clothes hanger

Managing your wardrobe: pregnancy, post-partum and all those sizes in between

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About Stephanie

Stephanie Langford has a passion for encouraging homemakers who want to make healthy changes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke, and (her newest!) through successful meal planning. She is the editor and author of Keeper of the Home.

I‘ve read plenty of good advice on wardrobe management and how to purge your closet, but there’s one piece of advice that doesn’t jive with this mama of four: get rid of anything that doesn’t fit or that you haven’t worn in the last year.

If I followed their advice, I would have to dispose of the four different sizes of clothing I rotate through to accomodate my various seasons of motherhood… skinny pre-pregnancy, early pregnancy (not showing, but nothing fits), full-on maternity, and post-baby (how did my hips spread this wide?).

It’s a fact of life. When you are in the midst of bearing sweet babies, your pant size goes up. And then down. And then back up again.

Being nine weeks out of having my fourth baby, I know this full well. The maternity clothes are now baggy and frumpy, yet the skinny clothes barely get over my hips. I’m lost somewhere in the middle. Fellow mothers, I know you feel my pain. Purging my closet fully isn’t an option, but I still needed a way to make peace with my wardrobe in the meantime.

My process

At around 6 weeks post-partum, it was time to clear out my closet. I yanked out every single item in there, which now included a mixture of maternity and non-maternity clothes in various sizes, as well as a bin of all of my pre-pregnancy clothes that I had stored away when the stick turned pink.

Using my master bathroom as my staging grounds, I made a huge pile of everything that needed to be sorted. Then I created four new piles:

  1. Fits me now (regardless of whether it was maternity or regular)
  2. Will fit within six months
  3. No longer needed (which was mostly maternity at this particular point in time)
  4. Get rid of completely

Anything I was unsure of, I tried on. When you’re size-shifting frequently (which happens particularly fast in the early post partum weeks), it’s important to actually try things on, not just rule them out automatically.

Most of these clothes hadn’t been worn for at least nine months to a year. Last year’s summer clothes weren’t worn at all because I was already pregnant, so I was actually dealing with clothes from almost two years ago. A lot can change in your preferences and style trends in that period of time.

I discovered there were plenty of things I simply didn’t like anymore. This is the part where traditional wardrobe management techniques really DO come in handy.These things are important to keep in mind as you sort through your clothes:

  • Is this color flattering on me?
  • Do I have other items that I will wear this with or specific outfits in mind?
  • If an item doesn’t fit, is it that it just doesn’t fit right now, or has it ever truly fit me well?
  • Will I actually reach for this item and wear it regularly?
  • If not, why? Does it need repair (buttons, mending, de-pilling, etc.)?
Only keep the items that look best on you or are the most classic in each of the different sizes. By holding on to these basics and favorites, you’ll have less to put in storage. When it comes time to put that particular wardrobe back into service again, all you’ll need are a couple new items to freshen things up.


My growing “give away” pile, testimony to the fact that I was holding on to a lot of clothes I just didn’t enjoy wearing!

Narrowing down what stays and what goes

Stick with colors that suit you

I am a winter and look best in neutrals like black and white, and also bold jewel tones. I’ve decided to focus my wardrobe on a few favorite colors that I know I enjoy wearing and look good in (for me, these include dark denim, black, white, chocolate brown, purple, navy, turquoise, and red).


Mostly down to colors I look good in. Just a little work to do yet.

Items you love, not just like

They say that most of us wear 20 percent of the clothing we own, 80 percent of the time. Which means, there’s no point in holding on to something that you just sort-of, kinda like.

I know it’s tempting when you feel you don’t have enough to wear, but the reality is that if you don’t feel good in it, you won’t wear it anyway.

Think classic, multi-use, and accessories

Skirts with elastic waists can fit into multiple-sized wardrobes. Cardigans can be worn pregnant or not—plus, they help transition summer tops into a fall or winter wardrobe.

Keeping your clothing choices classic and in mostly solid colors means that they will still look great a couple years down the road. By adding accessories like scarves and necklaces that are currently in style, you can navigate changing fashion trends.

Clothes for now and for later

The key for me was to separate the clothes I liked into what fits now and what will fit later. I hung up or put into drawers only what truly fit. If it was close, but not quite, it didn’t make the cut.

There’s nothing more depressing than to open your closet and realize that 2/3 of its contents don’t actually fit you yet. I knew that I wanted a closet with only those clothes that were truly wearable for me, NOW.

After re-stocking my closet, and dealing with the discards and maternity clothes for storage, I was left with a whole pile of clothes that I wanted to hang on to, but (literally) can’t squeeze into quite yet. The goal was to make them easily accessible, but not actually hang them up.

Rubbermaid bins are my storage method of choice for clothes, so I folded my too-tight items neatly and put them in a bin. Putting the smallest sizes on the bottom, and then work up to the ones that you will wear soon makes it easier to find the right ones when the time comes.

The bin now sits in my closet, waiting for me to use it. As I gradually move back into my pre-pregnancy clothes, the bin will shift in use to hold the in-between sizes I’m wearing now.

How do you handle all of the different sizes that come with the seasons of motherhood?

Join the Conversation

Comments

  1. I can definitely relate, Stephanie! I have for little ones as well. The upside to having so many clothes to cycle through is that everything old is new again! I regularly get a new wardrobe without having to spend (much) money ;)

  2. avatar
    Elizabeth says:

    Thanks for a great post! I am currently 7 weeks postpartum with my third baby and often felt like the type wardrobe advice doesn’t work for my small collection of clothing for different stages. Love the way you look at this.

  3. This reminds me of a funny story…. My best mate was so cranky with her post partum wardrobe, two months after the birth she threw out every maternity thing that she owned, and wore the same pair of pants for a month, until she fit into her pre-pregnant clothes. A month in blue shorts. She cracks me up!

  4. Totally can relate into the whole thing on this post. I had been also making some management over my wardrobe this day since there have been lots of clothes which no longer fits mt hips and even undies. I guess I had to keep those for the mean time and try to lose some weight to be able to recover my shape but it will really take so much time. You had enlightened me on what should I do with my clothes for now.

  5. I’m right here too at about 12 weeks post partum. Lately I have felt like nothing fits me and have been feeling really icky about my body and clothing. I need to go through all my stuff and figure out what I can use. It doesn’t help that it’s right at that season change time when half the days are warm and half are cool.

    • That’s really why I did it. I was feeling so blah and a bit discouraged about it, and I knew that I needed to do something proactive. Going through my stuff and discovering the things that would work for me made such a difference in how I was feeling and my attitude each morning as I walked into my closet. And I’m with you in the changing season right now, so I just kept out everything that fit- whether it was warm or cool in nature.

  6. You have did a great job on managing your wardrobe. I always have a hard time cleaning and organizing my wardrobe always.

  7. I tend to wear a lot of empire-line dresses, which are extremely useful for managing the size changes. I bought a selection of dresses in the summer before we got married, with our honeymoon in mind, and they managed to fit me right up to the birth of our son, just under a year later.

    For storage of maternity-specific clothes – non-wired bras, maternity trousers – I’ve found vacuum bags to be very useful. They can just slide under the bed, and they are adequately protected to go in the garage.

  8. avatar
    Susan Alexander says:

    This is really timely for me as I’m 3.5 months PP and dealing with a huge pile of clothes on my floor in my closet! I have the additional problem that we move every few years and sometimes to very cold climates and sometimes to very hot climates! So not only do I have to keep all the pregnant/PP/skinny/in-between clothes, but also clothes for all types of weather! It’s a little overwhelming! And we are keeping all of our children’s clothing to use as hand-me-downs. That makes for a LOT of bins of clothing!! Any advice on where to find your seasonal type? I’ve done it a few times before, but never been thrilled with the results…

    • Susan: I had tried to find my seasonal type a couple of times without much luck. Then last year I read Shari Braendel’s book “Good Girls don’t have to Dress Bad.” That helped me categorize myself as a warm. You can do a free online color analysis. And, if you order the color swatches from her site, she has you email her a picture so she can confirm your type. BTW, she doesn’t label the types by season. She uses light, warm etc. , but it’s the exact same idea.

    • P.S. to Susan – sorry meant to leave a link to the color analysis: http://www.fashionmeetsfaith.com/

    • I so relate to having so many clothes. We live in the West Coast, where even in the summer, you still need warmer clothes, and vice versa in the winter. I am also keeping all of my children’s clothes to pass on to their siblings, and so between them and myself, whew. We’ve got a lot of clothes! What I’ve done (especially since we don’t have an attic and our garage is used for our home business) is to make our master bedroom closet a “family closet” (everyone’s clothes all together), and then I use the closets in the other bedrooms for stacking bins. It helps to keep it more manageable, even with so much to store.

  9. Thanks so much for this! I am 9 months pregnant and my closet and under-bed storage areas have been a mess this entire time. (I gained some weight before I got pregnant so the wardrobe situation was less than ideal when I started. Add to that the whole maternity clothes thing and it’s a total disaster.) This post couldn’t have come at a better time for me!

  10. Thank you for this post! I’ve been looking for advice on this very subject. I recently did a huge purge of clothes based on what I actually will wear and what actually fits (realizing I have to make allowance for changes due to pregnancy).

  11. I started out my second pregnancy 7 lbs lighter than my first and I still hadn’t managed to fit back into most of my pre-pregnancy clothes so at this point (6 months post 2nd pregnancy) those bins should probably just go. It’s a shame because I had a lot of really lovely dresses that no longer fit around my expanded ribcage (my cup size went back down but I’m still up a band size). All of the in between stuff is in bins but it’s not organized by size so I’ll have to get on that :)

    • I had exactly the same problem with my expanded ribcage – but don’t clear out the old clothes too soon! I thought my ribcage would stay that way forever, but it finally went back down to my normal size 9 months after birth. I regretted already clearing out a few of my old skinny clothes.

      • I agree. It’s taken longer with each baby (4 weeks with 1st, 2-3 months with 2nd, 5 months with 3rd, and I anticipate longer now with this 4th baby) to get back into stuff that fit before. But, I’ve realized that even though it takes a long time, it ultimately does happen, and that’s why I’m pretty hesitant to get rid of stuff I like that did fit me well at one point.

        • Don’t get rid of it yet. A year after my 1st, the smaller clothes were not fitting, even though the weight was down, so I got rid of them. But now that my 2nd is 15 months, NONE of my bigger clothes fit, and I soon badly wish I had kept the smaller things. I bought 2 pairs of pants & 2 pairs of shorts & that’s all I have that fits. Shirts and dresses are all baggy, with no more money for new clothes. I’m going to get pregnant again, so my clothes will fit!

  12. Oh Stephanie I share your pain. I have found that I tend to keep a lot of elastic clothing at my disposal. When I was pregnant I didn’t buy a lot of maternity clothes I just bought summer dresses that had empire waistlines so they worked during and after pregnancy. Since they were not maternity I can even wear them when I’m “normal size”. But the elastic (mostly workout clothes) serve double duty. They fit me at any size and then they encourage me to workout to help lose or maintain my weight.

    • Elastic stuff is definitely nice, although I’m one of those jeans and khakis gals, so I don’t own too much of it. Dresses are really smart, though, and I’m on the lookout for a few cute ones to wear this summer, that will still look good even as I gradually lose the rest of the weight.

  13. Oh, I can so relate! For this current pregnancy (my 3rd), I decided to box ALL of my regular clothes up and put them in the attic. The only clothes currently in my closet are either maternity or a very few items that I may be able to wear post-partum (bigger tops, etc.).

    Because I got pregnant in December and am not due until August, I had two entire seasons worth of maternity clothes (compliments of my other 2 pregnancies, my sister and my sister-in-law!). I really needed both seasons since I showed extremely early this time around, but having to change out the maternity wardrobe when the weather turned warm felt a little excessive!

    I ended up getting rid of my very smallest size when I was several months postpartum with my 18-month-old, and I almost got rid of the next size up (thinking I would surely never get back in *those* jeans), but I ended up getting back in that size about a month or so before I got pregnant again!

    Thanks for the tips! I’m definitely saving this post!

    • See, that’s why I do keep the smaller sized stuff, because it does eventually fit again. I wore my small stuff again for the last 6 months between baby #3 and pregnancy #4, and I was glad that I had kept it.

      Glad this was helpful for you, friend!

  14. I wish this worked for me: I went up a size with both of my kids & haven’t come far enough back down to get back into my pre-baby clothes. I am okay with getting rid of my pre-pregnancy clothes & just focusing on what works for me now though. We may not have any children so I’ve given away my maternity clothes & decided if we do want more, I’ll just worry about new clothes then.

  15. This is exactly what I’m dealing with right now. We have four children. Our oldest turns five next month and the baby is 8 months old. Over the past few weeks I’ve been weeding through my wardrobe and finding what fits now. Everything else is being put away for the time being, I hate grabbing something only to realize it’s too small! I’d rather have a sparse wardrobe and actually look good in the clothes than a full closet where “nothing” fits. I’m also taking advantage of yard sales to fill in some missing pieces. In the past, I’ve just had to make do with what I had, but being able to spend a few dollars here and there really can make my wardrobe work for me.

    • I agree. It’s so much nicer to have less clothes that you know will actually fit and look good, than a large wardrobe of things you can’t actually wear. I also found that purging my wardrobe down to what fit gave me a better idea of a few pieces that I could keep my eyes out for this summer, as I shopped the sales and thrift stores. When you know exactly what you have, it’s much easier to fill in the gaps with just the right items!

  16. The childbearing years do require several different sizes of clothes. The pants I own are in 4 different sizes plus maternity pants! I do agree it’s silly to get rid of everything just because you can’t wear it at that moment especially if you’re planning on having more children.

    I have a minimal wardrobe which helps me manage the clothing. I have 2 copy paper boxes that hold the clothes I cannot wear. One is just for my maternity wardrobe and one currently contains pants that are a size too big and a size too small! Having a limit keeps me from having clothing clutter. Since I do have a minimal wardrobe anyways, it’s no big deal only have 2 pair of jeans and 3-5 shirts that fit during pregnancy and postpartum. In this season of life, I’ve learned clothing pieces that are smart to buy {like cotton dresses I can wear in the summer with flip flops or in the winter with leggings, pregnant, postpartum and at my normal size!}

    • I like the idea of limiting the space. That would probably be really helpful with forcing you to make the tough decisions on holding on to the items that you truly loved, and not just keeping things for the sake of keeping them. Smart! :)

  17. As a Mom of three I can definitely relate. One thing to watch out for is things that have stretched to where they won’t look good anymore. I have a bad habit of putting off wearing maternity clothes but not actually getting a size bigger, and stretching things. Later, when I am back to the actual size, it still doesn’t look right because it has been stretched beyond hope. When sorting, if things look like they have lost there shape, ditch it. It probably isn’t going to ever fit quite right again.
    Great ideas, Stephanie.

  18. You phrase it much more nicely than I do – but I have similar ideas. Right now I have “fits now” hanging on the shelves and a bin of “fat clothes” (early pregnancy/post-partum) and then a bin of maternity clothes.

    I like Johanna’s point about stretching sizes too — I tend to fluctuate about 10 lb in my weight over the months, but keep wearing the same size, and things do get stretched, and then don’t fit right when the 10 lb goes away again…

  19. I always laughed at wardrobe advice when we were in the midst of growing our family. This is excellent advice for moms, Stephanie!

  20. I think these words of advice, to toss it if you haven’t worn in a year, doesn’t apply to everyone. I go by it, but I’m not having babies anymore. So really I just fluctuate weight within my size. So I guess I’m lucky that way.

  21. You are definitely speaking my language. Advice to throw things out just because you haven’t worn them in a while never worked for me. Of course I can tend to be a pack rat with my clothes. The color is bad. The fit is all wrong. I still hold on like my pumpkin clothes will turn into pretty carriages.
    I think your four pile method makes sense. I’ll have to try that.

  22. I just went through my closet 2 days ago to take out all the winter cloths and clothes that don’t fit my 4 month pregnancy body. I have also gone through last summers clothes in anticipation for this summer when basically nothing will fit because I am pregnant I added in my 5 maternity shirt I own and know that soon 90% of my t-shirts wont fit because they are not long enough.
    I had my daughter the first of July and now I am pregnant due at the end of September which means I will need summer maternity clothes which I didn’t with my daughter. Having babies all around the same time would defiantly help cut down the storage of clothes!

  23. This is something I’ve struggled with for a few years now. How do I keep my clothes orderly, while still holding onto things that I’ll need down the road when I’m pregnant again? This is the first post I’ve ever seen address this topic – thank you so much! I am going to store the clothes that don’t fit me right now, but will down the road. Having only what fits right now in my closet/dresser will make getting dressed a million times easier! I recently re-organized my closet by color, which has been a huge help. Now only having what fits me in it will be an even bigger help. Thanks for the tips and the motivation!

  24. fantastic, helpful post! thank you for sharing Stephanie :) I’m impressed that you made it through the closet cleaning – as well as documenting & writing it all out for a blog post – so soon after welcoming another little one to your family <3

  25. I just went through my clothes and cleaned our my closet in preparation for a yard sale. My 2nd just turned 1 year, and I have an extra category to add to those clothes now, because I’ll gain 5 pounds the second I quit nursing. I have a bin of maternity clothes, one of “fat clothes” for that early preg/post baby time when nothing fits. Then I have “skinny” clothes that only fit when I’m nursing (weighing 5 pounds less than normal), and then my regular clothes. And not knowing if we’re going to have any more kids, I have to hold on to all of them for the time being. My anti-hoarding self wants to get rid of them all now, but my cheapskate self keeps telling me how much it’d cost to replace all of those clothes. So for now, the anti-hoarder will have to twitch quietly in the corner until a final decision is made. ;)

    • I totally get wanting to get rid of them. Sometimes, it’s drives me crazy to hold on to some of it, especially since I’ve done a lot of house purging this past year and it feels really good (and might even be slightly addictive), but I know that I’ll regret it if I do get rid of them when I’ll still come back around to needing them.

  26. Love this! I am now inspired to throw all my clothes in a massive heap in the bathroom and laugh at it. lol

  27. With our 5th born just 3 weeks ago, I’m definitely in need of a closet re-org. I have removed all the maternity clothes except a few tops that I think may just become part of my normal wardrobe, because they are longer and provide better coverage. It is a tricky balance. 80% of what I have moved back into the closet doesn’t fit well right now and what does work doesn’t really work well together (the individual pieces don’t make outfits I feel good in). I actually went shopping yesterday to fill in the gaps with a basic skirt or two, but came away discouraged. It may take several months to fit back into some of the items and in the meantime I want to feel good about what I am wearing. My sweet husband has encouraged me to buy some things I really like in the size I need right now so I can feel put-together now. I know clothes don’t make a woman, but I do feel better when I look better.

    • It definitely helps to buy a few things in in-between sizes. I was feeling quite discouraged about my jeans situation just before I did this closet purge. So I went to the thrift store and bought a $10 pair of jeans that fit now (but I really hope they won’t fit in another couple months!). I didn’t mind spending a bit of money so that I could have pants I felt comfortable in for the meantime.

  28. This works well for those of us past child bearing years but losing weight. I have some classic clothes that I would hate to part with but are clogging up my closet waiting for the waist line to shrink! Thanks for the post!

  29. Love this– Just had our 4th a week and a half ago. I am big believer in buying a few pants and larger shirts that fit you NOW. Now immediately postpartum I do mainly stretchy things, but in a few weeks, I will “splurge” at walmart or target or goodwill (post partum goldmine) It is so worth it to buy a pair of jeans a size up then to continue wearing baggy maternity jeans, or tight jeans with a bella band.

    Also– get good long tanks that can transition a shirt. I find most my shirts seem too short, since my bust has enlarged so much. Often I get a size larger shirt (in some good flattering solids) to tide me over. thankfully the style is longer shirts..which help a ton.

    But I am a firm believer in “look good, feel good” . So don’t wear clothes that make you feel frumpy or fat. find flattering clothes to get you over the hump.

    • That’s exactly what I did. After I was done wearing sweats or maternity pants that didn’t fit properly, I went to the thrift store for a cheap pair of jeans in a “fits me now” size. So worth it! And yes, tank tops are also great for transitioning. I have one in white, one in cream, and one in black, and I wear them constantly!

  30. Thanks for this post! I had 2 babies in 18 months and my closet is a mess. I just took my summer clothes out of the attic – clothes I didn’t wear last summer because I was pregnant. Your tips will really help when I go through them! I have found that even when I fit into my non preggo clothes, their not very breast feeding friendly. I have a ton of long and lean tank tops from Target that are a great bridging peice. They are long to pull down over growing tummies and have a low scoop neck that can be pulled down to breast feed. And they’re a deal at $7.

  31. I love this! I have this trouble, with so many types of items plus seasonal wardrobes that you don’t even use during pregnant years… yes, it becomes difficult. I do the Rubbermaid bin system as well. I’ve also been trying not to hold onto things I like that I can’t nurse in. I’ve been nursing and/or pregnant for the last five years, and since I nurse until age 2, its rare that I actually wear something that is difficult to nurse the baby in. Plus, if its not nursing-friendly, its over five years old! And who knows when I will use it again?

    • That makes sense. Because when things start hitting the five year mark, there’s a good chance that you really won’t wear it again, if for no other reason than you just don’t like it anymore or it’s out of fashion entirely. Nursing friendly clothes are definitely important. I’ve actually been in the pregnant/nursing season for a straight 8 years now, and although I didn’t think consciously about the nursing convenience factor, it’s totally true!

  32. Thank you for your post! I have been extremely frustrated with my closet lately and getting it organized. I’m 14 weeks pregnant with #3. Your suggestions are invaluable to me! Now I can have an organized (for a few months ;) closet before sorting through the clothes again. :) Next time it will definitely be easier!

  33. Thank you thank you thank you! This is pretty much what I’ve adopted as well. I too find the traditional ‘if you haven’t worn it in a year throw it out/give away’ advice to be frustrating. I’ll definitely be using some of the parts you I hadn’t thought of! I’m with Tempe, above, I also have to add in ‘ease of nursing’ as I’m 5 months PP. Anything that I can’t use to nurse in easily won’t be work again for at least another year. But it’s hard, to stay or to go. For now, I’m keeping the things I love. We’ll see when that time comes again.

    • Yes, so true about the nursing clothes! I was realizing that while shopping about a month ago, when I tried on a dress in a current style and realized why it was seeming so bizarre to me… there was NO way I could nurse in it!

  34. LOVE this post-and the comments! Your method is identical to mine–Plus Ashlee’s “ease of nursing” category! Totally have that, as well! :) I will be sharing with my soon to be momma, sister!

  35. I heard” the fly lady” speak last month. She said to DONATE/trash what u not wearing. To save it is to save clutter and that u should question your faith that God will provide in the future. I’m still learning this as I go thru my kids’ clothes with the that “but what if we have another.”. Also, my friend suffered a house fire where there was nothing left…having to completely start over, with only what u really NEED was freeing.

    • Well, I’m definitely not into clutter and I know experientially that it can be very freeing to get rid of the excess stuff that we simply don’t need. But, I don’t agree that we should give away or get rid of the things we aren’t currently wearing, just as a general rule. I certainly don’t think that holding on to things we will need in the future is to doubt God’s provision.

      There’s a definite difference between holding on to things as a pack-rat, and because you are doing it out of fear that you won’t have what you need. That’s a heart issue, for sure. But if you know for certain that you will need it again in, say, 6 months or 1 year, then I would actually consider that to be wise stewardship. Why get rid of things only to have to go out and spend unnecessary money re-purchasing something we had that was perfectly good?

      I do also hold on to my kids clothes, because we expect to continue to have more children. It’s wonderfully frugal to have those hand-me-downs now that my 3rd and 4th children are wearing their older siblings clothes. Plus, in the meantime, they don’t need to be useless clutter. I am free to loan them out to others, as a blessing to them!

      All that said, I just think that we can’t be too quick to judge whether something is an issue of trust, because although it may be for one person, it may definitely not be for another. I do repsect FlyLady and her ideas in many ways, I just don’t really agree with this one point. But I do so appreciate the comment, and I love that you are desiring to live clutter free and to trust God to provide abundantly for your needs (which, of course, He does!).

  36. avatar
    Steffanie Fick says:

    Now that my little bundle of joy has been with me for 5 weeks, I failed to consider a breastfeeding wardrobe. The bottom line – quick access. I had to go through my clothes again to find those tops that worked and those that didn’t. Most of my maternity clothes are packed for the next time. Everything else is stored similarly in my closet and dresser according to what fits now and in a few months. Breastfeeding burns calories like crazy!

  37. YES on long tanks and camis that transition, and elastic-waisted skirts! I also like the empire-dress (though it still doesn’t work in some cases b/c rib cages change size too). As a mom weathering season changes as well as the insane growth of the last trimester of pregnancy, I have to go through and rotate things into my “no longer fits and won’t until the next baby,” “wrong season” and “will fit again in a few months” bins. Rubbermaids are my friend, too!

  38. As a mom of four, I’ve gone up and down sizes a lot too. One of our babies came home through adoption, so in her case instead of a maternity clothes, I have a box of “Africa” clothes only suitable in the red dirt of Uganda.

    For me the biggest two lessons I’ve learned over the last two years are to invest in great accessories, jeans and sweaters and to save on pretty much everything else. I never really wore accessories, but then I had the opportunity to join Noonday Collection, selling beautiful jewelry as a fundraiser for our adoption and also to provide women around the world a path out of poverty. Having to wear these accessories in order to sell them was a huge revelation for me – I now buy very simple, basic, classic clothes in neutral colors. A typical outfit for me would be 5 year old jeans and a $12 grey tee from H&M paired with a stunning necklace handmade in Ecuador. You can see what I mean at http://www.sarabrinton.noondaycollection.com

    The other lesson is to buy great jeans infrequently and likewise very good quality, natural fiber sweaters. You can save money on almost everything else. There’s not much difference between a $3 tank and a $50 tank. But there is a huge difference between the $25 sweater at Target and the $75 cashmere sweater on sale. The cashmere sweater will last for years and years and is worth every penny. Plus cardigans work great through pregnancy, nursing and beyond.

  39. This is why the mu mu makes so much sense! I sort of wish it was fashionable to wear a shapeless dress so that it wouldn’t matter what stage of childbearing we’re in, we can just wear the same thing!

  40. Great tips! Thanks for sharing. I find myself gravitating towards empire waist little dresses through out my pregnancies. I can fit in them pre-pregnancy through 9 months and beyond. I also love that with one piece and maybe a little sweater I am out the door in no time. I am on the smaller side during pregnancy and have a difficult time with finding pants that fit my frame and then a belly and my price tag.
    I also am also always on the lookout for tops and dresses that could work with nursing no matter where I am in the cycle of motherhood. So when it comes to the changing stages of my mothering body, my main priority with clothing is multitasking pieces.

  41. I did almost exactly the same thing! My baby turns nine months tomorrow and just yesterday I put on my pre-pregnancy skinny pants. They’re a teensy bit snug, but at least I know I’m close enough to actually hang them up! When I tried things on six weeks post-partum I thought I’d never be the same again…those pants wouldn’t come up past my knees! Thank the good Lord for elastic bodies!

  42. avatar
    Lindsay Kline says:

    Rubbermaid tubs are heaven sent, and I have been using them to store my maternity clothes for later on in life in case we decide to have another baby again. What makes me happy about them is that even though they are sitting in our basement, I’ve never had a problem with them smelling musty – which sure beats how they smell when they come out of a cardboard box.

  43. avatar
    Kimberly says:

    This was encouraging. As a mother of seven (for now!?) and an aspiring minimalist this is a source of frustration. One thing I have done is switch to wearing mostly skirts and making or buying them with elastic waistbands. This way I can wear things longer and thus have less clothing. Yea!

  44. I’ve been pregnant two times, and I was managing my closet similar way. It does work pretty well!

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  46. This is lovely great, every mom would love this post… I’ll be pinning it to my friends…

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