Comfortable, Affordable Post-Partum Capsule Wardrobe

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So it was about the fourth time I went into my husband’s closet, reaching for his big orange sweatshirt to wear with my leggings and Uggs that I realized something needed to change.  His big orange sweatshirt was super comfy and it covered my butt in leggings, buuuuttt . . . I don’t think I need to tell you this outfit (if it can be called that) was not flattering.  I literally had a closet full of my own clothes with nothing to wear.  This was partly because I wanted so badly to feel comfortable after having Greenlea (via c-section), partly because I had grown out of my pre-pregnancy clothes (uh . . . buh-bye pre-pregnancy body) and partly because having so many options can just be super overwhelming when you’re just trying to get out of the house without looking like a slob.

So.  I tried on a bunch of things I already owned, took note of what I needed to buy and put together a general post-partum “capsule wardrobe” that would make it easier to get dressed each day.  This wardrobe is all about affordable, flattering post-partum pieces that are comfortable.  The idea is that you should be able to mix and match these items easily in a number of different ways to make getting ready less of a chore.  I can grab the flare jeans, striped t and blanket scarf or the leggings, tunic sweater and fur vest just as easily as that big orange sweater and be just as comfortable . . . and look much better.

2015 Fall Capsule Wardrobe

SHORT-SLEEVED SWEATER OR BLOUSE: A blouse or sweater that has a nice drape to it and can be layered easily over or under other pieces.

PORTOFINO BLOUSE IN LONGER LENGTH:  My prayers have been answered!  Ok, maybe that’s an overstatement, but so many times I’ve wished I could throw on one of my Portofino shirts over leggings and now I can!  Woot!

LONG CARDIGAN:  This is a perfect layering piece to put on over jeans, leggings, whatever, really . . . it adds some warmth without adding bulk and it covers your bum if you’re wearing leggings with a top that’s a tad too short.

TUNIC BLOUSE: I live in these.  They’re flattering because they drape so well and they can be worn in so many different ways.  (They hide a PP pooch really well).

TUNIC SWEATER: Sometimes you just want to put on a really comfy oversize sweater and call it a day, amiright?  Get one that’s soft and comfy and you can wear it anywhere . . . from watching a movie on the couch over pjs to a dinner out over faux leather leggings.

LIGHTWEIGHT V-NECK SWEATER: I love this particular sweater.  It’s soft, lightweight, layers well and comes in a bunch of fun colors.  I find myself reaching for it more than I anticipated . . . and I can nurse in it.

CHAMBRAY BUTTON-UP:  This is a perfect layering piece . . . under sweaters, over graphic tees, with jeans, with skirts, over dresses . . . an essential wardrobe piece.

LOOSE LONG-SLEEVED LAYERING SHIRT:  I love those soft, oversize, drapey long-sleeved tees and the stripes make this one even more interesting.

PLAID BLANKET SCARF:  I put this on top of everything. Like hot sauce.  (Plus I can use it as a blanket if G gets cold or if I need a nursing cover).

FAUX FUR VEST: Just like the blanket scarf, this pretty much comes with me no matter what I’m wearing . . . it’s an easy way to add some warmth and style to any outfit.

MID-RISE OR HIGH-RISE FLARES: After my c-section, low rise jeans felt awful.  Luckily for me, the rises on jeans were . . . well, rising.  Instead of a muffin top that can be created by low-rise, mid or high-rises hold your belly in and are so much more comfortable.

BLACK MIDI SKIRT:  Sometimes you want to wear a skirt.  In this case, this one is super comfy and can be worn higher or lower depending on what you wear it with.

PARKA:  I’m drooling over this jacket.  When the temps fall the vest and scarf aren’t going to be warm enough . . . this parka can be dressed up or down and is warm.  It would look as cute over a dress as it does over jeans.

FAUX LEATHER LEGGINGS:  I made my case for faux leather leggings a year ago, and I’m standing by it.  When I want to be comfy but feel a little sassier, the leather leggings come out.  You can wear these with a simple t-shirt and feel super stylish.  (And comfy!)

HIGH RISE LEGGING JEANS: High rises are so much more comfortable and after my c-section I needed to invest in a couple of pairs of these.  The low-rise jeggings I had just weren’t cutting it anymore.

ANKLE BOOTIE:  If you buy one pair of shoes this year, it’s a toss up between ankle boots and over-the-knee boots.  But, ankle boots can be worn with jeans, dresses, skirts, leggings, etc. and are more fashion-forward than tall boots.

COMFY LEGGINGS:  I pretty much always want to wear leggings.  The challenge is to find ones that are opaque, wash well, are soft and flattering.  These have some rave reviews . . . let me know what your favorite leggings are in the comments because I’m on the hunt for some!

OVER-THE-KNEE BOOTS:  If you buy two pairs of shoes this year, these should be on your list!  They’re surprisingly versatile and we’ve listed our favorites here.

 

Here are some more options that would fit perfectly into this wardrobe:

XOXO,

Scotti

PS – I’m on the lookout for some amazingly comfortable leggings that hold up wash after wash and don’t pill or fade . . . anyone has any favorite leggings to share??  I had a pair from Zara for ten (literally TEN) years that just finally got a hole in them last year.  I had cut out the tag that listed what they were made of, however, and just can’t seem to find a replacement!  Can you help?

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Meet Scotti, the contributor with our most-loved beauty advice. When Scotti's not giving us the scoop on the latest products and techniques she's dishing out some of TME's most loved looks. It's not easy to look so cute in the U.P. of Michigan (i.e. crazy cold and snow) but she always makes it happen.

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35 Comments

  1. Thank you for this! I’ve been trying to put together a PP arsenal this time rather than just going for the woeful attempts I have tried before. This time around I want to look good! And it’s a nice distraction to shop online rather than googling and re-googling “chances baby will come early when last baby was two weeks late.” 🙂

  2. The Zella Live-In leggings from Nordstrom are THE BEES KNEES. Super comfortable at 2 days postpartum, and 18 months later my same two pairs still look like new.

    • I totally agree with Zella live-in! I got them over a year ago when I was pregnant. They lasted me all through the pregnancy, and we’re a life saver post partum too. Just pulled them out again for fall, and they look just as good and are just as comfortable.

    • Another vote for the Zella Live-In leggings! Higher rise, totally opaque and wash beautifully. They go on sale each year at the Anniversary Sale – just a heads up for next year!

  3. Thank you!! This is just what I needed after baby numero 2. I totally agree about high rise being more comfortable post partum/post c-section.

    • It’s shocking, right? But that high-rise totally saved me after each c-section. (From a pain management perspective, anyway.) 🙂

      • I had to stop wearing pretty much 75% of my bottoms (including my comfy sweats and pjs too unfortunately) after my c-section because of this. Ugh . . . high rise to the rescue!

  4. I lived in my Zara leggings as well, especially during and post pregnancy. Even though they were a tad too short for my 6’0″ frame, I loved the way they washed and that the felt like they were *almost* real pants. I needed to replace them his fall after my second c section this summer and I am in LOVE with Athleta’s leggings- especially the Metro high waisted legging! And they come in different lengths and special sizes. Win!!

  5. This is FABULOUS since I’ve been building my postpartum wardrobe for a few months now. So far, I am going to be relying heavily on leggings, tunics and yes, Uggs, but the fancy new style of Uggs that are sleeker and Italian made. But I do have some great maternity pants, actual cool, stylish ones that will probably be worn for quite a while but need tops long enough to cover the stretch panel and several of these tops fit the bill perfectly. I bought the striped shirt from BR along with a couple other things. I’m due in Nov with baby #4 and need to be seriously prepared. There will be NO time for shopping and such with that kind of craziness coming my way.

    • Baby #4! I salute you, Mama! Congratulations! And I will have to check out the Uggs you’re referring to . . . they sound amazing! (And ps, nothing against Uggs at all . . . I wear them all winter in our deep deep snow!)

      • Definitely check them out! They are the Abree I think? I mean, you can’t beat Italian made shoes although the price tag reflects the increased quality.

  6. The zella live in leggings, 100%! I’ve been rotating hte same three pairs (gray, black, navy) for two seasons and theyre still just perfect.

  7. I own 2 pairs of American Apparel winter leggings and they are the best leggings I’ve ever owned. I live in Chicago so my leggings need to be thick and warm or else why bother. These leggings are so comfortable that I wear them under dresses or tunics during the day and then I just throw a tank top on and sleep in them at night. I got mine on Amazon for around $20–highly recommend.

    • OMG . . . these sound awesome! I hear you about Chicago – I used to live there and now live in an even colder climate so I love the warm leggings as well. Will definitely check them out!

  8. I love this capsule wardrobe not just for post partum but for a menopausal body! So many of us in that stage of life find weight shifting to the middle so some of the same wardrobe requirements are there. Lots of great pieces there, thanks!

  9. I second Candice with the Hue Wide Waistband leggings. I love mine and they hold their shape perfectly! Also, thank you sooo much for this post. My second is due in January and I will be referencing this post like crazy! Scotti, your posts are my favorite!

  10. White house black market full length leggings. Not the pointe version. Just the plain old spandex-y ones. Comfy soft and hold up for LOTS of washings. Stay super black.

    • That’s been my problem! I keep accidentally ordering the pointe versions of leggings and then they’re just so thick . . . thank God for free returns! 🙂 Thanks for the tip!

  11. This is great, Scotti! So practical, I’m in the throes of it with my second now, and I had to laugh about you husbands orange sweater! Lol, I bought this massive shapeless blue sweatshirt from, like, the grocery store the other day because it was 7€ and I wanted to repurpose it into some kind of cover while baby wearing… And then I put it on. And wore it three days in a row. My husband kindly let me know it looked suspiciously like a garbage bag. Lol. So yeah, in a word, looking for comfortable garbage bag alternatives.

    • OMG I’m dying! I can TOTALLY relate! I bought an XXL sweatshirt from Target because it was on clearance and proceeded to wear it for three days straight . . . and then caught a glimpse of my backside in a two-way mirror . . . um . . . NOOOOO. Just no. This wardrobe works much MUCH better. 🙂

  12. Eileen Fisher actually makes great leggings. I borrowed my mom’s pair once and I was hooked. They still look new after many, many washes! And the waistband isn’t too tight, so no muffin top.

  13. Sooo, does anyone have a go-to method for layering for nursing? Even though I’m on baby #4, I still haven’t perfected it. I’m using camis for pulling up from the bottom and half camis for pulling the top down for coverage of both belly and top of breast. Olus since it is fall, scarves will probably do double duty providing some coverage. Nursing covers just aren’t for me but I’m not super excited about being complely bare.

  14. I know thịs post is 2 years old, but any chance it could be updated with current items? Loving the idea of a postpartum/nursing capsule wardrobe!!

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