A few years ago, capsule wardrobes–the notion of building a small, timeless set of clothes—were all the rage. Some capsule wardrobes included thirty items per season, while others gave a little more flexibility. The point of a capsule wardrobe is not necessarily to have an exact number of clothes, but more to hone in on basics, avoid fast fashion, and invest in quality.
I never truly subscribed to the capsule wardrobe philosophy with my regular clothes. With pregnancy clothing however, a maternity capsule wardrobe is definitely my goal. I love the idea of having staple pieces of clothing and saving money, especially because I will not be wearing the clothing for a long period of time.
When building a maternity capsule wardrobe, I like to think through everything I wear from the base layer up in the context of a normal week. If you are in the beginning stages of kicking off your maternity capsule wardrobe, let these suggestions lead the way.
- What is a capsule wadrobe?
- How to Plan for Different Seasons
- Best Maternity Underwear: Lace Girl Short Underwear
- Best Maternity Bra: Plunge Nursing Bra
- Best Cami: Seamless Maternity Camisole
- Best Maternity Jeans: Secret Fit Straight Leg Maternity Jeans
- Best Maternity Leggings: BLANQI
- Best Pregnancy Tee: V-Neck Side Ruched Maternity Tee
- Best Maternity Hoodie: Pull Over Nursing Hoodie
- Best Maternity Pajamas: Silk Pajama Set
What is a Maternity Capsule Wardrobe?
A maternity capsule wardrobe is a thoughtful selection of maternity pieces that mix and match well and serve a mama throughout her nine months of pregnancy. Every woman’s maternity capsule wardrobe will look a little different but most will include a handful of tops, bottoms, a dress or two, and one of my most recommended maternity items—maternity underwear!
If you are aiming to not overwhelm your closet with maternity clothes and want to stay within budget a certain budget, a maternity capsule wardrobe might just be for you. Also, if you think you might have more children in the future it will definitely work out to your benefit to strategically build a collection of maternity pieces that will last both in quality and style over the years.
How to Plan for Different Seasons
Every season will warrant a bit of adjusting to your maternity capsule wardrobe. Once you calculate your due date and determine when you will have your most prominent belly, you can start to plan ahead with what extra you might need.
Spring and summer will call for more dresses, less sweaters, shorts instead of pants, and supportive sandals. You might also want a maternity swimsuit depending how far along you will be whether or not you have a babymoon or somewhere pool-worthy planned.
Fall and winter will require thick leggings, a maternity coat, and possibly a fancier option for holiday attire.
Best Maternity Underwear
Lace Girl Short Maternity Panties
I weathered my first three pregnancies with regular underwear and then finally splurged during my fourth pregnancy. Friends, never again. Buy the maternity underwear. This pair from A Pea in the Pod is one of my favorites.
Best Maternity Bra
Plunge Nursing Bra
True, you won’t be nursing during pregnancy, but this bra will allocate for your growing breasts and expanding rib cage and then double as a nursing bra, so it’s a win-win. Granted, don’t stock up on too many bras early on as your size will most definitely change throughout pregnancy, postpartum and if you breastfeed. However, when you do, choose the Plunge, because it's wire-free, stretchy yet supportive, and comfortable for both pregnancy and postpartum.
Seamless Maternity Camisole
Camis are gold—add 2-4 to your base layer collection and you’ll be set for layering in cooler weather while helping regular tees work a wee bit longer. These are perfect for going into postpartum as well, with stretchy fabric and support where you need it.
Best Maternity Jeans
Secret Fit Straight Leg Maternity Jeans
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Motherhood Maternity is making three appearances on our best-of list. The truth is this brand does maternity clothing well and they do it with tight budgets in mind. If skinny jeans aren’t for you, or you’re simply looking for another style of jeans for everyday wear, we love the casual comfort of these straight-leg jeans. The Motherhood Maternity Women’s Stretch Straight Leg Jean has 335 reviews and a 4.5-star rating on Amazon. “Ok, I honestly was not expecting much when I ordered these...but wow. These are by far the best maternity jeans I’ve ever owned,” says reviewer Melissa, who reports she was wearing these jeans during her 5th pregnancy. “I’m 5’4 and usually wear a size 8. The medium is a perfect fit!”
Best Maternity Leggings
BLANQI Everyday Maternity Belly Support Leggings
Think the words “compression” and “maternity leggings” don’t go together? Think again, because these BLANQI compression maternity leggings are all the rage. And the BLANQI leggings are really the original maternity compression legging—they offer just the right amount of support to “hold” up your belly and relieve some of the pressure as your uterus expands. The company recommends that you use compression leggings in your second and third trimesters, and during postpartum as well.
Best Pregnancy Tee
V-Neck Side Ruched Maternity Tee
Capsules are all about covering the basics and that means comfortable tees are a must. Wear casually with yoga pants, with jeans, layered under a cardigan. Find a style you like and add 3-4 to your collection, especially if you can nab them on sale. We love that this basic tee is made of a 58% cotton / 39% modal / 3% Spandex blend in a comfy jersey knit and that it features a small bit of ruching on the side for a touch of style.
Best Maternity Hoodie
Pull Over Nursing Hoodie
If you're going to choose one hoodie to stock your with maternity capsule wardrobe with, definitely go with this Pietro Brunelli version, because it has a hidden secret: a nursing panel you can access without yanking your shirt over your head. Genius, right? Made of cotton, it's super comfortable and easy to wear (and nurse) in, plus it comes in two colors, and multiple sizes.
Best Maternity Pajamas
Silk Pajama Set
Silk pajamas just seem so luxurious and grown-up, don't they? We love this pair because they're super-soft, comfortable, but still look incredibly stylish, a la Breakfast at Tiffany's. Plus, the top is a button-down, so it's nursing friendly too.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many clothes should be in a capsule wardrobe?
Traditionally, capsule wardrobes are in the 20-40 piece range. The point of a capsule is not the exact number but more the meaning behind each item. Can it be worn multiple ways? Is it a timeless style? Will it serve you through various events and seasons? You get to make the rules.
What month should you start wearing maternity clothes?
Some women begin wearing maternity clothes the day they get a positive pregnancy test. Others never do! It all depends on your body and preference. Granted, the sooner you start wearing maternity clothes, the more time you will have to wear them.
Can you wear plus size clothes instead of maternity?
You can, of course. Once again, it is all about personal preference. And of course, don’t forget that maternity leggings are always in style in our book.
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