Maternity Capsule Wardrobe

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

One of the big challenges of pregnancy, was clothes. I mean, yes, I'm saying this because I'm a style blogger, but also, no, I'm just saying this because I'm a style blogger. Your body is changing every day, and you still need to get dressed and go out into the world (and, for most of us, do a job in a workplace). The start of the 2nd trimester (and a belly that would, in fact, be noticeable as a baby bump) coincided for me with the return to work as teacher in the fall. I needed clothes that fit and were professional- and I and needed them fast.

The idea for a Maternity Wardrobe Capsule came out this need. What better, I thought, than not needing to think to hard about what to wear to work. Plus, with this, we would be saving money because you could make more outfits out of fewer items. If I was really smart I could incorporate items that could be used after maternity too.

The plans of mice and men, eh?

Actually, the capsule wardrobe idea worked- to an extent- fairly well. This experiment did allow me to try out several things I hadn't before, especially in terms of a color palette. my capsule had some blushes, rich fall colors rounded out by greys and black and whites. (I will be getting a pair of non-maternity grey jeans after all this over). And, since I had bought literally nothing during the first trimester ("what was the point?" was my constant refrain) it was fun to plan things out. It did also make getting ready in the morning a snap. Because winter was coming on, I narrowed down the capsule to just one real silhouette- skinny legged pants of some sort + a top, usually one that could show off my bump.

However, there were some definite cons to the idea of a Maternity Clothes Capsule too. Three main drawbacks, really. First- and no surprise to anyone but myself- a pregnant body is changing all the time and things don't always fit the same way. Some clothes I simply grew out of. Second was the realization that I am an emotional dresser. A good outfit is the start of a good day for me, and pregnancy hormones don't help this. Getting a new item that fit and flattered provided an emotional boost, though I really did try to limit any purchases to things I would use and need. There was also the trap of too many basics and not enough stand out items. We all know the image of the French Girl- and it is always a French girl- who looks so hip and cool in a t shirt and jeans but after a while that can pairing can grow old, especially when getting bigger.

Lesson 1: The stores and brands matter. Maternity items don't have to be frumpy, but many are. Get basics at places like Maternity Motherhood, but don't be afraid you will "never find anything that fits." Shop around.

Lesson 2: Shop Online. Very few places have much maternity wear in store (unless it is a store just for that, but they tend to be, well, frumpy), but many have a HUGE online selection. Try H&M, Target and ASOS for hip maternity clothes at lower prices. Do look at a few higher end maternity lines too though, like Hatch or Pea in the Pod (See Lesson 4).

Lesson 3: Comfort is King. You won't wear it if it doesn't fit or isn't comfortable. As a pregnancy wears on this becomes exponentially true, but it is true all of the time for everyone.  So make sure it is comfortable.

Lesson 4: You will only wear these clothes a few months, but you will wear ONLY these clothes for a few months. Consider the cost per wear and don't be afraid to invest in nicer things.

Lesson 4: Use those non-sized items you already own. Shoes, necklaces, scarves- they all punch up an outfit.

Lesson 5: Have more than one silhouette in your capsule wardrobe, but make sure they all match your weather and lifestyle.

Lesson 6: If it is winter, buy a coat. Make sure it fits over your belly and can zip. You will thank me.

Lesson 7: Consider sizing up and buying non-maternity items in bigger sizes, but be aware that shoulder width, arm length and item length all change too. You may FEEL like an XXXXL, but first try going up only one size.


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