Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Here We Go Again: a Spring/Summer, Maternity/Postpartum/Nursing Capsule Wardrobe

Well, I don't expect to be able to compete with Betty's capsule wardrobe, obviously. But I said I'd share mine, too. And so I shall.

The main concern I hear from readers who are interested in trying a capsule wardrobe, is that they couldn't manage it because of the whole motherhood cycle so many of us are in. I never can say for sure what size I'll be a few months from now. But, for me, that's a strength, rather than a limitation, of the capsule wardrobe.



Having a closet crammed full of clothes that I can't wear is just plain depressing. Having a small, specialized selection of items that work for me right now with the body and life I have right now is empowering and makes it a lot easier to find something to wear each morning. I'm totally sold on it.

I'm planning on sticking with it long term, doing three different capsule wardrobes per year, storing things I'm not using now but will use again, and donating the rest. But I have to admit that I was a bit concerned about this particular go round. I wanted to switch my wardrobe over for Easter and use it until the weather cools down in the fall. However, there's the little matter of me having a baby right smack in the middle of that window.

But I do like a challenge. I'm twenty-five weeks along right now, and I think I've come up with forty items that will fit for the next fifteen weeks or so of pregnancy, and the squishy few weeks after that. I figure by sometime in September I'll be ready for pants that button. And aside from a few of the dresses, I'll be able to nurse in all of it as well.


Even pregnant, the majority of my wardrobe is not maternity clothes. I do have some maternity items, jeans, and a couple dresses, but I really prefer to shop at regular stores, just with an eye for stuff that will work for me pregnant or not. (I know not everyone can do that, but it has worked for me.) My favorite stores are Anthropologie (especially the little back room of sale stuff) and modCloth, I love the whole whimsy/retro vibe they have going. I also find things at Target or on Amazon, and used from thredUP. (They have maternity clothes now!) Here's a closer look at everything in my closet right now . . .

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Red/orange tunic, from J Crew, many years ago, but here's something similar.
Red stripe tunic, modCloth.
Chambray crossover shirt, Gap via thredUP.
Green shirt and ivory lace shirt are both many years old, from Anthropologie.


Fake layered top was from Costco.
White high-low tunic, from Amazon .
Green crossover top, modCloth.
Blue and teal maternity tops are from Target over the past couple pregnancies.
Red tank, modCloth.
Gray top, modCloth.


Maternity jeans and khaki cargo shorts, Pea in the Pod via thredUP.
Maternity crops, old from Old Navy and Target.
Khaki high waist skirt, from Amazon.
Navy crop leggings, modCloth.


Knit jacket, thredUP.
Embroidered cardigan, modCloth.
Paris sweater, from Amazon .
Orange sweater, found here.
Navy shrug, from Motherhood Maternity.
White cardigan, modCloth.


Blue knit dress, and red/gray knit dress, Target.
Navy eyelet dress, Motherhood Maternity.
Denim dress, eShakti.
Apple dress, found here.
Denim dress, green maternity dress.
Knit and lace dress, modCloth.

Patent leather sandals, Payless.
Metallic flats, Easy Spirit via Amazon .
Fringe wedge sandals, Minnetonka via Amazon .
Navy wedge espadrilles Kenneth Cole via Amazon .
Gladiator sandals Steve Madden via Amazon .
Old lady yellow dress sandals (SO comfy), Miz Mooz via Amazon .
Red suede espadrilles (also very comfy), Miz Mooz via Amazon .
Blue running shoes.

And here's how it all goes together (mad props to my favorite eleven year old photographer) . . .





And . . . that's what I'll be wearing for the next four months. Including the New York secretary sneakers with a dress thing AND the leggings as pants thing.

Related reading . . .

On Not Wearing Maternity Clothes 

and more on Capsule Wardrobes . . . 

Shopping for 'Tweens in Three Steps, and Betty's Capsule Wardrobe

An Inspired Capsule Wardrobe

The Capsule Wardrobe Post In Which I Show You ALL My Clothing, 'Cause That's Totally Not Weird



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27 comments:

  1. I am extremely jealous of your shrug, and your access to ModCloth. But you look lovely!

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  2. I like all of the colour in your wardrobe. So many capsules I come across tend to be quite monochrome. Which is lovely too in a different way, but it's nice to see how a lot of colour can work really well.

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  3. First, I just wanted to say I really enjoy reading your blog. I think you have so much great advice. I find that we have very similar views on many things.
    Do you still run to church every morning? Can you explain how that works? Would you wear one of the last outfits shown with a skirt and running shoes? I like the idea, but think I would end up sweaty for church!

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    1. I have been staying up really late and not making it to morning Mass lately . . . But, in case I get my act back together soon, I have a shelf of running clothes that I don't count towards my capsule number. Same goes for pajamas and a couple of bathing suits.

      As for how it works, I just don't sweat much when I run. Even as as Division I college athlete, I just never have sweat much. And the church is only a mile and a quarter from my house, so it's not a very strenuous run to begin with. To run, I wear leggings or Capri length pants, and a tunic or cap sleeve t-shirt, or I bring a shrug to put over a sleeveless shirt. I cover my shoulders and don't wear shorts, but I don't mind being very casual at daily Mass.

      I wear a girdle or support tank top to keep from bouncing around too much when I'm pregnant.

      If I were just walking, I'd definitely wear any of those bottom three outfits.

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    2. Do you have a recommendation for a support tank for running while pregnant?

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    3. I have this one.Maybe the blanqui is way better, I don't know, I've never tried it. But this one seems to get the job done for a fifth of the price.

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    4. Thanks! A fifth of the price is good.

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  4. You are beautiful, and your clothes suit you :)

    I have thus far been one of those women who needs to wear maternity clothes (at least by six months) and as they are so pricey, I have the bare minimum. And I LOVE it! Dressing while pregnant is a real perk. So easy, it all fits on a couple of hangers and on one shelf in my closet. I think for my regular wardrobe maybe I need to look at my maternity clothes and base it off that, in a non maternity version.

    I like to see how you have incorporated colour, a lot of capsules seem colourless, and that isn't me at all. So nice to see it's doable.

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  5. You look great, and have such a sense of style! I have always longed for the, but my 8 year old puts together better outfits than me :-/

    But, I'm wondering, does this include your clothes for when you're at home doing school? Or are these just your going out clothes?

    Thanks!

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    1. For *that*, I have always longed for that.

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    2. This is everything except running clothes, (which I only wear for running, then change out of), pajamas, and a couple of bathing suits.

      One of the benefits of doing a capsule wardrobe has been that it gets me to wear my cute clothes, because they're all I have in the closet!

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  6. You're very creative with putting outfits together. This is why I'm into dresses right now- if it's not jeans and a shirt I have no ideas :) thanks for the inspiration!

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  7. Very amazing photography in both of your posts. I'm impressed with you and Betty for it.

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  8. Thank you! I've been loving the whole capsule wardrobe idea and started my first for spring/summer. It has been empowering. I'm back to my postpartum weight and nursing less, but I've always wondered how it could be done in the middle of all that body transition. Apparently, it can be done well! Thank you for the ideas.

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  9. Your oufits look great! I am inspired to also try this... I'd have to add a few more items though because here in Colorado we can have 4 seasons in one day! (last year it snowed on May 11th... Mother's day...) Maybe I could call it 'capsule' but add tights and a jacket....

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  10. Wow! Those are great outfits. And you are adorable! I am going to try this out, I think, for spring/summer. Nursing number 12 and still losing some extra weight but I would still like to look as put together as you! Thanks for the inspiration.

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  11. Your outfits are awesome, I love your style! Unfortunately I have a body that requires maternity clothes when pregnant. So at 35 weeks right now, I'm feeling a bit jealous of your cute wardrobe! :)

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  12. That must have been a ton of work to put this post together. Thank you so much. After seeing your outfits I was able to put on something today that I had not worn in awhile because you had on something similar. I admit to getting dressed for events while studying other people's outfits on Pinterest. I'm just not that original. Thank you for sharing!!

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  13. Love the capsule wardrobe! I agree with others that the variety of color is fantastic. And your dresses are gorgeous and look super comfy too. I'm like some others here and maternity clothes are a must for my particular body type and dresses look odd on me even not pregnant unfortunately. I can *almost* pull them off pregnant but mostly they end up making me look bigger. I'm a skirts person but in pregnancy it seems only jeans really make sense most of the time, which stinks because maternity jeans are dreadful creations.

    I also do a capsule wardrobe for pregnancy though by default because I refuse to ever keep clothes in my closet that do not fit. So when pregnant I pack everything else away, donate anything outdated, and just keep what actually fits out. Makes getting dressed much less depressing! I get out 3-4 items for postpartum before the baby is born because I'm one of those annoying people who do drop weight super fast so I couldn't wear any maternity clothes postpartum even if I wanted to. It's always fun pulling out my regular clothes, it's like I just went shopping but free :)

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  14. So excited to see this post! I always love fashion posts from real women wearing their clothes in real life situations. And yours is unique in that it covers pregnancy, postpartum, and breastfeeding. I was completely lost style-wise after I had my baby. I had built a relatively inexpensive maternity wardrobe that I actually liked (thank you Target and ThredUp!) but once my daughter was born, maternity clothes no longer suited me. My pre-baby clothes neither fit nor facilitate breastfeeding. So I lived in yoga pants and t-shirts until I had to go back to work, at which point I panicked. I went for some last minute desperation shopping (never a good idea), and bought a bunch of clothes I didn't even really like simply because I was in a bind and needed clothes that fit. Most of what I bought really wasn't even my style, and I never actually felt good in any of it. After living with that mistake for a few months, I decided to start rebuilding my wardrobe from scratch so that it would be useful across several stages of life and yet still reflect my personal style. Now, even though I am back at pre-baby size, I have a wardrobe that will work for now, for early/mid pregnancy (should we be blessed with more babies!), and post-partum/breastfeeding. My maternity clothes can fill in the late pregnancy gap. Although I live in a four season climate, I didn't want to purchase separate capsules for each season. Instead, I bought mostly short-sleeved shirts / dresses and opted to invest in several cardigans and jackets for layering. I am FINALLY happy with what's in my closet, and no longer worry that I have nothing to wear. ThredUp and ModCloth have been my go-to's for this process. So, thank you for this post. I am sure it took a lot of time to put all of this together!

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  15. I love your capsule! I, too, am a big fan of empire waist and flow-y shirts, so I try to keep an eye out for those styles that would also be wearable in a future pregnancy.

    And, I really like that you also do the leggings as pants thing. I don't like leggings on me without at least a long tunic or short dress, but I love that they let me wear so many more things that I wouldn't otherwise. I tend to find that most dresses at the store are shorter than I'm comfortable in, but leggings with a short dress is so comfy and still looks nice.

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  16. I think my wardrobe works pretty well as maternity wear. My daughter-in-law is plus size and hasn't been able to find any affordable maternity wear. I turned her loose in my closet and let her take anything that would work. I wear a lot of maxi lengths, empire waists, yoga/comfy stuff. She found a nice dress to use for her shower, a couple of skirts and some roomy tunic/shirts. Obviously if I can share my wardrobe I'm not sticking to a capsule wardrobe BUT I downsized from a walk in closet when I moved in with my parents and I make everything fit. My other daughter in law was teeny tiny and she found a few oversized tshirts in my closet to sleep in. You know, gotta keep it all equal and fair.

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  17. Where is your red dress? What will you wear on Pentecost?

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    1. Ooh, good point. It's in a drawer in my closet. I can always fish it out in case of a liturgical emergency. :0)

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  18. The pictures are all not working on this post. I know it is old but it has some great info!

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    1. I know. In a fit of trying to declutter the computer, I deleted them, not realizing that would delete them from the post as well. Sorry! :(

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