A couple of months back, it seemed every post I found on capsule wardrobes followed the same formula: expensive, high-brow, high-fashion pieces, all with restricted palettes, suited to high-power business women or svelte fashionistas.
Now of course these are probably a large chunk of the target market for such blog posts, but I didn’t feel there was anything I could relate to.
I’m a hands-on, SAHM twin mama with a fuller-figure and gigantaboobs. I get covered in toddler messes every single day, because I won’t turn my children away when they need me – regardless of how sticky they are!
I am forever rolling around on the floor or bending down to scoop up two little wrigglers, so I need clothes that are flexible and don’t show my bum. I tandem breastfeed, so need to be able to whip the girls out with ease and speed.
I LOVE rich jewel colours, and enjoy accessorising – but all my jewellery needs to be toddler-proof or it will get destroyed. Finally, I’m on a tight budget, since we’re a one-income family!
Seems like a tall order? Well fear not – if you’re in my position it is TOTALLY possible to craft a fabulous, minimalist capsule wardrobe.
The Journey So Far…
You can find the first two parts of this series, including the capsule wardrobe concept, colour palette, full list of items and first few outfits, here:
Today’s post features the more casual side of my capsule wardrobe, as well as my accessories. There’s also a vast range of sizes, since I have been losing weight throughout this series. But the beauty is, all of the garments are designed to be loose-fitting yet shapely, so being a little slimmer is no problemo.
The Tank Top & Floral Chiffon Jacket Combo
This outfit is a simultaneously super-casual and yet flamboyant start to today’s capsule wardrobe selection – it feels so light and airy, yet glamorous:
The long-line tank top is a Primark staple from my pregnancy days in a size 16, and the jacket is size 20 from Store Twenty One which of course just went out of business! There’s a similar design here if you’re a fan. My shorts are from the maternity section of H&M! They don’t seem to have the blue denim in right now but they have the same style in grey here.
The Floral, Cold-Shoulder Tee
An Asda size 20 find: I am so in love with this top! It makes me feel completely fabulous – the print is so vibrant yet flattering, and the colours suit my skin and hair:
Now normal people would wear a strapless bra, but at a 32JJ, that simply isn’t an option for me if I don’t want to be doing knee-ups. But I love it so much that I don’t even care that my straps are on show. To be honest they kinda look like part of the top anyway, and if anyone is offended, they are staring too hard! Despite buying it just a month or two ago it is not on their website, however this one has a similar vibe.
The Turquoise Dress
As a garment it’s pretty versatile (pretty key for a capsule wardrobe), since it can be worn as a dress either bare-legged or with black tights, or as a tunic top with shorts or leggings:
This is my latest purchase – I grabbed it in Store Twenty One’s closing-down sale, at a size 12. To be honest though the sizing is likely fluid because it’s loose and stretchy – it was the only one left on the rail. Ordinarily I wouldn’t even have considered that a 12 might fit! (Not since my pre-preg days, anyway…)
But, as all fuller-figured ladies know: unless your body size and proportions are completely standard, you’re never going to fit one size across all garments and styles.
Here’s a close-up of the embellishments:
To toddler-proof it I’m going to need to reinforce the stitching, but I’ve never had a beaded item where I didn’t have to do that – even pre-kids.
The lip colour is Body Shop Colour Crush in shade 110 Coral Blush. I don’t know why it is my curse that every time I find a makeup item I love and plan to stick to, they stop making it! Body Shop online are still selling the line of lipsticks, just not the actual shade, and they are sold out on Ebay and Amazon too. Pfft!
The lines of the tortoiseshell pattern are actually translucent for some reason best know to the deisgner. So I pair this with a nude cami to prevent bra and pants from glowing through…
If you like this, here’s a turquoise jersy tunic dress that isn’t too dissimilar.
The Lactivist Tee
This statement khaki tee is perfect for park trips, music festivals and BBQs, as well as normalising breastfeeding! Be bold and unapologetic:
(‘scuse the bad bra, I went bra shopping after this photo!)
I find it incredible, the amount of aggro people receive over just trying to feed their babies. And it CANNOT be overstated just how vulnerable it can feel to try and breastfeed in public.
Those of us who appear super-confident have all-too-often arrived at this attitude through a conscious decision to stand our ground in the face of discrimination, rather than being able to relax and feed without a second thought.
The only way we will change the conversation is to normalise breastfeeding. I’m not talking about creating ‘converts’, but just getting people so used to seeing it that those who do choose to BF don’t have to endlessly quote the 2010 discrimination act which despite being law is shamelessly flouted left, right and centre.
Another pressure is the endless unsolicited advice that babies shouldn’t be feeding through the night (despite this being the biological norm).
And tees like Boobbix’s Eat, “Sleep”, Breastfeed, Repeat top are a fab tool to normalise the BF experience and lend a bit of moral support too! This top has a totally different vibe to some of my other pieces – variety being key to stopping a capsule wardrobe getting too samey and boring.
The Geometric Tee
All capsule wardrobes need staple items, and I like the way it’s understated yet still decorative:
I found this little number in Asda’s George section, at a size 20. I’ve picked up on the geometric design with my Fox & Finn silicone teething necklace, and the lip colour is Bourjois in Plum Russian. This tee would serve in a similar fashion.
Scarves & Sunhat
Accessories are, of course, how you keep the same small collection of garments looking fresh. The staple trilby is a Primark special:
Left to right we have an edgy zebra print satin scarf from London Zoo, A tie-dye yet somehow simultaneously muted cotton pashmina and a gorgeously light silk scarf in peacock colours. The last two were handmade and purchased at Greenbelt Festival a million years ago.
I particularly love that the silk scarf scrunches up very small so I can carry it around in my nappy bag – which means it’s my go to feeding scarf (as featured in the meme below – spot the chiffon jacket!):
Now I don’t believe there should be any requirement to cover up (indeed, legally there isn’t and I didn’t for a long time), but now I’m feeding toddlers they literally crawl away 7 or 8 times a feed with no warning, and I just prefer being able to flick my scarf across rather than sitting with boobs out calling ‘are you finished?’ across the room!
Accessories are the keystone of any good capsule wardrobe, since they quickly change the overall impact of any outfit. These are all quite different in their aesthetic, and all completely toddler-proof.
- Wooden teething necklace from FiddleBeads
- Silicone teething necklace from Fox & Finn
- Suede choker – literally 99p – from Home Bargains!
The Minimalist, Vibrant, Frugal Capsule Wardrobe:
Here we have a MINIMUM of 10 different outfits, which means you can easily cope with going a whole week between laundry days! I say minimum, because that doesn’t include all of the ways you can mix and match the different accessories and pairings, not to mention including the various jackets and cover-ups which I haven’t even photographed!
Each of these options can go with at least 2 different scarves, 2 necklaces, both sunglasses, both lipstick shades, 2 cover-ups, and the tops all work with shorts, tights or leggings.
This gives me a multitude of styling options, allows for the typically changeable English Summer weather, means I have less laundry, more space in my closet and saves me time in the mornings. I can grab literally anything in the morning and be sure it’s going to be flattering. And the seminal point? The whole collection (including clothes, belt, necklaces, scarves, hat, sunglasses & shoes) comes in at 33 items exactly.
Have you tried a capsule wardrobe? What would you add/substitute to the above? Comment below to let us know!