“Finding clothes that fit my pregnant/nursing/postpartum body is ______.” What is your blank? My blank would’ve been all over the place a year ago…from impossible, to attainable, to I-don’t-want-to-talk-about-it, to manageable-but-meh. After I had Izzy, I felt like nothing I tried on was really working for my postpartum body shape. I was shrinking in some places, yet staying the same in other places, it was very hard to find clothes that fit. I was on the hunt for clothes that:
- were classic and flattering
- I could easily nurse in
- I could grow a bump into for baby number two
- I would still want to keep around heading into my 30’s which is only a year away.
After really searching high and low outside of my normal go-to stores, I finally have found some timeless, fun pieces at a great price that work well for a classic capsule postpartum wardrobe heading into spring and summer! They’re all nursing friendly, great to work a bump into later on, and styles that I can add a pop of color to with an accessory, patterned or textured bag or shoe, a bold lip color, or fun hairstyle.
A capsule collection should be versatile, transitional, and functional for every season. Pick a few core pieces you truly love for your body, add in your favorite accessories to create texture and vibrancy, and embrace a more simplistic timeless wardrobe!
-the mini apartment
When building a capsule wardrobe, you want to think less is more. Narrowing down your closet, accessories, and and shoes to a select few core items is hard at first, but so rewarding and freeing in the end. If you’re growing tired of having too much “stuff,” if you’re always feeling the need to go shopping and have new clothes, or if storing your clothes means taking up an entire bedroom….maybe it’s time you reevaluate your wardrobe. Start here, with Project 333: your ultimate guide to minimizing, decluttering and simplifying your closet down to just 33 pieces.
the mini apartment spring capsule wardrobe must haves
DRESSES x 3-4
No matter what stage of motherhood you’re in, finding 3-4 quality and versatile dresses should not have to be hard. Look for pieces that have buttons on the front, zippers on the sides, or have easy straps you can pull off your shoulder to nurse. If you want your dresses to transition into pregnancy, look for mid length dresses that fall to at least the knee. That way when your bump is on the rounder side, you’re still able to rock a modest hemline. Here are some options for multi-season dresses that are under $50, nursing friendly, and long enough to grow a bump into:
Shop this dress: Roolee Boutique Safe Haven Dress
Shop this dress: Roolee Boutique Raven Stripe Dress
Shop this dress: Hello Honeys Polkadot It Dress
Shop this dress: Target Side Button Shift Dress
Shop this dress: Cloth and Palm Nicole Linen Dress
Shop this dress: Shop the Stockplace Regina Wrap Dress
cardigans / Light jackets x 3
A light jacket, bomber, and cardigan are key pieces to have in your closet during those wet and breezy weeks of early spring and fall. Think dressing in layers: use this over a long sleeve worn with a jumpsuit, or over a dress for a night out. Length will keep your body warm, and thickness will depend on your climate. Plus, they provide a great on-the-go nursing cover when you’re out and about. See below for some of my favorites:
Shop this cardigan: Nordstrom Cozy Stitch
Shop this bomber: Roolee Boutique Birds of a Feather Bomber
Shop this jacket: Biker Faux Leather Jacket
Shop this jacket: Old Navy White Denim
cold weather outerwear x 1-3
Here in San Diego it rarely gets cold enough to bust out parkas, but we do get chillier temps in early spring and winter. Having one or two good jackets that are waterproof and keep you bundled and warm is good enough for down here! However, if you frequent colder states, finding a few good travel outerwear pieces you can layer is a must. I have one thin columbia rain jacket, one Northface windbreaker rain jacket, and one fleece lined snow jacket (we honeymooned in Ireland and travel to Washington state a lot — you can say we like colder climates ❤ ).
Quality cold weather jackets are usually on the pricier end, but you’ll want one that is good quality and will last several years. I did find a great steal on a fleece lined snow jacket at H&M for $40 though! I used it on our Honeymoon to Ireland, and several times in Washington state. It’s seen freezing temps, snow, rain, and fierce winds and I’ve always stayed warm and dry. Here are some that compare to the three outerwear jackets I own:
Shop this jacket: H&M Lined Parka
Shop this jacket: Northface Ditmas Rain Jacket
Shop this jacket: J.Crew Perfect Raincoat
Jumpsuit / Romper / overalls x 2-3
Having a jumpsuit makes getting dressed so much easier – no need to find pants to match your top, because they’re attached! Haha! 😉 Pair it with a jacket, or a neck scarf, layer it over a basic tee, and wear your favorite heels or slides to complete the look. See below for my nursing friendly favorites:
Shop this jumper: Urban Outfitters Jordan Jumpsuit
Shop this romper: Loft Embroidered Romper
Shop these overalls: Free People Washed Denim Overalls
Basic Tees x 3-4
A simple basic t-shirt goes a long way when creating a casual outfit. You can easily lift it up to nurse, knot it in the front and pair it with high-waisted jeans or a flowy skirt, or wear it with shorts and tennis shoes for a grocery run. I love graphic tees, and find most of mine at Target or Old Navy for under $15. Here are some of my favorites places to get casual t-shirts broken down by price:
If you’re more into flowy breezy tops, check out these two nursing-friendly styles from Free People under $60:
Shoes x ??
Now, I LOOOVE me a good pair of shoes. I admit I own way too many pairs — I could probably wear a different shoe each day for at least a month! And I love them all! Sigh. But if you want to really minimize your closet, you’ve gotta choose just a handful of core items to keep – including your shoees!
Some of my favorite places to shop for shoes include: The Stockplace, Nordstrom/The Rack, and Free People. A balanced and minimal shoe wardrobe could include: 1-2 pair of good pumps, 2 pairs of slides, 1 pair of sandals, and 1 boot/bootie. Of course, this can be adapted to your climate just like outerwear, so for example if you live in a place that gets all the seasons or snows in winter, obviously you’ll need a good pair of snow boots and wellies (I recommend something like these by Sorel, I have a similar pair from when I lived in Washington). See below for some neutral options that can be worn with any outfit:
Jeans x 2-3
Another item you should probably invest in are a good pair of jeans. I have some 7 For All Mankind’s, Gap Jeans, Levi’s and Joe’s Jeans that have all lasted 6+ years. Find a fit that really works with your body shape that you feel confident in. Some styles to invest in would include dark and/or light washes in: ankle cropped jeans, high-waisted skinny jeans, and a trusty pair of black jeans.
shorts x 2-3
Same with jeans, find shorts that work well with and flatter your shape. Longer inseams means no revealing hiney, and allows for peekaboo’s under a longer flowy top. I recommend one white denim pair, one blue denim pair, and one linen pair from Target, Gap, or Forever21. I have shorts from all three places, and all of them have lasted me at least 3 years at this point!
accessories x 6-10
Accessories include sunglasses, hats, a watch and any favorite jewelry. So this could look like one pair of sunnies, one watch, 1-2 necklaces, 1-2 hats, and 4 pairs of earrings. I know, it seems like NOTHING! But honestly, with all the accessories I own compared to how much jewelry I actually wear in a week, I could live by this. Think of jewelry either as your statement piece, or a finishing-touch piece. You either create your outfit around it (like wearing a bigger, bold necklace with jeans and a blouse), or add it as the cherry on top (like a thin bracelet and some stud earrings).
bags x 1-2
If you’re a mom, having one good quality tote that doubles as a diaper bag is essential! I have a larger one from Anthropologie that I talk about in my post about how to dress stylish as a new mom. I also have a smaller crossbody bag that I bring with me if I’m able to run errands without the baby.
extra things that don’t count towards your capsule wardrobe items
Any undergarments, sleepwear, socks and workout clothes are exempt from your capsule wardrobe. I would suggest, however, going through these items and making keep + donate (for workout gear only) + toss piles so you can only hang on to what still has lots of mileage left. I recently did this with my own undergarments and PJ’s, and have yet to do my workout clothes drawer. Get rid of bras and workout gear that no longer fit as they should (or if they’re just worn down, have holes, or rips…toss em), and refresh your unmentionables drawer every few months!
I’ve been seriously considering switching to a capsule-only wardrobe lately, and I think that it’s something I want to try before I turn 30 next year! Have you ever tried a capsule wardrobe before? If not, would you want to try it yourself? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below! 🙂