Winter landscape in Norway during dusk with a glowing moon

My (passive-agressive) A/W wardrobe staples

I don’t know about you, but there are few things that annoy me more than seeing fashion bloggers post outfit photos in heels and bare legs in winter. I scoff and roll my eyes and my inner monologue goes something like “bitch, we all know it took you 20 minutes to remove your goosebumps in Photoshop”. We need to cover up and battle the elements, not get frostbites and pneumonia. So, in the spirit of my passive-aggressive inner monologue, I give you my personal A/W wardrobe staples.

Collage of sensible winter clothing

Wool sweaters

I’ll buy regular wool, lambswool, merino, alpaca or cashmere, oversized or fitted, but it has to be wool. I always stop by Benetton in the sales to see if I can grab a good deal their sweaters, and I love to stop by places like Velouria Vintage to hunt down pre-loved cashmere whenever I’m in Oslo. I seem to own nearly every color except black, so this year I’m allowing myself an oversized black sweater despite my shopping fast.

Skinny jeans

Not because it’s winter, I live in these all year around.

Mini skirts

Ooh, wild card! Don’t worry, I can explain. I hardly ever wear mini skirts in spring and summer. I am blessed with very long legs and thus I don’t feel like I can rock mini skirts with bare legs or sheer tights unless it is sweltering hot outside, and even then I prefer shorts. In winter, however, I can wear them with opaque black wool tights. Much less skanky! And when it gets absolutely ridiculously freezing cold I can wear them with a double layer of wool tights. You can’t fit that many pairs of tights underneath your skinny jeans, that’s for sure.


I have a city chic one from FWSS (the Fru Johnsen) and a blizzard chic one from Fjallraven (the Kodiak). I think this will be the Kodiak’s 4th winter and it is still as good as new. Definitely worth the investment.

Wool beanies + wool scarves

I have the Acne Canada scarf in both gray and burgundy and they have pretty much been the only scarves I have bothered to wear for the last two years. They also do double duty as blankets in cold offices.

Weather-proof boots

No suede allowed! These babies need to withstand snow and rain and ice. I love my lined Dr. Marten’s, but I think I need to get another pair of boots to alternate. I will never understand how Norwegian girls can wear Uggs all winter long, because I imagine they will get soaking wet if you as much as look at a puddle. I would love a pair to wear inside as slippers though, but I’m not sure I’m ready to fork over that kind of cash for a pair of glorified slippers.

Honorable mentions

Wool tights, wool tanks, wool socks, wool fingerless gloves.

Can you tell I like wool yet? If you need more tips on how to dress for cold weather then the lovely Maria wrote a post on How to Dress For Freezing Winter Days a while back. It was written two and a half years ago, but like fine wine her posts only get better with age, and they are much more informative than my own navel-gazing drivel (yes, I am sucking up, my birthday is only two weeks away).

P.S: Please try to find non-mulesed wool. Here’s a Norwegian list of brands that have committed to only using non-mulesed wool.


20 thoughts on “My (passive-agressive) A/W wardrobe staples

  1. I really like the natural fibres for winter too – I wear merino wool or cashmere the most, although I do have a nice mohair cardigan that isn’t itchy to wear.

    I have to say though – in Sydney, the winter is mild enough to go without tights, and some days without a jacket! I wore my coat less than 10 times this winter just because you would sweat just getting to the office in it, and in the evenings, the day would have warmed up and it was so much worse. BUT in saying that, not that many places would experience winters where the weather is regularly 18-23 deg without a lick of wind.

    Anyways, seems like you’ve got your winter wardrobe all planned out! And YES for the Acne canada scarf. So glad I picked one up this year – it has been totally worth it! x

    • Aw, Sydney winters sound terrific to me, although I think I would really miss the snow. The trouble with winters in Bergen is that they are usually cold and wet instead of the perfect winter wonderland that we all wish for. I have lived here for ten years now and I think I’ve experienced maybe two “proper” winters. It gets more than cold enough, though! The wool is necessary ;)

  2. Annette Lanham says:

    I love your colour palette! I try to have basics is black and charcoal and the rest filled with colour. I don’t have to wrap myself in as much wool as you do even though it gets quite cold here in the winter. I prefer to wear lots of layers as I get hot easily so I need to be able to un-wrap myself if I feel flushed.

    • I’m “lucky” enough to work in an office that rarely really heats up int winter, so I am just as appropriately padded inside by my desk as I am outside ;) And I love a good jewel-toned sweater, can’t deny it!

  3. Oh, wool… I’m so eager to wear my knits again! I don’t follow bloggers who post shorts pictures in winter but I see what you mean here :)

    Also, I’m the same with shorts/dresses and tights (I don’t have any skirts) – I actually wear these more often in Autumn/winter because I’m happier with my legs covered ;)

    • It just makes more sense to wear the skirts in winter! In spring and summer I prefer longer skirts, you never know when that gust of wind comes along and ruins your entire day.

      October is unreasonably warm so far so I’m still wearing cotton, but in a few more weeks I’m sure the wool will be abundant!

  4. elina says:

    I also hate it when local women’s magazines have articles on office wardrobes in the winter time or similar and then they include short sleeved silk shirts, silk shorts, sandals and such. Like, seriously? You live here, you should know what you’re talking about! Where are the thick wool sweaters and wool blend blazers, 150 denier tights and warm scarves?

    That being said, wool is also my saviour. Wool is basically the best thing in the world and wool layers are another. I refuse to freeze so I also don’t shy away from insulated pants in the really cold days. I’ll wear my wool tights and jeans and then put on the veeeery thick insulated pants when I need to be outdoors (for some reason my thighs get easily frost bites!). I also have parkas for different weathers: the cold and possibly rainy weather, the colder and dry weather and the super cold weather. Same goes for winter boots. I have to say that fashion is the last thing on my mind when it’s -25 C or colder, so the gear for those days is less than pretty :D But it keeps me warm, so who cares! Warmth is what I value.

    Btw I’m totally coveting the Acne Canada scarf in navy and burgundy. Damn the shopping fast!

    • Luckily it never gets as cold as -25 around my parts, but we sometimes get temperatures around -10 and to me that’s more than cold enough. What kind of boots do you prefer for those extra cold days? I’m looking for another winter pair and I’m torn between getting a regular lined leather pair or a pair of full-on super-insulated fugly boots!

  5. Where do I even begin?! Obviously I agree with you about winter clothes being warm. It seems like such a no-brainer to me that I feel silly even typing those words, but you are right, there are a ridiculous number of ladies out there wearing things in the cold that should never be worn in the cold, and maybe never even in the warm summers either. But that’s a whole other issue. I’m from Wisconsin originally; it gets cold. I am no stranger to wearing flannel pajamas under long wool skirts or other such inventive layerings. And to be honest, that’s kind of what I love ab out real winters. You get to basically walk around swaddled in bunting and blankets!

    I did finally get the Acne Canada, in navy, and I am obsessed. It was also the last winter thing I put away this spring and the first thing I pulled out this fall because over a lightweight jacket it makes the perfect transitional weather piece. Love love love. And beanies for ever.

    Also I will say that you kind of killed me with that mulesing link. I had no idea. I’ve never even heard of this, which on its own is shocking, because it sounds so absolutely horrifying and barbaric that you would think there’d be a lot of public awareness on the subject. Hope my current wool collection is all mules-free!

    • I’m 100% with you, I love walking around all bundled up when it is cold. If I could just wear my duvet I totally would. And I had no idea you are form Wisconsin, have I been living under a rock? Wisconsin gets COLD!

      High five for loving your Canada! Norwegian girls have an unhealthy obsession with them, I see people wearing them as soon as the temperatures drop to about 15c (i.e mid August), which is super ridiculous. I get missing those beloved A/W clothes, but let’s not get completely carried away! You see people wearing shorts and then the next person wearing their Canada. Ridic.

      I wasn’t aware of mulesing either until just recently, and I checked out the list of safe brands right away. Thankfully all my Benetton sweaters are safe, but the second hand ones are a little bit harder to check. I’m never buying from a non-approved brand again, that’s for sure.

      • Yes! Wisconsin gets seriously COLD! Grew up slogging through the snow to get to school. Amazing how the body adapts though, now I complain about the chill through Madrid winters, and you know if it snows here the whole city shuts down in panic.

        So funny about the Canada-mania there! Not an issue here, I’ve never seen anyone else with this scarf here, but then again, it never gets super cold. I have to say I’m probably one of those annoying girls wearing wool when it’s nowhere near cold enough to justify it, but what can I say, when it’s early in the morning and you’re sleepy and walking the dog, nothing better than bundling up even if it is only 15C!

  6. Dressing for winter is a skill I am still trying to acquire, and I love reading the posts you and Maria post! The two of you are pretty much responsible for my no longer freezing on a regular basis! I moved from a place that never gets below about 25 degrees Celsius during the day to somewhere that is regularly down to single digits, and it was definitely a shock to the system! So thank you for educating me about the wonder that is wool and the importance of colours.

    • Oof, that must have been a challenge for you! Mine is the only climate I know and it is a complete shock to the old system any time I travel to anywhere warm. You get my most sincere kudos on surviving the drop in temperature! I can’t imagine what it must be like to learn to dress for this climate as an adult, as we pretty much learned it all in kindergarten – wool wool wool, warm boots, no gaps between layers for cold air to get in, and keep your head warm :)

  7. Ane says:

    Haha, eg elskar dette innlegget og den passiv-agressive haldninga (som eg kjenner meg mistenkeleg sterkt igjen i…)!
    Eg har nettopp gjenoppdaga Benetton-ullgensarar (etter å ha budd i dei på ungdomsskulen gløymde eg dei bort litt), og eg er heilt frelst! Har fått nokon heilt enkle no nyleg i ei slags kasjmir-og-ull-blanding som er heilt fantastiske. Eg håpar dei får inn knallraude gensarar nærmare jul, for no kjennast det som om det einaste eg treng for å vere lykkeleg er ein knallraud ullgenser. (Finn det seriøst INGEN plass.)

    • OMG Ane, jeg ga nettopp en til Fretex! Lammeull fra Benetton! Den var krympet så den var for kort i armene og livet til meg, men de finnes! :D

      Kasjmir er det beste i hele verden. Jeg hadde bodd i kasjmirgensere hele vinterhalvåret om budsjettet tillot denslags stormannsgalskap ;)

  8. Trajena says:

    Lovely post! I’m actually going to be stealing quite a few of these outfits (I mean… Inspired…) during my next shopping trip.

    Sadly, I am unable to get on the Wool Train: I have tried, but I think I might be allergic to the fabric since wearing it anywhere near my skin gives me an itchy, reddened skin. I’m afraid cotton and cotton-blends are my way of life

    • Have you tried alpaca? Alpaca wool is supposed to be the best for sensitive skin, although I wouldn’t quote me on that. I used to be like you but thankfully it disappeared as I got older :)

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