Posted: Nov 18, 2013 9:00 AM
 
Winter temperatures vary widely from areas of the country to indoor locations that turn the heat up or down at random intervals. Layers are a key part of every winter wardrobe. We have six must-have layering pieces, including where to find bargains this winter.

Perfect layering T-shirts

Tissue-weight T-shirts are the perfect first layer for winter. If you live in a warmer climate, the short-sleeve versions give you the chance to top your tee with a cute sweater without getting too warm. Women in cooler climates can use a long-sleeve T-shirt under almost anything to stay toasty on even the coldest days.

Splurge

PRICe: James Perse, $65
James Perse Sheer Slub Casual V-Neck

Steal

PRICE: GAP, $17
GAP Pure Body Crew Neck Tee

Splurge on the Sheer Slub Casual V-Neck. This shirt is softer than soft and feels lived-in from the moment you purchase yours in your favorite neutral shade. The v-neck provides enough coverage for layering.

The Pure Body Crew Neck Tee is the ideal steal version of the basic T-shirt. Fitted, soft and thin, Gap's version of a layering T-shirt comes in an assortment of colors — and at this price you can stock up on as many as you'd like!

Splurge or steal?^Gap's version is perfectly functional. If you're shopping with a tough budget this year — especially with holiday shopping looming — pick up one or two of these staples.

Chambray shirts

Splurge

PRICe: Neiman Marcus, $253
The Classic Chambray Shirt with Leather Collar

Steal

PRICE: Target, $10
Long Sleeve Chambray Shirt

Rag & Bone's take on the chambray shirt has a little extra flair. The Classic Chambray Shirt with Leather Collar will add visual interest while worn on its own or give your wool sweaters an edgy twist while worn as a bottom layer.

FEED for Target offers a Long Sleeve Chambray Shirt, also in a dark wash. With a slim fit, the now-discounted shirt looks great on its own or as a layer for warmer sweaters, cardigans or blazers.

Splurge or steal?^Unless you can absolutely guarantee that your love for chambray will last for more than a season, go with the steal on this one. The chambray shirt is a classic piece, but if you want a lighter wash next year you won't feel guilty buying another one after the great deal you got on the Target shirt.

Boyfriend cardigan sweaters

Cardigans are absolutely necessary for winter wardrobes. No matter what you're wearing under yours, it's wonderful to have the option of shedding your sweater when you're shopping in an over-heated store or wrapping it around you instead of turning up the heat.

Splurge

PRICe: J. Crew, $238
Collection Cashmere Boyfriend Cardigan

Steal

PRICE: Old Navy, $35
Old Navy Women's Boyfriend Cardis

In heather acorn, navy or black, this Collection Cashmere Boyfriend Cardigan will work with almost anything in your wardrobe. If you want to add a pop of color to your closet, neon hibiscus is sure to brighten your cheeks and bring a smile to other faces.

Women's Boyfriend Cardis are a great deal. In a variety of winter shades, the slouchy sweater is perfect to top off anything from a simple T-shirt to a crisp, cotton shirt.

Splurge or steal?^The boyfriend cardigan is so versatile that you're safe splurging on this wardrobe staple. In a timeless fabric like cashmere, J. Crew's sweater will stand up to the stress of being your go-to piece to pull on whenever you're feeling chilly. The longer shape is flattering with everything from skinny jeans to dresses — with tights and boots to keep your legs warm!

Graphic crew neck sweaters

Crew neck sweaters are a winter wardrobe must-have, and this season, crew necks with darling graphics are taking over stores. In versions from budget to budget-breaking, there are nods to animals, buildings and even the iconic smiley face.

Splurge

PRICe: Nordstrom, $495
Burberry Brit Wool & Cashmere Intarsia Sweater

Steal

PRICE: Forever 2, $28
Quirky Panda Sweater

Burberry wants to bring a bit of London to you this winter with the Burberry Brit Wool & Cashmere Intarsia Sweater. The camel-colored sweater boasts a graphic of a double-decker red bus, and it will bring a bit of brightness to your winter just as it does to the rainy streets of London.

The Quirky Panda Sweater will help you stay cuddly and warm. The slightly slouchy shape makes it an easy piece to use with a variety of layers. The neutral colors mean you don't have to worry about what you're wearing underneath the panda — neutrals and colors will both work with this versatile sweater.

Splurge or steal?^Go with the steal on this trend. Even a graphic you adore can become trite after too many wears, so investing a lot of money in one of these sweaters would be a mistake.

Flat riding boots

Riding boots can be worn with anything — jeans, leggings and dresses are all flattered by the flat-heeled boots. They're comfortable enough to wear even when you'll be on your feet all day, and they're fashionable enough to make even simple outfits look polished.

Splurge

PRICe: The Frye Company, $328
Paige Tall Riding Boots

Steal

PRICE: Go Jane, $38
Elastic Back Riding Boots

Paige Tall Riding Boots are deceptively simple. Available in tan, gray, dark brown and saddle, Paige is one of The Frye Company's bestselling boots for a reason. The leather overlay at the front of the boot is a beautiful detail that doesn't detract from the sleekness of this boot.

Go Jane offers Elastic Back Riding Boots in black, dark brown and gray. Made of man-made materials, these stylish boots have a delicate heel strap and faux-fur lining to keep your feet warm during cold months.

Splurge or steal?^Designed to last, the Paige boots are truly an investment piece. The timeless design and detailed craftsmanship will keep these boots a staple in your wardrobe for years.

The fashion scarf

A scarf is an easy way to add color and warmth to winter clothes. Small and flexible, they're also easy to stow in any bag if you start to feel overheated.

Splurge

PRICe: Lilly Pulitzer, $138
The Castaway Scarf

Steal

PRICE: LOFT, $34
Lurex Dot Scroll Scarf

The Castaway Scarf comes in two designs, both in luxurious cashmere. The bright colors will brighten up a neutral outfit and bring a little bit of summer to your winter days.

Navy and white weave together in the Lurex Dot Scroll Scarf. Navy works with so many colors, particularly winter's jewel tones, and the scroll pattern is interesting without being too distracting.

Splurge or steal?^Scarves are such a fun winter accessory, and they're a great place to spend a little less — so you can buy more than one. Go with the steal version, and pick up another one of LOFT's affordable accessories.

More about wardrobe basics

Classic coat roundup
How to wear boyfriend jeans
Add a structured bag to your wardrobe

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