maternity wardrobe: part 1

So, I had every intention of curating a capsule wardrobe: maternity edition. In fact, I've probably had 3 "finished" capsules over the last 15 or so weeks. I was determined to find that handful of solid pieces that would last me all throughout pregnancy and stick to them. But the thing is, it seems like every week (nay, every day!) my body feels radically different. And it is!! There is a teeny tiny human growing and changing every single day inside of me--so no two days ever feel the same. An outfit that fits and feels great one day hugs and pulls in all the wrong places the next, which makes it hard to find + stick to a minimal number of pieces. And to be honest, I'm wearing a lot of Matt's cozy work sweatshirts and leggings around the house, and jogging shorts when I go run errands. I put so much pressure on myself, especially last month, to figure the capsule wardrobe thing out. I felt like I owed it to someone--my instagram followers maybe, readers of this blog, people who've "followed" my capsule journey--to prove that a maternity capsule wardrobe that is frugal, stylish, comfy and practical can be done. And maybe it can! I haven't given up hope. And I do still have some semblance of a capsule wardrobe--I'm just still tweaking it, modifying it, and not pinning myself down to any certain number of pieces, shooting for comfort and practicality instead. Even if that means jogging shorts all summer. I'm still hoping to share my real-life pieces with you soon, but for now I wanted to share some generic mix-and-match pieces that have been my staples, my go-to's, over the last few weeks. If you're testing the waters of the capsule wardrobe thing, or just find yourself feeling like you have no clothing options in this pregnancy season of life, these pieces have been lifesavers for me and might help you, too! Of course, this is all centered on the fact that I'm pregnant during the spring and summer in central Indiana. I'm dressing for warm days (high 60s and 70s), chilly nights (40s and 50s) and then once summer hits, it will be 80s to low 90s and HUMID. Your pieces might need to look different based on where you live.

Regardless, here are my recent clothing go-to's:

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bottoms

1. Dark wash skinny maternity jeans / I scored mine secondhand from a maternity Facebook group. They're GAP Maternity, have the demi panel (full panel is really bugging me, I'm discovering) and the dark wash makes them a little more versatile, so they can be dressed up with heels or down with sneakers. I live in these.

2. Super comfy leggings / I bought two pair of full-panel maternity leggings around week 9, but really can't stand them now. The full panel irritates my belly! So I've been wearing my pre-pregnancy Old Navy leggings. The waistband now fits right below my belly, so they are super comfy. I was also given a pair of GAP Maternity leggings (demi panel) that I wear sometimes too. Those ones are soooo soft.

3. Maxi skirt / I bought a cheapie, basic version from Meijer, but these from Garnett Hill look so dreamy and comfy (out of my price range, though!) The waistband sits right below my belly and is so, so comfortable. It's also non-maternity, so I can still wear it even after baby is here!

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dresses

1. Basic jersey dress / I got mine for 30 bucks from Old Navy and it's the best. I first tried one from American Apparel, but it was super thin and just looked baggy on me, instead of hugging those newfound curves like this one does. Like the dark wash jeans, this dress is soooo versatile, which makes it ideal for a capsule. I've worn it to a funeral, to a business networking event and to run errands around town. I love that it can be dressed up or down and is super comfy while also being trendy and cute. And, bonus, it's non-maternity! It's really stretchy so I just bought my normal size. I did buy it specifically for pregnancy, so I don't mind if it gets stretched out and I can't wear it after the baby arrives. But if I can, then bonus! It's really easy to add pieces to this base, too, like a blazer, a statement necklace, a denim vest or a belt!

2. Black maxi dress / Ahh, the maxi. If you buy ANYTHING for a summer pregnancy, buy a basic black maxi dress. This piece is a godsend. It's so comfy and soft and can be worn a thousand different ways. I just know I'll be living in it all summer! I got mine from Old Navy and bought the regular, non-maternity version. I did get it in a size up, but kind of wish I'd stuck with my original size--the straps are a bit big (but nothing my mama can't fix!)I've worn mine with a denim vest, belted, and tied a tshirt over top to make it look more like a high-waisted skirt. The options are endless!

3. Structured dress / I rolled over the grey play dress I've had in several other capsules, and it's working great. I like having a different option besides the basic, straight cut jersey dresses. The play dress I have is a lot like this one--it has a bit of a waist but it's not tight or really defined, so right now it sits up over my bump. I don't know that I'll be able to wear it to the end of my pregnancy, because it might get a little short once this bump is in full force, but it works really well for now!

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tops

1. Maternity cami / Oh, the maternity cami. These super long tanks come in super handy! I wear them under most shirts and other tank tops, which has allowed me to continue wearing pre-pregnancy and non-maternity versions of things. Most of the shirts I already had are too short by now since this bump is growing, so the camis are great for layering underneath and keeping that belly covered.

2. Basic tanks / I have a handful of pre-pregnancy tanks I'm still able to wear, but I doubt I'll be able to say that much longer. I really love the look of these tanks from American Eagle, and will probably get one or two once my current tanks no longer cover my baby belly.

3. Basic tees / I bought 4 basic, crew neck tshirts from Old navy for super cheap ($5 each!) and love them! I wear them basically everyday. I'm wearing one now in fact! Again, I don't know if these will last all the way through pregnancy, but they've been working great for the last 6 weeks and still have plenty of stretch room. They're non-maternity so if I can wear them after baby arrives, that's awesome, but they were so inexpensive that even if they get stretched out, it won't be a big deal.

Overall, most of my current "pregnancy wardrobe" is pre-pregnancy pieces or non-maternity pieces, with a couple maternity staples thrown in (like the jeans and camis!) When I wear an outfit that is comfortable, makes me feel pretty and I can stay in all day, I make a note of what I wore in my phone so I can refer to it later. That's been really helpful when I stare at my rack full of clothes and feel like I have nothing to wear.

Once our April spending freeze lifts and I have a small clothes budget again, I'm hoping I can round out my spring/early summer capsule in early May and share the official results with you all! Have you ever built a maternity capsule wardrobe? Any tips or tricks for maternity dressing? I'd love to hear! XOXO!

capsule fashion: button down + quilted top

A few of you mentioned that you like to see how I actually wear the clothes in the my capsule wardrobe, and I'm happy to oblige! I posted a few weeks ago about three ways to wear a graphic tee and I'm back today to share another quick outfit--layering the quilted top over a button down. I actually need to do a capsule update here soon, as I did some shifting to my winter pieces after realizing what things were actually getting worn and what pieces weren't. Long story short: I kind of hate jeans in the winter. I always end up cold when I wear them, and in the dark, cold days of January I really want to be cozy + cute, and my jeans just weren't doing it for me. To I took a few pieces out (actually, like this plaid flannel) and replaced them with pieces that work better on the day-to-day for me this season. But, more on that later. Especially since we have six more weeks of winter. For now, I just want to profess my love for this quilted sweatshirt tee from J.Crew Factory. I bought it on impulse (don't do that!) last spring and have just grown to love it more and more. It's great on its own, looks awesome layered under things like blazers, and is also super cute layered OVER things, like button downs and dresses. I just love it.

Here's one of my favorite go-to outfits for working from home, running errands or lunch with a friend.

button down (thrifted) / quilted sweatshirt tee / leggings / riding boots (thrifted) / statement necklace (vintage)

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And here it is, layered over a denim shirtdress:

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And layered over a ruffled slip + under a tweed blazer.

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So versatile! It's my favorite. Happy Monday!

1 piece, 3 ways: graphic tee

People ask me often, in reference to my capsule wardrobe, "don't you feel like you're wearing the same stuff over and over and over again?" And I guess the practical answer is, well, yes, because I AM wearing the same 10-15 core pieces over and over. The difference is that with a capsule wardrobe (with mine at least), every piece works together, so the combination of those few pieces feels endless! I don't feel stuck in an outfit rut or like I'm uninspired with no ideas for what to wear. In fact, it's the opposite! I feel like I put outfits together WAY more now (with less clothes!) than I ever did before, and I feel most like myself, like who I am and how I feel on the inside matches what I'm presenting to the world. Wow, that was such a cheesy thing to say, but it's TRUE! So, I thought I'd share a few of my "real life" outfits, created from my capsule pieces, here and there to hopefully inspire you! You really can make less stuff go a long way. It's really freeing. One of the biggest elements of my personal style is layering. If I could sum up my ideal style, it'd be like those girls you see in the airport, who look like they are super well-traveled and adventurous, they're rocking a patched backpack and a cool, understated, pulled-together outfit that manages to look effortless without looking sloppy. That's my style in a nutshell. I love basics, and I love layering, and I need to be able to pull myself together in ten minutes or less in the morning, or I get overwhelmed. One major element of my style "uniform" is the tee. Oh, how I love basic tees. I live in them! So when I saw that this graphic tee was up for grabs as a reward for backing my friend's kickstarter, I was all about it. I wear it SO often. Here are three of my favorite ways to style it!

way #1: over a ruffled slip, with skinnies + saddle shoes

capsule pieces: graphic tee, dark skinnies, ruffled slip, saddle shoes (the ruffled slip elevates this from plain-jane jeans + tee and makes it look more pulled together!)

way #2: under a blazer, with a hat for extra flair

capsule pieces: graphic tee, dark skinnies, tweed blazer, ankle boots (bonus! hats, scarves, jewelry and accessories aren't part of my capsule, so I can make a ton of different outfits just using these!)

way #3: tied over a maxi dress with a layered cardigan

capsule pieces: graphic tee, black maxi, cable knit cardigan, ankle boots (pro tip: I find that a maxi dress is more versatile than a skirt for this exact reason. When I need a black maxi skirt, I just throw a top over the top of the dress and boom--this one piece can double as both!)

capsule wardrobe // 04

capsulewardrobewinter-01 Hooray! Now that we are basically halfway through December, it's time to unveil my winter capsule (ha ha!) This is my third go-around with a capsule wardrobe and it keeps getting easier and even more awesome. You can see my summer capsule here and fall capsule here, and my process for starting it here. I should mention that this "capsule wardrobe" idea is NOT original, and I get almost 100% of my inspiration, tools, tips and tricks from Caroline and Unfancy. She's a rockstar.

As I was putting this blog post together, I realized that my winter capsule is almost entirely thrifted + gifted, which is great for me because I spent zero dollars on this season's wardrobe, but might be frustrating to you who see pieces you love and read that I found it at Goodwill. I know I get irritated when looking at Pinterest and blogs, finding THE perfect piece and then reading "perfect sweater that looks exactly like the one I've been searching for for months: vintage" OF COURSE IT'S VINTAGE AND I'LL NEVER FIND IT. So, sorry about that.

I'll be blogging a lot more about money and Matt and I's journey in the new year, but suffice it to say that we live on VERY little. We are super blessed with wonderful parents and had a ton of our home furnishings and decor from college, we spend the bulk of our dollars that don't go to bills on really good food, but we have very, very little each month for "play money." We don't go to movies, we don't go out to eat, and I don't go shopping. Meaning, I had a budget of $0 for clothes this season. It wasn't a big deal and I truly didn't NEED anything, but there are definitely a few pieces on my wish list...like a puffy vest, black heels and a black blazer. Maybe next year!

I didn't do the worksheets or anything this time around, because I had a pretty good idea from my fall capsule and really, my clothes don't change TOO much from fall to winter. Given the choice, I will wear leggings or skinnies with a long button down flannel shirt or tunic and throw on a cardigan or blazer if I'm cold. Indiana is COLD in the winter so I'm all about layers and practicality. You'll also see that with my shoes. No cute flats or anything for wintertime. I HATE cold, wet feet and it's basically a guarantee that unless you wear boots December-March, you will have cold, wet feet. I kept one pair of heels in for Christmas, a wedding at the end of this month and Valentine's Day, but otherwise it's all boots/waterproof options.

Also, Caroline at Unfancy recommends 37 items. I try to keep as close to that number as possible, but am not married to it. For me this whole tiny wardrobe thing is about the idea, and not beating myself up about rules. So I have 40 pieces this season, and I'm okay with that!

Here's what my capsules DON'T include:

  • sweatpants/loungewear | I have 3-4 pairs of lounge pants and 5-6 basic tees and tanks that I wear around the house
  • tshirts | I have a drawer of 10-12 basic tshirts from 5ks/college/etc that aren't included. These are clean the house/do yardwork/go for a run shirts
  • workout gear | I have a few pairs of workout leggings and 8-10 workout tanks that are not included
  • outerwear | some people include outerwear in their capsule, but I don't. I have a long military-type trench jacket, a raincoat and a peacoat for my outerwear
  • pjs / socks / underwear / camis | because, duh.
  • accessories | things like hats, scarves and jewelry aren't included. I still cull through these pieces often and have pared them down to my absolute favorites. I have 5 or so "fashion scarves", 4 warm knit scarves, a couple pairs of gloves/mittens, a handful of hats (beanies, ball caps, cute hipster-y hats) and a small amount of jewelry. I still think I have too many accessories, but I'm working on it.

Okay, ready? Let's see what's in my closet!

WINTER CAPSULE • 40 ITEMS

TIME PERIOD: DECEMBER, JANUARY, FEBRUARY (maybe March depending on how Indiana weather goes!)

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DRESSES: 3

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 navy dress (rolled over from fall) • black maxi (rolled over from fall) • grey sweatshirt dress (this was a gift)

BOTTOMS: 5

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black leggings (rolled over from fall. I have two pair of these so I don't have to do laundry every other day) • tulle skirt (rolled over from fall)boyfriend jeans (pulled from storage)dark skinnies (rolled over from fall) • grey skinnies (rolled over from fall)

TOPS: 27

I'm splitting this into two categories: layering pieces like blazers, cardigans, ponchos and that vest, and actual top tops, like tees and button downs. First up: layering pieces.

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open cardigan (rolled over from fall) • utility vest (rolled over from fall) • navy blazer (rolled over from fall, thrifted) • grey blazer (rolled over from fall) • ruffled poncho (pulled from storage, gifted) • geometric fringe poncho (gifted) • chunky cardigan (pulled from storage, thrifted--it's Oscar de la Renta and my favorite thrift find EVER!) • cable knit cardigan (pulled from storage, thrifted) •   (pulled from storage, thrifted)

stand alone tops:

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white tunic tee (rolled over from fall, GAP last season, similar) • green henley tunic (rolled over from fall, Old Navy a few seasons ago, similar) • grey quilted top (rolled over from fall, jcrew factory last season, similar here) • grey sweater (rolled over from fall) • flannel button down (rolled over from fall, thrifted)  • jacquard top (rolled over from fall) • sweatshirt (rolled over from fall, ON a few seasons ago, similar) • drapey gray top (pulled from storage, F21 a few seasons ago, similar) • plaid button down (pulled from storage, thrifted) • flannel button down (stolen from my husband) • flannel button down (stolen from my husband) • pinstriped henley tunic (thrifted, from the men's section--they have better stuff!)cream sweater (pulled from storage) • alpaca sweater (pulled from storage, purchased on a crazy adventure to Peru a few years ago...) • letter sweater (pulled from storage--this was my mom's letter sweater for cheerleading in high school!)graphic tee (received for backing Wildly Co's kickstarter--they don't make adult sizes) • ruffled slip (pulled from storage, similar) • black hoodie tunic (gifted, similar)

SHOES: 5

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nude pumps (rolled over from fall)saddle shoes (rolled over from fall) • duck boots (rolled over from fall, thrifted)ankle boots (rolled over from fall) • riding boots (rolled over from fall, thrifted)

one-off pieces: 2

these two pieces will each be worn one time, but I wanted to share them anyway. That ski sweater I found at an antique shop and will be worn on Christmas day and to an ugly sweater party (okay, so it will be worn twice) and I plan on wearing the black dress for Christmas Mass!

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That's all, folks! What's in your capsule? Do you do a capsule? I'd love to hear!

capsule wardrobe // 03

fallcapsuleheader-01 To say I'm excited for this particular capsule wardrobe is a total understatement. I LOVE FALL! And I feel like I belong in fall. I get fall. I know how to dress for fall. So I was super pumped putting together the latest installment in my capsule closet. (here's my journey to a capsule wardrobe and you can find my summer capsule right here.)

This is my third capsule that I've done. Spring was my one-month experiment, I got a little better with summer and found that it was even easier this time around! This is the first time I actually filled out the capsule wardrobe planner over on Caroline's Mecca-for-all-things-capsule-closet, Unfancy. HIGHLY recommend printing and filling out this planner if you're considering a capsule wardrobe for yourself. It was super helpful! I also realized that I overdid it a bit on my summer shopping. A 100% silk tank top is awesome, but not when you only wear it twice then need to have it dry cleaned. I bought several pieces that required special care, which helped me realize that although I love those pieces and the companies that make them (hello, Everlane) my lifestyle right now does not lend itself to weekly dry cleaning or super specific washing instructions. I'm still ruining laundry weekly (insert monkey-covering-eyes-emoji-here) so maybe someday when I grow up, I can have nice things. Ha! This time around, I tried to be a lot more practical when shopping (read: Old Navy instead of J.Crew!)

Some notes about this season's capsule:

  • I am ALL about layers in the fall, so I leaned heavily on pieces that can be worn under + over other pieces
  • Words associated with my style (a super helpful exercise from the wardrobe planner!): classic, casual, natural, effortless, attainable, low-key
  • Major colors: grey, white, black, navy, denim
  • Minor colors: cognac, hunter green
  • Accent colors: mustard, cobalt
  • As always, workout wear, sweats + lounge clothes, team wear (i.e. Colts jersey), accessories (including bags) and outerwear is not included in my capsule wardrobe, but everyone is different.
  • I'm not including shoes in this post, because my shoe situation is still being worked out. I nail the clothes part of fall, but shoes always get me. So I'm going to take my time and figure it out as I go rather than rush-purchase something just to blog about it! (See mom, sometimes I think things through ;))

Without further ado, here are my pieces + links if I can find them!

FALL CAPSULE • 39 ITEMS

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SKIRTS + DRESSES: 5

navy "fancy" dress (pulled from storage) • black maxi (rolled over from summer) • grey shirt dress (pulled from storage) • white linen dress (rolled over from summer because rules about "no white after Labor Day" were made to be broken) • tulle skirt (made by my mom)

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PANTS + SHORTS = 6

denim cutoff shorts (rolled over from summer because nothing is better than jean shorts + a cozy hoodie around a campfire, amiright?!)ripped jeans • dark skinnies (pulled from storage) • grey skinnies (pulled from storage) • black jumpsuit (rolled over from summer) • black leggings (pulled from storage)

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JACKETS, BLAZERS + SWEATERS = 8

sweatshirt (rolled over from summer)open cardigan • utility vest (pulled from storage) • navy wool blazer (pulled from storage) • grey blazer (pulled from storage) • denim jacket (pulled from storage)grey sweater • army jacket (pulled from storage)

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TOPS = 17

white tunic tee (pulled from storage) • green henley tunic (pulled from storage)black 3/4 sleeve • grey quilted top (pulled from storage)striped tee • flannel button down (pulled from storage) • white thermalspeckled heathered teejacquard top • black silk tank (rolled over from summer) • midwest is best tee (rolled over from summer) • baseball tee (pulled from storage) • chambray button down (rolled over from summer)

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Are you doing a capsule wardrobe? I'd love to hear any tips or resources or how it's going for you!!

XOXO!