Why Pregnancy Is the Perfect ‘Season’ to Start a Capsule Wardrobe

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Pregnancy Capsule Wardrobe NashvilleMomsBlog

Whether it’s your first or your fifth, your body changes dramatically with every baby and rarely returns to it’s pre-pregnancy shape. This is the perfect opportunity to convert your closet to a capsule wardrobe.

winter wardrobe capsuleHave you heard about these wardrobe capsules? I stumbled upon them recently here and fell in love. The best step-by-step tutorial I’ve found is here, but this is the general idea: pare down your clothes to only the ones you love and are seasonably appropriate. Store the rest in your attic or basement or under the bed, and get rid of the ones you don’t love or just never wear.  If you want, you can pick a number and limit yourself to that many items that work for the current season to keep in your closet (37 seems to be popular).

You can start a capsule wardrobe anytime, but pregnancy has got to be the ideal ‘season’ — you’re already only using certain pieces in your closet anyway. I’ve just reached the second trimester of my third pregnancy, but I’m showing like I’m six months in (ha!), so it was super easy for me to sort my clothes into Love, Eh, and Nope piles. It’s not hard when most of your clothes no longer fit you! After the initial sorting, I separated my Love pile by season (and made an additional pile for clothes I love but won’t fit until I’m back to my non-pregnant, non-breastfeeding body again—like fitted tops, jeans, and shorts):

love piles by season
My Love piles, sorted by season (and two piles for clothes that simply won’t fit until I’m done breastfeeding the baby I’m carrying).
eh and nope piles
My Eh and Nope piles separated by the 70+ hangers I’m giving away to friends!

I bagged the Love stuff and the Eh pile and put them in a rubber bin in the attic. I’ll go through the Eh pile again when my body settles postpartum. Next, I bagged the Nope piles and stored them for a future clothing swap with my friends and gave away the extra hangers. This left 31 pieces in my closet:

winter wardrobe: 2nd trimester

winter wardrobe capsule second trimesterA few things to note from the picture: I didn’t count the party and formal dresses I left hanging in my closet (on the far left). There’s no way I can fit into them currently, but I don’t have anywhere else I can hang or store them without inviting massive wrinkles. I also didn’t count scarves, tights, lingerie, lounge/workout clothes, or shoes (because I’m not really a shoe girl and only have about 4 pairs I wear consistently anyway). My husband and I share a closet, and those are his colorful button-down shirts on the far right, in case you’re wondering. (Sidenote and super bonus I didn’t anticipate: Now that I’ve taken 150+ garments out of my closet for storage, trading, or giving away, we can slide little bean’s pack n play for sleeping under our hanging clothes instead of putting it at the foot of our bed like we did with our second child. Fantastic! Gaining the floor space in our small bedroom is totally worth the effort of sorting and storing all those clothes.)

A major critique I’ve seen about capsule wardrobes is that they seem to gravitate toward neutral colors. I’m totally for this. Almost everything works together, I know it all currently fits, and I like the way I feel in every piece, so getting dressed is a breeze. Eventually I’ll incorporate a few statement pieces and some bolder colors, but right now my belly is all the statement I need. I love my bump, and my new capsule wardrobe contains only clothes that flatter my new-though-temporary figure (i.e. huge & luscious boobs, cute blooming bump, and wide & womanly hips). I no longer wrestle with clothes I like but just don’t fit properly. Moreover, I’m experimenting with combinations I’ve never tried before, and I excavated my previously neglected scarf and accessory collections for pops of color and pattern.

Below are my first ten(+) outfits. I’m no model, and on a scale of 1 to 10 I consider my fashion sensibility to be about a 2.75. However, it now takes almost no time to pick out my clothes, I’ve been trying combinations I never considered before, and I’ve felt more put together and (dare I say?) stylish every day! I don’t think I’ve ever been able to say that about my clothes and daily outfits before. I’m a changed woman.

Day 1
Day 1: White a-symmetrical cardigan, grey dress, thick grey tights, brown boots
Day 2: Black longsleeve under grey sweater, grey leggings
Day 2: Black longsleeve under sparkly grey sweater, skinny jeans, brown boots
winter wardrobe, day 3
Day 3: Blue and white striped shirt under grey turtleneck sweater, boot cut jeans, black snow boots. Least favorite outfit of the bunch, but it was super cold that day, and our HVAC was on the fritz!
Day 4: white flowy top, grey leggings
Day 4: White flowy top, grey leggings, rain boots
Day 5: white tee under grey cardigan, grey leggings
Day 5: White tee under grey cardigan, grey leggings, black snow boots
Day 6: grey and white striped shirt, white-washed jeans (took these out of the wardrobe after wearing - they are not maternity and I tried to keep them on with a maternity cami. Didn't work!)
Day 6: Grey and white striped shirt, white-washed jeans, brown boots
Day 7: brown a-symmetrical cardigan over grey tank dress (over black long sleeve layer for warmth), black capri leggings
Day 7: Brown a-symmetrical cardigan over grey tank dress (over black long sleeve layer for warmth), black capri leggings, leopard ballet slippers
Day 8: grey sweater (over longsleeve and green tank for warmth), red skirt, grey leggings, black snow boots
Day 8: Grey sweater (over grey longsleeve and green tank for warmth), red skirt, grey leggings, black snow boots
Day 9: grey long sleeve over black cami, white washed work jeans
Day 9: Grey Love longsleeve over black cami, white washed jeans
Day 10, morning work meeting: black blazer over white flowy top, blue silk skirt, thick grey ribbed tights, brown boots
Day 10, morning work meeting: Black blazer over white flowy top, blue silk skirt, thick grey ribbed tights, brown boots
Day 10, rest of the day: grey cardigan over white tee, blue silk skirt, thick grey ribbed tights, brown boots
Day 10, rest of the day: Grey cardigan over white tee, blue silk skirt, thick grey ribbed tights, brown boots

Judging from the pictures, I like Day 4, 7, and 10 (rest of the day) the best. What about you?

My plan is to evaluate my closet and stored clothes at the end of March and put together my Spring Wardrobe Capsule. I’ll have to pick up several new-to-me pieces because I’ll be heading into the third trimester, and I gave away all of my maternity clothes after my last ‘last’ baby, but I’m thinking this capsule will probably transition into summer — or at least last until my mid-July due date!

Have you ever considered making wardrobe capsules? Any pointers for me and my blooming belly?

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Mandy moved back to Nashville with her husband (Joe) to raise their kids a few years ago and is convinced it was one of the best decisions they've made. She loves setting off on adventures of all sorts, whether they be roadtrips to the coast, nature walks around their block in East Nashville, or camping with friends and family. Wherever she is, you will most likely find her with a book or two within arm's reach. Mandy stays at home with the boys and her baby girl and works as a grantwriter and general website whiz for small non-profits. A lover of spreadsheets and lists, she occasionally gets personal about personal finance, sharing challenges and strategies of efficiently managing a household, at her blog: Stay At Home Money Manager. You can email her directly at stayathomemoneymanager [AT] gmail [DOT] com.

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