19 Winter Outfit Ideas That Will Make Your Basic Sweaters Look Brand-New


Anyone who's resided in a cold climate can tell you that excitement about winter isn't always rooted in reality. Sure, buying our little winter coats or breaking in new boots is cute, but when temperatures drop below freezing? All bets are off. Realists can attest that looking chic when it's cold outside is challenging. Even more so when our desire to get dressed up can be easily deterred by a myriad of factors—e.g., the forecast for the day or staples that feel as dull as the winter sky. Basically, catching a case of the winter blues in the wardrobe department is as inevitable as an oncoming cold front. However, not all hope is lost! There are a few ways to combat the mid-winter dressing slump, starting with your sweaters.

Hear us out: knitwear is the most significant part of any winter wardrobe on a functional level but also for fashion purposes. How you style this staple can either make you want to slump back into bed or can help you shake off any gloom swiftly. If you're more interested in the latter, you'll want to keep reading as we're sharing some game-changing sweater styling tips. Ahead, you'll find 19 winter outfit ideas to showcase different ways to style knitwear for various occasions, climates, and sartorial perspectives. If these styling hacks can't get you out of your winter slump, nothing will. 


Wool Coat + Turtleneck + Button-Down Shirt + Trousers + Heels + Tote Bag
(Image credit: @thecarolinelin)

Layers are the key to bringing the turtleneck in the back of your closet back to life. Use your sweater as a base layer, then add a button-down shirt, long coat, trousers, and structured bag for a look that will liven up your winter work uniform. 

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Long Scarf + Long Coat + T-Shirt + Crew-Neck Sweater + Cardigan + Leather Pant + Pointed Pumps
(Image credit: @daniellejinadu)

When winter temperatures are bleak, layering is the best way to make it more bearable. In order to make your trusted crew-neck even cozier, try layering it with a T-shirt, contrasting cardigan, wool coat, and long scarf. Finish off the look with leather trousers if you need a little extra warmth. 

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Long Coat + Colorful Tied Cardigan + Crew-Neck Sweater + Trousers + Pointed Pumps + Shoulder Bag
(Image credit: @venswifestyle)

While warmth is one of the top priorities when choosing what to wear to work in the winter, that doesn't negate the importance of style itself. After all, you don't want to look like you rolled out of bed to get to the office! The best way to meld function and fashion is by adding one to two trendy items to your winter work uniform—e.g., a colorful cardigan or a buzzy handbag. 

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Tweed Jacket + Turtleneck + Belt + Trousers + Kitten Heels + Structured Handbag
(Image credit: @lefevrediary)

Are you more interested in your winter wardrobe looking timeless over trendy? Well, you'll want to take note of the outfit above. While trousers and turtlenecks are already classic, they can become even chicer by merely being paired with a tweed jacket, kitten heels, and a structured handbag. 

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Sculptural Earrings + Turtleneck + Long Skirt + Oversize Coat + Metallic Bag + Riding Boots
(Image credit: @sobalera )

One of the easiest ways to look chic during the wintertime is to make your accessories the focal point of your outfit. When in doubt, even the most "vanilla" staples can feel spicy when you add statement outerwear and accessories into the mix—e.g., the all-black outfit above shines with the addition of a white maxi coat and metallic clutch bag. 

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Baseball Cap + Wool Coat + Turtleneck + Crew-Neck Sweater + Skinny Jeans + Knee-High Boots
(Image credit: @georgia_3.0)

One more way to look polished during the winter is by leaning into preppy-inspired pieces that feel Princess Diana-coded. Try layering a long wool coat over two contrasting sweaters with skinny jeans, knee-high boots, and a baseball cap. It's a winter outfit formula that will make you look as posh as a princess. 

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Shearling Coat + Crew-Neck Sweater + Wide-Leg Jeans + Ankle Boots + Woven Shoulder Bag
(Image credit: @maryljean)

If you're less interested in looking like you live in a palace but do want to give off the vibe that you own a ski chalet, then the outfit above is right up your alley. Pairing a shearling coat over a chocolate brown crew-neck sweater with wide-leg jeans, ankle boots, and a woven bag is a surefire way to look the part. 

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Woven Shoulder Bag + Oversize Turtleneck + Matching Knit Scarf + Long Socks + Rhinestone Ballet Flats
(Image credit: @dinahansen)

We've all had those days when you wake up on an ultra-cold winter day without wanting to dress up—enter the ensemble above. Nothing is easier to throw on than an oversize turtleneck with a matching maxi skirt when you can't be bothered. But should you want to make it look like you put in more effort getting dressed than you actually did, finish off the look with sparkly ballet flats and a woven shoulder bag.

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Balaclava + Long Wool Coat + Crew-Neck Sweater + Leggings + Moto Boots
(Image credit: @ingridedvinsen)

Whoever said you can't look cool when it is cold outside never saw the outfit above. By pairing your warmest crew-neck sweater with thermal leggings, a long coat, moto boots, and a balaclava, you'll look edgy without being on the edge of hypothermia. 

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Faux Fur Coat + Turtleneck + Jeans + Ankle Boots + Suede Handbag
(Image credit: @frannfyne)

You never have to choose between being freezing or looking fashionable—case in point: the outfit above. Nothing will take the chill off better than a faux fur coat styled with a turtleneck sweater, wide-leg jeans, and ankle boots. It's an outfit formula that's equal parts polished and pragmatic. 

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Sculptural Earrings + T-Shirt + Polo Sweater + Belt + Maxi Skirt + Pointed Pumps
(Image credit: @dawn.tan)

For those who reside in warmer climates, it can be just as challenging to figure out what to wear during the winter. Rather than opting for a heavy coat, try layering a light T-shirt underneath a knitted polo with a wool maxi skirt and pumps. It's a look that will keep you warm without overheating. 

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Leather Blazer + White T-Shirt + Argyle Sweater + Miniskirt + Fishnets + Socks + Loafers
(Image credit: @emmanuellek_)

What's another fail-proof formula fit for milder winter temperatures? See the outfit above for guidance. The key to navigating dressing for those 60ºF days is all about opting for lightweight layers—e.g., a leather blazer layered over an argyle print sweater or fishnet tights underneath a miniskirt. 

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Leather Bomber Jacket + Crew-Neck Sweater + Pleated Miniskirt + Knee-High Lug-Sole Boots
(Image credit: @_livmadeline)

Although it might seem like you must pack away pieces commonly associated with "warm weather," that's far from the truth. Great knitwear can make any item winterized; reference the look above as proof. While most wouldn't dare to wear a pleated mini when it's cold out, it becomes a legitimate option when styled with an oversize turtleneck, leather bomber jacket, and chunky lug-sole knee-high boots. 

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Scarf + Crew-Neck Sweater + Full Maxi Shirt + Mesh Flats + Structured Handbag
(Image credit: @erinoffduty)

Not exactly keen on wearing a miniskirt in the middle of winter? Try a maxi instead. Opting for a skirt made from heavier materials or a long hemline that can cover up thermal underpinnings will ensure its wearability in the winter. And if you're still unsure how to style the skirt, take inspiration from above by pairing it with a matching crew-neck sweater and contrasting accessories. 

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Sunglasses + Tunic Sweater + Leather Pants + Mules + Shoulder Bag
(Image credit: @sylviemus_)

Rather than trying to winterize skirts, you can forego them altogether in lieu of an item that always works: leather trousers. Similar to the sweater, this staple is a quintessential part of any stylish person's winter wardrobe—therefore, it only makes sense to style them together! Even if you pair them with footwear that's not winter-friendly, you'll be rest assured this pairing will serve you well all season. 

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Sunglasses + Blazer + Turtleneck Sweater + Belt + Leather Bermuda Shorts + Chelsea Boots
(Image credit: @gosiaboy)

When things begin to thaw out in the coming months, you'll want a way to wear your sweaters without breaking a sweat—enter the ensemble above. By pairing a turtleneck with an oversize blazer, leather shorts, and ankle boots, you'll be able to weather the remaining weeks of winter in style. 

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Trench Coats + Cropped Button-Down + Cropped Sweater + Belt + Trousers + Sneakers
(Image credit: @hannamw)

When navigating the transition from winter to spring, there's no better item to turn to than the cropped knit. Hear us out: this piece ensures you don't trip up while stepping into the new season because it works for various climate conditions. Simply pair it with a cropped button-down shirt, trench coat, trousers, and retro sneakers. 

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Suit + Knit Tank + Knit Shrug + Sandals + Handbag
(Image credit: @oumaymaboumeshouli)

It's guaranteed that you'll likely reach a point at the end of winter when you're really over your sweaters; when that happens, because it will, you'll want to reference this outfit idea again. An easy way to break free from your chunky knits is by swapping them out with a knit shawl—ideally, you'd style the piece over a suit, but it can go over dresses, tanks, and so on. 

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Headband + Sunglasses + Oversize Earrings + Turtleneck + Shift Dress + Slingbacks
(Image credit: @nlmarilyn)

Hopefully, you now have a few new sweater styling ideas to get you through the rest of winter. However, should you need a reminder that cold weather won't last forever, imagine the day when you can step out wearing only a turtleneck underneath a shift dress. It's a look that serves as a reminder that our staple sweaters can see us from season to season—if we know how to style them! 

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Jasmine Fox-Suliaman

Jasmine Fox-Suliaman is a fashion editor living in New York City. What began as a hobby (blogging on Tumblr) transformed into a career dedicated to storytelling through various forms of digital media. She started her career at the print publication 303 Magazine, where she wrote stories, helped produce photo shoots, and planned Denver Fashion Week. After moving to Los Angeles, she worked as MyDomaine's social media editor until she was promoted to work across all of Clique's publications (MyDomaine, Byrdie, and Who What Wear) as the community manager. Over the past few years, Jasmine has worked on Who What Wear's editorial team, using her extensive background to champion rising BIPOC designers, weigh in on viral trends, and profile stars such as Janet Mock and Victoria Monét. She is especially interested in exploring how art, fashion, and pop culture intersect online and IRL.