Guest Post: How to Build a Mom Capsule
I’ve talked a lot about Capsuling because, well, I love the idea. I haven’t quite made it and you know why? Buying pricey items isn’t in my budget, a small number of items isn’t practical for a mom who sometimes has to change outfits several times a day, and well, I’m just kind of too flighty to commit to a certain number of items. However, following capsuling has helped me be more mindful with my purchases and it’s something to consider if you’re stuck in the yoga mom rut. Read on to while my friend Corina over at www.nowthatIcando.com (and on Instagram @nowthatIcando) tells all on how to create a capsule wardrobe as a mom while saving time and money and keeping you out of the mom slump. Read on to learn more and then go check out her blog for even more tips and tricks and my guest post on the basic grey dress as a capsule staple.
When you’re done with all that join us over on her Facebook group for even more fashion fun, mom style.
Can a Mom Capsule Help Me?
by Corina from www.nowthatIcando.com
Do either or these snapshots describe you?
“Before kids, I had all the time in the world to go shopping and get dressed every day. I paid attention to how my outfits went together. I didn’t mind wearing uncomfortable shoes from time to time because I knew I could just kick them off once I was sitting at my desk job. It was all about looking great and feeling great! After kids, I’m lucky if I wear jeans instead of yoga pants. Even more lucky if they don’t have snot smeared on them.”
“Before kids, I never really understood fashion. I didn’t know my style or what looked good on me. I wished I did so that I could look more put together but it just wasn’t something that came naturally. After kids, my style tanked even further. I wear yoga pants every day, and not the cute kind. I want to feel better about the way I look, but I don’t know where to start.”
A mixture of these scenarios described me after my first kid. Of course, having kids is one of the biggest blessings I have ever experienced (I wouldn’t trade it for the world!). But with our discretionary time zapped to nearly zero, life after kids pushes style and fashion to the backburner.
Not to mention those body changes after pregnancy–sometimes those stubborn pounds of baby weight refuse to come off!
When it comes to what you wear as a mom comfort becomes most important. And while you want to look great in your own body, the time and effort required to figure it all out seem to make that impossible.
Don’t despair mama.
Looking great as a mom isn’t impossible. Since starting my fashion blog I’ve learned a lot about how to make it easy.
In my search for solutions, I quickly realized that there was something capsule wardrobes had to offer us busy moms.
Here’s the thing… I had always avoided the capsule concept because I thought it “wasn’t for me.”
* I didn’t want a tiny wardrobe of clothes.
* I didn’t have the money to buy high quality, expensive pieces to last me years (plus I knew that mom life would insure they didn’t last me years).
* I didn’t like the bland appearance of most capsule plans.
* I didn’t want to be bored by the same clothes over and over.
However, as I played around with the capsule concept a bit, I soon realized one big thing capsules offered: they add value to your clothes. Each piece of clothing in a capsule wardrobe is highly re-mixable. Each piece of clothing is purposeful. Each piece of clothing is exactly what you love.
With the pros and cons of capsules in mind, I created my own capsule system. A capsule that offered solutions specifically for moms. Let’s call it a “mom capsule.”
What is different about a “mom capsule”?
Below are the points that describe a mom capsule. They kind of “break the rules” of traditional capsuling. But you’ll see why it’s necessary–and it works.
1. A mom capsule wardrobe is a temporary subdivision of your larger wardrobe that accommodates a particular season—whether that’s a season of life or a season of the year. A subdivision: that means your larger wardrobe stays intact and you simply draw from it depending on the season of the year or life. It makes the transition more affordable. Has your size changed after pregnancy? Perhaps you are pregnant and need maternity-wear. Or maybe you just landed a part-time job and need some work outfits. Or maybe just a change in seasons of the year is leaving you without outfit options. Your capsule wardrobe will be just a small part of your total wardrobe. This set apart section of your wardrobe solves your life season’s pain-point without breaking the bank. You don’t get rid of all your clothes when you shape a capsule, you simply extract key pieces from what you own and put them all together because they belong together and will serve you for a certain season of life. As the seasons change again, you reshape your capsule (grabbing from your larger wardrobe) to fit your current needs.
2. A mom’s capsule wardrobe contains a balance of low quality and high quality clothes. Now sure, we always shoot to buy the highest quality possible (who wants their shirt unraveling the first time it hits the washer?), but mom life is a HUGE factor to consider. If you spend $50 on a crew neck tee because it promises never to pill or fade, you run the high risk of it getting ruined by stains and tears and getting stretched by pulls from your littles. Mom clothes get a beatin, ya know? Not to mention, these expensive shirts often require dry-clean or “hang dry,” and ain’t nobody got money or time to care for their t-shirts like that. Your capsule can go cheap on “perishable” items and pay more for items that will last like boots, coats, or (maybe) jeans.
3. A mom’s capsule wardrobe offers a balance of timeless classics and trending pieces that are specifically mom-friendly. This insures you look on-point without feeling uncomfortable. And it also means you aren’t rehauling your wardrobe every year to look relevant.
4. A mom capsule wardrobe is not about having a tiny amount of clothes. It’s about planning clothing pieces carefully to create huge flexibility for outfit remixing. When your clothes all go together, it becomes a breeze to get dressed each morning. A capsule can have 10 pieces or 50 pieces. It’s more about the smart selection of pieces than the number of them. As long as everything in your wardrobe works together and is there for a good reason, your “capsule” can be as big as you like.
How would you like to finally love everything that’s in your wardrobe? Wouldn’t it be awesome to be able to pick outfits in your sleep and know you’ll look on-point?
You can, with a carefully planned mom capsule.
How can I create a mom capsule?
If you could start shaping a better wardrobe straight out of your existing closet, would you do it? Here are the basic steps you’ll want to follow:
1. Define your style. Head to Pinterest and browse a bit, looking for outfits you like. Pin these to your style board to become more familiar with what you love and don’t love.
2. Find a capsule plan to follow. Based on your style likes, look further on Pinterest for capsule plans that reflect those styles. Just search “stay at home mom capsule plan” for example. I’ve created capsule plans for moms that you can use too! Click the season you need to check them out on the blog: Spring/Summer, Fall, Winter.
3. Choose a color palette. A capsule plan will help you know which pieces you need to create re-mixable outfits. But if you’re like me… you need some color in your life! Many capsule plans are very bland. You can simply choose 2-3 accent colors and 2-3 neutrals tones to incorporate into the capsule. If you use one of my capsule plans, I already incorporate color. You can always choose different colors though, based on your personal preferences.
4. Make a list of the pieces you want in your capsule. This may be exactly what you see suggested on Pinterest or a blog, or it may be a variation better suited to your needs.
5. Clean out your existing wardrobe. Take everything out of your closet and drawers and make four piles.
Pile 1: To Keep
Items in your keep pile are favorites that you wear over and over. These will go back in your closet.
Pile 2: To Archive
Items in your archive pile are pieces you like but haven’t worn in a while. This may be because of size or style preferences. If you aren’t ready to get rid of something, put it in the archive pile. These items will go in another closet or a storage bin (out of sight). In 3-6 months, they can be re-evaluated and either put back in your closet or donated/consigned.
Pile 3: To Toss
Items in this pile are too old to donate. They can be immediately tossed in the garbage.
Pile 4: To Donate/Consign
These items are in good condition but shouldn’t go back in your closet either because they don’t fit, you don’t love them, or they just don’t go with anything else in your wardrobe.
6. Check off items you already have for the capsule. Now that you have only the best still left in your closet and drawers the fun part begins! Decide on a drawer and section of your closet to house your capsule pieces. Use the list you created to find pieces that fit your chosen color palette and fulfill the capsule items. Place those in the designated capsule space.
7. Shop for what you still need. Anything not checked off your list becomes your shopping list! Take your time finding the pieces you need. Only buy pieces you absolutely love. I always try to find my pieces at used clothing stores in town or online (ThredUp, Poshmark. and Swap) before buying anything new. For good deals on new clothes I love: Groupdealz.com, Jane.com, Target.com, Macys.com, Forever21.com, JcPenney.com, Kohls.com, and Amazon.com. Sign up for your favorite store’s email newsletter to find out when the best sales are happening. Shop sales + coupons to get the best deals.
Getting a capsule together takes a little bit of work–but it can be super fun knowing you’re doing something for yourself and maximizing your wardrobe. Even before you have all the pieces to a capsule, you’ll be amazed at the re-mixability that can happen!
If you’re still on the fence about trying a capsule plan, you might enjoy hanging out in the private Facebook group I created: Frumpy Fighters. This mom group is a mixture of ladies who have been capsuling for a while and others who are trying it for the first time.
I hope this was a helpful intro to mom capsules! Don’t forget to check out the capsule plans I have created over on the blog.
Here’s to simplicity getting dressed each morning!
About Corina: Around the demands of keeping a toddler and baby alive and happy, Corina started her blog to help herself and other busy mamas find easy and affordable ways to dress comfy, but cute day in and day out. She’s decided that chic isn’t going bye-bye the way her pre-pregnancy waistline has. She strives to make it fun, pampering, and cheap to keep it classy even though the demands of motherhood and homemaking are collaborating to keep her in PJ’s until noon every day. You can connect with her more on her blog, herFacebook Group, and Instagram.