I’ve been going through my closet and I realize I have far too many clothes that simply don’t go together. I can either spend the rest of the winter wearing mismatched clothing and not leaving the house, or I can figure out what needs to stay and what needs to go.

After taking a good hard look at my closet and spending some time visiting the fashion blogs of women whose style I admire, I’ve decided on these winter fashion essentials.

Padded Jacket or Vest

I love my puffer vest. If you would have told me last year that I’d be wearing one this year, I doubt I would have believed you, but it turns out to be a very versatile piece. Be sure to choose one that will go with most of the clothes you wear. I went with a neutral brown that fits perfectly with my color palette. The vest can be worn indoors during the coldest times of  year, or under a jacket outdoors. During the spring and fall you can bring it along instead of a heavy coat.

Pattern Mixing

This is a hot trend right now, but not one I ever felt comfortable trying myself. If you’re like me and you can’t bring yourself to pair a plaid skirt with a polka dot top, look for a single piece—like a sweater or a jacket—that has more than one pattern in the design.

Cable Knit

Cable-knit sweaters are not only warm, they are stylish and classic. They can be worn with a denim jacket, over a flannel, or with your favorite black pencil skirt. You can accessorize with a chunky statement necklace, a blanket scarf, or a high-collared shirt for added style.

Polka Dots

You need to have a few fun pieces in your wardrobe, even if you normally prefer classic styles. While I’m not sure I would ever wear polka dot pants or a polka dot dress, even the most conservative woman can feel comfortable in a polka dot scarf or bangle.

Leopard Print

Leopard print is another fun fashion trend this year. Again, if you prefer the conservative look, pass on the leopard print pants and try print booties or scarf instead. You can be as understated or as showy as you like!

What are your 2018 fashion must-haves?