(Find part 1 here)
My summer wardrobe was panic-bought! Summer suddenly hit all in one week, and the only clothes I had in my current size were all long-sleeved. Pushing around twin 1 year olds plus all the baggage that entails… I was melting!
I also really wanted to feel feminine again and, dare I say it, sexy?
(My hubby distractedly stepped out in front of a car in response to one of the new outfits, so I guess something is working…)
The Capsule Wardrobe Premise
There are mixed messages on what constitutes a capsule wardrobe, but in essence it’s about minimalism & coordination. You want to create a cohesive wardrobe that doesn’t include any excess, and yet makes you feel fabulous. You want items that can work in combination with each other, and create the feel of a signature style. Everything must be flattering, suitable for the chosen season’s climate and work with your lifestyle.
For me, that means being able to tandem breastfeed my twins, allowing for free and flexible movement as I chase them around or snuggle up for naptime, be very cool (I always run hot these days) and most importantly, be easy to launder!
One thing I just don’t understand about capsule wardrobes is the way some people feel restricted to just 3 or 4 colours! I have gone with a cohesive colour palette of 13 colours (and varying shades thereof), yet everything still coordinates. It encompasses:
Vibrant, jewel colours: Purple, Pink, Turquoise, Cyan, Blue, Mint, Wine Red
Neutral colours: Black, White, Cream, Grey, Khaki, Denim
People differ on what the ‘ideal quantity’ should be, so I’ve gone with Project 333’s guidelines: 33 items for a 3 month period. Actually, I only have 32 items currently – but as I am now all spent-up, any further additions or substitutions will have to wait. Every item allows access for tandem breastfeeding, whether a stretchy neckline or OUOD.
2 play-suits, 1 maxi-dress, 1 jersey vest dress
2 kaftans, 3 tees
1 pair of shorts, 2 pairs of leggings
2 cardigans, 2 chiffon jackets, 2 light boleros.
3 scarves, 1 sunhat, 2 pairs of sunglasses, 2 necklaces, 1 waist belt, 5 pairs of shoes (flip flops, high-heeled sandals, casual flats, flat leather boots, Ugg boots)
Items that don’t count towards the total
Pants, socks, bras, PJs, vests, black tights, wedding rings, twin rings (push present!), Pandora charm bracelet. I’m usually big into statement earrings, but that has gone out of the window since the twins arrived – I prefer my earlobes intact!
A starting point: Primark
It’s tricky buying a whole capsule almost from scratch, especially when you are a SAHM of twins so need to save the pennies. I headed into a local Primark with high hopes – after all, when I was slim I remember there were always lots of plus sizes alongside the teenie tiny ones (seemingly because all the medium sizes were snapped up). A silver lining, I thought…
Annoyingly, now I actually am plus-size, most of the new stock items in the store were literally only available in size 4 & 6! Not even an 8!
Luckily, I managed to find some odd items in larger sizes. I have lost 2 stone since buying my last season’s clothes (20-22), so I really didn’t even know what size I was aiming for. I ended up buying a smattering of sizes 14-20, more based on what was available than anything else. But I have gone with loose, stretchy, flowing fabrics, so I guess sizing is fluid anyway.
The Floral Playsuit
This makes me feel so happy and summery! If I hadn’t been a member of the Fuller Figure Fuller Wardrobe FB group, I’d never have had the confidence to wear something so bold at this weight.
My Autumn/Winter capsule was dowdy, all about hiding my ‘shameful’ figure. But my wonderful community of plus-sized goddesses have shown me that it’s all about making the most of your curves, accepting that the body you have is your raw material, and wearing things that show it off, rather than hiding it!
The playsuit was screaming out for a waist belt – the original elasticated, ruched waist on this is so unflattering and blancmange-like, but the belt transforms it. Primark didn’t have a single one of these staple accessories, but 2 minutes in a charity shop and I found one for two quid – winner!
I accessorised with my mint & grey geometric teething necklace. The beauty of a colour palette is that you can use the same accessories over and over again – there isn’t a single outfit in the capsule that this necklace doesn’t work with.
The Black Playsuit
When I find a shape that works I tend to buy it in all the colours that work with my capsule palette! That’s a habit even from my slim days, since it’s often tough to find outfits that flatter gigantaboobs…
This outfit includes a Primark straw trilby and one of my favourite-ever scarves that I bought at Greenbelt Music Festival many years back.
Next I gravitated towards the maxi-dresses, and luckily found one that I liked and works with my palette:
You can also add a waist belt for a less relaxed, more put-together look:
I particularly like the subtle khaki & purple colour accents hiding within the monochrome, which tie in nicely to the palette:
The Khaki Kaftan
After this, the suitable clothes seemed to dry up! I’m not just constrained by size, post-partum tummy and palette, but also the ability to whip both boobs out with ease! However, I often have luck in the swimwear section, as many ‘cover-ups’ actually function well as tops/dresses:
I also bought a duplicate of the above in black – I’ll pair it with my dark wine red vest. You can’t see, but I wear these with denim shorts – you can’t be wearing short skirts when running round after baby twins!
That’s everything I sourced in Primark this season – I’ll feature my remaining outfits next time!
Stay tuned for the next part of my Summer Capsule Wardrobe…