conservative office style Oct 31, 2017

5 Staple Tops To Get You Through Winter

NYC fashion blogger Mary Orton wears a chunky cable-knit turtleneck, distressed dark-wash skinny jeans and pink velvet SJP pumps

Before jumping into today’s post, I wanted to mention that tomorrow is the start of the Fall/Winter 2017 30 Dresses in 30 Days series right here on Memorandum!! Get exciteddddd!

After last week’s post detailing the 4 Winter Coats Every Girl Should Own, I’ve had tons of requests for more winter staples, so today I thought I’d cover the quintessential cold-weather tops, from staple turtlenecks to cashmere sweaters to silk blouses and everything in-between.  Stay tuned for essential winter pants, dresses, shoes and accessories in the near future.  Building a capsule winter wardrobe seems like a daunting task, but taking it category-by-category makes it a little more digestible.  Read on for the five staple tops (mostly sweaters, of course!) that every girl should have in her closet this fall and winter…

Mary Orton wears a chunky cable-knit turtleneck, a satin knee-length skirt, and a black oversized tote

#1 //  Chunky Knit Turtleneck

Nothing pulls together a cozy winter look more seamlessly than a trusty textured turtleneck (i.e. your winter cocoon).  Throw a chunky cable-knit sweater atop your favorite denim and over-the-knee boots for an easy, comfy look (that you’ll never want to take off), or up the ante with a pleated midi skirt and leather booties!

  • OBSESSED with this under $150 Banana Republic x Olivia Palermo cable-knit turtleneck.  Check out the gorgeous lace accents!
  • This may be the most perfect cable-knit turtleneck sweater I’ve found this season, in my favorite color to boot…
  • I just bought this dreamy sweater in two colors, and am trying to rationalize purchasing the other two as well… #sendhelp

Mary Orton of Memorandum wears a burgundy Aqua cashmere sweater, black belted cigarette trousers and a burgundy suede moto jacket

#2 //  Cashmere Sweater

When the temperatures get truly arctic, nothing keeps the warmth in and the cold out quite like cashmere.  Every girl should have a quality cashmere sweater in her closet for work and/or play, not only because of the warmth factor but also because these suckers really stand the test of time.

Mary Orton of Memorandum wears a white classic button-down blouse, an olive midi skirt and a black Gucci leather bag

#3 //  Long Sleeve Silk Blouse

A classic silk blouse is an investment piece that’s worth every penny.  One of the most versatile pieces in your wardrobe, a silk blouse is just as perfect with a workweek suit or skirt and blazer as it is dressed down with denim and a classic wool coat on the weekend.

  • I own several silk blouses from Equipment like this essential silk blouse and they are the absolute BEST.  They don’t go out of style, and you’ll wear them like crazy for years.
  • If you’re looking for added interest, check out this gorgeous ruffled tie-neck silk blouse.
  • I just bought this v-neck silk beauty and am obsessed with the draped wrap detail.

NYC fashion blogger Mary Orton wears a pink and red striped Alexa Chung blazer, a white layering turtleneck, straight-leg jeans and gold disc earrings

#4 //  Layering Turtleneck

For colder months, a layering turtleneck is as essential as a toothbrush—it’s downright bad manners not to have one.  A classic cut in a breathable, lightweight fabric provides just the right amount of insulation without being too bulky layered underneath a blazer or sheath dress.

Mary Orton of Memorandum wears a navy and white striped long-sleeve t-shirt, a navy patterned zip-up jacket and black sunglasses

#5 //  Classic Long-Sleeve T-Shirt

Nothing can take you from a Netflix binge sesh to Whole Foods to drinks with friends faster than a classic long-sleeve tee.  This is the piece you’ll wear most often, so pick a soft, cozy fabric that you wouldn’t mind living in all season.

  • This Madewell striped beauty really is the quintessential long-sleeve tee.
  • I’ve been obsessed with Vince’s long-sleeve t-shirts for years because they really stand the test of time (i.e. not stretched out and faded after the first wash or two).  This suuuper soft crewneck tee comes in black, white and grey (and it’s under $100!).
  • For all my babes on a budget, check out this $30 classic crewneck from J. Crew.  You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better intersection of price and quality.

Follow @maryorton on Instagram, and click here to shop my posts!

19 Responses to 5 Staple Tops To Get You Through Winter

  1. Natalie says:

    Where is the chunky knit turtleneck you are wearing in the photo from? It’s a perfect fit and color!

  2. I couldn’t agree more with your closet staples! My favorites are chunky knits and cashmere sweaters

  3. Mary says:

    Can’t seem to find the turtleneck you have on in the picture that is the cable knit…what is the brand?

  4. Love the olive skirt look. Sadly, no autumn for me this year but great post. I absolutely love the pink velvet pumps btw

    xx menellia

  5. Carla says:

    I am new to your Blog and loving it, thank you! Your style is very similar to mine and I have purchased a few of your suggestions, but not knowing what size I would be in brands that I am new to, is hard to figure out.
    Can you say what sizes you bought, so we can estimate what size would be best for us? Or do you get your clothes tailored to fit you? I am in between a size 0 and size 2, 5′ 7″ tall 108 lbs. Thanks so much!

  6. Denise Y Ross says:

    This was a great post and it’s validating to have many of these items already in my closet. They really do stand the test of time. I have almost all of these in my closet with the exception of the turtleneck. It just doesn’t get cold enough here in southern Texas to justify it. I love the olive skirt and wearing olive is definitely on my to do list this “winter”.

  7. Jeany says:

    Such a great post and really like all your outfits! Also totally agree with your 5 staple tops for winter season!
    xx, Jeany from

  8. Almeida says:

    Loved the chunky knit turtle neck!

  9. chelsea says:

    where did you purchase the green tie skirt?? its gorgeous!!

  10. I’ve been obsessing over classic long sleeved tees lately, they are just so easy and not to mention comfortable! Great pick for your five staples, this pick brings you all the way into spring! My current favorite classic tee is from robin b., it’s so soft and luxurious and in a rich black so it can be dressed up really easily!

  11. Wendy Wen says:

    LOOOVE this post. I’ve been looking high and low for a good chunky knit sweater, silk blouse, and more, and this post covered everything I need. Just splurged a ton. xoxo, Wendy

  12. Claudia says:

    I agree as well, such a Great post and the outfits – absolutely love the cable knit as well as the five staples – all my style as well – Thank You so much for this post.

  13. Great looks, I love the cream sweater look.

  14. vivien_noir says:


    I’d love to get winter Inspiration, but all Blogs and pinterest Pictures I find always incorporate summer shoes etc. – so no wintery Outfit for me, more of a Transition compilation! I’m living in the middle of europe, but our winters are snowy and can get down to -20°C when it’s cold, so I just can’t wear such things. Do you have any more “wintery” inspo as well?

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