How to Build Creative Winter Outfits as a Busy Mom

I spend 90% of my time at home right now. Ok, fine… more like 95%.

With being home day in and day out, it’s easy to fall into a routine of wearing pajamas and a messy bun 24/7. But I find that when I take the time to put in a little bit of effort, I generally feel a lot better and am 10x more productive.

I heard recently, from one of my favorite style-icons Dearly Bethany, that fall is one of the most interesting times to dress for. If you live in a moderate or cold climate, you have the opportunity to get creative with layers, texture, patterns, and fabric.

So although I don’t do my hair and put on makeup and a thoughtful outfit every single day, I have been trying to make this more of a priority. I want to use the clothes I own and get creative with what I have before purchasing anything new.

I’m a busy mom with a toddler and limited time to spend on getting ready in the morning, so I tend to choose outfits that are comfortable and easy to put together. I have found that planning my outfits the night or even a few days in advance and doing my hair the night before helps me get ready in less than 15 minutes the following morning. Although many of the items below were bought secondhand, I hope that these outfits get you thinking about creative ways you can use clothing you already have as well as ideas for items that might fill some gaps within your wardrobe.


Goodness, I love layers. For one, they keep you warm on cold days and can be removed as the temperature rises during the day. I also feel like I’m wearing a new outfit every time I add or take away one of my layers! One thing that I love about capsule wardrobes is that most of the items in my closet work with the other items, so I have quite a few outfit options even though I don’t own a lot of clothes.

Texture & Patterns

I tend to wear a lot of neutrals and solids, but I like to add interest into my outfits by adding in layers of texture or hints of patterns here and there. Ribbed fabric, chunky knits, and dainty jewelry are all ways to add in texture. For patterns, I love adding stripes and minimal, checked patterns. I’m hoping to add some florals into my wardrobe over time, too.


I’m a bit of a fabric snob. I haven’t always been, but once I started sewing, I started paying attention to the fabric contents in my clothing. Natural fibers like cotton, linen, and wool tend to hold up better than synthetic materials like polyester. Even when shopping secondhand, I usually check fiber contents because I want to be able to wear my clothes for years and years. Some of my favorite fabrics for fall include heavy cotton denim, warm, cozy wool, and well-worn, waterproof leather.

Creatively Re-wearing Clothes

As I have mentioned before on this blog, because I choose to buy some items from ethical/sustainable brands, thrifting and secondhand shopping is not only an ethical decision but also a necessary one. I cannot afford to buy everything new, but honestly–shopping secondhand is EVEN more sustainable than purchasing from the most eco-friendly brand and using what you own is even more sustainable than thrifting! Don’t fall into the trap that says you can’t wear the same item more than once. Wear your clothes–over and over again–but get creative with how you layer, play around with textures and patterns, and consider fabric contents before buying.

What items are you gravitating toward this fall/winter? I’d love to see how you’re building creative outfits with what you have in your closet!

Outfit Details

Discount Codes

  • Nisolo: Save 20% with code FALL20 on Nisolo’s fall essentials through 11/14/21
  • Monica Vinader: You can use my link and code at checkout to save 20% on any full priced items: US20RAFINSIDER-CE48

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