30-Day Capsule Wardrobe Challenge: Maternity Style

I have been pinning and reading about capsule wardrobes for a couple years, enjoying watching others plan and style looks from a limited number of clothing items. And now, in keeping with my New Year’s focus on stewardship — as well as the necessity of late pregnancy in which fewer and fewer of my standard wardrobe items actually fit — I am embarking on a 30-day challenge to create daily outfits from no more than 20 items… with no outfit repeats!

There are many different ways to create a capsule wardrobe. Just visit Pinterest! Some of my favorite reference points have been Putting Me Together, Andrea Dekker, Greater Than Rubies, The Small Things and Anne in Residence. Although I didn’t follow their formula exactly, this article by the Stylebook app was also helpful in considering how to get started: http://www.stylebookapp.com/stories/work_capsule.html

So here are the guidelines I came up with for my Winter Maternity Capsule Wardrobe:

Choose a Palette

This is a pretty limited palette, but working with neutrals like black and white makes for easier pairing with other colors, so I kept it simple. I’ve been loving anything in wine/red/burgundy lately, so that was an easy pick. The other colors fell into place as I started sorting through the items already in my closet.

Set a Limit

I don’t think the number is going to be the same for everyone, but the concept of a capsule wardrobe means mixing and matching a limited number of clothing items to create a variety of outfits. To be honest, I set out with a limit of 18 items… and found I needed to increase to 20 to accommodate  comfort and variety over the next few weeks. I think I can manage with 20, but we’ll see how it goes…

20 Clothing Items

  • 9 shirt/blouses
  • 2 open cardigans
  • 1 sweater
  • 1 jacket
  • 1 vest
  • 1 dress
  • 1 skirt
  • 4 pairs pants/jeans

    Not included in the count (i.e. unlimited…)

    • Underwear: Camisoles! I wear my favorite maternity camis from Target all the time, and these can double as “shirts” under cardigans
    • Accessories: Jewelry, scarves, hats, etc… these are sometimes what makes the outfit.
    • Shoes: I will probably be wearing my favorite boots for most of the next few weeks, with the occasional flat or heel thrown in, but I didn’t want to limit myself on options here as shoes can really make the different in an outfit as well. Especially during boot season!
    • Outerwear: It is winter, after all… Plus, I only have about 2 heavy coats that still zip/button at this point (both are non-maternity)

    It’s the middle of winter in Indiana but, in these latter weeks of pregnancy, I find myself warm more often than not, so I didn’t feel it necessary to include a lot of bulky sweaters or other items. Rather, I plan on layering pieces to accommodate the variance in temperatures. So, my selections tended toward pieces that can be worn open (cardigans, vests, etc.) which accommodates not only the baby bump, but also layer more easily.

    Get Creative! 

    This is the fun part! Thinking outside of the box to figure out new and different ways to wear a piece I’ve had for a while is a refreshing challenge. I was scolded once for pairing items on a hanger in my closet (e.g. this top goes with this cardigan) and have been very careful to avoid that practice ever since. Items that seem boring or standard are really the all-important basis for a unique new look. A white shirt, for example, can be worn so many ways! Adding interest with accessories like scarves, jewelry, or shoes is much more effective and wallet-friendly than purchasing several new tops.

    So, here are all my pieces…

    *Items with asterisk are maternity

    Stay tuned over the next few weeks as I post outfit photos and include more details about how I’m doing with my first attempt at a capsule wardrobe!

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