For many years I used to buy new winter clothes to keep up with the ever changing fashion. But 99% of the clothes I got was made of cheap materials and next season, the clothes would look old and shapeless. Once I realized that my main criteria cannot be price and what is in fashion, I started looking at clothes differently. I learned that it is better to invest in quality, reduce the quantity, and learn to be patient. Patience is sometimes the key if you like second-hand shopping. So if you wonder how to choose chic winter clothes that will keep you warm, continue reading.
Let’s start with my favorite: knitwear. If you decide to buy new clothes, make sure it has a high percentage of natural materials like cashmere, responsible sourced wool (non-mulesed), alpaca, or angora. Remember that buying knitwear made of polyester is a waste of money. As it is derived from petrol, it is one of the worst materials you can come across. I really like Swiss luxury knitwear brand Tallis which uses recycled cashmere and merino wool.
If you want to buy new knitwear without breaking your budget, visit your local charity store, raid your mom’s/ older sibling’s closet, or swap clothes with friends. I found the most exclusive knitwear (such as Prada, Gucci, or Eric Bompard) in the second-hand stores.
In Geneva, you can easily find beautiful coats made of virgin wool or cashmere in second-hand stores. but you need to be patient because it may take a few weeks till you find the right pre-loved coat.
A few weeks ago, I bought a pre-loved puffer jacket for less than 100 CHF (100 USD) from Weekend Max Mara. I had it dry-cleaned and it looks like new.
But, if you want to buy a new coat, look for responsibly sourced wool and cashmere. Although these coats will not come cheap, they will last for decades.
When it comes to coats and jackets, I believe that quality triumphs quantity. For a puffer jacket, look for brands that use recycled or sustainably sourced down feathers.
If you live in a cold climate, you most likely own a pair of stockings. I love Falke and Wolford because they last for e-v-e-r. But although Wolford and Falke each has a sustainable collection now, most of their products are not sustainable. If you’re asking what I mean – stockings are made of nylon, which is derived of petrol. For a fully sustainable stockings’ brand check Swedish stockings -they use regenerated nylon. I got some stockings from them 2 years ago and they still look like new.
When you buy winter stockings, make sure to choose high DEN* (from 50 above). This way, your stockings will keep you warm as well as last longer. In winter, I wear stockings with 50, 60, and 80 DEN. *DEN stands for denier which measures the strength of pantyhose.
Now, pants are more a question of preference for certain materials. What do I mean? I love corduroy but most of my friends hate it because it reminds them of their childhood. I get it but corduroy is warm, soft and you can find it in all shapes and styles.
I corduroys in all colors of my color palette (deep red, dark green, light beige, and off-white). The thing is that you need to be looking for a high-quality material instead of buying a cheap one in fast-fashion stores. The better the quality, the better it keeps shape and will last for years.
Finding sustainable winter shoes proved to be a challenge. First, I have shoe size 42,5 EUR (11 US). It is difficult to find even nice shoes for my size. And when I find a sustainable shoe brand, they go up to size 42. It is easy to find sneakers, but chic boots or low boots on a heel are very hard to find.
But if your shoe size is “regular”, and don’t want to buy pre-loved winter shoes, look for more sustainable materials such as recycled and PETA-approved vegan materials, Leather Working Group certified leather, vegetable-tanned leather, and sustainably sourced wool.
The main tip is to focus on organic cotton tops which are now available even in fast-fashion stores. And even though I do not especially like fast fashion stores, I mention them since not everyone can afford to buy expensive clothes from organic materials.
There is still an option to look for t-shirts and blouses in second-hand stores. I bought tops for me as well as my daughter for a bargain and they look as if they had never been worn. If you decide to go thrift shopping, I recommend leaving kids at home so that you can concentrate and buy what you really need. Even second-hand shopping should be done consciously.
Now, what tips could you share on how to choose winter chic clothes sustainably? Let me know in the comments below. Thank you for reading and have a blessed week!