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New York–based designer Lauren Manoogian creates slouchy, oversized knitwear that begs to be snuggled. Here, she shares tips for easing into frosty weather with a wardrobe that’s equal parts cozy and elegant.

Which fabrics, shapes and colors work best in a winter wardrobe and why?
I suggest a neutral color palette that can layer well together. I have a beige, camel, oatmeal, ecru, ivory and light gray wardrobe and then a darker scheme of chocolate, olive, charcoal and navy. One has to wear so many clothes in the winter that narrowing a wardrobe down to only two defined color families makes it easier to get dressed.

I prefer cashmere and alpaca for sweaters and, for woven pieces, I choose woolen fabrics and heavier linens with a lot of texture. For base layers, very lightweight wools and silks are easier to layer on top or strip down to as the temperature fluctuates.

Lauren Manoogian oversized knitwear

What pieces do you advise investing substantial sums on and where do you think people can cut corners with cost?
With clothing, there is an emotional component that cannot be denied: If you love something and it makes you happy then it’s worthy of investment. I just buy what I love, from a cashmere sweater to socks from Amazon.

What are your own rituals around getting dressed each morning?
I work from our studio with my boyfriend, two dogs, and a small team, so I don’t feel pressure to meet anyone’s expectations besides my own. That’s probably why I love and design big sweaters and coats: In the morning, I can just throw on one nice piece and walk out the door. They soften this strange transition between being at home in a personal space and being out in public.

Now that it’s getting colder, what are the five items of clothing that everyone should have ready?

  1. Sweater coat
  2. Oversized chunky pullover
  3. Big cashmere scarf
  4. Lightweight wool or silk underlayers
  5. A menswear piece to mix with the softer layers

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