Who knows how it started? Environmental consciousness or the simple need to stop wasting our time every time we have to put an outfit together? I won’t even try to decide which is a better reason. Regardless, minimalist wardrobes are all over the place.
And it’s not just Instagram. Take a look at glossy magazines, breakfast TV, blogs… Listen to your own friends!
So… what’s your minimalist status? Got there already? In the process? You’re still thinking about the best way to begin? Or just waiting for a better time?
Because, I get it, it’ll be easier to decide what to keep and what to let go once you lose those several pounds, right? And, anyways, you’re too busy at the moment.
Well, the time never seems to be right but it’s much easier to embark on this journey when you simply have no other choice. And I’m here to tell you that it’s very likely you’ve experienced that time already or that you’re going to in the foreseeable future.
Let’s talk about pregnancy. Yes, I’ve been there – twice.
I Didn’t Want To Spend Money On Temporary Clothes
At first I was terrified at the thought of pregnancy pants extenders and maternity dresses. The truth is – you only need all that stuff for a little while. But the cheap ones tend to look cheap and the nice ones are just too expensive.
When I first got pregnant 3 years ago I knew about capsule wardrobes (and admired them from a distance) but I wasn’t really aware of the growing movement of minimalism or the impact of the garment industry on the environment.
I knew this: I’m not going to spend all that money on clothes that I’ll only need for 3 months. So I made some necessary preparations: I chose 2 large chain stores, waited for some seasonal discounts and I went shopping – limiting myself only to the cheapest and cut-price racks.
I bought 2 pairs of elastic waist trousers (one of them in black), 2 knee length sleeveless dresses (one of them in black), 2 cardigans (one of them in black). The trousers and dresses were 2 sizes larger that I usually wear. The cardigans were one-size. All this cost me 50 euro in total.
I felt better but I couldn’t stop wondering – what am I going to wear? After all, sooner or later I was going to grow out of my wardrobe and 6 new garments weren’t gonna cut it.
I Was “Forced” Into Minimalism When I Ran Out of Clothes
As the bump started growing my options as to what to wear started getting smaller and smaller, until they got really squeezed. But to my surprise everything got easier! My huge closet became redundant – all the clothes I was actually using fit into one shelf and several hangers.
There were downsides to it.
- It turned out that checking all those colourful non-matching clothes in front of a mirror was kind of fun and I started to miss it (which is hugely overlooked in the whole minimalism movement).
- I like wearing black and have lots of black clothes but this made me a black mamba while I was pregnant – as most of the colourful stuff was the wrong size. Many people asked about this dark mood and I didn’t really know how to answer.
- Laundry! Suddenly I had little clothes that I had to wear again and again so I had no choice but to learn some new programs on my washing machine!
But the ease and lightness I gained were immense.
Getting dressed was extremely easy as I had little to choose from. I made sure I felt really good in the things I had (with particular regard to size – I didn’t want to wear anything even barely too small because it would make me feel fat, not pregnant – or at least that was how I saw it).
Of course – some occasions were tricky and I suppose I wasn’t always dressed entirely appropriate for the occasion. Or at least – if I had the choice, I would dress differently to some.
But I had no choice so – bottom line – it was so much easier. On the way I had to buy several more things: a dress for a wedding and 3 shirts that I could easily unbutton as I started breastfeeding.
Back To Old Habits
And then, as I breastfed and my size got smaller and smaller I gradually returned to my old habits. In the end all my clothes were back in the game and the time wasted every morning got back to a most terrible point.
At the same time my satisfaction with the way I was dressed and the way I looked shrinked. With every new piece of clothing decision-making got harder and – I am not the most talented fashion master so I didn’t always choose wisely.
And you know what? I was sooo happy when I got pregnant again. Because I felt that I would feel great with the limited pregnancy clothes I kept.
Now I’m breastfeeding my youngest and throwing clothes away on a weekly basis. This time there is no going back to my old habits. I am using this time at home not just to play with my kid, but also to get rid of everything that makes my life harder.
Use Radical Changes To Your Advantage
My message to you is – despite all the body-and-looks-problems that we face during pregnancy and breastfeeding – it’s really the best time to change something because… we have no other choice.
If we do it with awareness, we can turn this challenge into a purposeful shift in the way we dress. This doesn’t have to cost much time or money and it can be extremely pleasant.
Just try to look at all the changes our bodies go through as an opportunity, not just a dreadful time of being a whale (and the blissful time of awaiting our children).
Yes, it is a road that never ends.
And, yes, it’s not all so rosy – I gained more weight the second time and not all clothes fit perfectly.
The last weeks were really hot in my area and I had almost nothing to wear on those hottest days. So there were times when I didn’t want to leave home, so that I wouldn’t have to get dressed.
There are always downs behind all those ups, but don’t let them blur your vision!
And, this being the final “and”, you don’t have to get pregnant! Just think about this: whether it’s a sore foot (when you have to wear flats), a stained pair of favourite trousers or a broken washing machine, limitations can a blessing that show us how little we really need.