweaters with turtlenecks for the winter.  I'll need to swap those out on days when I'm working on a dirty job (sometimes I'm on hazmat).

    I have 6 pairs of jeans in active rotation right now.  I could go down to 3 and be ok.  A black pair would make things a bit nicer but is not crucial.

    I have 4 turtlenecks and could use maybe 2 more in colors that would go with most of the sweaters.  That would get me through a whole week with one to spare while 5 hang to dry.

    I go through lots of socks. I stick to good wool socks to avoid blisters all year, wearing thicker ones or two pairs in the winter.  I tihnk I have 5 pairs of good thick winter wool socks and 3 pairs of summer weight.  That has been sufficient.

    I keep a suede shirt for days I'm going through barbed wire, and bad jeans and old sweatshirts for days I'm in hazmat on the job.

    Total cost...the total sweater cost is under 60$, jeans cost about 5$ a pair (all thrift), socks are all gifts so free but cost 15-30$ a pair in the open market, turtlenecks are all thrift for 2-4$ each.  Button down tops about the same. 

    I have many t-shirts collected over the years, some free, some concert.  I wear about 5 of them regularly and estimate the average cost at 10$/shirt.


    I DO pay for boots, about 150$/pair.  I have 3 pairs at a time.  A good pair, a hazmat pair (which is a demoted "good pair"), and a steeltoed pair.  I have 2 pairs of regular shoes, brown and black. About 80$ each, but both are over 3 years old.  And need replacing by spring.

    So, not counting undies and bras, my wardrobe costs me 60$ for sweaters + abotu 30$ for shirts + about 30$ for jeans + about 450$ for boots + about 16$ for turtle necks + 50$ for tshirts.   The approximate total for the wardrobe I actually use and wear:


    The stuff I don't wear has cost me more I'm good suit was 180$, the dress boots were about 80$ each for 2 pairs, but I got them over 15 years ago so I think I can just let that cost go now.  20+ tshirts I don't wear....and much more.

    • 1442 posts
    December 11, 2014 7:37 PM PST

    Living in Colorado, my winter wardrobe is HUGE compared to Summer. My retail job requires a blazer/suit. My boss will allow nice tops/cardigans/sweaters and polyester pants with shoes as well.

    I spend about $30- $200/year on clothing. I wear all of my suits and use the pants or jackets as separate pieces as well. Most of my clothing comes from ebay but I will buy from retailers if there is a good sale.

    My tops are all used under my jackets and cardigans.

    I do have wool hoodies and several jackets for home use but also use my career wardrobe for church and running errands..

    I have gym gear and sweats that are used for the gym and bedtime.

    Clothing does wear out for me since I wear them regularly. If my size changes, I do have several pieces that are a little bigger for those times.

    I just told my husband today that i wish I had a "capsule wardrobe" and not so much!! But I need them for work. He said one day, I will.....I said of course, when I'm older and not working! He agreed.....For now, I take up half a closet, 3 drawers and a hope chest full of clothes.

    • 1967 posts
    December 16, 2014 2:23 PM PST

    I had bought a warm coat when I worked in daycare, a "playground" coat, for standing outside watching kids. I also bought good boots.  These are now about 5 or 6 years old.  The kids have gotten a lot of hand me down coats and snowpants.  We buy cheap boots, just like with shoes, a few kids need them every year.  I don't have enough warm socks. I buy better boots when the kids' feet stop gorwing.

    We spend a lot more on a winter wardrobe that Southerns, but we need good clothes to survive and be comfortable.  I am very conscious that every time we go on a car ride everyone needs to be dressed to be able to wait for assistance if there was a car problem.  Here there are several days a year with hundreds of spin outs and cars stuck in the snow.

    We buy Cuddle Duds, and all the kids have warm shirts.  My son likes to layer his clothes and not really have a coat. It is a very important part of our wardrobe, we can have snow from October to April. I keep a few extra shirts, a shovel, and a blanket in the car, just in case.

    • 3910 posts
    December 19, 2014 9:26 AM PST

    Here is all about layers so don't spend as much on winter wear.  don't really keep track of spending.  mosty things are on sale or from thrift stores.  try to keep things from year to year.    ds latest winter coat $2.50.   killed me to buy new shoes and boots for the kids at walmart. but none in the thrift stores. 

    like tracy when the kids stop growing then more pricey items. plus I have found cheap or pricey lots of rain boots ...dd wears out.   somethings like dh..more as gifts since he doesn't like shopping.  spent $30 on jeans for xmas for him.


    • 1967 posts
    December 29, 2014 11:27 AM PST

    This is the time of year, looking at subzeros and kids at the bus stop, when I am tempted to buy more for comfort! More winter underwear and warmer mittens and hats.  I need to corral everything in a basket so it is all avaliable.

    • 2308 posts
    January 23, 2015 10:41 AM PST

    I wear jeans all year round bought on sale and with a coupon at Kohl's for about 25 bucks a pair. I wear them until they fall apart. Jeans with holes are then worn while working in the yard or doing grubby work like painting. I wear t shirts under flannel shirts on a daily basis during the winter, spring and fall months. I spend about 3 or 4 dollars each on my tshirts. Most I have had for years. Most of my hoodies have been gifts or hand me downs from my son. If I buy them I don't spend over 20 dollars. Sweaters are only worn on days when I have  appointments since I watch grandson and he still spits up occasionally.  I buy new tennis shoes once a year. I use the old ones for working in the yard or for when we go camping. My boots and sandals last for years. I wear thick fuzzy socks in the winter and usually no sock in the summer except when I take my daily walk. My winter wardrobe probably cost me 200 or less. My DH wears business casual unless he has a meeting with a new client.  His wardrobe costs more than mine. He has to have polo shirts, dress shirts, slacks, dockers, jeans, golf shirts and suit jackets. He doesn't wear sweaters at all, says they are too hot. He spends more on his shoes than I do. On weekends he wears jeans or shorts (if I'm not around) and tshirts. He hardly ever wears a jacket. He's from Canada so the winters in California aren't cold to him.

    • 3910 posts
    October 31, 2017 10:17 AM PDT
    anyone need to stock up on winter gear? I have some winter boots to take to clothing store to get some out of them. one pair bought new worn once. will have to get more I think for ds but will look at the thrift stores first.
    • 1442 posts
    November 10, 2017 7:50 AM PST
    I wear a uniform to work (sweatshirt, black pants and black shoes) and will wear a hoodie and underarmour cold gear under that since I work in a cooler...

    Although I haven't spent $ in the last 2 years on winter clothes, it is the biggest wardrobe for me as I'm cold all the time.

    I've started to pull out some sweaters, wool socks/pajamas/sweatshirts/accessories. Since I don't have the need to wear my nicer items anymore, I live in sweats and fleece.The total on what I wear is probably about $75 as a lot was given to me or on clearance. I have a trash bag full of nice items but haven't worn them in 2 years and am not sure what to do with those just yet.
    • 2308 posts
    November 10, 2017 11:28 AM PST
    I gave my Mom 3 garbage bags of shirts out of my closet. I wear long sleeve t-shirts under flannel shirts during the fall and winter months with jeans and boots. I just gooped my hiking boots that I have had for about 10 years because DD'S dog pulled the toe guard loose. I bought some jeans a few weeks ago and they will last me a few years. I wear hoodies with t-shirts under if I am really cold. I have a big heavy Levi truckers jacket if it gets too cold. I just need to buy some thick socks
    • 1508 posts
    November 10, 2017 3:11 PM PST
    I wear jeans all year round too. I also wear sweaters, sweatshirts and hoodies in winter. Usually a t-shirt under the hoodies because air gets in around the neck and makes me cold. I have 2 winter coats that are several years old bought on clearance. I also have a pair of LL Bean snow boots for deeper snow and hiking boots for when the snow isn't as deep. I also have several pairs of wool socks and we keep hand and foot warmers in stock. Jill
    • 2308 posts
    November 10, 2017 3:54 PM PST
    I found my thick socks so I decided I didn't need to buy anymore. I'm set for awhile.
    • 3910 posts
    November 10, 2017 4:22 PM PST
    we layer here but since dd takes the bus she needs more then rainboots. she has a lands end winter coat thrift store a few years ago but it is pink so not going to wear it anymore.

    we have rain pants so just winter boots and winter coat so far. one thing at least as adults we don't grow. here it will be snow or rain so need something. time for deal shopping
    This post was edited by marthamfi at November 10, 2017 4:24 PM PST
    • 3910 posts
    November 30, 2017 9:26 AM PST
    got dd a good winter coat water resistent which is a must here on sale she got boots for free. found boots for ds at value village. so set
    • 3910 posts
    January 18, 2018 3:39 PM PST
    of course everyone prepared for a cold winter like last year but it has been mild got a free new coat from my brother for dh. his main ones were getting ratty. not warm enough for my brother. is outside a lot more then dh
    • 1462 posts
    January 22, 2018 10:14 AM PST
    3 pairs of jeans and 2 pair of new black pants this year. 3 new sweaters and a few others. Sleeveless summer tops with cardigans worn on top. I mostly wear these when I dress up a bit. Funerals, showers, birthday parties, or out to a better restaurant for dinner.

    Pumps, 1 pair of heels, what I call my brown leather buckle shoes, black fashion boots, and sneakers. I haven't owned snow boots since the last pair died a silent death after 20 some odd years of use. No more shoveling and no more walking in the snow and ice for me.

    I don't have clothing for years and years due to weight gain and loss. I hang on to them but recently started to get rid of them. I mean really I doubt I will go down to 90 some odd pounds again. Much larger clothing was donated last year. I am getting smaller but I could go up again. I would say 1/2 of what I own in tops are a little too big right now. I am not buying new until I know my weight is fairly stable. Hard to tell because for the last 9 years I lose my appetite now and again. Weird after staying about the same weight for most of my adult life.

    DH wears uniforms to work so his clothing has been around for years. He gets a few new things as needed. Usually when I start pulling things out for a 2 week vacation with out laundry facilities available.
    • 3910 posts
    April 16, 2018 10:54 AM PDT
    avon had winter hiking style boots on clearance for $25 so got them for dd for next winter.