Thrifted Maternity Capsule for Fall/Winter

Hey all! I’m past the 6 month mark over here, so as the warm weather transitions into fall, it’s time for some legit maternity clothes. Let’s take a look at what’s in my cold weather closet (even as I’m still wearing some warm-weather stuff on Instagram); talk about how it got there; and discuss capsule strategy.

Maternity Wardrobe Capsule Strategy

This “capsule” wardrobe – which I define as an edited collection of clothes I don’t plan on adding to over the next 3 months – is bigger than I would like, numbers-wise. That’s due to a little bit of self-imposed minimalist judgment (“You can’t say it’s a capsule wardrobe with this many pieces in it!” says the little voice in my head) but mostly due to the uncertainty of a growing belly. With my previous pregnancy I wasn’t anywhere near this pregnant during anything near as cold as a New England winter, so in many ways I am guesstimating what I’ll need over the last trimester. Plus, as I feel more than satisfied with the options available to me in this wardrobe and would love not to have to go shopping again, I’m hanging on to a couple of impulse purchases (and a few too many gray dresses) in case I outgrow one or more of my planned items or find them too hard to layer.

I went for a limited color palette to help everything go together: mostly Light Summer solids with some stripes and leopard print thrown in. (There are a few pieces that fall outside my season which I’m hoping will work for my expanding mid-section, so they stay.) I’m aiming for two main outfit combos: a lot of dresses over leggings, and sweaters or long-sleeved tees over maternity pants. I’m relying on blazers, open cardigans, and vests for added warmth without worrying about whether they close. We’ll see how it all shakes out!

Where I Got My Clothes

As described at the end of this post, I went with a combination of thrifted clothes I already had that feature stretch fabrics or loose waistlines; thrifted finds from the non-maternity section; and maternity consignment pieces. Every piece here is secondhand – thrifted, consigned, plus a few Poshmark items.  I’ll note what were actually “maternity” pieces with an asterisk as I go.

The Clothes

Dresses
Dresses are theeee most comfortable thing in my wardrobe right now.

    

Lands End; Old Navy; Liz Lange Maternity*; Merona; J. Jill; Comfy; Gap Maternity*; Merona. The first, second, and last dresses are from my regular wardrobe; the third dress is from my last pregnancy.

Sweaters and Shirts

             

Carol & Chris; some sports brand; Express men’s merino sweater; Xhiliration; Old Navy*; Old Navy; H&M Maternity*; Gap; Old Navy; J. Jill; maternity tee*; GapPure; Loft; Old Navy. The purple sweater and the white sweater are from my regular wardrobe. The empire waist leopard tunic, the popover navy blue tunic, and the blue/purple GapPure sweater are from my last pregnancy.

Top Layers
No buttoning needed!

      

Gap; no label but from the Gap family of companies; Metaphor; Lands End; H&M; Madison & Mercer; Banana Republic; Loft. I thrifted the two vests specifically for this pregnancy; everything else I already had.

Pants and Leggings
I went with one pair of blue jeans; one pair of light jeans; and a pair of corduroys (because we all know I can’t make it through winter without corduroys). I also have white, blue, and grey leggings already in my wardrobe, which I wear under dresses for cooler weather; I find tights too restrictive in the middle even when I’m not pregnant!

  

Liz Lange*; Gap (surprisingly not maternity; it’s called their “legging pant”); Gap*

As I noted previously, this feels like a lot of clothes! Should be interesting to see what actually stays and what goes over the next 3 months. If you’re interested in seeing how someone did a very streamlined version, check out The Daily Connoisseur’s maternity wardrobe or postpartum wardrobe videos.

For those of you in the northern hemisphere, what’s happening with your transition to fall right now? Have you swapped over to fall clothes or not yet?

Thrifted Maternity Capsule Wardrobe for Summer

Today I’m sharing what I’ve been wearing this summer as I work on my second trimester. With the exception of a pair of sandals I bought retail last summer, everything here is thrifted – and 98% of it is stuff I already owned that I’m making work for my changing body. (Turns out it pays to like looser silhouettes on top and shorts with a little stretch!) That won’t last forever, however, so I’m trying to enjoy living off of what I have before I get into full-blown maternity clothes.

Without further ado, my current wardrobe!

Dresses

 
Talbots (with J. Crew denim jacket); S Wear; Who What Wear; Old Navy; Old Navy

Tops + Shorts

These are the two pairs of shorts that fit – and apparently that’s all I need! The blue tie-dye-ish top is the only shirt I’ve thrifted specifically for my pregnancy (so far). It’s just an oversized tee that feels like pajamas but looks semi-presentable for dropping the kid off at school or lazing around the house on the weekend.

   
Yellow shorts = Forever21 (pants DIYed into shorts); white shorts = American Eagle. Shirts: Old Navy; Banana Republic; Loft; no tag; Old Navy; Ralph Lauren; H&M; Zara

Sandals

 
Clarks & Saltwaters (retail)

That’s it! Short and simple. It’s been lovely to have in rotation a handful of things that fit and make me feel good, all in my closet at a glance.

Are you capsule-ing it this summer?

PS To see how I’m styling these, head over to my Instagram account.

Maternity Wardrobe without Breaking the Bank, Part 1

Hey all! So, I’m pregnant, due in December with Mini Thrifter #2:

We’re really excited, especially Mini Thrifter #1 who will get to be a big sister:

Thrifted shirt, natch.

When we started trying to conceive, I admit I was super psyched about the idea of thrifting a maternity wardrobe. It seemed like a great excuse to go thrift a whole bunch of clothes without having to think about whether I really needed them.

And then a funny thing happened – I suddenly had no desire to thrift. I mean, if a friend had suggested we hit up a Goodwill, I would not have said no – but I didn’t feel the need to initiate anything myself, and even inside a store, didn’t feel much desire to buy. Proof: the last time I went thrifting, all I grabbed was pants for my kid because I had neglected to bring anything but shorts for her on a trip to Maine. (Note: even if it’s the middle of summer, Maine always requires pants. And a sweatshirt. Always.)

In other words, I suddenly felt content with my closet. Hormones?

In part I just couldn’t be bothered, so I started looking for ways my current wardrobe could stretch (pun intended) to cover at least part of my maternity wardrobe. I already favor looser, fall-from-the-shoulders type silhouettes, so tops were pretty easy to find in my closet. And thanks to growing up in the 90s and feeling like waistbands anywhere near my actual waist are anathema, my shorts all button closer to the hips and a few are still doing maternity duty:

Pants only made it the first couple months; I am now done with them until the cold weather comes back. Dresses have picked up the slack and are doing a great job of keeping me cool on hot days:

I have one new (to me) piece which is not actually maternity but regular Uniqlo – a skirt with a nice wide elastic waistband, on hand for days when the shorts are too casual or don’t want to button:

And I have one new (to me) dress waiting in the wings for August-September when things start to get a little bigger around here:


Pockets! Thrifted J. Jill, found in the regular dress section.

I have no doubt I’ll need to thrift more for colder weather; I don’t have any pants left over from last time and the few maternity sweaters I needed in Atlanta are in eye-burning color combos like electric purple and chartreuse (what was I thinking??). I’ll keep you all up to date!

 

Tips for building a maternity wardrobe

Thrifting (or shopping secondhand in other ways) is a great way to save money on a wardrobe you won’t need forever. Here are some strategies to help you thrift maternity clothes:

  • Shop your closet – don’t assume all your current clothes won’t work, particularly if you favor roomier styles.
    • Pull out the pants/skirts/shorts that have always seemed a little loose or needed a belt – they’re your friend when your waistline starts to expand!
    • Dresses with any kind of stretch in the fabric are your friend – they can bridge from pre-pregnant through your first few months and give you time to scope out maternity clothes for when things really start popping.
    • Use the rubberband trick to keep regular pants in rotation longer.
  • Hit up maternity consignment stores. This is what I’ll do for my winter clothes because they have the advantage of a) a lot more selection in one place and b) more modern, up-to-date styles. If you don’t want to abandon skinny-cut jeans, for example, go consignment. All I ever see in thrift stores are bootcut styles. Pro tip: many children’s consignment stores have a maternity section that’s worth checking out.
  • Shop secondhand online. Same as consignment, you get a wealth of current style options. Downside: you can’t try on for size and often can’t return, so look for pieces like dresses and stretchy tees that can afford to give a little either way.
  • Look beyond the maternity rack at your local thrift store. You can easily find pregnancy-friendly tunic tops/dresses and skirts/pants with elasticated waistbands in the regular racks; empire waists are also great at adapting to pregnancy. Look in the PJ section for cute shorts for sleep or play, or fashionably oversized pj tops. Size up for regular shirts/sweaters, or snap up one of those normally frustrating pairs of jeans that leaves you swimming in the waist but fits everywhere else. Shoes that are wider than your normal size (particularly sandals, mules, clogs) are a cheap thrift score to give those expanding feet more room.

If you’ve thrifted for a maternity wardrobe, what are your strategies and tips?  Or any specific season in your life – when you’ll need clothes for a certain purpose but you know you won’t keep them forever?