I got so much positive feedback on my first capsule wardrobe post from last year and lots of requests for a Spring/Summer version. These posts are A LOT of work, so it has taken me a while but I finally got it done. I stuck to basic pieces that will work from season to season and year to year while throwing in a few fun trends that are budget-friendly. The entire wardrobe is mom-friendly, which means it works for active moms of small kids, has some nursing-friendly options, and is flattering on more types than the teeny moms (which personally I am not and I know it can be frustrating to always see things linked that are too tight or too short or too revealing). I’ve pretty much figured out the perfect uniform for this motherhood phase of life with young kids: comfy but still stylish enough to make you feel put together, extra weight-friendly, affordable, and transitions well from season to season. This isn’t a true capsule wardrobe (in that you don’t get rid of all of your other things and only limit yourself to a specific number of pieces) but more of a “all the versatile basics you need to get you through spring/summer” kind of thing. I do love the idea of investing in well-made basics that you can mix and match and wear over and over that you really love, versus buying lots of “stuff” to wear that you just feel meh about and after you add up all the money you spent on that, you could have invested in a piece you love. But until I’m a size that I want to invest in, I’m sticking to more budget-friendly basics.
STAPLE PIECES FOR YOUR MOM-FRIENDLY CAPSULE WARDROBE
1. A great button down shirt.
A button down shirt is a daily staple in my momiform, and there’s not much that is more nursing-friendly. For a capsule wardrobe, you would just pick a couple really versatile ones, so I recommend finding a good white one and a chambray one. Both can be dressed up or down and go with everything. If you’re afraid to do white because of kiddo messes, grey is another great option. Plaid is too limiting — it only goes with certain things and is more easily remembered so you’ll tend to steer clear of it because you’re afraid people will always think you wear the same plaid shirt. But we never worry when we’re wearing simple basics — at least, I don’t 🙂
For spring and summer I love a short sleeve white button down and a long sleeved chambray shirt. I also have a long sleeved white button down and often wear it like a jacket or cardigan on warmer days. I personally love the crisp white button downs from Madewell, but these options are more budget-friendly.
2. A maxi dress
For me, nothing is as versatile in the summer as a maxi dress. You can wear them for any occasion and be comfortable while looking pulled together. I’m not a fan of wearing shorts — I’ve always found them to be uncomfortable and unflattering (on me) so I like wearing lightweight maxi dresses as an alternative. Above are two that I added to my wardrobe this season and I know will be in constant rotation.
3. Denim: A jacket, the perfect cut offs, and a great pair of distressed jeans
Denim is key staple in spring and summer! A great denim jacket is a great maxi dress topper, distressed jeans are a cooler and more casual way to do jeans for summer (think of them as air conditioned 😉 and cut off shorts are a daily staple for hot weather, especially for busy moms who are outdoor adventuring with kiddos. I know, I know — I said I hate shorts. And I do. But many of you don’t and like it or not cut off denim shorts are a summer staple. Plus, I FINALLY found the PERFECT pair! I do a try on of them in my IG stories that you can see. They are flattering in a way most shorts aren’t — fitted but not overly so, longer, and cover what you want covered while still giving you the shape that you need. I see myself wearing them a lot this summer. They are under $20!
4. White jeans
If I’m being honest, I’ve always been afraid of white jeans. Between the potential messes with my three boys to feeling like white isn’t the most slimming, I can’t remember the last time I wore white jeans. But I plan to incorporate them into my wardrobe this year because I found a pair I loved and that fit really well (linked below). They really are a staple in summer!
5. A Midi Skirt
I really love a good midi skirt. They can be worn casually with a tee and sneakers or dressed up with sandals or clogs and paired with a cuter top. They are flattering and you can find really cute ones at pretty affordable prices. I love a good chambray one but even a patterned one could work as a neutral
6. A Midi Dress
A midi dress is your versatile summer staple. It dresses you up for a party, girls’ brunch, or baby shower or can be thrown on for a barbecue or day at the beach. Depending on your you style and accessorize it, you can pretty much wear a midi dress for any occasion. These are two I absolutely love (you can see me trying them on in my IG story Try-Ons highlight).
7. A Caftan
A caftan is so chic and cool, but also the epitome of comfort on hot summer days. Where can you wear one? Think visits to your local farmer’s market, brunch, as a beach coverup, poolside, and pretty much anywhere you want to feel like you’re on vacation in Palm Springs. Both of these are from Sseko Designs and are gorgeous (I also love that the brand gives back and employs and trains local artisans).
8. A Swimsuit You Feel Good In
In case you missed it I publicly declared that I won’t be afraid to wear a swimsuit this year, despite the fact that my body is still not where I was hoping it would be 2+ years post-baby #3. But I want to have fun with my kids and refuse to let bathing stuff anxiety get the best of me. I shared a whole post with 11 swimsuits that are cute and also mom-friendly but I had to mention it here as well because a swimsuit that you feel good in should really be part of your summer capsule. These three are all around $30 and I have the one on the left and in the middle — I even did a try-on of the middle one, which is also saved in my IG stories.
9. Shoes & Accessories
While I often try to keep most of my clothing staples to basics that are good quality and can transition from season to season and year to year, when it comes to accessories I do about 50% versatile and 50% trendy and fun. I never spend a lot of money on the trendy/fun items, because by next season I may not like the item or there will likely be a new trend or item. So below is a mix of classic staple accessories and trendy and fun ones for Summer 2018.
Shop the look:
- Cute and comfy sneakers: these are a must and this pair (the blush ones pictured above) are under $20 and the most comfy sneakers I’ve ever had. I got a second pair for when I wear out the first 🙂 I also had and loved these for about three years.
- Leather (or faux) slide style sandals: (easy off and on for when you are carrying a baby or groceries plus are so cute) for warm months. These are a great faux budget-friendly option, and these are more of a splurge but have lasted forever (and since these aren’t necessarily a trend, I prefer to invest in them for better quality.)
- Low heeled strappy sandals or platform sandals: these are great transitional shoes for for dressing an outfit up or down depending on the clothing pieces paired.
- A trendy summer bag: a rattan crossbody or clutch are great this season. Here are some fun options to participate in this trend:
- Cute sunnies (a good pair of sunglasses covers up a multitude of messes and instantly makes you look put together even when you aren’t)
- A great hat is a mom’s best friend (hides dirty hair, protects from the sun, and just makes you look chic, even if wearing sweatpants!). I think you need these two for spring/summer use:
10. Rompers, Jumpsuits & Overalls, Oh My!
Jumpsuits and overalls seem to be a trend that is here to stay for a while, and I’m a fan. While every style doesn’t look great on my body type, I have found a few that work well for me. I love the above pictured overalls — one pair is the super popular Madewell overalls and the other is a dupe from Old Navy that looks almost the exact same, but are 1/3 of the price.
A note on underthings.
Oh, and while we’re getting some essentials for spring and summer — throw out old underwear and bras that don’t fit and get yourself some new ones! Two tips for restocking your underwear drawer:
- Let go of your past bra size and preferred style. Those might not work for you anymore. You have to try out new sizes and style options to see what works best for you. You could either go to a store to try on and be sized (but with baby in tow that’s not that appealing to me). I highly recommend ThirdLove. They have a fit finder to help you find your fit based on your breast shape and fit issues. Then they have a ‘try before you buy’ program where they send you a bra and you can actually try it on and wear it for 30 days. If you don’t love it, you send it back and only pay $2.99 for shipping. Any returned bras are washed and donated to charity. The best part though is that their bras are designed for a better fit, tailored to both size and shape and also come in 1/2 sizes. They use memory foam to form to your breast, making them really comfortable. And they are also really beautiful. I have two and am addicted. They now offer nursing bras that are just as comfy and pretty as the regular bras!
- This strapless bra is a summer essential for strappy tops and dresses (unless you can go braless, in which case good for you and I hate you.) I’m a DD and I can wear this and be comfortable.
- Revisit your current underwear stock. Which styles do you currently find comfortable? Hipsters? Boy shorts? Briefs? High waisted briefs? Whatever it is, try to stick to that style when you buy yourself new underwear. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it also doesn’t have to be totally cheap. I preferred lace thongs pre-babies and now I hate them. This is my favorite pair of underwear for comfort, quality, and style. And ThirdLove also has underwear (I haven’t tried yet but I’ve heard great things.)
And in case you need help with more options or ideas, I’m sharing more that you can shop directly below. Have you done a capsule wardrobe? What would be your biggest staple pieces to include?
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