I've Lived in NYC for 17 Years, and This Is the Winter Capsule I Swear By


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Dressing for winter and pulling it off in a stylish way can sometimes be a tall order. While a leather jacket and a few light layers are all that's ever really needed to get by in the South and West, here on the East Coast, though, it’s another story. Enter Shalini Acharya, an influencer and veteran New Yorker. We routinely turn to this fashion creative for top-notch outfit ideas because of her directional and elevated approach to style. And while everyone has a different method for bundling up in the winter, the 17 years (and counting) that she's spent living in NYC have helped her develop a well-rounded and well-edited lineup of winter staples. To that point, her capsule wardrobe, in particular, is consistently worth noting.

As a minimalist, Acharya never wants to buy too many pieces, but after a little trial and error, she's landed on a winter capsule wardrobe that allows her to stay both warm and stylish with a few key essentials. First, the turtleneck top became the ultimate layering piece. When worn with jeans or under a dress, it lends a sophisticated spin to any look. Next, a heavier sweater was perfect for colder days. Not one to give up dresses, she learned to love longer hemlines and taller boots to meet them. Another winter must? Knee-high boots, which are essential for pairing with long dresses and navigating snowy sidewalks. And finally, classic wool coats are the ultimate topper for both banishing the cold and looking stylish. Go on to shop the 16 pieces from her winter capsule wardrobe, and check out a few outfit combinations along the way.


(Image credit: Who What Wear)

Now, see a few outfit combinations:


(Image credit: @styledevotee)

Cardigan + Trousers + Loafers

Combine forward basics like a cropped cardigan and chunky loafers into one easy outfit that can be reworn over and over.

Wool Coat + Knit Dress + Loafers + Scarf + Crossbody Bag

Acharya told me that this is her favorite combination right now: a long-sleeved knit midi dress worn with her chunky loafers and a long cashmere coat and accessorized with a chunky scarf and a crossbody bag.


(Image credit: @styledevotee)

Puffer Coat + Sweater + Jeans + Sneakers + Hat

This outfit is perfect for weekend days and casual outings. Layer a puffer coat over jeans and retro sneakers and top if off with a baseball hat.

Button-Down Shirt + Turtleneck + Jeans + Loafers

For a simple yet directional vibe, layer a turtleneck underneath a button-down and finish with jeans or trousers.


(Image credit: @styledevotee)

Knit Dress + Knee-High Boots

Simple yet undoubtedly chic. Pair a knit dress with sleek knee-high boots for your next event.


(Image credit: @styledevotee)

Wool Coat + Cardigan + Turtleneck + Trousers + Boots

If you're looking for a winter outfit to wear to work, this is it. Master the art of layering when you wear a turtleneck underneath a cardigan.


(Image credit: @styledevotee)

Sweater + Slip Dress + Boots

Throwing a chunky knit sweater on top of a slip skirt is an easy dinner-ready ensemble.

Next, discover the freshest winter accessory trends. This story was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Senior Editor

Anna is an editor on the fashion team at Who What Wear and has been at the company for over five years, having begun her career in the Los Angeles office before relocating to New York, where she's currently based. Having always been passionate about pursuing a career in fashion, she built up her experience interning at the likes of Michael Kors, A.L.C., and College Fashionista before joining the team as a post-graduate assistant editor. Anna has penned a number of interviews with Who What Wear's cover stars over the years, including A-listers Megan Fox, Issa Rae, and Emma Chamberlain. She's earned a reputation for scouting new and emerging brands from across the globe and championing them to our audience of millions. While fashion is her main wheelhouse, Anna led the launch of WWW Travels last year, a new lifestyle vertical that highlights all things travel through a fashion-person lens. She is passionate about shopping vintage, whether it be at a favorite local outpost or an on-the-road discovery, and has amassed a wardrobe full of unique finds. When she's not writing, you can find her shooting street imagery on her film camera, attempting to learn a fourth or fifth language, or planning her next trip across the globe.