How to dress your baby bump using a capsule wardrobe.
I’ve you’ve been following His Girl Friday for awhile, then you know that for the past year I’ve challenged myself to create a capsule wardrobe for each of the four seasons, and have limited what I wear to only the items in the capsule. You can read about my past two capsules here and here. You can read two other clothing capsule related posts (tips, inspiration and discoveries) here and here.
For you newbies, in a nutshell, clothing capsules are the entire wardrobes made up of four, separate capsule wardrobes that correlate with the seasons. Each capsule wardrobe is limited to about 32 items, give or take. This includes all the clothes and shoes that you will wear for that given season. Everything from your work, casual and special occasions outfits are contained within these 32 items. Workout, pajamas and undies are excluded. You are not permitted to buy new clothes during this experiment. However, once you’ve completed a season, you can re-evaluate what you wore, what worked, and what you need to purchase to replace or supplement for the next time around. (ie If you had a black tee shirt in your spring rotation and you wore it till the color faded, you can replace it with a new tee at the end of the season for next time.) This requires making smart choices that are less trend-focused and more classic, timeless pieces.
The goal is to have a complete wardrobe at the end of the year that has been whittled down to the items you actually love and wear on a regular basis. Your four seasons of capsule wardrobes become your only wardrobe, and you throw away or give away the rest. It’s about simplicity, minimalism and living with less.
One thing I’ve heard from some people is that this is not enough options on a daily basis let alone for special occasions. My experience has proven that this simply isn’t true for two reasons. One, we don’t wear half the things we own anyways. This project forces you to actually wear the great clothes you own. And two, you become more creative and inventive with your pieces. I feel like I hardly repeat outfits even though my wardrobe is more limited than ever.
As for special occasions, like weddings, I think the thing we have the biggest beef with is that we don’t want to only have one “special occasion” item hanging in our closet to wear to all events. I understand this sentiment as I’ve felt that way myself. There are two solutions to this dilemma. One, we can include more formal pieces in our capsule, sacrificing a couple casual pieces for more formal. Or, we could understand that having a lot of options isn’t really a “need.” We want options. But again, the thing this project has taught me is that more options doesn’t equate more options. We tend to choose the same items over and over again anyways, thereby leaving half our wardrobe unworn. Plus, more options leads to the stereotypical, “I have nothing to wear” crisis because, in reality, we have too many options!
I found out I was pregnant right as I was starting to plan my summer capsule wardrobe. At first I thought this meant I would have to abandon my project. However, I thought back to my previous two pregnancies and remembered the daily struggle to figure out what to wear. I determined that I would go ahead with my clothing capsule project (this final season would complete a year’s worth of capsule wardrobes, there by making up my final clothing capsule, make sense?). I would apply the same principles:
32-36 items, including shoes
only items I love
only items I wear
only items I feel good in
only items that make me feel good
only items in good condition
everything else gets boxed up, put away or given away
For my summer capsule wardrobe, I included a combination of both maternity and non-maternity items. In the past I would have been leery to wear things during my pregnancy that I was afraid to stretch out and be unable to wear post pregnancy. But one thing this project has most impressed upon me is that if I have things I love to wear, then I should wear them! Now! I’ve also had more fun showing off my “bump” this time around. In the past I worked hard to hide it until it I was very, very pregnant. I was always so worried people would just think I was fat. But that’s crazy, and I realize that now. This time around I’m rocking the baby bump!
We did, however, wait until I was in my second trimester to tell people our news. Until then, I wore a lot of trapeze style or peplum style tops to camouflage what was going on underneath ;-). Here are a few examples (these were items from me last capsule, since I wasn’t yet in my sumer capsule.)
All three of these dresses are from Forever 21. I normally wear a size small, so sized up to a medium to make them great for pregnancy. This trick doesn’t work for all styles of clothing, but it does work great for flowy summer dresses.
My favorite places to buy clothes when I’m pregnant:
OR just a size up in normal Gap
Forever 21, one size up
Here are a few pieces I’ve had for each pregnancy that I continue to love. (These photos are from Oliver’s pregnancy.):
A few additional tips for dressing while pregnant:
-Be comfortable. I tend to transition into maternity bottoms pretty quickly because I carry my babies low and the pressure of normal waistlines is so unbearable. Pregnancy does so many crazy things to your body, don’t kill yourself to stay in normal clothing!
-I have a very long torso, so I find that maternity tee shirts are preferable to non, simply because they are longer. Pregnancy is beautiful, but you really don’t want to be that person showing off your midriff simply because your shirts are too short. Go for a good fit over what the label says. If maternity fits better, wear it. If your normal clothes fit better, then go with it. Just remember, no one else knows what size is on your label, but everyone can recognize tell-tale signs of ill fitting clothing.
-Have FUN! This time in your life goes by too quickly not to enjoy it. Rock your baby bump. Smile with confidence. And above all, FEEL BEAUTIFUL, because you are, momma!