A lot of things are out of your control as a mother, but your wardrobe isn’t one of them.
I’ve sold, consigned, or given away most of my clothes. And it’s brought me a sense of peace and calm that you will literally not find anywhere else in my life.
Almost three years ago, unknowingly, I was striving for a capsule wardrobe. My second child had recently weaned, I loved my mom bod, but nothing fit. A girlfriend and I arranged childcare for a day, and went shopping for what seemed simple: jeans and t-shirts. The mom uniform. Our expectations weren’t lofty: quality, high rise denim, and oversized, drapey tees (ideally in 100% cotton or another natural fibre). We sat in her truck, empty handed, after hours of looking. She and I were both discouraged. Everything was made overseas. Most fabrics were polyester blends. And even we knew the prices were much too high for these fast-fashion-disguised-as-boutique garments, a true wolf in sheep’s clothing scenario.
“We can’t be the only ones”, I said.
“There must be other women looking for the same things we are, and having to settle. Want to start a business with me?”
“No.” She said. Full stop.
And so I embarked on starting my own handmade-to-order, slow fashion brand, with just one prerogative at the time. To make a perfect t-shirt. It took nearly a dozen seamstresses, markets and pop ups, and my fair share of tears and hard lessons, but I grew Uniform into an incredible brand with a powerful ethos so many modern women can relate too. Pieces were sewn slowly, with intention. By hand, in the homes of mothers, college students, and wives. I used only natural fibres, for the beauty, longevity, and kindness to the planet. And my designs were simple, classic, timeless, and celebrate every woman and every body. I very recently sold Uniform, but it’s code of ethics was MY code of ethics, and so it stays with me.
For those unfamiliar with the term “capsule wardrobe”, it means a lean closet, generally only 30-40 pieces. Each garment is a work horse, interchangeable to create countless outfits. Clothing is in good condition, and the owner feels confident in their fit. The palate is neutral, save for one or two choice hues that speak to you. It all but eliminates decision fatigue and streamlines busy mornings considerably. And it seriously reduces consumption in our rapidly over consuming world.
Now, capsule wardrobes can absolutely include fast fashion pieces. The end game is a minimalist approach, and if you’re throwing away everything you already own just to buy more, you’re doing it wrong. They can (and in my opinion should!) include vintage pieces, and pieces of sentimental value. I found it easier to start with what doesn’t fit with the capsule wardrobe model, and that was ill-fitting, soiled or damaged, trendy pieces. Things that didn’t “spark joy”, if you will. (Thank you, Marie Kondo)
Owning and designing a slow fashion brand gave me insight into the industry I wouldn’t have otherwise had. So my capsule checklist is a little more strict than others. I do not buy any more fast fashion. It’s an industry I refuse to support, and so I vote with my dollar. Local, whenever possible. In this article we are wearing Arraei Collective a slow fashion, hemp clothing brand. The clothing scene is a tight knit community, and I want to support my sisters! I gravitate towards timeless silhouettes, and at this stage of motherhood, nursing access is key. Buttons, v-necks, and loose blousy tops. Layers of linen and wool. Hemp dresses. The higher waist the better. Natural fibres, except when it comes to vintage.
Through garment testing my own collection, it was incredible how linen, hemp, and organic cotton hold up, wash, feel, and last, compared to synthetics. And of course, design and quality of construction . It took me some time to find my feet, but I now have a strong sense of personal style, and I feel like that’s reflected in my capsule.
Starting the process may seem overwhelming, but no more so than a closet full of “nothing to wear”.
Shop our outfits here
Words by Kati Moore