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The only 5 pieces you need to create a capsule wardrobe, mama

Here's a little secret no one tells you: getting dressed after you have a baby is actually harder than getting dressed when you're pregnant. Your body is likely looking and feeling different than pre-baby, and your clothing needs have changed.

Many mamas look at their closet and reject at least a third of the clothes hanging there, because:

  1. It's too precious. "I can't wear that silk shirt! The baby will spit up on it or my toddler will wipe his peanut butter hands on it and it will be ruined."
  2. It's too low cut or too short. "Bending over to pick up my child will show everything I have."
  3. It has no stretch. "I actually can't even bend over to pick up my child in this."

Mom life requires its own uniform and mom style is back and cooler than ever before.

Designers have made beautiful options that can take you from the office to the playground to date night in style.

Here are our five must-have items to create your mom uniform.

1. Loose fitting, long top

Keep it stylish but comfortable with flowy tops that have plenty of length to cover your waistband. The key is to find tops with a tailored look that don't add volume so you look polished. If you're breastfeeding, look for tops with built-in nursing access to make your life easier. Bonus points if they don't wrinkle.

2. A dress that floats over you

Convenience wins on those busy days (and aren't they always?) Throw a dress on and you're done, and that's critical when you're a mom.

Stock up on pretty dresses that look equally great with sneakers as they do with heels so they can do double duty. Also look for dresses that aren't overly dainty, complicated or short so you can chase kids and don't have to worry about running up a dry cleaning bill every time someone smears something on you.

Personally, I avoid off-the-shoulder and low-cut looks for everyday wear in favor of dresses I can wear with my most comfortable bras. Again, if you're breastfeeding, there are lots of great options with built-in nursing access.

3. Great pair of elastic waist pants

You read that right. Great looking elastic waist pants are not an oxymoron. The key is to find a pair with a quality fabric that holds its shape and looks tailored. Linen is great because it's actually supposed to be a bit wrinkly.

Pay attention to the waistband — you want a wide flat band that won't roll on you so the pants don't look like sweats but still remain comfortable. Choose a pant length and style that elongate your legs.

I like a pair that tapers in with cuffs at the ankle because I find them so easy to move in. Plus, the high-waisted look is back so tuck in a blousy top for a romantic, fresh and slimming look.

4. Jumpsuit or overalls

Here I go again with the one-piece dressing, but it really does simplify life! That said, it doesn't have to be boring.

You can dress up a jumpsuit with a blazer and heels, make it funky with booties and statement jewelry or keep it casual with sneakers. Jumpsuits are very flattering and much more forgiving than fitted outfits, and they feel like you're wearing pajamas.

I love the new more tailored overalls. Super belly friendly, and they look so cool with pointy-toed flats and a fitted striped tee.

5. Fabulous diaper bag

You know how a great bag and pair of shoes can elevate any outfit? Think of your diaper bag the same way, because it's the bag you're going to be carrying around most often for a few years.

You might want to splurge on a bag that is crave-worthy and makes you feel cool but is also functional and built exactly for what you need. I carry this NONA bag and am constantly asked where I got it. I love that it gives my outfit a little rock and roll feel from the unlikeliest of sources. Plus, we love these stylish ones that don't sacrifice style.

Once the littlest of my crew is out of diapers, I'll just swap out diapers for snacks, books and water bottles.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

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Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


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