Whether you’re pregnant or just had your baby, are breastfeeding or bottle-feeding (or both!), your body is going through so much change. And whilst it may seem way more appealing to dress your baby in cute outfits, remember you deserve to look good too!
This is a time in your life where there is so much to think about and so many changes are happening. You don’t have the same time to dedicate to choosing outfits, and the likelihood is your existing wardrobe just isn’t up to scratch anymore. Am I right?
So, how do you dress for your changing shape whilst not breaking the bank and still feeling like you? The key is taking a minimalist approach to shopping and style. You want to create a minimalist wardrobe for pregnancy and breastfeeding. Once you do, you’ll never look back!
Start by thinking about what you need from your clothes. You’ll be embracing a new way of life and so need clothes that match your needs. For example, if you’re pregnant you want clothes that grow with you as your bump gets bigger. If you’ve had your baby and are breastfeeding then you’ll be searching for clothes that are breastfeeding-friendly. Even if you don’t breastfeed, you’ll likely want clothes that are a little longer and looser, require minimum styling and stand washing over and over again (as babies have a knack for throwing up on your shoulder!).
With this in mind, here are four key steps to creating a minimalist wardrobe for pregnancy and breastfeeding.
1 – Streamline your current wardrobe, what will work and what won’t?
If it’s been a while since you sorted out your wardrobe, now is the time! Many of us are guilty of having way too many clothes hanging in a wardrobe that we hardly (if at all) wear. Now’s a great opportunity to streamline your wardrobe and take a more minimalist approach to dressing.
Think how much easier it would be to choose what to wear each day if we decluttered our wardrobe. Without a mountain of clothes to choose from, we can take the stress out of choosing what to wear AND make our decision quicker. It will save you so much time and allow you to get on with preparing for your baby and getting used to life with a newborn!
- Decide which items no longer suit and pack them away. Pick out the items which realistically won’t be suitable to wear whilst pregnant and breastfeeding. Be honest and pack them away in short-term storage (don’t worry you’ll be reunited again soon!).
- Consider which items you can adapt and still get wear out of. For example, perhaps your jeans can still be worn during pregnancy if you simply add an elastic hair tie or belly belt extender to the waistband. And whilst your denim or checked shirt may no longer be buttoned up, you could wear it open over a tee. A layered approach to dressing can be very flattering during and after pregnancy, especially when breastfeeding.
- Look to rediscover forgotten items of clothing. Perhaps there’s a dress or flowy top lurking in your wardrobe that would really flatter your bump or post-partum body?
- Think about borrowing items from your friends. Have you got mama friends that might like to lend you some of their maternity clothes? Sharing is caring, after all! Alternatively, have a look for second-hand bargains online.
2 – Make a list of the essential items you need to buy
Whilst you’ll be able to make some of your existing clothes work for you, the reality is you’ll need to buy some items to get you through the rest of pregnancy and after you’ve had your baby.
Before you begin browsing online, make a list of the maternity style staples you’ll definitely need. This will help you maintain a minimalist approach. These basic items will be the foundation of your wardrobe and, if chosen well, will work with a number of different items. Try to keep to the key colours of black, white and grey so they can be easily layered and worn with lots of other pieces.
Here are some of the key items you should have on your list:
- Maternity bras – a soft one for nighttime use and a more form-fitting one for daytime. You may find your bust grows during pregnancy, and again if you begin to breastfeed, so be prepared to buy more than one! Many maternity bras are breastfeeding friendly so will have longer-term value.
- Comfortable PJs or nighties – you may be able to get away with simply sizing up rather than buying maternity versions. Look for pajamas that are buttoned if you’ll be breastfeeding.
- Maternity vest tops or tank tops – ideally get one in black and white so that you can wear alone or layered underneath a cardigan or shirt. As with bras, look for tops that are breastfeeding accessible.
- Short-sleeved and long-sleeved maternity tops – choose from loose-fitting or bump hugging styles, whichever you feel most comfortable with. Again look for breastfeeding friendly styles.
- Maternity jeans – you can get over the bump and below the bump ones, depending on your preference. A good pair of maternity jeans should see you through your entire pregnancy and be handy to wear once you’ve had your baby.
- Black maternity leggings – no mama-to-be should be without these! Comfy, stretchy and they go with anything. They’ll be your best friend before and after the baby arrives!
- Warm sweater or sweatshirt – for keeping cosy in the colder months. Often it makes sense to buy a warm sweater which you can wear under your coat to keep warm, rather than buying a new coat to stretch over your bump!
- Summer dress – you might end up living in this throughout your summer pregnancy and then once you’ve had your baby.
3 – Shop savvy and go for quality pieces that are multifunctional
So you’ve got a good idea of the basics you need for your maternity wardrobe, now’s the time to go shopping. But before you do, keep in mind that you might end up wearing these clothes throughout your entire pregnancy and after you’ve had your baby. It, therefore, makes sense to choose quality items that will wash well and stand the test of time.
When possible go for multi-purpose items that can be worn during pregnancy and postpartum, especially if you plan on breastfeeding. You will get longer wear out of multi-purpose clothing and will make you feel confident as you begin your breastfeeding journey. The last thing you want to do after giving birth is to go shopping for breastfeeding friendly clothes!
With that in mind here are some things to think about!
- Natural fabrics – Think about buying items made in natural, soft, breathable fabrics. Many women experience higher body temperature, more sensitive or itchy skin, or are perspiring more than usual during pregnancy.
- Breastfeeding friendly – If you plan to breastfeed then look for multi-wear maternity clothes that are suitable for breastfeeding. You can opt for double layers or zips that make feeding your baby fuss-free and discreet. By choosing multipurpose items that are well made and flattering, you’re more likely to wear them after pregnancy.
- Cost-per-wear – Spending a little bit more on well-made maternity items can often be a good investment in the long-run – especially if you consider the cost per wear! Longer wear means more buck for your money.
4 – Treat yourself to some statement pieces that make you feel like ‘you’
You’ve got your basics sorted, now’s the time to inject some personality into your wardrobe! Having a minimalist wardrobe doesn’t have to be boring after all. By choosing a few key statement pieces you can feel stylish whilst carrying your baby.
Luckily, maternity and breastfeeding clothes aren’t all boring basics, you can find some really fashion-forward pieces to rock. Or if accessories are more your thing, then style up your maternity wardrobe with a statement piece of jewellery, handbag or shoes. Now is most certainly the time to treat yourself!
Here are some suggestions for injecting some style into your maternity wardrobe:
- Be bold and colourful – If you want to highlight your bump then go for a figure-hugging colourful top. Many women feel their most confident whilst pregnant so why not draw attention to your beautiful baby bump?
- Say it with a slogan – A fun and bold slogan top or sweater which is cut a little longer at the front to accommodate your growing bump and post-partum figure. These can work great with your black leggings or jeans.
- Statement accessories will always fit – Maybe you’d like to treat yourself to a new piece of jewelry or a handbag that you know will definitely fit no matter what size or shape you are!
- Say yes to the shoes – Would you like a great excuse for buying a new pair of shoes, well now you have it!
There you have it, four steps to creating a minimalist wardrobe for pregnancy and breastfeeding. As a new mama, you have so many new things to think about and do, so your clothes need to be up to the job. It makes sense to have a small and more streamlined wardrobe made up of quality multi-wear items that makes dressing quick, and hassle-free. We can’t promise it’ll be as easy to decide what to dress your baby in though!