Creating a Capsule Wardrobe

Creating a Postpartum Capsule Wardrobe: Let's Talk Skirts

I'm not being dramatic when I say that sometimes I wake up in the morning and panic because I don't know what to wear. Wednesdays are, often, the worst days for this: I am at the end of my (yes, very short) work week, I often need to do laundry, and I am muddling through work commitments and stresses that have to be cleaned up by 12pm. Even worse, my entire family is getting photos taken this summer, which means I have to look presentable one day in the horizon and that thought alone is enough to make me want to cry. 

So let's talk about this capsule wardrobe thing. Right now, I rotate through two pairs of jeans, a pair of leggings, and maybe 2 dresses if I feel fancy (both of these dresses are maternity); I pair everything with either my sweatshirt (cool), a sweater (usually a gray wool sweater I got from Stitchfix), or a t-shirt and cardigan. Sometimes, I just wear a t-shirt. I'm committed to a capsule wardrobe, but apart from thinking about it a lot and pinning a lot of stuff on Pinterest... I haven't actually bought a single thing,. 

I've thought about buying things! Really! And then I talk myself out of it. Here's my dilemma: A $40 top costs about the same as a box of formula which will last about 10 days. An $80 dress costs the same as Forrest's diaper shipment each month. I get nervous at the thought of spending money. We aren't exactly in poverty these days, but having a baby certainly makes me stress over each and every cent I spend. And what if I end up not loving the new things I've bought? As much as I hate my wardrobe right now (and hate how it makes me feel and look), I don't want to waste money I could have spent on other things--things that would look cute on Forrest, or food to feed Forrest, or whatever. 

That's my dilemma right now: to buy or not to buy, that is the question. Especially with our sudden expenses lately (a busted outdoor faucet and a busted washing machine), I feel bad spending money on myself. I guess that's the struggle, huh? 

I've been thinking a lot about skirts lately.

Mainly, circle skirts (or A-line skirts, as some people call them). After a lot of thought, I've come to the conclusion that circle skirts are probably the best skirt for me. They're voluminous, which means they camouflage ye olde mom belly; they're high-waisted (if worn that way), which means they make me look taller; they show off a part of me that has stayed thin (ankles, ah yeah); and they can be worn with a variety of tops,, which means I can dress them up or down. 

Yes, all of these skirts are from ModCloth. ModCloth holds a special place in my heart, because I want to be one of those cool, quirky girls (cue Zooey Deschanel reference, ugh) who can wear retro-inspired clothing 100% of the time and look fabulous. But alas, a) I'm not skinny enough or b) I don't have the personality to pull it off. That being said, sometimes ModCloth stuff is totally bonkers, like this basic jersey maxi skirt for thirty-five freaking dollars!! I want to personally call every person who bought one (there's one left in stock!!) and be like, "you know you can buy this same exact skirt at Rue21 for, like, $10, right?" 

That being said, ModCloth is the queen of circle skirts. If you're looking for a knee length skirt in any color, trust me, ModCloth probably has it. Downside, it probably costs like $40 or more. C'est la vie! 

All of the options I'm lusting over have a note of neutrality to them (yes, even the florals, I would argue): they can be paired with a variety of colors and patterns, as well as other textures. I'm especially feeling the Mentor of Attention skirt and the Intern of Fate in Latte skirt, because I think they capture the shape I'm looking for as well as being neutral without being plain black. 

I'm keeping my eyes peeled for affordable circle skirt options as I go about my day-to-day life, but if you spot one, send it to me on Twitter! As always, you can follow my capsule wardrobe and style efforts on Pinterest

Creating a Postpartum Capsule Wardrobe: Restocking Dresses

Remember when I used to wear dresses all the time? Literally every day? The last time I put on a dress, I cried because it was the maxi maternity dress I'd worn multiple days in a row as my pregnancy neared its end. Yeah, dresses aren't exactly as easy topic for me anymore--especially because all my dresses are way, way too small in the chest these days. 

That means, I have 5 dresses (3 maternity, 2 throw aways ultimately) in my closet right now, none of which make me feel good, but all of which "fit". I'm between a rock and a hard place, but I know with the right dresses, I'll be feeling fine in now time... right? 

When it comes to creating a capsule, I want to follow the rule of simple pieces, with lots of opportunity to remix. Two years ago, I wore a black shirt dress nearly every day (until I washed it, the shirt shrank weird, and it became super unflattering); I loved how it fit, I loved how I could pair it with different scarves, sweaters, and shoes for totally different looks. My dress choices are based off my love for that dress (which I wish I had a good picture of). Here they are: 

Embroidered Back Chambray Shirtdress,  Maurices . Women's Classic Denim Shirtdress,  Le3no.  Women's Shirtdress,  Land's End .

Embroidered Back Chambray Shirtdress, Maurices. Women's Classic Denim Shirtdress, Le3no. Women's Shirtdress, Land's End.

1. A Chambray Dress

I like chambray. I like shirt dresses. Plus, denim or chambray is much less likely to misshape in the wash than, say, a polyester blend. Here are three options I found via Pinterest. I especially like the Land's End version (the styling, obviously, makes it super appealing, because the length is great, the fabric is probably higher quality than Maurices, and it has a real belt... rather than an elasticized waist. Besides being durable, chambray is also something you can mix and match with: wear skirts over it, pair with scarves and cardigans, layer with sweaters over or long-sleeved shirts under... the options are endless. 

Perfectly Posh Black Long Sleeve Dress,  Lulu's . Long Sleeve Button Front Shirt,  Nordstrom Rack .

Perfectly Posh Black Long Sleeve Dress, Lulu's. Long Sleeve Button Front Shirt, Nordstrom Rack.

2. A Long Sleeve Black Dress

Have you ever googled "black long sleeve workwear dress" before? Word to the wise: don't, it's very depressing. Why is it so hard to find age-appropriate black dresses? Who knew this was so needed? The most worn color in the world in the most desired style in the world... really? The options are so depressing. If you can believe it, these are the best of the best... and there are 2 of them. I for sure won't be buying either of these dresses, but these 2 shapes are classics that I like to wear. That being said, the Lulu's dress is obviously way too short, probably poorly made (it's Lulu's, c'mon), and probably wouldn't fit correctly to my postpartum body. The Nordstrom Rack dress is... shapeless. That being said, I'm ultimately looking for the simplicity of the Lulu's dress, the quality of the Nordstrom Rack dress, and long sleeves. What's a girl gotta do to find a long sleeve black dress? 

Meadows on My Mind Dress,  Modcloth . Folksy Focus Dress,  Modcloth . Folksy the Sights Dress,  Modcloth .

Meadows on My Mind Dress, Modcloth. Folksy Focus Dress, Modcloth. Folksy the Sights Dress, Modcloth.

3. A Fun Patterned Sundress 

You say "sundress" and Modcloth whispers, "I thought you'd never ask!" Sundresses are where Modcloth excels, because they seem to have an "in" on amazing, fun patterns. A uniquely patterned sundress might seem like the ultimately one-wear items, but I think you'd be wrong, actually: with the right pattern, you can wear it with a variety of cardigans, solid scarves (in the early Fall or late Spring), and fun Summer hats. Plus, it's nice to have one pretty, perhaps impractical thing... even in a capsule wardrobe. 


I'm still on the hunt for the perfect pieces for my capsule wardrobe, but as I narrow things down, I'm always up for suggestions, advice, or the perfect pieces you might find online. Share with me on Twitter!