I’m so glad I spent the time to create my Workhorse Capsule Wardrobes for postpartum and nursing. You can read all my posts on my process for building a capsule wardrobe for myself and my kids HERE.
When I found out I was pregnant, I was juuust a little bit excited because I’d have to build a Maternity capsule wardrobe.
My last two were born in October and with this one due in May, I didn’t own much that would work for a winter pregnancy.
Even if I hadn’t had those seasonal differences, I would have built a capsule wardrobe anyway. I’ve learned so much about what looks good on me and most of what I owned did not fit in that category.
I look back at those pregnancies and think “no wonder I felt so terribly unattractive”. I had a closet full of clothes I found and bought because they were on clearance, not because they looked great on me.
I didn’t feel like it was worth spending the money on things that made me feel good since I would only wear them for a short period of time.
Now I know that it is worth the money and it doesn’t have to be a lot (I’ll go into that in another post).
So I’m excited to start this series on building a maternity capsule wardrobe. Because honestly, it’s already made a huge difference in how I feel this time around.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links where I will receive a small portion of the sale at no extra cost to you. You can read my disclosure policy here.
Step 1. Read Color Me Beautiful
Color Me Beautiful: Discover Your Natural Beauty Through the Colors That Make You Look Great and Feel Fabulous was one of my resources that I mentioned in my post on Building a Workhorse Capsule Wardrobe. I learned so much about what looks good on my body type and what colors look good with my skin tone that I can’t recommend it enough.
Obviously some of the tips won’t work with pregnancy since accenting your waist isn’t really possible with a giant belly. But the tips on necklines, jean shape and the full page of flattering colors you’ll find for your skin tone are well worth it.
Step 2. Purge
The first step here, if you’ve been pregnant before, is to pull out every pieces of maternity clothing you own and purge.
I had three piles: throw away, donate/sell/giveaway and keep. I was ruthless and looked at specifically at necklines and colors.
I look best in a v neck and the majority of the maternity tops I owned were a scoop neck, which is literally the least flattering neckline for my neck/body type.Any colors that made me look pasty and jeans I never felt flattered my body, but I wore because I had them got the boot too.
What I was left with was a very small pile of just a couple tops and a pair of shorts. Basically starting from the ground up for this pregnancy.
Step 3. Find Items You Own That Will Work As Maternity
I then went through all my non-maternity clothes and tried to find things that would work for maternity.
Since I based a lot of my clothes on what looked good on my post partum body, I found several things that worked just fine for the first few months of pregnancy.
Think blouses, dresses with a little stretch or looser fitting tops. For example, this is just a looser fitting long sleeve shirt that I’ve been able to wear up until now.
And as my belly grew, I kept out things like button up flannel shirts to wear unbuttoned with a tshirt underneath. I also had a couple flowy cardigans I could layer over a maternity tank or t shirt.
Step 4. Map Out You Life Style Needs
Next, you’ll want to map out your lifestyle needs. I’m talking about looking at how often you wear work attire vs casual wear.
How often do you require casual wear? How often do you need something fancy? How often do you get dressed up for a date night?
Keep these things in mind as you put together a list of what you need.
I was working full time during my first pregnancy, so I owned more items for work than I did casual wear. One pair of jeans was plenty while I needed more work pants and skirts.
This time, I knew I’d be spending a lot of time in jeans and needed just a couple dresses for Mass and a Christmas party.
Step 5. Think Mix and Match
Minus the dresses I got, almost everything in my capsule wardrobe is a solid color. I’ve got several solid t shirts that I layer under different cardigans and button up shirts (worn open).
I’ve got two pairs of jeans a pair of leggings that can go with most of my tops.
Don’t over think it, but do try to keep in mind if a piece will go with 2 or more outfits.
Step 6. Splurge on a Few Items
Since my lifestyle is SAHM wearing mostly jeans, I decided to splurge on my jeans. A great fitting pair of jeans can do wonders when you mix it with a basic t-shirt.
I don’t love the way Target maternity jeans look on me so I kept looking. They make my butt look flat and wide, which really isn’t something I need when my body is already getting wider during pregnancy.
I ended up finding a great pair at Old Navy and Stitch Fix sent me an awesome pair too. The length and fit were perfect and I love how they look.
I’ll go more into this in another post, but I shopped used for most of my clothes and snagged a few Target sale items to make up the majority of my maternity capsule.
Step 7. Sometimes Non-Maternity Works Too
Maternity clothes are so overpriced and it’s frustrating when you need them. But I’ve found a lot of layering pieces like cardigans and jackets that I just wear open during pregnancy and then I can use them after the baby comes too.
Also, I don’t buy maternity underwear. I just go the next size up from what I normally wear. I really love these from PACT. They’re 100% organic cotton and super comfortable, which is just what you need during an uncomfortable pregnancy.
Step 8. Get Fitted for New Bras
As frustrating as it is, you’ll need at least one different size from what you normally wear. Your rib cage will widen and more than likely your cup size will go up.
I just got fitted for new bras and boy, oh boy do I regret not doing it sooner! I knew my other ones were getting uncomfortably tight, but I didn’t realize how bad it was till I tried on the correct size.
What a difference that makes in your day when you’re already deal with back pain, heart burn, and being tired.
I really love Soma. I wear their Embraceable Nursing bras when I’m nursing (and up until now even though I’m not currently nursing). They’re so comfortable and they don’t get those weird creases that other brands I’ve tried tend to get across the cup from being folded over.
I was able to snag a few regular Embraceable bras during their clearance sale for about $12 each.
Photo credit: Pexels
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Have you been able to find maternity clothes you love? Or has it all been just what was on sale like I did the last couple of pregnancies?