I've Lived in California My Whole Life—These Are the Winter Items I Always Buy

Most Wanted is a weekly series in which one Who What Wear team member or friend of the brand will share the top 25 finds on their current wish list.

California is known for many things but having icy cold winters is definitely not one of them (sans a few northern cities and mountain towns, of course). That's likely why you won't find insulated turtlenecks or calf-grazing puffer jackets at the top of its residents shopping lists this time of year. So what exactly do winter wardrobes look like on the West Coast? We asked California native Stephanie Arant for her 25 winter must-haves. Spoiler alert: No matter where you live, you'll likely add at least a few of her seasonal picks to your shopping cart.

California winter wardrobe



"These jeans are a staple in my closet and always come out a little more often in the winter."

"For winter, I always love having a sleek black bag to take with me that’s roomy enough for all of my essentials."

"An oversize blazer is something I love to throw on over chunky knits as it’s a lot more lightweight than a regular coat."

"I love a set and a monochromatic look. This sweater and scarf combo is laid-back but chic."

"Knit sets are always an easy way to keep warm in California winters."

"The matching tank is also a great basic."

"Even in SoCal you need a chic coat that’s easy to throw on. I love this coat for its statement print but ability to remain neutral."

"These sneakers got me through summer and now on into fall/winter. I love pairing them with trousers."

"One of my favorite ways to make an outfit a bit more casual is throwing on a baseball cap."

"A striped button-down is an easy shirt and/or jacket option for those warmer winter days."

"These chunky boots are easy to wear with dresses and jackets or a pair of trousers."

"A classic black tailored coat is essential for wearing with dresses and tights or a sweater and trousers."

"I love using this tote bag for quick trips down to the beach during the winter."

"My favorite kind of trousers have nice high-waisted, relaxed fits. This color can warm up any outfit."

"One of my most-worn pieces for winter has been knitted vests. They are easy to wear with T-shirts or button-downs."

"I love having a smaller crossbody bag to wear with a dressier outfit, and this one by Charles & Keith is perfect."

"I tend to get dry, chapped lips throughout the winter, so I always have this on hand in my bag."

"A cozy-yet-chic jacket is perfect for an easy California look whether with jeans, leggings, or trousers."

"A square-toe boot gives a lot of shape to any straight-leg denim or trousers, which is why it’s one of my favorites to wear."

"There’s something about a fuzzy handbag that just feels so chic for winter."

"A knit dress is one of my favorites for winter. Throw on a pair of boots and a coat, and you are good to go."

"I love the look and texture of these vegan-leather pants. I’ve already worn them multiple times this winter."

"A pair of mid-shaft ivory boots have been my winter staple for pairing with pleated skirts and blazers."

"This knit is so easy to pair with your favorite denim."

"Having a pair of chunky socks is a necessity for winter."