I stored away all my pre-maternity clothes last summer in preparation to save space when we moved into our new house. A couple months after my daughter was born I started going through them. I was faced with bags full of clothes I had completely forgotten about and a closet that was equally as full. I was overwhelmed and dissatisfied with my collection and just wanted to throw everything away. I knew that wasn't possible but needed a plan.
I started thinking about how I could simplify my wardrobe and tailor it towards this new phase of life I'm in. I hope the next few years will be filled with pregnancies and young babies, and I knew my old clothes just weren't cut out for that.
I've also done a lot of thinking about the "in between" stages of your body as a mom. I'm not about to go out and buy a new wardrobe for each of these stages, but I wanted to find a way to make my wardrobe versatile enough to last through them all. For example, there's the in between time when you kind of just look chubby rather than pregnant...none of your jeans fit and you just need a loose fitting t-shirt that still makes you feel cute because, let's face it, you feel like death. Maternity shirts don't quite suit you yet but maybe your old form fitting ones make you feel more bloated than you already are.
Then there's the in between time after birth where you're still wearing maternity jeans (though you thought you'd be in regular jeans a month out...ha) and not quite sure where you stand with the rest of your closet.
I know not every mom will go through the same stages because we all have different body types AND I know not every mom will have the same thought process as me, but as I searched online for some help with styling my body in this new lifestyle I wasn't finding what I was looking for. My hope in writing this is to give you a starting place if you are finding yourself in a similar situation.
If you are pregnant or just gave birth, you are a strong woman, and should be confidant in what your body is capable of. There is so much beauty in you and it doesn't come from clothing. That beauty comes from the inner strength that has been given by God to grow and nourish another human life. It's nothing to be ashamed of. Whether we have gained more weight than we wanted to in pregnancy, are naturally petite, stuck somewhere in the middle, or dealing with something else entirely, it doesn't matter. We all deserve to feel beautiful internally and adorn ourselves externally in a way that reflects how we feel on the inside.
Because I know these truths, by God's grace I really haven't struggled with body image very much since giving birth. I have chosen to accept the gift of bearing children with my body and am excited to continue to do that in the future if the Lord allows. As of now,
I really have no plans to try to lose a ton of weight. Nor do I think I'm overweight. For me the number on the scale doesn't matter all that much.
Being physically strong and feeding my body the right nutrients has been more important and what I choose to prioritize. I spend a lot of time making sure we eat healthy, and I go for walks pushing a stroller almost daily. If I want to give my body anything, it's not less pounds, it's strength, so I try to practice holy yoga when I can as well. Breastfeeding along with walking has brought me pretty close to my "pre-baby" weight, and I'm good with that.
Okay, so somewhere along this journey I was introduced to the Un-Fancy blog. Her idea is to simplify your wardrobe by getting rid of all the fluff and only keeping a limited number of pieces. None of us like the feeling of thinking "what am I going to wear?" while staring at a closet bursting at the seams with clothes. You can read more about the what and how of building a capsule wardrobe here.
I used her free wardrobe planner, donated almost all of my clothes, and got to work.
- 80% at home, 20% out with friends in casual settings, running errands, etc.
- A few special occasions (holidays, showers, weddings) not included in capsule
- Pregnant and/or nursing
- All new clothing will be neutrals (grey, black, cream, white), with pops of color from old clothes
- Stay within budget
- Simplify wardrobe to pieces that are only functional for nursing, comfortable, and could get me through the early pregnancy stage and early postpartum stage.
- Put together but relaxed; cute but comfortable
My Go-To Pieces:
- Dark denim skinny jeans
- Loose tops and tanks that are long (hit the end of the zipper on jeans)
- Long sleeve loose knit cardigans
I started by purging my closet of everything that met this criteria:
- didn't fit
- wasn't a piece that could last through the "in between" times of early pregnancy and early postpartum
- I didn't feel beautiful in it
- wasn't easy to nurse in
- had holes or other wear and tear
For me this also meant no skirts, maxi dresses, etc. I love a good maxi dress but these two items aren't in my capsule wardrobe right now because I can only think of one or two times when I would wear them. Maybe a shower or a wedding where I'm without my baby, but these two things happen too infrequently for me to justify stocking my closet with any new dresses. I kept a few that I liked and would feel comfortable in and will save them for when Reaghan is weaned :)
Since this is getting exuberantly long already, I'll save showing you my pieces for another post.
How about you, was this helpful for any mom's out there going through the "in between" stages with their bodies? What other issues have you come across? I'd love to hear!