The Momiform Part 2:: Building a Capsule Wardrobe for the Modern Mom

This is a follow-up to the Capsule Wardrobe post from September. We hope you enjoy! 

My capsule wardrobe wasn’t built overnight – or even in a few months, and it’s definitely not complete. I consider it a “closet under construction”. Putting together a capsule wardrobe that works for the play-at-home or working mom can be a challenge, especially when you could find yourself in heels all day and then in sneakers by evening. There are enough challenges in motherhood, getting dressed in the morning doesn’t have to be one of them.

While I don’t have a specific number of clothing items in my wardrobe, I wanted to share with you how to build your own capsule wardrobe, or just some steps you can take to simplify your wardrobe and make getting dressed fun.

 1. Evaluate your style.

I’m totally guilty of buying something I don’t love just because it’s on sale. Looking at what I like to wear helps me, well, not do that. My style is pretty casual, sometimes hipster, and I try to keep it pretty classic. You may prefer a romantic style and gravitate toward loose and flowy, or maybe you love jewel tones. Figuring out if you prefer hip and trendy, clean and classic neutrals, or flowy and romantic styles can help guide you when you’re shopping and considering new pieces of clothing for your capsule wardrobe!

2: Purge.

We all have a collection of clothes we don’t wear. Get them out of your closet to figure out what you really need. Donate or sell what’s in good condition and relegate what can’t to the rag bag. If you have a collection of tees you never wear and can’t bear to part with, see if you can turn them into a T-shirt quilt!

3:  Look at what’s left and determine what you need.

Do you have 20 pairs of jeans and only a handful of tops? Is your favorite top from last year in woeful need of repair or replacement? Look at what’s hanging in your closet (or filling your dresser) to figure out your needs and wants. You may need more plain tees or cute sneakers to wear at the playground, or you might want a trendy cargo vest to keep warm in the cooler months. 

4: Create a Style Board on Pinterest.

Once you know your personal style and what gaps need to be filled, make a board for inspiration – pieces you love, looks you love, and things you need. It took me a while to figure out that while I loved how romantic and flowy pieces looked on other people, it was a look I personally couldn’t pull off (despite my Pinterest board full of flowy shirts and gauzy skirts). When I switched to pinning outfits I knew I would wear, shopping became easier. I only looked for styles and colors similar to what I pinned and stopped coming home with “maybe I’ll wear that” clothing items, and my capsule wardrobe started to fill with clothes I reach for day in and day out.

5: Go shopping. Or not.

I went shopping because I needed shorts – I only had two pairs, and that was not enough to get through summer. This autumn I needed long-sleeve tops (inventory revealed I only had four). You may have learned through purging and pinning and creating outfits with what you have that you’re all set and don’t need to shop. But if you do go shopping, take your list with you and reference it. If you aren’t sure about something you try on, put it back on the shelf – if you decide later you really do want it, go back and get it. When I shop I choose items I love, that are comfortable, and make me feel good about myself.

6: Don’t be afraid to wait for what you really want.

This season, I really want a vest. I want something I can throw on over a long-sleeved shirt for preschool carpool. I want something cute and fuzzy that won’t overheat me on warmer winter days. I’ve tried a couple on, but have yet to find one I love, and that’s okay! I don’t want to settle for something that’s just okay. I want something I’ll love to wear over and over again. It’s okay to wait for a love, not just a like. (Something I think can apply to most things in life, especially jeans, shoes, and chocolate cake.)

Do you have a capsule wardrobe? How did you build it?