Last week, I pulled out all my clothes from my closet, under bed boxes, and the guest closet, where I had relegated anything that didn’t fit. At this point 90% of my wardrobe doesn’t fit. Thankfully I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Soon(ish) I will have lots of options, which is very exciting.
Especially because I am staying home with the kids, I did my best to avoid buying any maternity clothes with this pregnancy. I kept holding out for after the delivery, when it is entirely more fun to go shopping. I will freely admit, some days I looked disheveled (more on that here). Some might even say, I lost myself in motherhood. But I’m pretty okay with it for this short season of growing a tiny human. Even now in these first few months of nursing when literally nothing fits well, I’m not buying. My whole body is a different shape, like I’m dressing Pamela Anderson’s chest. I have one outfit that I will wear out of the house – a black swing sweater, a nursing tank, and maternity jeans. It is not my finest moment, but it is enough.
However, to those who could say I’ve lost myself: two things. First, yes I have. I have sacrificed a good bit of me, as all mothers and mother figures, do for children. That is a good and noble thing, not scary or weak. I’m glad to have lost some of my self-centeredness for the sake of others. I’m honored to snuggle my baby even if that means I am sitting in day old sweats and didn’t wash my hair. Babies don’t keep.
Second, no, not quite. The baby will start sleeping someday soon; pounds will burn off; and there will be room for a little more of my interests (like showering) in the day. While I’m sure there is the possibility of completely losing oneself in one’s children, I’m excited to find a healthy combination of mothering and self-care that models for my children how to care for myself as an adult. I wouldn’t want my daughter to grow up as a disheveled mess, but I would understand if she let some things go in the early months of being a mother while she focused on more important things.
So, after 7 weeks of newborn fog, I lifted my head to play with clothes and think about myself a little bit. I keep getting an itch to buy new stuff for myself as a reward, so this was the easiest way to save that money and still get excited about losing the baby weight. While I’m thrilled to fit into my old clothes, having a very minimal maternity wardrobe was freeing and made getting dressed a cinch. So, as I looked at my wardrobe, I tried to create a combination of a minimalist uniform and a seasonal capsule wardrobe. Here’s why….
First, I like capsule wardrobes, because in Indiana we have very distinct seasons. So, separating my clothes into at least two “capsules” or small collections is really helpful for quick decision-making in the morning. I have plenty of clothes, but they look haphazard when you see winter’s flannel shirt next to summer’s breezy eyelet shirt. Writing down my capsule also helped me find gaps, so I can shop smart. Also, the rule of 3 is a genius way to prevent your wardrobe from skewing too casual or too fancy (something I’ve fallen prey to before).
On the other hand, I prefer a minimalist wardrobe. Less is more. The 37-piece capsule tends to focus on trendier items and styling as many combinations as possible. I would prefer to invest in clothes for the long-term, not just a 3 month time-span. When I have three kids to feed in the morning, I need a simple uniform I can throw on and feel great in, not a creative styling session in my closet. Over the past 3 years, I’ve continued to streamline my wardrobe down to the basics, buy less, and create outfit formulas that work for my style.
I’m creating a hybrid of the two – a minimal capsule? Simple capsule? No brainer wardrobe? Whatever it’s called, I started it yesterday with all my clothes strewn on the bed, and I mapped out all my seasons in one nap time! It really helped me visualize each season. I also donated a few outliers I realized were only used for one specific season and some duplicates (an easy way to get cash for filling in holes in your wardrobe). Now I can quickly fill my closet with the clothes for that season and budget for anything new I want to add. I’m looking at you, high rise skinny jeans….
I’ll share my spring capsule soon. Have you ever tried a capsule wardrobe? Love it or hate the idea? Would you call yourself a minimalist or maximalist when it comes to clothes and shoes?