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My Winter WFH Daily Dozen

In December, I was inspired by Liz at Closet Play Image to develop a list of the dozen items that are wardrobe workhorses for the fall and spring seasons in St Paul. Now that we are in the depths of winter here, it felt right to consider what have been my go-to choices during this second work from home winter.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I split the year into 8 (non-equal) seasons for outfit planning purposes, but the biggest factor is how I dress my bottom half:

Fall/Spring - Pants

Winter - Skirts with tights/leggings + boots

Summer - Skirts with bare legs or cropped pants

So for fall/spring, I selected items to support pants-based outfits following a long-over-lean outfit formula. As a reminder, here is what I selected for fall/spring:

Winter is typically all about skirts with tights/leggings + boots, but that tendency is driven by practical considerations around staying warm and dry during my commute to/from work and staying warm in my office, which is old and drafty (though it got a lot better after they fixed the window). But with work from home, I have defaulted to wearing pants/jeans all of the time this winter. I don't need the warmth provided by leggings and boots, and I don't need to worry that my pants hems will get wet. This means that my winter WFH choices are more similar to fall/spring than my winter in-office outfit choices would be....but certainly not identical because winter in my apartment is still significantly colder than fall/spring! Much of the time, I am wearing some version of this outfit formula:

So my first go at creating the Daily Dozen started with this half dozen critical pieces. (While a button up shirt is optional for any given outfit, it is definitely worn regularly enough to make the the list.) After some thought, I didn't come up with any other categories that I have been wearing routinely this winter, so I got a little more specific with my list and created this Daily Dozen:

It was quite easy for me to select representative pieces from my closet for each of these general categories because I have been creating a lot of outfits around these two animal-themed pullover sweaters that are only in their second winter of wear (purchased in July 2020 from Coldwater Creek).

So I started with those two sweaters, then filled out the remaining 10 slots with pieces I wear frequently with these sweaters (plus one more sweater that coordinates with them). Here are my 12 pieces:

Let's look at some adjusting-for-the-weather variations on my winter WFH outfit formula incorporating these pieces from my OOTD. First up is a version from the fall to winter transition when I have pulled out my elephant sweater and scarf but am still wearing loafers and no vest. This is an interesting sweater to try to wear a scarf with...if it's not an infinity (or faux-finity) scarf, it can obscure the elephant image, which isn't always what I want. So I twisted the scarf along its length to make it a bit more compact around, then crossed it simply on one shoulder so that one tail comes down the side front and the other goes down the side back. I tend to do a good deal of coordinating instead of matching with this sweater, shown here with the different shades of pink scarf and DIY gemstone bracelet of various colors.

Here is another transition season outfit with the long-sleeved T and oxfords from the fall/spring Daily Dozen combined with the pants and quilted vest from the winter Daily Dozen. (In this case, it's the winter to spring transition.) The T is blush pink with very small shiny gold stars for a subtle print mix. The green colors in this scarf tend toward the lime category, but I wear it freely with olive because all of these greens are in the Yellow-Green section of the color wheel and thus share a lot of characteristics.

As it gets colder, the sweater + vest + button up shirt starts to appear. This OOTD consists entirely of pieces from the Daily Dozen above. I like how the rabbits appear to be peeking out the front of the vest.

Here is the winter WFH outfit formula in its purest expression with all 6 elements in place. This is a great way to wear a scarf with a sweater that has an image in the middle of the front section. It works with or without a vest, though the quilted vest here is helping keep the scarf in place throughout the day.

Finally, in this variation, the quilted vest has been upgraded to a heavier, longer puffy vest for additional warmth during the coldest part of Minnesota Winter. I associate the last two weeks of January and the first week of February with Peak Cold, then we start the long, slow climb toward spring.

Do you have a winter outfit formula you rely on again and again? Or do you prefer to mix up your silhouettes?

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