So it’s no surprise that now that bambino number two is on the way that I’ve started to obsess about building an epic maternity capsule wardrobe.
I mean, pregnant or not pregnant, a good capsule wardrobe is profoundly satisfying, right?
To be fair I haven’t always got it right. This is my second pregnancy and the first time around I didn’t even know what a capsule wardrobe was. And looking back I can see I made some questionable choices. But I’ve definitely learned some things about how to make maternity wardrobes work and I’m here to share lovely people!
So buckle up because I’m going to share with you why I think you should bother with a capsule maternity wardrobe and then throw down 5 tips that will help you make it work.
Let’s do this 😄
Well, to be 100% honest, you don’t have to bother with a capsule wardrobe even when you’re not pregnant.
But certainly the first time I was a baby mamma it was a bit of a slog to get dressed if I’m honest. Nothing seemed to go together and I just wore the same 3 – 4 dresses on rotation. Nothing wrong with that of course, but I can’t say I had much joy in getting dressed.
This time round I’m keen to build on what I’ve learned to have a small, perfectly formed wardrobe full of things that make me happy and let me express myself. On the plus side it means I can save a bit of money and time (because I’m only buying/making things I know will work).
And, of course, I know I’ll feel great wearing what I choose (or as close to great as you can feel when you’ve got a kilo of baby pressing down on your bladder).
5 tips for an epic maternity capsule wardrobe
OK, so hopefully I’ve convinced you at this point that capsule wardrobes are where it’s at.
But obviously it’s not as easy as just willing a capsule into existence (ask me how I know)! So here is how I’m applying my years of capsule wardrobe experimenting to creating an amazing capsule maternity wardrobe.
1: Get inspired, but keep it real
All good capsule wardrobes start with some solid inspiration. Obviously you know the places to look (my Pinterest board is here FYI 😁)
But one thing I’ve learned in my non-maternity capsule adventures is that you need to be realistic.
I mean – look – as much as I would love to be that girl in heels and a flowy embroidered dress it’s just not going to happen. I’m too active for that to ever work.
So as much as inspiration is great, you have to balance it out with reality.
Ask yourself: will this look work for my everyday life?
With that lens in mind, here is my maternity style inspiration board.
Sure you can still see floaty dresses, but there’s a practical slant to everything so I know it’ll work for me and my lifestyle.
2. Make a list
I’ll be honest, I LOVE this part. It’s so exciting to look at your inspiration and to boil it down into key items.
But making a list of what you need right off the bat can seem daunting, right?
To help, I’d recommend looking over this capsule wardrobe planner I made to help you work out what will work for you and your lifestyle. The great thing is it takes you from the inspiration through planning and helps you craft that ideal list of items for your capsule.
And once you have a list of what you need you can start to look for those pieces that will really work for you.
Here’s how my inspiration turned into a list:
You can see, it’s all about easy dresses (boxy, shift, and wrap) and jeans, with long line cardigans in a really muted palette of greys, blacks and creams with some pattern.
Oh, and those leopard print booties. Because babies love leopard. Fact.
3. Shop your wardrobe first
Still to this day I fall into the habit of thinking I need new things. That somehow new things to make my wardrobe work for me.
In fact after I’d worked out my plan I quickly started looking for sewing patterns to make cardigans and scouring ethical suppliers for skinny maternity jeans (two key items on my list).
But the reality is a lot of the things I identified as being key pieces in my maternity capsule wardrobe I already have either as part of my ‘regular wardrobe’ or from the small pile of maternity clothes I set aside after bambino number 1.
So a key bit of advice is to check your wardrobe to see how many of the things you have on your list are already there. Not only does it feel good to use what you already have, but it saves you money and time (especially if you’re planning on incorporating some me-mades into your capsule).
4. Balance maternity and non-maternity clothes
I think there’s a lot to be said for balancing maternity and non-maternity clothes.
The first time I was pregnant I was very anti-maternity clothes. I just found all the styles so dull. So I made a point of buying non-maternity clothes and sizing up. It worked to a point, but looking back I can see some things didn’t always fit me and my bump.
So this time round I’m going to be sure to include a mix of maternity and non-maternity clothes. In the non-maternity camp I’m going to look for cardigans, trapeze dresses, and accessories – things that don’t need to be particularly fitted. But for things that need to be more form fitting, like jeans, skirts, tees and a shift dress or two, I’m going to go for maternity clothes.
5. Find things that can grow with you
Maternity clothes aren’t just for the pregnancy – you’re likely to need them for a few months after while your body adjusts.
And man, do I wish I’d known this last time. I ended up with a pile of dresses post pregnancy that just didn’t work in a post-bump, breastfeeding world and ended up, literally, frantically searching for tops and bottoms to fit.
So this time I’m going to do some forward thinking and plan to have some items in my capsule ready for post-bump. My tees and jeans will be great here, but I’m also hoping the odd wrap dress might come in handy.
So that’s that. My 5 steps to a perfect maternity capsule wardrobe. I can see my list growing and changing, but I’m excited to finally have a handle on an exciting and interesting maternity wardrobe that will work for me. Yipee.
Also, for you makers out there, don’t fear, I’m planning a down and dirty review of potential maternity (and non-maternity) patterns.