CHAMBRAY SHIRT: J.Crew • DRESS: old from Forever21 (similar) • SHOES: old from Madewell (similar) • BAG: Marc Jacobs • NECKLACE: Moulton • BRACELETS: Moulton
This is yet another outfit we shot pre-haircut — it’s just too good not to share.
How was your weekend?
Ours was full of low-key friend gatherings — the best kind of weekend. And then yesterday I got to hang out at Madewell and chat about style + capsule wardrobes.
To those of you who stopped by — thank you. It was so special to put a face to a name and get to hear your stories. From the warmest place in my heart, thank you for spending your Sunday morning with me. I hope you had as much fun as I did.
Want to know the most-asked question from yesterday? It might surprise you.
It was: How do I build a maternity capsule wardrobe?
As much as I wish I could help, I feel that this topic deserves wisdom from women who have been there. Since I don’t have kids, I’m turning to you. Have you ever built a maternity capsule wardrobe? Have you ever blogged about it? If so, share your best advice or link to your blog.
In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a few articles + quotes on the topic:
When people ask me about maternity capsule wardrobes, I recommend Laura’s blog. Her approach is honest and creative. I especially love how she’s not afraid to experiment with her wardrobe until she finds a solution that works for her life. How fascinating!
This article from Putting Me Together gives a detailed, yet approachable method to building a maternity capsule wardrobe.
I’ve always loved Sarah Sherman Samuel’s style, and this year her bump style was especially fun to watch. In one of her posts, she says, “If I was to leave you with one piece of advice, for those of you that are just starting to grow a bump, is to invest in a quality pair of maternity jeans. A good pair of maternity jeans and a T-shirt have literally been all I’ve been wearing. Both work great for everyday comfort and if the occasion does arise for me to adventure out, I just throw on a jacket and a bangle or two and head out the door.”
I did my first capsule wardrobe during the last two months of my pregnancy, and it was great. I looked through my closet for sweaters, jackets, maxi dresses, etc that would still work, and then bought a few maternity things to fill in the gaps. I recommend not buying too much maternity stuff in advance. I bought maybe ten pieces of maternity clothing and I wore only 4, because I was surprised how many things I currently had that I could use if I wore them differently as my body changed. I also bought a few dresses that I could wear during and later. Since I was doing a capsule, and was presenting it to myself as an experiment, and put the clothes I wasn’t wearing in another part of my closet, I never had to feel bummed out that my body size was restricting my choices, and I felt great about the outfits I styled, and how I looked during this time. And, it was great to have that experience of choosing only things that looked good and worked for my lifestyle now, when I was postpartum and needed clothes that were nursing friendly. I saw when I was looking around online, that there was a company that basically sold a maternity capsule: black top, pants, skirt. I think if you had a neutral dress, pants, long skirt, and a few tops you felt great in that would take you a long way.
Sara Triana Mitchell says
I am building my first capsule now. It isn’t a maternity capsule but it is post-partum and nursing friendly. As I’ve been sorting my clothes, a lump of maternity clothes has formed. I don’t think building a maternity capsule would be too difficult. You would make three of them during your pregnancy. In each capsule you will be able to use some of your pre-preg clothes (less and less as you grow rounder). You will need to buy new clothes. I recommend buying quality pieces. Why? Because you are going to wear these suckers ALL THE TIME. You want them to be good. Plus, you can wear them during your next pregnancy, during the post-partum phase, and you could even share them with your pregnant girlfriends.
Good afternoon, what a great outfit–never would have thought to put a chambray shirt over a sweater-y dress. I think the shoes keep it cute. Ah, maternity. I am surprised by that question. After 2 pregnancies, I suggest pregnant women think about clothes in trimester “capsules.” Also, several lovely and thick maternity camisoles are a pregnant ladies best friend–wear them under non-maternity tops [ button ups (unbuttoned as the bump grows), cardigans, jackets]. They will extends your regular wardrobe for a long, long time. Also, the ZARA maternity and H&M maternity lines have great picks: my H&M jeans wore far better than my more expensive maternity jeans.
Ha!! That is not the FAQ I was expecting!! Wish I could’ve been there Caroline. Have you ever tried doing or considered doing a Google Hangout? Kinda like Skype but lots of people talking and sharing at the same time. I would be so super interested in talking with you and other women about capsules and wardrobe questions. Just a thought for the future, but regardless of if you do or not, I will always follow you, dear friend.
Excellent question! I’m not there yet, but I’m so glad so many people asked! Also, love that chambray shirt!
I didn’t set out to create a maternity capsule so much as let my frugality take the lead and–voilà!–I had an unintended capsule! I just refused to spend a ton of money on clothes I wouldn’t use for more than a few months, so I picked up a pair of jeans on clearance at Target, took some loaner cords from a friend who had just given birth, let my mom buy me a few things, and thrifted/consignment-shopped everything else.
My two pieces of advice:
-A lot of your existing clothes will last you longer than you think. LEGGINGS + dresses, shirts, or sweaters you currently own that have some room will get you quite a ways; grab a few stretch camisoles to wear under unbuttoned tops; wear a sweater dress first as a dress, then as a top with pants; wear your roomier regular pants with a rubberband around the closure to give you another month or two in them, etc. etc. And reuse your 1-5 month (give or take) stuff postpartum.
-Don’t be afraid to let your maternity style look different from your regular style–especially if that frees you to avoid breaking the bank on an entirely new wardrobe. I didn’t dress in all my established colors or styles while pregnant because I went with what I thrifted/borrowed/bought on clearance–but I found that I came to love my new palette and the challenges of making it work with existing accessories. In a way it was capsule wardrobe-ing at its best: learning to get creative within constraints, with the added bonus of trying out colors and styles that would normally fall outside “my” look. And extra added bonus–boy do your regular clothes seem exciting after a 10 month+ break!
Steph M says
YES! I wish I had discovered capsules when I was pregnant. It would be a perfect way to try out the concept because you basically are anyway!
Now that I think about it, I agree – when pregnant you are sort of forced into a capsule wardrobe. I can remember the clothes that I wore pretty distinctly, even though it was 12 years ago!
I always advise my pregnant friends to just bite the bullet and buy some cute maternity pants right away. You will be wearing them a lot, and will feel better than just wearing bigger clothes. It may seem frivolous for pants that you’re not going to wear very long but it’s so worth it!!
OH MY GOSH!!! I so just did this! I am not expecting, nor do I have children, so I have not been there either. For some reason I had an urge to plan ahead a little bit one day :) Here is what I concluded after looking at other websites and Pinterest. Note: This may not work for all seasons. I based it on the third trimester (when you can no longer fit into your regular clothing, which I have read you can wear even as the bump is growing) and this would probably work out best if you are having a summer baby, but modifications would be really easy to make…
– a couple maternity basic tees
– maternity skinny jeans
– maternity sleeveless/ short sleeve casual dress, knee length
– black maxi dress
– a couple maternity tops w/ pattern or a pretty texture
– a couple open face sweater for cooler weather
– thick/ quality leggings
– a couple maternity tank tops for layering
– maternity swim suit, for summer
– a pair of stylish flats with good support
I forgot to mention, all the maternity clothes (I have read) will come in really handy for after the birth too! As you lose the baby weight or are uncomfortable with the effects of birth, the bigger/ looser clothing with be a big help.
PS Piece of advice #1–stretching existing wardrobe pieces–also lets you save enough to spend a little more on any items you want to buy full price. Because dang are maternity clothes expensive!! It’s like they know you have to buy new clothes… :)
Ditto on quality maternity jeans. I bought 2 pair (one blue skinny pair & one straight leg black pair) and lived in them until the very end of my pregnancy when I could no longer be bothered to bend over. Once that point hit, I had about 4 dresses that I wore on repeat. I bought very few maternity tops (I think I had 3 or 4 t-shirts) and a few maternity tanks (1 white, 1 black, 1 grey) that I paired with cardigans. Other than that I was able to wear a good bit of clothes I already had. I found that layering with sweaters,cardigans, button-ups, and scarves allowed me to feel like I had variety in my outfits even though I was practically wearing the same clothes day in and day out.
My version (spanning most of 2014 through to now (baby born November but I am feeding), in Australian weather / seasons) is, https://www.pinterest.com/shoeboxenterpri/my-outfits-maternity-feeding/
I think a maternity wardrobe is naturally capsuled! With a maternity wardrobe, you are deliberately putting together a collection of relatively few items because you don’t want to buy things too many things you’ll only wear for like 5-6 months. Knowing you’ll only wear it for a few months helps you be willing to take some risks, too (I tried colors I had never worn before, and now I still wear those colors!). That said, the belly bands that allow you to wear your normal pants longer, just unzipped, are critical to expanding that small maternity wardrobe a bit. My maternity capsule, getting me through days in the office and hot summer months, was black dress pants, tan dress pants, black maxi skirt, khaki shorts, denim shorts, comfy/casual black wide-legged pants, a black dress, a colorful maxi dress, 5 dressy tank top/blouses (they looked good with all of my bottoms), my non-maternity cardigans, and a few maternity tshirts. I did well at the Gap and Loft for my office attire. I got few nice flowy tops from Anthropologie that weren’t really “maternity” tops – I thought they looked a little nicer than typical maternity clothes, and I still wear those items from time to time post-pregnancy. If I add one thing next pregnancy, it would be one pair of maternity jeans.
Thanks for the maternity capsule love Caroline! ;) When I first set out to create a maternity capsule, I was totally intimidated. But I really didn’t like the idea of ‘winging it’ the way I did with my first pregnancy either. I’m not sure if I have ONE best piece of advice as far as locking down a maternity capsule wardrobe, but I did write a blog post a little while back with 5 tips that I think made me successful in doing so, here’s the link: http://thelovelylauralife.com/5-tips-on-how-to-create-a-maternity-capsule-wardrobe/
I also think my fall ’14 capsule, which was to accommodate a much smaller bump, gave me practice for nailing my winter ’14 capsule — that I’m currently still wearing! I like the proportions of maternity + non-maternity items much better in my winter capsule. (You can find all of my capsules under the ‘Wardrobe’ tab on my site).
I can honestly say at this point, 5 days away from my due date (!), that I am unbelievably thrilled with the results of taking the time and effort to craft a maternity capsule. And I’m walking away with the conviction that these “special seasons of life” are perhaps the most conducive to building a capsule wardrobe, period. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any other general or specific questions — I would love to hear from other mamas + mama’s to be!
This (and the other comments) are very helpful! I’m not expecting, but the advance planner in me has already been thinking about this so I’m planning to save this link for later.
Caroline, do you plan on linking this page under your FAQs? I think that’d be helpful for other future visitors :)
During my second pregnancy I bought a beautiful pair of designer jeans and sloppily stitched a belly band inside. Once I had my second I eventually unravelled the belly band and now I still wear the jeans. I bought the jeans in my second trimester so they fit loosely but I feel like my weight and figure have fluctuated and since my, now nearly 3 year old, was born. It’s not necessarily a weight gain but a major shift in what my body looks like. The maternity jeans are great but I felt so frumpy in them a few weeks after I had my kids.
It has been 12 years since I was pregnant, but capsule is the best way to go with maternity. I agree that you can use some of your looser existing pieces in the first trimester. I know some people who preferred to buy up a size in regular clothing rather than buy maternity until the very end. I liked my higher quality pieces better than the items I bought because they were cheap and I wanted variety. I say keep it simple with pieces you really like. I loved Japanese Weekend Maternity clothes, but they are pricey. Here are the staples I had that would still work:
Dark rinse jeans
Light rinse cropped jeans
White button front smocked blouse
Knit lounge pants (leggings are a good alternative)
I paired the black blouse and skirt together, and it looked like a dress. It was good for a wedding and a holiday party I needed to go to. I paired the white blouse with the skirt for my baby shower and date nights. Both tops were more casual when worn with jeans or pants. I might have had another pair of jeans, but I wore the Japanese Weekend jeans all the time, and always got compliments. There are so many great brands that make maternity jeans now, so there are more choices. Be careful on t-shirts, especially if you have a long torso. They seem long enough, but many of mine ended up being too short! Moral for me was don’t buy just because it is cheap. Buy fewer pieces that you really like that can be mixed for different looks.
Steph M says
1. Invest in good jeans and a few plain t-shirts. I would say the same principles apply to maternity as a regular capsule.
2. I also think accessories are a great way to change up outfits, including cool shoes.
3. And set aside some money to buy yourself a few great items around 30-32 weeks when you start getting huge and your clothes start getting snug. (Also coincides with you starting to feel ‘done’ with pregnancy.)
4. Shop in regular stores too, especially with the more flowy, generous cuts in knits nowadays.
5. For some reason, leggings with a tunic are so flattering in pregnancy. Take advantage of this.
6. Don’t buy something just because it’s a bargain! Buy things you love–you have to live in these things for several months! Better to spend your money on fewer items you love.
I have many things to say about this. But I will stop.
Kate Foerster says
Kate from The Small Things blog also did a good Maternity wardrobe capsule. She was the one who turned me on to your blog!
The hardest thing about clothes through the first two trimesters (I’m currently 8mo) was figuring out when to phase out certain items. There were many mornings when I put on a top and ended up vetoing it due to shortness in the front. I had gotten used to a grab and go style of dressing so it was an unwelcome change.
This is my first pregnancy and I popped fairly late – second part of my 3rd month – so I just wore a subset of my normal clothes until then. My work pants (slacks) sat lower than normal until I transitioned to maternity ones. I ended up paying full price for the first pair of maternity pants I bought since apparently Macy’s Black Friday coupons don’t apply to the maternity department. I got a deal on my second pair on the Motherhood website so I guess it balanced out. I wouldn’t have otherwise had the confidence to buy pants online since I tried on so many bleh pairs in the store. For casual clothes I used the hair tie trick to leave my jeans unbuttoned and used a belly band for a brief period. Lucky for me I was gifted some maternity jeans and a few tops.
The capsule stuff I bought was part of 3 shopping trips and totaled under $300. The majority of my maternity tops were acquired in an after Christmas sale at the Motherhood store. I had bought a few tops on clearance on Black Friday at the same time as the pants plus a trip to Ross. I bought more items than others might have because I prefer a fitted style on top – I’m a pear shape – and only maybe 4 pre-pregnancy tops are wearable now. All my cardigans and jackets work plus a few of my dresses.
My second biggest capsule related struggle was bras. By month 4 I was up 3 cup sizes! At first I just wore the larger ones I already had. I bought one I grew out of quickly, but was able to extend the life with a band expander. Then I got two more which I was able to buy from Nordstrom’s Rack at a discount due to the larger band size which meant that larger cup sizes were available. Do not buy the type of band expander with elastic in the middle – ugh, that thing was uncomfortable!! …and took me way too long to realize that was the main issue. I’m planning to use these bras for nursing – I got the convertible kind where the straps unhook. I may need to sew in a bit of ribbon to prevent loosing my straps over my shoulder when they’re unhooked, which seems doable.
Good jeans are a must. Also a few basic short sleeve t shirts that you can layer non maternity shirts, jackets, and scarves over. My main regret with my first (born in Feb) was not buying a skirt or shorts for when my hormones made me burning hot. And I would buy less than you think you need because you are going to hate the clothes by the end of the pregnancy anyway and never want to see them again. But you’ll fall in love with your old regular clothes all over again and find new ways to wear them!
My very first capsule wardrobe I put together because I was pregnant and needed maternity clothes. I did a post on it here:
If I had to do it all over again, there’s only two things I’d change. I’m totally with the other girls on the pricier jeans, but also make sure they are over the bump! I wore Demi panel the entire pregnancy and after my baby dropped early in the third trimester, they were excrutiating to wear due to where they sat on my bump. I ended up having to get all new pants! Secondly don’t be afraid of the rucheing. I typically don’t wear anything with elastic rucheing (I thought it was tacky) but I learned after I got much bigger that it is much more flattering on a bump than non-ruched pieces. Overall, if you want to feel smaller during your pregnancy tighter and form fitting is the best way to go!
My baby is due now any day so my spring capsule will be specifically to get me through the “4th trimester” and nursing. All in all my maternity capsules were great and I’m so happy I put the time into them! They made the act of getting dressed so easy during a difficult to dress time.
I agree with another commenter that being pregnant already lends itself to a capsule wardrobe. Your wardrobe slowly becomes more and more limited. Throughout my pregnancy I ended up just packing up anything that didn’t fit and putting it out of site. Here’s my tips:
1. Ultimately, dressing for maternity is already challenging, so just being able to determine what you can get longer wear out of in your closet is the first thing you need to do. Swing dresses, stretchy anything, button down shirts that can be worn open, cardigans, etc.
2. Hold out as long as you can before buying maternity clothes. Most people can get by with their current wardrobe – especially in the spring/summer. And if you are buying new things, try to buy pieces that you can wear post-pregnancy, a lot of stores have options that will work during pregnancy that aren’t necessarily labeled as “maternity” – be a smart shopper (you’ll also likely pay less).
3. Agree that the first item you should buy/invest in should be a comfortable pair of maternity jeans/leggings (I’d recommend full panel ones, as the side panel ones usually stretch and fall down). Or if you like the bellyband – go that direction first and wait a little longer to invest in the jeans.
4. As with a capsule, try and keep to a color palette for your maternity wardrobe. Stay Classic – especially if you want to wear these clothes for another pregnancy.
5. Accessorize. Now is the time to breakout the jewelry, shoes, scarves, to change up your outfits. I’ve worn the same black dress with multiple different cardigans/necklaces to keep it all from feeling too monotonous. And use your accessories to add color too.
6. Borrow any maternity clothes you can – even just two tops or a dress from a friend can make a world of difference.
7. I found a maternity Chambray shirt and stretchy black dress to be two lifesaver pieces.
Michelle Tomczak says
I just posted my maternity capsule wardrobe today, : ) I hope this can be helpful!
Audrey @ Putting Me Together says
Thanks so much for the shout out, Caroline! I feel honored–love your blog! :) And I totally agree with what Sarah said about a great pair of maternity jeans and throwing on jackets and accessories when necessary for different occasions. Such fantastic advice!
Hi Caroline! I’ve following your blog since your summer capsule and I have finally decided to just go for it! This has nothing to do with maternity style, so sorry for veering off topic. :) But I was wondering if you could do a post or just shed some light on how you organize your clothes. Specifically how you create that page with all your capsule pieces on one view. I also have the Stylebook App, but I have in it all my clothes in the ‘closet’ section instead of just what is in the current capsule. I feel having the current capsule the way you lay out would make things easier to pull outfits together. Any advice?
Thanks for inspiration and giving me courage to try the whole capsule wardrobe thing out!
Leggings are your best friends!
I don’t think there is a one-size-fits-all capsule because it all depends on how much weight you gain, your work clothing needs and your due date (you’ll need more things in winter), but here are a few suggestions based on my experience:
-Most important: don’t forget about the shoes. By the third trimester you may have (at least) some swelling, your back will hurt and your won’t want to compromise your balance. Make sure you do have at least a couple of comfortable pairs, not to tight, not too high.
-Don’t rush; I gained less weight than expected, so I was able to wear some of my regular pants until the 4th month (ok, with the help of a rubber band). When the time came to wear my maternity jeans, they were too big because I had sized up in advance. I should have waited until I really needed them to buy them.
-Start by taking stock of your current wardrobe. You might find more than a few things that work: tunics (to wear with leggings or maternity pantyhose), loose tops, button-down shirts to wear open over a maternity cami, leggings and knit skirts (esp. those with a foldover waist). I had a cotton jersey maxi skirt that I wore almost until the 9th month (altough it was not so maxi at that point).
-You’ll need to buy at least two or three stretchy maternity camis and a couple bottoms. Keep in mind that not everyone finds maternity jeans practical or comfortable, so try to borrow or find a cheap pair before investing in higher-end ones.
-Although the idea of a capsule makes special sense for clothes you’ll wear for a limited time, and saving is a good idea in view of the many expenses ahead, cut yourself some slack. Maternity is a wonderful thing, but with all the changes in your body and your life, there will be days when you won’t be feeling your best. If there is something that you’ll feel great in, and you can indulge without breaking the bank, go for it, even if your capsule is already complete.
Wow, how odd that maternity dressing would be the #1 question for your in-store at Madewell of all places. Let me ponder that one. I hope that you hold steady with the current direction of your site!
Kate from The Small Things Blog wrote about this!
My advice- do NOT go out and buy a maternity “capsule.” Your body will change more than you can imagine, and I wouldn’t buy quality pieces, unless you think of gap and old navy as “quality.” Cardigans were a life saver for me, and the only expensive stuff I would buy are bras and nursing tanks. But even those you need to be careful, because your breasts will grow and grow- and then shrink! I needed different pants for each if my trimesters, so I’m really glad I didn’t invest in expensive ones. And for post-pardom hit up the goodwill, you might get back into at least first trimester clothes within a few weeks. I lost the baby weight in 12 weeks, I wasted money on work clothes I never wore!
Hey- just FYI that’s not your Marc Jacobs bag (which it says in the caption).
Laura Simms says
Unless you’re getting crazy hand-me-downs from friends, I’d say a maternity wardrobe is pretty much an automatic capsule wardrobe! Having to shop for maternity clothes has actually made creating a non-prego capsule much easier because I picked up a couple tricks: 1. buy one style of pant (skinnies or boot cut or whatever you prefer) and then 2. all your pants will go with all your shoes, and 3. buy multiples in tops you love. That made it super easy to mix and match.
Nicole paolone says
First off, LOVE your blog, you’re super inspirational!! I created my first ever capsule yesterday (39 pieces) and I’m stoked!
As far as maternity fashion, I love Sara’s stuff too! I’ve also been loving Rach’s blog http://pinkpeonies.com/ she’s adorable and has great baby bump fashion sense! Giving me ideas for the future ;)
I had neither the clothing budget nor the fashion sense I have now when I was pregnant with my two kids, unfortunately. Cheap handed-down maternity clothing simply did not fit for more than a couple weeks. Some only fit at the very end, some only for part of the second trimester. If you’re going into your first pregnancy and plan to have more, invest in quality maternity clothes, especially pants. With both of mine, I ended up wearing boot cut yoga pants in a quality material that, if accessorized properly, could pass for proper pants. That, and stretchy t-shirts and tanks with open cardigans, jackets, vests, etc., over top. I was able to wear most of my “maternity” clothes after pregnancies until my body settled on a shape and size. If you have the liberty of planning, a summer pregnancy is much easier to dress for without spending a bunch of money on maternity clothes than a winter one. I had both
I second checking out Kate at the small things blog! Her capsule was really beautiful and her blog overall is so good!
Maternity capsule isn’t something that I’ve ever thought about but that question certainly got me thinking about the future ;)
Oh wow, what an interesting and unexpected FAQ!
So many brilliant comments here, I must book mark this and come back to read through every suggestions properly because I am currently 27 weeks pregnant and will no doubt find the information invaluable!
If any of your readers are sew-ers then they may like to read a blog post that I wrote towards the start of my pregnancy with a run down of some of the sewing patterns which I think will be the most useful during maternity:
I’m a sometimes sewer and made two maternity tops using this tutorial:
It shows how to add ruching to the front to accommodate the bump. So many of the maternity tops you see in stores have ruching on the front and back which causes the fabric to bunch up in the curve of my lower back. This is a great method to avoid all that extra fabric!
great topic to discuss. I was pregnant 18 months ago and here are the maternity clothes I bought:
2 pairs of jeans
1 pair of black trousers
1 pair of leggings
2 formal dresses
3 casual dresses
8 casual tops
1 dressy top
It all depends on where you live and the weather. I had my boy in August and live in Ireland and we had an unusually hot summer so I seemed to live in two summer dresses towards the end. I bought things quite gradually and tried to use my non-maternity clothes as much as I could. Things like cardigans and coats can be worn and not closed and you’re bound to have a few non maternity baggy tops that you can re-invent. I had a couple of formal events that I bought things for but look out for places near you that rent formal maternity clothes. Also be prepared to have your choice of stores being decreased as not all places have maternity lines. However I found a really nice maxi dress from H&M that wasn’t a maternity dress but I just bought it in a large size and it worked well. So look out for non maternity styles in shops that may be adaptable.
Being pregnant actually was the trigger for me to get into the idea of a capsule wardrobe. I remember clearing out one of my drawers and designating it my maternity clothes drawer and thinking “well if I can make do with one drawer during pregnancy why not all the time?”
I found this website during my pregnancy… So it was great practice, because I had anticipated buying maternity clothes. Now, I was able to wear most of my clothes right up until I delivered, so I may not be the best example… but I bought three maternity tank tops which I cycled through and layered under cardigans (which I had a ton). I also made sure I had one pair if jeans that fit and a few pairs of stretchy black “work” pants. I also bought a lot of sweater sheath dresses, which stretch and look great with leggings and preggo bellies!
That was pretty much it. The only things that are no longer in my wardrobe are the sheath dresses. Theyre too big now. But I kept everything else :)
I’m pregnant right now (first time) and it has taken me a while to figure out how to have fun with maternity clothes!
My first advice might fly in the face of how most people plan their capsule wardrobes, but I’d advise NOT doing a big planing session and then a big shop and expecting a wardrobe that will work for 3 months before shopping again. I have found that, yes, I can wear plenty of my non-maternity wardrobe even now at nearly 5 months, but pieces don’t come and go from my closet in handy 3-month intervals! I have just been taking stock of my closet every few weeks and phasing out things as they become too tight or look wrong. Which also means that I have been acquiring new things gradually as well, to fill the gaps.
In addition, especially if it’s your first pregnancy, you won’t know in advance how your body will change, nor will you know what you will enjoy wearing while pregnant, so planning even 3 months in advance seems tricky. For me the more helpful approach is to keep my overall vision and type of colour palette in mind as I acquire new things, but not to designate too rigidly ALL the pieces I’ll require up front.
And I think it’s okay to cut yourself some slack and be kind to yourself! You might not always feel great, and it took me a while to figure out how I wanted to dress while pregnant and what made me feel pretty. When your body, and how you feel about your body, are changing, it can help just to buy something nice that you feel good in, regardless of whether you already designated a place for it in your capsule. Just my two cents!
I didn’t intentionally build a capsule, but I think I sort of had one. I did not want to spend too much on these temporary clothes, so I bought a lot of basics: two jeans, a few tank tops, a black dress and a pair of shorts. Everything else was from before, take advantage of your looser flowy tops if you have them, hike up the maxi skirts, hike down jersey skirts.
My most favorite item to wear was the cute black dress from Old Navy. It took me through the last two trimesters gracefully and I even went to a wedding in it. Having an LBD is a great thing, specially during pregnancy. I would purchase a better quality one because it got a bit of pill by the end. I bought it cheap because I’m not a dress person and felt wary about buying it, but that was my favorite thing to wear during my spring summer pregnancy months… I ended up getting the same dress in another color! :)
It’s so funny to learn this was the most asked question! I’ve been following your blog for months and couldn’t strike up the nerve to create a capsule wardrobe… Until I realized I had unintentionally created one since becoming pregnant. It was difficult (at least for me) to buy new clothes every couple of weeks just because I was growing, so I became creative with what I already owned and embraced building new outfits with a select number of pieces.
I agree with other gals here who said it was easier to think about the wardrobe in three “mini capsules,” one for each trimester. My office is pretty relaxed, but it’s still not a jeans-every-day kinda place, so the must-have items in each of my capsules were: 2 pairs of dressier pants, 1 pair of jeans (I still have yet to buy maternity jeans and continue to use a belly band with jeans), 2 versatile dresses that can be worn to work or out on date night, 2 maxi skirts (I’ve used the same 2 skirts the entire pregnancy, never switching them out between capsules), 5 versatile tops that can be worn to work or out; 3 tops that are strictly for work; and 3 cardigans (again, all of which have stayed in the all three capsules). From the 54-or-so pieces I used between all three of my mini capsules, dozens were repeated, and only about 10 items were actually purchased during my pregnancy.
Thanks for the constant inspiration! I’m now looking forward to doing all capsule wardrobes from here on out. Pregnancy was such a good launching point for me to realize I can do it!
I always scrimped by with the fewest items possible with my two pregnancies–because I couldn’t afford most of it and I really didn’t feel much like being stylish then. However, if there is ever another pregnancy I would definitely check out storq.com which specializes in minimalist pregnancy wardrobes–even sells a bundle of basics like a mini capsule.
Amanda K. says
Ha! I’ve wondered this SEVERAL times, since that’s my stage of life :)
I’m pregnant with my third and would definitely call my wardrobe a capsule. I have maybe 10 pieces? But, unfortunately, I spend a lot of time in frumpy, unfashionable clothes. But I also have a few slam-dunk pieces I return to over an over.
I think this time of life is uniquely challenging because you NEED clothes for such a small window. The options are buying more, being uncomfortable (NOT an option!) or going without. I try to find a frugal, reasonable middle.
Postpartum and nursing pose similar challenges. I have a too-big pair of shorts that I won’t get rid of until I’m done having babies only because they’re all that fit after childbirth! Ditto flowy shirts, etc. And then when I’m back to my normal self, that stuff goes to the back of the closet where it sits. Taking up space until I’m knocked up again ;)
Jessica Doll says
I basically only bought jeans and tank tops when I was pregnant wtih both of my boys, layered with sweaters,etc. I only bought maybe one shirt and one dress for certain events, otherwise what I had worked.
I did write a Travel Light post that is maternity friendly and could totally work as a capsule! http://www.teamwiking.com/2014/03/14/travel-light-los-angeles-california/
Liz Frandsen says
I’m not pregnant/don’t have kids, but i’ve had this website book marked forever for when that day comes! Super cute basics to build a maternity capsule wardrobe around!
Never had kids, but was kept posted by the media when Uma Thurman went through a pregnancy – she did it with amazing grace adopting a beautiful flowing trench coat and long silky scarves worn over her white t-shirts and black pregnancy capris – that woman ALWAYS looked amazingly pulled together and classy in her maternity ‘uniform’ – and it worked for ALL events!