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The Ultimate Stay-at-Home Mom Capsule Wardrobe

Photograph by Twenty20

I’d like to submit a formal request to the authors responsible for of all the "What to Expect When You're Expecting" books, because I read all of them and none of them mentioned that I would completely lose my identity and need to find a new one.

Don't get me wrong, I was generally prepared for the litany of changes that were coming my way—my body, my hair (hello, hair loss!), my sleep—but the one that took me by surprise was how much my sense of style changed.

When I finally emerged from that baby bubble, around two or three months postpartum, I had completely forgotten how to dress myself. I had been living in raggedy pajamas covered in spit-up for the past few months, and when I finally got around to putting on real clothes, nothing made sense. My closet was full of crop tops, short shorts and clothes without any boob access. I felt so lost.

It took me a while to understand, but I finally came to the conclusion that I needed to rediscover my sense of style. I’m still very much in the middle of this process, but I’ve broken down my five most consistent looks. I basically rotate between these five outfits, changing up the colors here and there.

I guess you could say I have unintentionally built a capsule wardrobe for stay-at-home moms. You’re welcome.

House Clothes

Otherwise known as “pajamas.” New moms really need decent pajamas. Especially moms that stay home with the baby. We may not have much motivation (or time and energy) to put on real clothes, so we spend a lot of time in our pajamas. I think it’s important to invest in a few pajamas that you feel good in. Sometimes I even change out of the pajamas I slept in and into another pair, just to feel like I "got dressed." (Remember, this is a judgement-free zone.)

Athleisure

Whoever coined this term is a genius and I am so grateful. I've always been of the mind that leggings are pants, and now I don’t get all the side-eyes when I walk around, because everyone is living their best life in leggings. My favorite leggings right now are Lululemon. It took me a while before I finally caved and tried these on. I just couldn’t justify the price. I mean, I could get a three-pack of leggings at Forever 21 for like $1, why on earth would I spend $100+ for the same thing at Lululemon? How naive I was. Lululemon leggings are a thing of sorcery. They feel like you’re naked. I wear them and I feel like I don’t have any pants on. That’s the dream, people! They’re so soft and stretchy, and hold everything in where it ought to be. I’ve yet to pay full price for any of my Lululemon gear. I buy most of it off Poshmark and the rest I get from the outlet mall.

Clothes fit my body differently now—and I need clothes that are more functional.

Errand-wear

The classic stay-at-home mom look. You need to wear clothes because you’re leaving the house and you want to make a little bit more effort than pretending like you’re coming from the gym in your yoga pants when you really were just sitting on the couch. My errand uniform is pretty standard—I usually stick to a T-shirt and shorts. I live in South Florida, so you’d be hard pressed to find me wearing anything but shorts when I’m running around during the day. My favorite T-shirts and jean shorts are from the Target Universal Thread collection. They're so soft and flexible. They honestly fit like pajamas but look like regular clothes. Anyone noticing a theme yet?

More Than Errands

Sometimes, I get to attend a social gathering. Maybe a birthday party, school event or family dinner. For these occasions, I like to put a little more effort into looking nice. I’ve really gotten into the T-shirt and jumper look. It’s not as easy to nurse in, but I feel cool and trendy—and also like I’m in pajamas, so it’s a win-win.

All Dressed Up

If I take the time to attempt a winged eyeliner, you better believe I’m tryin’ to look nice. This look is rare these days, but she still makes an appearance. It's usually a funky outfit I’ve been saving in my closet for a special occasion. Whether it's my 10-year high school reunion, a wedding or brunch with friend, I use those events as opportunities to dress up and figure out what my new style is like.

The first time I went shopping after having a baby, I felt so rejuvenated. I let myself discover what styles I gravitated toward and try on pieces I normally wouldn’t. Clothes fit my body differently now—and I need clothes that are more functional. I need clothes that allow me access to nurse. I need straps big enough to conceal my thick nursing bra straps. I need space for my bigger boobs. I need clothes that are flexible enough for me to drop down on the floor with Baby.

So, buh-bye to crop tops, super tight anything and day dresses—it's time for a new era in my wardrobe and I'm feeling fine. And comfy. So comfy.

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