October 19, 2015

What really went down with the Capsule Maternity Wardrobe Challenge – the good, the wtfs and what I learned

simple-capsule-wardrobe

Ummm. Did 30 days of pregnancy really just go by like that? It seems to speed by faster and faster with each child and that’s exciting/scary/awesome/crazy/…help me. I will have three kids in just over three months. iiiiiiiiy. [insert wide-eyed emoji] I clearly need emojis for my posts.

Anyways, let me get down to bidness. It has been thirty days (or so) since I started the Maternity Capsule Wardrobe Challenge (did you catch the kick-off post?)…and ooooooo what an adventure and totally enlightening experience it has been. I mean, wow. $500. 7 pieces total. SEVEN pieces, ya’ll. Did I finish with the same amount?…no, but haha…the point is I made it. I wasn’t driven off a ledge in my pregnant hormonal state…and I am now here to tell the story. ::snort::

I sound dramatic when it really wasn’t that dramatic of an experience (except for some days when I would go into my closet, roll my eyes and mutter about having to wear “the same f-ing black skirt again”…yeh, aside from those days). I was surprised with how easy it was to get dressed, even with such a limited selection of clothing. I had random days, like I mentioned, where I felt like I couldn’t style the “f-ing black skirt” any differently than I had the day before, but then…I just went with it. I would put that skirt back on and figure it out. After a couple of weeks of sort of stumbling and pushing through it, I really really started to feel the easy flow to it and  appreciate the whole thing. I got more creative and it was fun!

Now, would I…could I stick with just the seven pieces I started with for the entire month? Hell no. HA! It was seven pieces. I had to break down and be real (clothes have to be washed, Cams). I do think it was a great plan to start out very limited and selective though, because what I found was this…I started to look at each week as an opportunity to feel out what I had – to wear the different pieces (on repeat, because…umm..I had to) and really look at it all over a seven day period. I could then see the holes that HAD to be filled in order to make this all do-able.

I guess you could say I put myself through an intensive wardrobe study/boot camp to curate a solid maternity capsule wardrobe that is realistic, wearable and seriously awesome for all of you mamas-to-be (or even you postpartum mamas. Can’t forget you rockstars!). I wanted it to be good. Period.

So, without further hesitation or blabbing, let me share my final results… *drum roll* …

The Ultimate Maternity Capsule Wardrobe

fall-maternity-capsule-wardrobe

 

 

The Maternity Basics

Basic black tank – basics are a must, because…well, they’re basic and serve as a great place to start with an outfit. I wore this black rouch tank top many times. It went well with most everything in the capsule wardrobe, but I especially loved wearing it with the midi skirt, because together they looked like a sleek maternity midi dress.

White tee – I didn’t initially add a tee like this Ingrid & Isabel v-neck, but very quickly after I started the challenge I realized that I HAD TO HAVE ONE. It’s a tee and a tee is another necessary basic, in my opinion. It’s easy to throw on and can be worn with everything. I have no idea why I didn’t add one to begin with. FYI: I love a looser fit, even while pregnant, so I’d go up a size. That’s totally just my preference though! I think it would look lovely fitted as well (especially layered under things). I also like this non-maternity pocket tee, which I have found can work during pregnancy, as long as I go up a couple of sizes and layer a basic tank underneath (as needed…or as the bump pokes out more and more:)

Basic white tank – another one of those basics, good for layering underneath maternity and non-maternity tops and dresses. I wore this one a lot as well (as you’ll see below). The one thing about this particular Indgrid & Isabel Everyday Cami is the sizing and the fit. I had to return the first size, because it was way too small (and my normal size usually). I went up one size, but could have gone up even more to the size three…because I found it riding up a lot and I had to pull it down every so often. That said, after all of this was said and done…I wished that I had just gotten the same rouch tank top style as the black one, but in white.

Jean shorts – this is something I should have added from the get-go. It just made sense, considering that I live in SC and me wearing jeans every day was not an option at the beginning of Sept. HA. Sooooo…adding a pair of jean shorts like these Ripe Maternity Denim Shorts or these longer Lilac Maternity Shorts would be a good idea, especially if you are in a warmer climate.

Leggings – I was happy to have a pair, once I added them. I don’t think these have to be explained, right?! haha. Maternity leggings with belly support are so comfortable…and they don’t have to be worn as pants. ha. They are awesome layered under things; such as, tunic tops, dresses and longer sweaters. I wore mine with the vest and baseball cap and then on a date night with the wrap and sexy OTN boots. BAM. Comfy and cute.

Skinny jeans – yep. Having a basic pair of skinny jeans on hand that are great quality, fit well and can be worn with a variety of tops and shoes makes pregnant life easier…it’s a must. Now, if you’re not into the whole skinny jeans thing (which isn’t actually “the thing” right now, but whatever. I’m still wearing them), I’d say you might be perfectly happy with the more relaxed pair of jeans, such as the ones I wore these past 30 days…

Relaxed jeans – I got along well with these Paige Jimmy Jimmy Skinny Maternity Jeans. They were comfortable and have a great wash to them, which went well with everything else in the wardrobe. I will say though, if you like jeans a bit more fitted…go down a size.

Midi skirt – the “f-ing black skirt”. haha!! I joke though, because this Ingrid & Isabel skirt was awesome and quickly became a staple for me. It has a double layer, super comfy and flattering. I only occasionally had a rocky relationship with it ;).

Non-Maternity Investments

Cool vest – cool indeed. Without this Sanctuary Clothing Vest many of my capsule outfits would have fallen flat. Basically, they would have been painfully boring.

Striped Tunic – otherwise known as, the coolest top to wear while pregnant (and it’s not even maternity). Seriously. I could live in this Splendid Tunic. It fit well at the beginning of the challenge and, I think, it just looked better and better as the bump grew. Call me crazy. It’s my favorite non-maternity maternity top.

Statement hat – while I didn’t get many chances to wear it, I really did end up liking this San Diego Hat Company hat – the color, the style…all were on-point. The few times I did wear it, I definitely felt that my outfit had that cool factor. However, if I could go back (being more of a no hat kind of girl) I would have stuck with a baseball cap instead. I found I wore a bball cap that I already had more often, because it’s more my thing. HOWEVER, if you are a hat girl and wear all the felt hats…add this hat.

Cozy wrap – Oh, I love you, you gorgeous thing. This. This wrap. It’s everything. It really made my capsule wardrobe more interesting and I couldn’t wait for a chillier day, so that I could wear it and when that day came…it was glorious. It’s the Kensie Blanket Cardigan and it rocks. I am looking forward to wearing it all Fall and Winter.

Shirt dress – this was another one that I didn’t initially add, because…I thought I could totally do without a dress (having a midi skirt). Oh? Wrong. So wrong. I fought my dress urge for at least 2 weeks until I couldn’t do it any longer. A dress had to be added. I went with this BB Dakota Plaid Shift dress, ordered in a size up or two, and it’s adorable. I have recently been wearing it with a chunky cardigan and over-the-knee boots. AMAZING. I am thinking leggings under it too…

Ruched dress – also added with the shirt dress, because once you have one dress…you immediately need another (another style, of course) – haha! Really though. As soon soon as I tried on this Velvet by Graham & Spencer Soft Turtleneck Dress I knew I had made a good decision by adding it. The more fitted, rouched style is more dressy than the shirt dress, so it opened up even more outfit possibilities for me. Seriously. This dress. If you’re pregnant and do not have this dress, you should look into it.

You Probably Already Own

(or at least have something similar)

Patterned scarf – sometimes it all comes down to how you accessorize your basic outfit. I had a square silk scarf that I wore over the basic white tank and it took it all from a eehhhh to yesssss. I felt very chic all of the sudden and hey, thanks…I’ll take it.

Cool necklace – I’m simple when it comes to jewelry. Meaning, I don’t wear much of it and when I do…it’s usually very simple and understated. If I do happen to wear a statement necklace, that’s the only piece of jewelry I wear that day. That said, I added a necklace that’s simple, but still stands out a bit. I reeeeeeally loved wearing it, especially with my favorite striped tunic.

Baseball cap – like I said, I actually ended up appreciating and wearing my tweed bball hat more. It brought that something something to my outfits.

Denim jacket – it was a layering piece for me during this whole process. I’d wear the jacket layered over my basic tops or tunic while it was cooler in the mornings/evenings and then would simply tie it around my waist as it got warmer. I actually thought it looked rad tied around my waist, over the black tank and midi skirt.

Button-down – it doesn’t need to be plaid, per say, but a button-down was really nice to have as another layering piece. I wear many of my non-maternity button-downs while pregnant, by just leaving them unbuttoned over maternity tanks and tees. Totally works. Also, Rails has an awesome plaid button-down (that comes in several different colors).

Pullover Sweater – I’ve found that the key to wearing this type of sweater during pregnancy is layering maternity tanks underneath and/or wearing a longer (or slouchier) sweater. I already had this mixed media sweater, very similar to this Kensie style,  that’s actually more of a crop style, but looks incredibly cute over the black maternity tank.

Trench coat – or anorak. Really, any lightweight jacket that adds a refined or edgy element to your outfits. I just so happen to have this amazing classic trench (gifted to me by my bestest…she knows the way to my heart, clearly), that is very close to the style of this Vince Camuto trench. As the mornings and evenings started to get cooler and cooler through Sept and early Oct, I found myself grabbing this one to throw on over whatever I had on at the time. I have always had a deep love for a classic trench though. Anyone else with me?

Biker Jacket – so really you could go trench coat or biker jacket, depending on your personal preference or style. I just so happen to have both and love both. Also, a biker jacket  is just so. damn. cool. ps. MINKPINK has this affordable black biker jacket…and it’s a winner. Very similar to my own.

Shoes

Low heeled boots – because they work with jeans and shorts and dresses and and and. I like a boot with a little  somethingsomething to it, so…one with a buckle or two or a bit of a fringe. I just found these buckled Franco Sartos and goooooodness. The more I look at them the more I am digging them. (they come in a ‘mushroom cashmere’ color too…and…umm..you have to see them)

Flat sandals – The same thing goes for these – they work with most everything. It doesn’t hurt at all if they are freekin’ cool with a bunch of strappy straps; such as these Enzo Angiolini Gladiators or these Isaac Mizrahi sandals (which have a little bit of a heel).

Cute Sneaks – I’ve gotta have that pair of sneakers I can live in on a daily basis. My black sneaks were on repeat throughout this challenge, as you may have seen.

Low heels – YES. yesyesyes. For those times you want to dress up your outfit…a chic, low heel. I can’t express how much I appreciate mine.

Over the knee boots – I fought the trend. for a long time. I then tried on this DV ‘ Neely’pair on and…the end. The boots won. I am now an OTK fan. I’d say, if you’re unsure about them, get a pair and try them on. You’d be surprised with what you can wear with them (whether you’re tall or short) – skirts, dresses, skinny jeans, leggings. My favorite thing right now is wearing them with the plaid shirt dress (above). Also, they’re sexy..which is hard to come by while pregnant, at least for me (I rarely feel really sexy while pregnant…I just don’t). While I was wearing these boots, I felt sexy…and that’s so awesome. Vince Camuto has this over the knee riding boot that I’m loving (not the particular pair that I own, but very similar style).

The Outfits I Put Together

I shared the entire 30 day adventure on Instagram (@camilledipaola), as some of you may have been following along with (thank you, by the way!). If you didn’t catch it, here are some of my favorite outfits that I was able to put together…or…heck, why not all thirty of them? Let’s get crazy. fall-maternity-outfits

transitional-maternity-outfits

tunic

Print

Print

thewrap

Bam. 30 days. 30 outfits. All of them pregnancy-worthy and totally cool, as tested by yours truly.

striped-tunic-maternity-outfit

cool-transitional-maternity-outfit

non-maternity-tops-for-pregnancy

cool-maternity-outfit-for-fall

what-to-wear-during-the-fall-while-pregnant

maternity-outfit-for-fall

cute-fall-maternity-outfit

the-best-dresses-to-wear-while-pregnant

ruched-turtleneck-maternity-dress

cozy-fall-maternity-outfit

…and that’s that, I guess. It still blows me away that thirty days have passed. Just like that. It’s funny, because at the very beginning of this challenge I was all, “THIRTY DAYS. You want me to wear what for THIIIIRTYYYY DAYS?!”. As I neared the end, I was surprised and even wishing I could continue with it…which I have actually been doing, pretty much. I mean, I have thrown in a  few things here and there (all stuff I already own), but I keep finding myself coming back to my base, the maternity capsule wardrobe.

It has really felt so good to thoughtfully curate a selection of clothing that I can wear throughout my pregnancy, and not just wear…feel really, really good in. I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that it worked for me. I doubted it, but it did.

Be sure to find me on Instagram, as I continue to share more maternity outfits these remaining 3 months (capsule stuff included, of course). Holy F. Three months left. I need wine.

Cheers,

Cams

A huge thank-you to Amazon Fashion for sponsoring this post. As if we weren’t already addicted to free two-day shipping, (I swear, they’ve wrecked us for all others), now there’s another good reason to head over to Amazon.com. As always, all thoughts, opinions, product choices, and style challenges are our own. Thank you – so very much – for supporting the retailers who support The Mom Edit.

photos: Brandon Brown Photography

30 Comments
  • Autumn
    October 19, 2015

    This was a much-needed post and all the outfits look great. However, I hope you were kidding about the needing wine comment. There is no safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy. Zero. My oldest daughter, adopted, suffers from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder–significant brain damage & other major ailments–caused by her birth mother’s choice to drink while pregnant. Please, do not risk it.

    • Raegan
      October 19, 2015

      If you read her post in context, you see that she was talking about having three months left- meaning, in three months time,Cams will have wine. Camille is by far one of the best mothers I know and she would NEVER make a stupid choice like drinking while pregnant.

    • Kristie
      October 20, 2015

      I saw your post a couple of hours ago and thought it was a little harsh. I am sure Cams is just joking around and is not too be taken literally. I get you are concerned about the welfare of unborn children, but, I can attest to the intense hormones of a pregnant women (having been 4 times myself) that your comment probably upset her. It upset me a little and my youngest is 14 months old.

    • Kim
      October 20, 2015

      I can understand you being passionate about this because of your personal experience. What I cannot understand is you thinking that this was the appropriate context in which to badger someone else about your experience. You do realize you can privately message themomedit with comments like the one you wanted to make?

    • Amy Hoffmann
      October 21, 2015

      Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is not caused by moderate light drinking during pregnancy. Many studies have shown that it is harmless and can be beneficial. We need less judgment towards pregnant mothers and better information all around. If a mama needs a glass of wine, she should go for it, making her own choices and knowing that it’s not risking the health of her baby.

  • Monica Renee
    October 20, 2015

    I realize that you’re probably crusading about FAS because of the way it impacts your personal life, but your comment was un-called for and your criticism is unsupported. Cams is talking about missing wine, not having wine while pregnant. Even if she were, it’s your place to let her handle her pregnancy and parenting in the way she sees fit. Cams is far from an at-risk mother.

  • Holly
    October 20, 2015

    For first time mothers I would caution running out and buying a maternity “capsule” wardrobe. I did that during my first pregnancy, and I outgrew almost everything by my 3rd trimester, and I had to go out and buy more clothes. I normally think quality over quantity- and usually stay away from Old Navy- but for maternity it is great.

    • Camille DiPaola
      October 20, 2015

      Definitely want to try things on, be ready to exchange for different sizes and even be prepared to possibly have to add a few things near the very end! Totally. I think that’s what I like about having a “base” though, because leggings, jeans and such can be built on…with add-ons (in that awesome 10 month of pregnancy). haha cheers.

  • Autumn
    October 20, 2015

    My apologies for any upset I caused. I do get sarcasm and joking especially when being pregnant. My post was more to advocate and educate against drinking while pregnant–not for insult and criticism. Please delete my original comment, if necessary.

    • Camille DiPaola
      October 20, 2015

      No worries. I can understand being sensitive about certain things, especially when it directly affected your daughter. I did mean more of a “oh, man…I could use some wine” though. That I can assure you. 🙂

  • Michelle
    October 20, 2015

    Am I the only non-pregnant Mama thinking I need to bookmark this post? 😀 Maternity or not, I found this post an awesome lineup/great reminder on the importance of solid staples in any wardrobe and forcing yourself to get creative with accessories to make them work for you in different ways. Love it! Thanks! 🙂

  • Karena
    October 20, 2015

    Link for the low heeled boots that you are wearing? LOVE THEM!

  • Danielle
    October 20, 2015

    I love the fringe bag, is there a link for that one? And Cam, you look gorgeous, as always — love this capsule wardrobe!

  • CS
    October 20, 2015

    I’m doing something similar this time and loving getting dressed. A skirt or two, a pair of jeans and jean shorts, leggings, tanks, a few oversized tops and sweaters, and a a couple of things that open down the front. I made sure that I’ll be able to wear most of it *after* baby comes too, especially with having decently easy nursing access. The number of pieces is limited but good quality and I’m getting a lot of mileage out of what I have.

    • Camille DiPaola
      October 20, 2015

      I love hearing this. That’s awesome! I just found having less to be more free-ing, in a way. I had less to choose from, so I spent less time humming and hawing over what I was going to wear. Cheers.

  • Danielle
    October 20, 2015

    Oooh I am ordering that Splendid tunic today!!! Did you have to size up for the belly, or is the cut long and loose enough that your standard size fit?

  • Kat
    October 20, 2015

    Interested in knowing which OTK boots you ARE wearing, since I am also tall and found that many just hit the middle of my knee instead of covering it. Thanks!

  • colleenkiron
    October 20, 2015

    Love! That splendid striped tunic you’re wearing looks so comfortable, I’m feeling like I need that for PP wear too!! Loved this idea for us style-loving pregnant mamas!

    I posted my own maternity edit last week, and that damn midi skirt was included!! Lol – if anyone wants to check it out, it focuses mostly on good maternity deals!

    http://www.touchofcurl.com/blog/2015/10/15/dressing-the-bump

    xoxo

    • Camille DiPaola
      October 22, 2015

      How cool…and yeh, it’s a great skirt! I’d definitely wear the tunic postpartum, too. Cheers.

  • erin @ thh
    October 21, 2015

    I’m entertaining the idea of doing my own maternity capsule wardrobe (since there are only a few things I feel like wearing these days anyway–I’m 19 weeks with babe #4) so I have enjoyed following along and seeing what you came up with. Also really appreciated your last post about ways to step up the mom uniform for this season. I don’t have the funds to invest in a bunch of new pieces, so I’m trying to make several-year-old maternity basics work for another pregnancy. O_O I need all the tips I can get. 😉

    • Camille DiPaola
      October 22, 2015

      Ooooo so good to hear, Erin. That’s what I try to do, too…instead of buying a ton all of the time. I end up just making what I have work. Cheers.

  • Jacquie
    October 21, 2015

    This is super helpful! Thanks for showing so many photos. I follow you in Instagram, but it is nice to see in one place. Would love more info about how to wear the low boots. I see a couple photos with jeans rolled up but not sure if there are other ways. I live in a warmer climate, so I can get away with ballet flats and Toms most of the time and feel like I need to branch out.

  • Rachel
    November 3, 2015

    Great post! Curious if you’ve tried hand washing the striped tunic…? I know its rayon and says dry clean but (as a mom of 4 little kids) I’m always looking for an easier way, and on some pieces I’ve gotten away with a gentle hand wash–what say you?!?

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