Building a kid-friendly wardrobe

It has been a long-time goal for me to have a wardrobe that I love. I didn’t want or need a lot of clothes, but I wanted to love every piece of clothing I did have. I also had to be patient because, while it was tempting to buy clothes on a whim whenever the chance presented itself (which, by the way, was not often), I didn’t want to buy clothes while my body was still changing and “settling” into its shape after growing 3 kids over the course of 5 years.

So last year, when my youngest turned 1 and I weaned him (no more breastfeeding clothes!), I decided the time had come. It was going to take a while but I was going to slowly build a small wardrobe of clothes I loved. I had been feeling “meh” about my clothes for a while. They were a hodge-podge of maternity and breastfeeding-friendly (read loose) clothes, lots of elastic waisted bottoms (admittedly, soooo comfortable!) and a collection of pre-baby clothes I had convinced myself I would wear again one day.

I happened to be reading Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up at the time and undertook the wardrobe cull according to her method. Let me just say, it was so liberating! To start afresh! To let go of the past (I still had some of the clothes I wore in the corporate world over 7 years ago)! The clothes that remained were no longer crammed together and I had loads of spare hangers, even a spare “section” on my side of the walk-in robe.

Now onto the fun part – working out the missing pieces in my wardrobe! My criteria for clothes:

  • easy to clean and no ironing necessary (i.e. no silk or dry-clean only everyday wear)
  • comfortable but not frumpy – must still be beautiful (if not visually, then must feel good to the touch)
  • must be able to withstand the odd smear from a toddler (i.e. not white)

It was a real wake-up call going shopping for clothes after my cull. I woke up to the fact that I no longer fit into the sizes I used to fit into pre-kids. I suppose I should have realised this when my old size 6 pants/shorts/skirts were giving me pressure hives around the waist but being fortunate enough to have the opportunity to revisit my wardrobe allowed me to accept that my body had changed and discover that I could find flattering pieces in my new size. For the record, I highly recommend high-waisted denim (with stretch, of course!) and flowy dresses to hide the lumps and bumps (gone are my days of wearing skin-tight, body hugging clothes). For those occasions when a bit of silhouette is appropriate, Nancy Ganz (or Spanx) is invaluable.

I read an article the other day about how we are living in a culture where clothing is considered essentially “disposable” (because it can be bought cheaply as fashion trends come and go) and the enormous impact this has on our environment. This is a whole other topic which I don’t intend to go into except to say that I prefer to pay a bit more for a garment of good quality that will stand the test of time rather than buy multiples of a garment of lesser quality because it doesn’t last. Also, I simply don’t have the time to shop regularly for clothes so my clothes have to last!

I have had such a positive experience getting a few new gorgeous pieces for my wardrobe. I thought I would be a bit sad about shopping for a new size me, but I wasn’t at all – I was pleasantly surprised that there were beautiful flattering clothes that were also comfortable and practical for a mum of 3 young kids.

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