A ‘warmdrobe’ is essentially a capsule wardrobe for cold weather – this is how to build one

Written by Naomi May

Finessing the art of cold weather dressing in winter is hard work, but a warmdrobe will make it decidedly easier. This is how to build one yourself.

What’s the opposite of gatekeeping? Over-sharing? Spilling the beans? Of all the secrets that shroud the fashion industry, how to keep warm in the cold ought not to be one of them.

But alongside the thermals that insiders swear by and the inevitable throwing of jumper on top of jumper to keep the cold at bay, there is actually an art to curating your very own ‘warmdrobe’. This is, after all, a time to huddle together to keep as collectively warm as possible.

The key to a warmdrobe – a wardrobe curated specifically for bitterly cold times such as these – lies in tri- and quad-layering. This is essentially the practice of acquiring pieces that need as little thought as possible because you know you can rely on them to do all of the heavy lifting for you. If there’s one thing we don’t need to be doing first thing in the morning in Baltic conditions, it’s thinking about what to wear and that’s where a warmdrobe will come in handy. It’s essentially a cold-weather capsule wardrobe. 

A ‘warmdrobe’ is one of the fashion industry’s best-kept cold weather secrets.

There are three categories of insulators to look out for: arm warmers, midriff warmers and embellishments, which is to say the pieces that finish the outfit and, as such, telegraph meaning to the rest of the world. This is a formula that can be employed year after year.

Firstly, let’s address the base of the outfit: the arm warmers. These are the bread of the sandwich, the backbone of the warmdrobe. I’ve been reaching for Gap and Uniqlo Heat-Tech’s long-sleeved thermals on an almost-daily basis since the temperatures plummeted. That’s my first port of call and I’ve built up my rotation to include a different one for every day of the week, meaning I never have to go without. 

Tri and quad-layering is the styling trick that will change your winter dressing game.

The next step are the midriff warmers. These are like sartorial cuddles around the waist that keep the warm in and the cold firmly out. When I’m going to the office, the midriff warmers I reach for are a crisp white shirt and a snuggly knitted vest. When I’m working from home in a more casual environment, a statement textured jumper is my favourite.

The final step is reaching for a jacket that both looks the part and performs, too. It’s important to prioritise warmth here. There are a crop of brands making genuinely insulating coats that look the part. La DoubleJ’s statement-making reversible puffer jackets (two for the price of one) and FarmRio’s splashy puffers are both among my personal favourites. It’s the jacket that is the fashion power-move and makes a warmdrobe what it is. It’s the wrapping paper on an outfit that otherwise could fall flat on its face, so choosing the right one – one that packs a punch and keeps you warm – is paramount.

In short, a warmdrobe is about layering, but not just in a throwing jumpers on top of jumpers manner, but rather curating insulating looks that can do all of the talking when your chattering teeth can’t. 


  • Gap modern crewneck T-shirt

    Gap modern crewneck T-shirt

    As the first stop on your wardrobe journey, an insulating thermal layer is essential. Gap’s are a must-have. Just stock up on one for every day of the week if you’re not a frequent clothes washer.

    Shop Gap modern crewneck T-shirt, £20


  • Free People Glacier sweater

    Free People Glacier sweater

    Statement jumpers needn’t be garish if that’s not your style. Free People’s fringed and detailed knits form the backbone of insiders’ winter warmdrobes for good reason: they’re comfy and cool.

    Shop Free People Glacier sweater, £59.95


  • La DoubleJ St. Moritz reversible coat

    La DoubleJ St. Moritz reversible coat

    Of all of the investments to make, a sturdy statement winter coat is never a bad one. It’s made even easier if you’re deliberating with a reversible number. Two for the price of one? Say no more.

    Shop La DoubleJ St. Moritz reversible coat, £1,075


Images: Getty

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