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living with less

Maternity Capsule Wardrobe: What I bought & Why

Being pregnant for the first time can be at times overwhelming. There are so many things to learn, consider and decide on before the baby even arrives! My advice as a first time Mom is to slow everything down. In reality we have 40 weeks before the child arrives so it lots of time to research and make an educated decision about buying necessities like strollers, car seats, bassinets & all the “must haves” before the baby is born.

The same attitude should be applied to buying maternity clothes. First of all, I suggest not to go buying maternity clothes when your regular clothes still fit. Pack away all the clothes that don’t fit & display all the clothes that still fit and build your wardrobe around these.

 

Pictures: I chose to wear the black high neck I already had, my new black maternity jeans and old pair of black boots for all photos to highlight how 1 outfit can be worn in so many different ways. In these pictures I am 24 weeks pregnant.

Use the first few months to do your research on what maternity clothes you will actually need and what style of clothes you want to buy & which you will wear throughout the pregnancy. The time of year & where you live will have an effect on what purchases you make.

We found out I was pregnant in October; my due date is June 15th. Most of my pregnancy is through the colder & cooler months of winter & spring. My style is generally jeans, thin sweaters, cardigans & sweaters for these seasons. These were the items I decided I would buy for my maternity closet once I grew out of my regular clothes.

Looking up styles on Pinterest & Instagram is great to get some inspiration of how you want to look while being pregnant. For me my favourite style is casual/cool, no fuss everyday clothes that are comfortable but look super cool. Once I see pictures of the styles, I like I save them for inspiration. I work in an office but we have no dress code so basically you can wear what you like. This is great for me as I don’t have to waste money on suits and clothes, I would never wear given a choice. However, the same rules apply if you do have a more formal wardrobe.

Picture: This navy leather jacket I have for the past 4 years, love it so much. I paid a lot of money for it but it’s the only leather jacket I will ever own & will last me my life time…..even during pregnancy. I never wear this jacket closed, I snap the top button closed and wear a scarf tied or draped in front.

The next step I took once I had an idea of what items I needed to buy for my maternity wardrobe was to pack away all my regular clothes that no longer fit. The majority of my jeans were too small by week 19, I had one stretchy pair of skinny jeans left which were still fitting so I kept them out until they were not comfortable any more. I like large shirts over skinny jeans so I had a couple of shirts that still fit and will fit for a another few months. I had 2 vest tops, 3 thin high neck tops and 4 cardigans that all fit well and will for many more months.

These are all the items I kept for my maternity capsule closet, all the rest of the clothes got vacuumed packed and stored in an ikea storage container underneath our bed.

 

Picture: This green coat again was an investment which I got in an amazing sale! Its 3 years old & it comes out every winter. The coat style is big & loose so it has worked out really well for being pregnant. I can still close it but I usually wear it open with a scarf & hat as shown in the picture.

Hanging in my wardrobe before going shopping for maternity clothes were:

Clothing

1 pair of jeans

2 vest tops (black & red)

3 thin high neck tops (green, grey, black)

4 cardigans (Navy, grey, pattern, black)

2 large shirts (denim, grey)

Outerwear

1 green winter coat

1 navy leather jacket

2 Blazers

2 heavy knight cardigans

Shoes (all still fit, no swelling of feet yet)

2 pairs black ankle boots

1 pair red ankle boots

1 pair white sneakers

1 pair black sneakers

2 pairs fancy shoes

Accessories

4 Scarves

3 Hats

Small Jewellery collection

Using accessories, shoes & switching up outerwear can make the same outfit look so different All of these things can come from your regular wardrobe. A trick I like to use is to wear my blazers that no longer close with a thick wool scarf draped in front so I keep warm, the bump is concealed and I get to wear my favourite blazer.

Picture: This blazer was one of my favourite finds in Turnabout second hand store 2 years ago. I love blazers, I have 3 & wear them all the time in the Autumn & Spring. Blazers are also great for us pregnant women as they provide a nice silhouette, don’t need to close in the front and a scarf can easily keep bump warm if its a chiller day. 

Next it’s time to review the list above and fill in the gaps. Looking at the above list the first thing I decided to purchase was maternity pants. At week 20 I bought a black pair of skinny jeans and grey denim skinny jeans. First, I looked in local second-hand stores for maternity jeans but nobody had any. There was one store who sold maternity clothes second hand but they were closed when I visited “Cobblestone”. There are options online but I really needed to try on the pants before buying online second-hand as I had no clue how the sizing worked. Turns out you go y the size you are in your jeans. Another thing I avoided was buying hauls of second-hand clothing from Facebook market place. Although you can get lots of clothes for a great price, you end up with lots of clothes, many of which you probably won’t ever wear. Beware of the hauls!

On my list of items, I wanted to purchase (second hand if possible) were;

2 pairs of blue jeans (light & dark)

1 thin high neck top (mustard)

1 camel colour cardigan

1 heavy black sweater

1 camel scarf

1 red blouse for fancy occasion

2 other tops which will get me through chilly days and warmer spring days

Once I had my list, I went to the local second-hand stores to look for tops. I don’t need to buy maternity tops, I decided to size up on regular tops and see how they looked. I lucked out on my first shop in Turnabout on 4th avenue. I found a fabulous black cashmere sweater & red silk blouse. Two items knocked off my list almost immediately. A few weeks later I decided to see what was in the sales in Aritzia in Oakridge as I could not find any other items second-hand. I picked up 1 thin high neck in a mustard colour, a cashmere camel cardigan and a camel scarf all on sale.

Picture: Peek a boo! Here is my current bump situation at 24 weeks. Looking forward to seeing it grow bigger and finding new ways to use my new & current clothes to look & feel great while my body changes shape & size.

What’s remaining on my list:

2 pairs of blue jeans

2 other tops which will get me through chilly days and warmer spring days

This weekend I plan on visiting “cobblestone” hoping that it will be open this time to see if I can pick up the above items, I also plan on visiting another excellent second-hand store called Dragon Phoenix in the Southlands. I’m hoping I will be lucky and find the remaining items but if not, I will keep searching. This is what’s fun about conscious shopping, you really put time into looking for the perfect addition to your wardrobe. I appreciate my clothes so much more now than when I would go out on a whim and purchase mindlessly.

I hope this was helpful.

Again, if you have any feedback or comments, we would love to hear from you.

Have a great week.

Chat soon,

Theresa x

Having Less: Why & How It Has Changed Us

The decision to live our lives with less gradually occurred over years. Realising that buying things only lead to buying more got exhausting, expensive and stressful. The constant need to keep up with friends & family, comparing what we had with others would make anyone feel inadequate.

Constantly going around the same loop of needing-wanting-getting-feeling bad, I came to a realisation that buying things was not making me happy but creating stress, worry, sadness and loneliness. I hate shopping malls and really didn’t like spending time in them. So why was I going there to buy stuff, it didn’t make sense.

Wakening up to the fact that buying things did not make me happy or having lots of clutter in our home did not make me happy. I decided to make a change. This decision came about from certain events but I think the one real eye opener was being around people who had so much money and things. Soon I realised they were no happier than we were. In fact, all their stuff caused them so much stress. People were even hired to take care of their stuff; houses, cars, animals, bags, jewelry. Stuff needs taking care of, maintenance, up keep, constant surveillance. Owing more than one home creates so much stress, especially when they are not lived in all the time leaks, electrical issues, surveillance, security alarms, all of these extra stresses which start to control the lives of the people.

I saw first-hand how people who seem to have it all, were controlled by it all. Spending months working on their houses, renovating, painting, adding on thinking it would all end in a few months but then the upkeep of the homes began to take over weekends. The time spent having to clean the house, do jobs around the house, or paying people to do all that just didn’t appeal to me.

Living in a rented 1-bedroom apartment might not seem like a lot to most people but what it is freedom. Freedom from upkeeping a massive house, freedom from huge mortgage bills, freedom from having to hire staff to clean, freedom to live more simply. Is this going to be reality for the rest of our lives, no, we want to live in our own small place on our own land someday but for now this is perfect.

Living in a small space doesn’t mean that we are living simply, you can over complicate life very easily with extreme shopping habits. This is what we wanted to change. We wanted to eradicate the need to want things, we wanted to sit and relax in our home and not want or need. Be happy with what we had because everything we had was chosen with care & love and thought.

We want to live in a home with less noise, more space and beauty. That meant going through every room, drawer, cupboard, box, shelf, basket and storage area to get rid of all the things that did not spark joy or happiness. Marie Kondo book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying” was the road map we used to help declutter our home. For me this process of getting rid of stuff is fun, I have no issue with giving unused, unwanted and no longer needed items away. In fact, when they find a great home it makes me feel so happy! We gave away and sold lots of stuff, no dumping required except we recycled a lot of bank statements, notes from courses we took, old notebooks and lots of other paper that was stored throughout the years. Now we just have 1 folder for our important paperwork and avoid bringing paperwork back to our home.

I like to look through each area of our place on a monthly basis to see if there are any other items we could donate or give away. We have come very close to a place now that we truly have just what we use & need.

I cannot explain how relaxing this is and how happy I am when I walk through our home door every evening after work and look around to a place where I want to relax, destress and be comfortable in. Not having a need to clean, improve or change anything. Its home. I swear I smile everything I come home, maybe because we worked so hard for it and spent a lot of time deciding how we want our place to look & feel. The constant need to buy is no longer there. We would rather spend time working on projects we want to complete, be out in nature & socializing with friends.

Having less is not easy in fact it is so much easier to have more, more stuff, more debt, more stress, more money, more drink, more credit cards, more cars, shoes……. it’s harder to limit, to say no and to realise that having more does not make you happy. Having been around people who have lots of money……. but still want more money & more stuff….it made me realise that the wanting never stops even when you become hugely successful.

Spending life taking care of your stuff is a horrid waste of time when you could be doing things that spark joy & happiness…don’t waste life accumulating things instead accumulate memoires, experiences, friends, love & relationships. Focus on what really matters, connection, community, health, wellbeing, friendships, family…. stuff will never make you happy…. It may make life easier sometimes but never happier.

Having less is the best decision we ever made. We Know having less is better for our environment, relationships, health and bank accounts. We choose having less clutter and more time to enjoy life. Yes, this lifestyle will not make sense to a lot of people but we are free to life exactly how we choose…. we choose less. Our possessions do not control our lives.

As always, we would love to hear your feedback and comments.

Have a great week,

Chat soon,

Theresa xx