15 Must-Have Winter Essentials, According To Fashion Insiders

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Photo: Courtesy of Shopbop.

Every season, a new selection of soon-to-be bestsellers hits our favorite fashion retailers. With so many winter 2024 trends and products to keep up with, it’s hard to know what to “add to cart.” In our New Arrivals series, we consult the buyers, editors, and fashion insiders at our go-to shopping destinations to find out their best bets for the season’s wardrobe essentials.

With the coldest temperatures still ahead of us, it’s time to switch out fall’s trendiest pieces with winter’s must-haves. Novelty knits and eye-catching coats will keep you cozy and warm. Meanwhile, lingerie-like dressing and cutesy motifs like bows will kick off Valentine’s Day celebrations early. Elevated essentials will continue to dominate the fashion landscape, with styles from brands like The Row, Khaite, and Toteme leading the way. “Quiet luxury is here to stay as we see a shift away from Y2K dressing to a more pared-back, minimal aesthetic across all categories. Within this trend, muted and neutral color palettes reign supreme with a focus on expert craftsmanship and elevated silhouettes,” says Heather Gramston, senior head of men’s and women’s buying at Browns. In addition to neutrals, colors like deep reds and rich browns will be ubiquitous. And, after several seasons of sky-high platforms, shoe trends are taking a turn for the practical. Ahead, these and more winter essentials to stock up on this cold-weather season, according to fashion insiders.


“From refined color palettes to pristine tailoring and minimal frills, the winter season has modern minimalism written all over it. Invest in a classic turtleneck, tailored coat, knit scarf, and simple belt. These winter shopping list additions are a nice foundation to build looks upon throughout the chilly months.” — Libby Page, Market Director at Net-A-Porter

“A fun fancy knit to lighten up your wardrobe is a must! A graphic print or a bold color will do just right.” — Caroline Maguire, Fashion Director at Shopbop

“Preppy style is on the rise and soft boyish loafers, paired with knitted socks, look great with cropped pants or jeans as a boot alternative this winter.  A leather loafer is a timeless investment shoe that gets better with age.” — Rickie De Sole, Women’s Fashion Director at Nordstrom

“From Prada’s sugar-sweet pale pink chiffon overlay to the sheer blouses at Khaite, we think transparent styles will become the latest transeasonal pieces, perfect for layering in winter and bold enough to wear on its own during the warmer seasons.” — Heather Gramston, Senior Head of Men’s and Women’s Buying at Browns

“With the change in weather and temperatures dropping, we are going to be layering up in our coats all winter long. This season’s lineup of statement coats offers a wide range of favorites that are sure to become wardrobe essentials including Max Mara’s iconic teddy coat in luxe camel, Toteme’s scarf tie coat and L’Agence’s Athens Cropped Peacoat.” — Roopal Patel, SVP, Fashion Director at Saks


“As silhouettes become more effortless, customers want their bags to be a complementary extension to their outfit. This season luxurious soft suedes in rich brown shades take centre stage from brands such as The Row, Toteme, Reformation and Khaite.” — Cassie Smart, Head of Womenswear at Matches

“Across all fashion categories, there is a bow bonanza happening — bows in crystal, velvet and woven through lingerie details. Bows are no longer just a finishing touch while wrapping presents, they are now the finishing touch when styling [yourself] for a party.” — Marissa Galante Frank, Accessories and Beauty Fashion Director at Bloomingdale’s.

“Red was the color of the season this Fall/Winter 2023, and as we enter the darker, colder days of winter, it remains eternally chic and classic. Evoke sensuality and something more playful with pops of red in your everyday wardrobe which can be worn as an accent color through accessories like gloves and socks, or a coat from The Row and Jacquemus, or in totality as seen on the Ferragamo runway with a matching blazer and trousers.” — Brigitte Chartrand, VP of Womenswear Buying at Ssense

“Cold weather calls for a cozy beanie! Look to neutrals that will go with everything in your closet.”  — Caroline Maguire, Fashion Director at Shopbop

“Business-style dressing continues to be popular for winter. Oversized blazers at Saint Laurent and trousers from The Row are the best in class at capturing this trend. I am particularly loving a suit in a rich chocolate brown — a bold update from your standard black suiting.” — Libby Page, Market Director at Net-A-Porter


“The ’90s kitten heel is officially back this season: elegant silhouettes with interesting design twists from Prada’s acid-green silk mules to Valentino Garavani’s black mesh slingbacks. They are the perfect shoe to take you straight from the office to your evening plans.” — Cassie Smart, Head of Womenswear at Matches

Phoebe Philo’s collection debut just ushered in a new era of the supersized tote. A chic carry-all tote is a great wardrobe investment piece because it’s the ultimate marriage of practicality and aesthetic appeal. Ideal for work to weekend, these bags can hold it all.” — Rickie De Sole, Women’s Fashion Director at Nordstrom

“Monochromatic dressing in head-to-toe neutrals of gray, camel and ivory looks super chic and effortless on a gloomy winter day. We love pairing a cozy sweater with an easy pant and coat for everyday dressing.” — Roopal Patel, SVP, Fashion Director at Saks

“This winter, ‘the UGG effect’ is in full force. Whether you are wearing actual UGGs or a comfy pair from another designer, the look and feel of these effortless booties is trending.” — Marissa Galante Frank, Accessories and Beauty Fashion Director at Bloomingdale’s.

“Channel your best off-duty chic by leveling up your layering game this season for a look that is both effortlessly elegant, and practical for the colder temperatures at the same time. Focus on elevated essentials with relaxed silhouettes in high-quality fabrics which prioritize sophistication even in your most casual moments. Think knitwear and loungewear in luxury fabrications like leather jogging pants from Bottega Veneta.” — Brigitte Chartrand, VP of Womenswear Buying at Ssense.

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