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Why All Moms Need a Capsule Wardrobe with Maria Swann

Why All Moms Need a Capsule Wardrobe with Maria Swann Transcript

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Maria Swann is a busy mom to three girls, wife, personal stylist, capsule wardrobe expert, and Dabar Couture owner. Her goal is to help women develop and maintain a grab and go wardrobe that allows them to get dressed with more style and NO stress. We chatted about building a capsule wardrobe around your lifestyle, ways to love your post-baby body, how to figure out your style and get the best deals, raising the next generation of girls, and how to feel confident at any age.

Transcript:

Leslie: 

Hi, welcome to Life After Baby. I’m your host, Leslie Hudson, from bottles to books, diapers to dorms and everything in between. Each week I interview parenting experts to help me navigate life as a new mom. Today’s guest is Maria Swann. She’s a busy mom to three girls, a wife and a capsule wardrobe expert. Her goal is to help women develop and maintain a grab and go wardrobe that allows them to get dressed with more style and no stress. Something we could all use right now. Thanks for joining me today. Maria, can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

Maria:   

Of course. Yes. So um, I started my business with the thing in mind that I could get dressed quickly, right. And I thought a lot of people when they had the right system, you know, when they figured it out, they could just get dressed quickly. I thought it was just a thing. Like, girl, whenever you find your system, you can just get your clothes, you look fabulous, everything. You could just walk out the door. I didn’t really think that women needed to help the way they did. So that’s why I started the business. I really want women to be able to just literally grab and go when they go out and look good, you know quickly, I don’t want them to waste time. You know, we have other things we need to worry about like children than to worry about what we’re gonna wear, you know?

Leslie: 

Yeah. So what, what is a capsule wardrobe?

Maria:   

I’m gonna explain the best way that I can because a lot of people have a lot of definitions for a capsule wardrobe. For me, it is a wardrobe that you can mix and match. You can get tops and bottoms and that pretty much goes together. You can make a seasonal capsule wardrobe where you just wear it in the spring and then you can create a whole different capsule wardrobe for fall, or you can have your set essential pieces and just add as the seasons go in and take out as they go out. I have an essential checklist that gives them and it has pieces on there that I feel like all women should have in their closet. If they want to look polished everyday. So I had those, that list that I’d give them and that we kind of, you know, check off and see what they need, or what they, you know, they may have too many of the items on the checklist or what they need to give away, you know.

Leslie: 

So, my daughter is 14 months, okay? I know when I put off shopping for a while. So when I finally got back in the dressing room, I was like, Oh, I’m this size. And then I was like, nope, that was a pre pregnancy weight. And I feel like, you know, it’s kind of a struggle to figure out your new sizes and new body and especially, you know, if a pandemic is here, and you have been stress eating a little bit, so how, you know, how do you help women kind of navigate with different sizes, especially after baby?

Maria:

Of course, um, well, it’s funny because the clients that I have, that’s what I was struggling with. A lot of them are struggling with the fact that they’ve gained weight. A lot of my clients have come during this time. During quarantine, so they’ve gained, you know, pounds that they didn’t think that they weren’t going to gain. I tell them that even though you may be 20 pounds heavier, or 15 pounds heavier, you have to love the body in the season that you’re in. Like everything is really a mental thing that we have to get into this mental space where we say, It’s okay, I’m not a size six anymore. I’m a size 9. And this is my reality, I’m going to dress for my reality, and I’m going to love it now. Because you have to dress for the size you’re in. If not, you’re going to be in clothes that you don’t want to wear, you know, so I just kind of tell my clients, make sure you’re strategic about what you put on. And make sure you look at yourself in the mirror and say, Yeah, I don’t like this back fat, but it’s here and I’m gonna dress it up, you know? Yeah.

Leslie:

I think especially, you know, kind of taking the approach of your body just went through something crazy and you brought another person into the world and I like that idea of kind of looking forward and, you know, trying out to more what you look like Before I think that’s a really good outlet

Maria:

At some point, we have to get to a point where we can’t compare ourselves to that pre-baby or pre-quarantine weight. Like, there are things in life that we can’t control, you know? So yeah.

Leslie:

So are you one of those people that has a pair like a dream pair of pants or you know, past clothes that you’re like “Man, I wish I could fit in again” or do you turn the corner and get new ones?

Maria:

Yeah, I get new ones. That’s another thing that I tell my clients you know, because I do a one-on-one closet audit. So, if you don’t absolutely love it and you’re not wearing it, you need to get rid of it. Because a lot of times when we have those jeans, or we have that top we have that dress that we’re like that is my go-to I’m going to get back into it. It leaves a bad feeling. Because now we’re like, okay, it’s been six months. Now, it’s been a year, and I haven’t gone back to my goal dress or my goal jeans. I don’t want that feeling when you get dressed, it causes stress, right? So I just tell them, just get rid of it. And if you go back to that size, find a dress similar or better than the one that you had. So you can feel good, any. 

Leslie:

There’s so much pressure and stress already as parents, with everything going on nowadays that we just don’t do that to ourselves. And I like the idea of, you know, new dress, because then you could be like, well, this is you know what I work for? different outlook than Oh, yeah, I want to go back to what it was. Yes, exactly. Can you kind of tell me a little bit like what you do and what a closet edit looks like?

Maria:

Of course. So my especially now, my services are on a video call. I have a style discovery call with a client, and I see exactly what their needs are. If I have a client that says I have a lot of clothes, I just don’t know what to do with them. I know that it’s time to pare down. And then after we pare down and do the closet edit, we can do the capsule wardrobe development. So if I have one that says, I don’t really have any clothes, and I know I’m missing pieces, I know that I have to shop for them, and find pieces for them to put into their closet. So depending on what the situation is, is how long I’m actually speaking to the client. But if I’m doing a client that has a lot of clothes and nice a pair down, we’re on a call for about an hour. And we literally go through the closet and I say pull it out. Do you like it? Oh, no, get rid of it. You can either give it to someone or you can throw it away whatever you want to do, just get rid of it because you don’t want to have to go in your closet when you’re rushed. Right. And then the first thing you see is that shirt it’s like oh but I don’t really have to Time now you’re putting on an outfit that you really don’t want to wear is no system having that there, you know, so I talked to them about it, I show them how they compare their outfits and take photos of it if they need to, you know, so they can remember how to wear them. And then they have that capsule wardrobe. They put it in, you know, in the closet, and they want to put it in or the beginning of the closet, so that his wardrobe that they go to when they know they’re rushed, or for the next season.

Unknown Speaker  7:27  

So do you have a favorite closet organization system? Or?

Unknown Speaker  7:32  

I honestly I don’t because, you know, I’ve met a lot of women, and their lifestyles are so different. So I met for example, I have a woman, she has five kids, and she traveled a lot. Like she was on playing a lot. I’m like, it’s amazing how she has the amount of kids she had and she was always on a plane. And so she when she packs, she packs for her vacation or for her job when she has to leave and go to travel. So for her, I think told her, you know, you need to figure out what your itinerary is for the month. And that’s how you need to pack your capsule. You need to pack your capsule in the beginning of the month and say, these are what I’m leaving in here. And then you figure out, you know, and then I had the mom who is just really busy, and she just does not want to think about getting dressed like she was just a client that I had last week. And she was like, I don’t even want to think about getting dressed. So I said, Okay, well, we’ll make you a capsule that that will be your capsule that you get dressed in, you don’t have to reach for anything else, unless the season change. And then you have to get your sweaters and you have to get your jackets out. Other than that, this is what you grabbed from so I created one for her. So I do them based on the lifestyle and whatever whatever they need.

Unknown Speaker  8:44  

So if there’s one thing that you think every mom needs in their closet to feel great, what do you think it is?

Unknown Speaker  8:51  

This All right, nobody ever asks me about one they asked me about five. Okay, you got one. Let me think you know what, I just feel Really nice t shirt. If I had one that I had to say, because a really nice white crisp t shirt, you could dress it up, you could put it on with a pencil skirt. You could in some heels in a blazer, you can dress it down, you know you can wear with some shorts and wear it with some sales go to the park with your kids. You can wear you can wear a pair of black slacks and dress it up with a blazer and if you go into a business meeting, so if I had one, I feel like they had to have a white, nice white t shirt would be

Unknown Speaker  9:35  

like that, you know being able to dress it down or dress it up according to your lifestyle that makes total sense. So we are actually going to have to take a quick break to thank our sponsor and we will be right back with Maria.

Unknown Speaker  9:48  

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Unknown Speaker  10:24  

So welcome back to life after baby. I’m your host, Leslie Hudson, and I’m

Unknown Speaker  10:29  

here chatting with Maria Swann. So we kind of talked earlier about, you know, figuring out your new post pop post pregnancy body and new size. How do people figure out what is the best shape for them? What is the best Style For You know, women’s clothing doesn’t make any sense. As far as sizing goes.

Unknown Speaker  10:52  

I feel like the best way to know what you’re the best call and effort your shape. Your style is to get familiar with your body. All right, so I encourage women stand in the mirror naked with your bra and with your panties on so you can know what you want to enhance and know what you want to hide. When you figure out what you want to enhance and what you want to hide, then you can go in the store and you can put on things and try on things and say I like this top right. A lot of times when it comes down to dressing for our style and our shape is the work that we really don’t want to do right? We don’t want to do it we just want to put on something and it just needs to fit like this is a one x this is a small I need this just to fit how it needs to fit. But finding your style is work. So you have to go in my play like we did when we were teenagers go in the store trying a lot of clothes, and say I like these jeans. I like this brand. Take pictures of the brands, the brands that you like because nine times out of 10 in a brand that you like, if a large fit you with those pants, a lot is gonna beat you with the other colors or the other, you know sizes. So that’s what Make shopping easier. So you can find your style. I just really suggest like, just know your body and then go into the store and figure out what looks good on you. Like when you see it and you say, Oh my gosh, I feel like a boss and this or I feel amazing in this, you need to take a picture. And you need to find things that look like that are similar to it, or find it in four different colors or two different prints, you know, so you can have that in your closet. And you don’t have to worry about, you know, if you look good, or if you’re gonna feel good in what you wear. And a lot of times, we don’t want to take time to do that for ourselves, which I don’t know why we don’t do that. Like we don’t just like you know, I want to feel good. I want to look good. Let me go into the store and figure out what makes me feel good or makes me look good. And you know, take the time to do it. So that’s you have to do that you have to

Unknown Speaker  12:49  

absolutely I also know like you mentioned before, I’m very short and I know I hated pan shopping until I found like Norton company made up to Brandon Yeah, they fit me I didn’t have to do all hemming I didn’t have to fit with like the weird hanging off of my shoes. So, yeah. But once I discovered like, Okay, my pants I go here and don’t worry about it like that just made things so much easier. Yes. So if parents are looking for really great deals, how do you what do you recommend?

Unknown Speaker  13:26  

I recommend when it comes down to finding good deals and finding pieces that are worth the money and you won’t spend an arm and a leg. I am a big clearance shopper. I don’t care what store I go in. I do not look on the outskirts of the store. I look on the inside where the sign that says 30 to 80% off like and I don’t even look anywhere less than 30% if it’s not anything less than 30% I’m not even chopping it. So I look and I go there. That’s where I shop. And because I’m intentional about my shopping because I know a lot of times what I’m missing, or what I’m meeting to look for, I can specifically be like, okay, you know, with this sale or with this clearance they have going on, I’ll be able to find whatever it is, the more I’m not gonna say hi into stories for the morning are the quality of the store, like if you go to JC Penney’s, or if you go to Macy’s, or somewhere like that, they have higher end clothing, and they have pieces that will last you for years. So go there and look for their queries, they will have clothes that you will find in florist, a, you know, lower, fast fashion stores, and you’ll get the quality that you need. And you’ll get the staff that you need that that’ll you know, keep going. So I just shot clearance. I’m a big thrifter I’m gonna go to the thrift store. I’m gonna spend my store I I get lost in thrift stores. If you tell me it’s a good consignment shop, you know, somewhere close to me. I’m gonna go I’m gonna be different. Because a lot of times I find high end clothing at our local thrift stores and consignment shops. So if you like thrifting do thrifting if you don’t like thrifting shop clearance clearance does that mean is out of style clearance means that they’re trying to get it out of inventory. So that’s what I suggest.

Unknown Speaker  15:19  

Yeah, we’re really fortunate we have some great thrift stores by us but a lot of times like you said, you’ll see brand names that either have the price tags already on them or they look like they’ve been worn maybe once or twice and they’re basically brand new. So I think that’s great advice. I know you had talked about you know, looking at the higher end stores for those kind of more investment pieces are there are there certain items that you know you recommend that are worth it just to spend a little bit more that you know, an item that’s gonna stay around for a while? Yes,

Unknown Speaker  15:52  

if you’re like into blazers, spend the money on a blazer because a blazer will never go out of style. A good pair of jeans would never go out of style. These are pieces that you can dress up, you can dress down there versus versatile pieces, you know, a plaid dress, you’re going to always need a black dress for something I don’t you know whether it’s a dinner, a funeral something you will be able to put that black dress on. So those are pieces a white t shirt, I do not suggest that people go and just buy a white t shirt from like Walmart or something because it stretches and then it looks tight, it look lazy and just you know, you want something that’s going to hold his form and hold and stand through time. So those are pieces that I feel like you should you know, invest and spend a little more money on. I’m not saying go crazy because I don’t think I’ve ever spent more than to be honest with you. I don’t think I’ve ever spent more than I think $40 when a pair of anything and I have really hot in clothing And I want, like, if I say to myself, I need this laser, and I need to be really good and I don’t want to spend $120 I want to spend $150 I will go searching for the thrift store. But because I know what I’m looking for, I can really, you know, kind of go in and go out, you know what I need, you know?

Unknown Speaker  17:18  

Yeah. Do you recommend that people always go in with like, these are okay, I need a pair of dress shoes. I need this one here for

Unknown Speaker  17:28  

when it comes down to shopping, a lot of us shop when we’re like in distress, or we do emotional shopping. Or we do just quick like I’m just gonna go shopping spree I’m just over whatever my day, right? That’s just not a good idea. Because now you’re added pieces to your closet that you don’t really like because you’re looking at it later and you’re like, why did I buy that or what was my attention for buying them I don’t wear that anywhere you know. So I do suggest going into the store with like a list or or something. Leave something On your mic. Like for me, I have four blazers sitting in here. I would love 20 more because that’s just my thing. I love blazers. So when I go into the store and I say I’m going to go shopping I don’t really have a list. I already know you know what, I could afford another blazer. So I’ll go in there and I’ll get a blazer and that is because I know what’s missing from my closet. Right and I know what I need in my closet that just won’t be you know, and just another piece of clothing that sitting back with a tag on it that we’re not wearing you know,

Unknown Speaker  18:32  

cuz I I definitely know there’s some times where I open my closet and I’ll say this beautiful dress or beautiful talk like oh, what am I gonna wear it and sometimes you have these really nice things and you’re like it’s too nice for me to just like walk around the house in Yes, much rather have things that you can use and you know you’ll you’ll look good in. I think especially like you said I’m kind of shopping, especially now with the stress and everything going on if people aren’t sleeping I am it’s really easy to just kind of scroll through Amazon or scroll online and and just kind of keep clicking and adding things to your cart. And I would imagine you go true. With online shopping you kind of take the same approach as well.

Unknown Speaker  19:17  

Yes, I do online shopping. One is I tend right look at reviews because a lot of people say how do you shop online, you get good things online and you never have to return it. They always ask me that. And it’s because I will look at reviews for days. I will scroll and I will scroll and I will scroll because people are not going to waste their time on reviews. Just to say a review. They’re going to say um, you know, I got this, I love it, but I should have got a smaller size. They’re brand too big or whatever. So I look at reviews and I base my purchase on what the reviews say. But guess what I do online shopping, especially because everything is at your disposal. It’s different when going in store because when you go in store, you know you gotta live This is the pan section I’m gonna walk away over there to go to the shirt section. I might not go over there right? But when you’re alive girl everything’s just there. You could just scroll with a click of a button you can be in a you know, the shoes, or the accessories. So yes, knowing what your budget is, that’s big. And then like knowing exactly how much you’re going to spend on you know, your clothing and your accessories that speed and then knowing what you’re going to be shopping for is definitely something that I encourage every woman to do.

Unknown Speaker  20:32  

Yeah, is it helpful? women may not like doing this but is it helpful for people to know their measurements, especially if shopping online?

Unknown Speaker  20:40  

Well, um, I think so. Because you know, depending on what store you shop on the measurements is what’s going to get you the right size to be honest with you like you can’t do the small, medium or large thing is that’s why the chart is there. You know, especially when it comes down to shoes knowing your shoe size. In measurement, especially if you’re ordering from another country, it’s definitely what you need to do to make sure you get the right size and you don’t have to return it or you get something that you have to give away you know, so definitely know your measurements will definitely help you do online shopping.

Unknown Speaker  21:16  

Then I think that went along with the reviews guys, I’ve know I’ve definitely seen this, you know, like one of my A lot of people are like, Oh, well, you know, I’m petite and this really fit well or this felt weird in the chest. And you know, like you said, it’s worth it to take that extra few minutes to look what other people have already found out rather than you open the box and find out yourself. Yeah, exactly. So you met we mentioned earlier so you have three girls, if I do what what what’s their attitude towards style and how do you approach fashion with them?

Unknown Speaker  21:58  

acquire so I am blended family so, my oldest daughter, she’s my stepdaughter, so, um, she not really instyle like my girls are of course because she she’s not here all the time. But my girls they’re big on like my five year old dresses herself. And if it doesn’t feel right, she’s not gonna wear my she’s not gonna wait like even if she had to dig through the dirty clothes to find something that she knows so good on here, which I can appreciate. I’m trying to teach older women to do it now. Like just wear what feels good on you right by that he has it down pay. And then my oldest one, I think she’s gonna be a fashion designer because she just she could cut up stuff and make dresses and all kind of things that I wasn’t doing when I was a kid. So she dresses very well. She’s very stylish. And I mean, they just really got it honestly like I have the I am like the girl’s mom girl’s mom, like I have Barbie dolls in my house. Like I can pretty much be like can you go put on something and they come out like you know like so

Unknown Speaker  22:59  

yeah

Unknown Speaker  23:02  

That sounds adorable. Mm hmm. So I would imagine a lot of Project Runway and next and fashion is watching your house. Do you have any suggestions for parents of,

Unknown Speaker  23:14  

you know, how they what kind of, since there are so many different messages out there toward girls and style and their bodies of figuring out their own style, you know, I’m a big confidence person. Like I call myself the confidence keeper. I call myself that because I believe that if we have confidence, we can we can pretty much do anything when we walk outside of our door. And I’m trying to teach my girls that now. So when things come up about body image, because that’s a big thing, right now, that’s a big deal. Like a lot of people are changing their bodies, and they’re not happy with their bodies, they get their bodies done. They’re enhancing things. And I just, I tell them like, you don’t have to do that stuff. Like when God created your body, he just created your body and your body. Work with what you have. Like, you don’t have to look like everyone else. And if you’re confident, you have one up on the girl got her body done, you know, you have one up on the girl who wears the face full of makeup, because you’re confident, you know. So my suggestion really is to really like, we have to boost our girls confidence more than ever. Like, I feel like weather boosted now, more than than when I was a little girl, because there’s so many women doing things in our body. And it’s the norm now. You know, so we have to really try girls, that’s just not the way to go. love who you are, embrace who you are, and just be the best you work on your personality, like people remember you for your personality, not your body, you know, so those are things that we could just tell our daughters. They’re really just especially as they get older, and you know, the peer pressure gets heavier. They can kind of kind of have it in them, you know? Sure. I was talking to my girls the other day, and I was telling them that so Especially when they get older people are gonna try to change you. You know, I believe that if we start with them young about being authentic young and just being themselves young, they wouldn’t have as many problems as a lot of these women have, you know,

Unknown Speaker  25:17  

oh yeah. I saw something great on Instagram of, you know, your keep an eye out because you’re raising who your future child is going to be. And I’ve definitely heard of, you know, pay attention when you look in the mirror because chances are they’re right behind you watching your reaction and it’s so true. So we could probably talk about this all day, but we are going to move on to our parent pop quiz. Okay, so life with kids is unexpected and so are the questions in the segment. So we are going to spin our wheel and see what question you land on.

Unknown Speaker  26:00  

What is the weirdest parenting question? You ever googled?

Unknown Speaker  26:06  

Google’s

Unknown Speaker  26:08  

um,

Unknown Speaker  26:12  

you know, I didn’t Google it. But I had it was in I had to really think about it. You ready for it? Yep. My nine year old asks me, Where do babies come from just last week. And I said to myself, I’m gonna have to have to talk with her. And I was driving, so I couldn’t Google like the correct way to like, say it to a nine year old. And it just really drew me completely off. I’m usually ready for questions. And I really think she just kind of set me up because it was just me and her in the car. She was like, I have something to ask you. I was like, Okay. And you know, for years, I’m telling her it comes out of the stomach. Baby just comes out of the stomach, you know, but she’s getting older and she’s had conversations with the girls at school. It’s all her other things. So that was that was it for me, like so many things have thrown me off, but that completely just off leveled me.

Unknown Speaker  27:10  

Yeah, I feel like especially when you’re driving, it’s not like you can really like.

Unknown Speaker  27:15  

Second and you’re kind of just like, we but

Unknown Speaker  27:19  

yeah, that sounds like it would, you know be a lot easier if you were like at home or out getting drinks or something or exactly

Unknown Speaker  27:29  

why the birds and the bees talk while we were driving. You know, I was just totally, totally thrown off.

Unknown Speaker  27:36  

Yeah, that sounds like it.

Unknown Speaker  27:40  

So I started this podcast, because I felt there was so much education up to you know, second, you get pregnant till you deliver, and then it switches immediately how to take care of the beat. And I kind of Yes, this past year I felt a little lost in my part. Life. So what advice do you have? If you could give your pregnant self? Any advice? And then if you could give the first three months new mom self, what advice would you give you?

Unknown Speaker  28:13  

I would give me two Really?

Unknown Speaker  28:20  

Huh?

Unknown Speaker  28:23  

to just kind of like a relaxed, you know, because we think because I knew babies were like, Oh my gosh, you know, I have to do this. And I have to do that, you know, we still want to be that mom that cleans all the time. Like, that was my biggest thing. I was very OCD like, and, um, when my baby was born, like, a few days after my baby was born, I knew after three days was up that this is a bad decision. But I saw my apartment getting dirty right so I got up to sweep. wrong thing. I should not have done that because I had a setback and it really hurt my body. And I knew them like, ready yet to relax, you know. So my advice to my, you know, postpartum self will be just relax, like the house will get clean things will get done. You have a new life that you’re trying to adjust to, and just enjoy that and don’t be so hard on yourself. That’s the advice I would give myself.

Unknown Speaker  29:23  

I feel like I learned that produce probably more like seven months and then right off the bat, but I was the same way I like. It was so silly because you know, it was two days after I had the baby and like my parents came over. I’m like, I’m sorry. It’s a mess. I’m like, why am I wait, what like, of course it’s gonna be a mess. It’s two days after I had a baby. I think I’ve heard a lot of people say just kind of changing your expectations of you know what you can do and and like you said, just, you know the laundry piles of laundry piles up. Exactly. bring in someone else. Exactly. Yeah, I think that’s great advice. So where can people you know, you have given us so much to think about and someone’s madecassic advice, where can people find you online? Learn more about your services?

Unknown Speaker  30:14  

Yes. So they can find me on my website@www.att.com. They can find you on my Facebook page, which is Maria berry swan. I have a lot of information and tips that I give on my personal page. I do have dibaca tour on Instagram. And I have a lot of tips on there as well.

Unknown Speaker  30:36  

Okay. Yeah. Great. Well, thank you so much for joining us. This was a really good conversation. And I think after our conversation, I’m gonna go check out my closet and see Yes, what I actually like and what I don’t, yes, but I can say goodbye to. I love it. Yeah. Well, thank you very much to these apps. episode was brought to you by a taste about

Unknown Speaker  31:02  

a taste of olive sells high quality olive oil balsamic vinegars and gourmet goods from artisans around the world. visit their website at www dot a taste of olive calm and enter the code family to save 10% off your total. Thanks for tuning in to life after baby. We’d like to thank Maria Swan for joining us today. This show is a production of crimson planet media and our theme song was created by Doug Keller when the kids are finally asleep, visit our website at www dot life after baby show.com and follow us on Instagram and Facebook at light after baby show.

Unknown Speaker  31:42  

And don’t forget to take care of yourself so you can take better care of them.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Shopping Tips

  • Get rid of clothing that no longer fits. It will just weigh you down emotionally. 
  • Thrift and shop clearance. She skips the perimeter and goes right to the clearance. 
  • Take a look at your body and note what you want to flaunt or hide. 
  • Shop with a list in the back of your mind. 
  • Invest in versatile pieces. 
  • Be confident.

Leslie:

Yeah. So what is a capsule wardrobe?

Maria:

I’m gonna explain the best way that I can. A lot of people have a lot of different uses for a capsule wardrobe, for me, is a wardrobe that you can mix and match, so you can get tops and bottoms and they pretty much go together. You can make a seasonal capsule wardrobe where you just wear it in the spring, and then create a whole different capsule wardrobe for fall, or you can have your set of essential pieces and just add as seasons go in and take out as they go out.

Leslie:

When you recommend people build your capsule wardrobe, are there too many?

Maria:

Just, I have an essential checklist that gives them, and it has pieces on there to act like all women should have in a closet. If they want to look polished everyday, so I have those that I give them, and then we could, you know, check off and see what they need, or what you know they may have too many of the items on the checklist or what they need to give away you know.

Leslie:

My daughter is 14 months. I know when I put off shopping for a while. So when I finally got back in the dressing room, I was like, Oh, I’m this size and then I was like, nope, that was a pre pregnancy weight and I feel like, you know, it’s kind of a struggle to figure out your new sizes and new body and, especially, you know if a pandemic is here and you have the stress, eating a little bit so how, you know, how do you help women, kind of navigate with different sizes, especially after baby?

Maria:

Of course. Well, it’s funny because of the clients that I have. That’s what I was struggling with. A lot of them are struggling with the fact that they’ve gained weight. A lot of my clients have come during this time during quarantine. So they’ve gained, you know, pounds that they didn’t think that they weren’t going to gain. And I tell them that even though you may be 20 pounds heavier or 15 pounds heavier you have to love the body in the season that you’re in, like everything is really a mental thing that we have to get into this mental space where we say it’s okay, I’m not a size 16 anymore I’m a size 19 and this is my reality I’m gonna dress for my reality and I’m going to love it. Now, because you have to dress for the size you’re in. If not, you’re going to be in clothes that you don’t want to wear, you know, so I just kind of tell my clients, make sure you’re strategic about what you put on, and make sure you look at yourself in the mirror and say yeah I don’t like this back fat but it’s here, and I’m gonna dress it up, you know. Yeah.

Leslie:

I think taking the approach of your body just went through something crazy and you brought another person into the world and I like that idea of kind of looking forward and, you know, trying not to mourn, what you look like before.

Maria:

Because you know as. At some point, we have to get to a point where we can’t compare ourselves to that pre baby, or the, you know, pre-quarantine. Wait, like we, those are life, these are life, life happened, my things that we can’t control, you know, so yeah.

Leslie:

So are you one of those people that has a pair, like a dream pair of pants or, you know, past clothes that you’re like, Man, I wish I could fit in again Are you kind of like, turn the corner, let’s just get new ones.

Maria:

Yeah, I get new ones. I know that’s another thing that I tell my clients, you know because I do a one-on-one closet audit. So, if you like if you don’t absolutely love it and you’re not wearing it you need to get rid of it. Because a lot of times when we have those jeans, top, or a dress that we’re like, that is my go to I’m gonna get back in, it leaves a bad feeling. Because now we’re like okay it’s been six month or a year and I haven’t gone back to my goal dress or my goal jeans. I don’t want those feelings when you get dressed because of stress. Right, so I just don’t just get rid of it. And if you go back to that size find a dress similar or better than the one that you had. So you can feel good anyway.

Leslie:

Yeah. There’s so much pressure and stress already as parents of everything going on nowadays that we just don’t use that to ourselves and I like the idea of, you know, new dress because then you could be like well, this is, you know what I work for different outlook than oh yeah I want to go back to what it was.

Exactly. So can you tell me a little bit like what you do and what a closet edit looks like. 

Maria:

My, especially now my services are on a video call. So what I do is, I have a style discovery call with a client, I see exactly what their needs are. And if I have a client that says I have a lot of clothes I just don’t know what to do with them. I know that it’s time to pair down, and then after we tear down into the closet edit. We can do the capsule wardrobe development. So if I have one that says, I don’t really have any clothes and I know I’m missing pieces, I know that I have to shop for them and find pieces for them to put into their closet. So depending on what the situation is, is how long I’m actually speaking to the client. But if I’m doing a client that has a lot of clothes and you sit there now we’re on a call for about an hour, and we literally go through the closet, and I say, pull it out. Do you like it? Oh, no, get rid of it. You can either give it to someone or you can throw it away, whatever you want to do just get rid of it because you don’t want to have to go in your closet when you’re rushed, right, and then the first thing you see is that shirt that’s like, Oh, I don’t really have time now you put on an outfit that you really don’t want to wear.

There’s no system having that there you know so I talked to them about it, I show them how they compare their outfits and take photos of it if they need to, you know, so they can remember how to wear them and then they have that capsule wardrobe they put it in. In, you know, in the closet and they want to put it in or the beginning of the closet. So that is the wardrobe that they go to when they know they’re rushed, or for the next season.

Leslie:

So do you have a favorite closet organization system?

Maria:

I honestly don’t, because, you know, I’ve met a lot of women and their lifestyles are so different. For example, I have a woman that has five kids and travels a lot. It’s amazing how she has the amount of kids she had and she was always on a plane. And so when she packs, she packs for her vacation or for her job when she has to leave and go to travel. 

So for her I told her, you know, you need to figure out what your itinerary is for the month, and that’s how you need to pack your capsule, you need to pack a capsule in the beginning of the month, and say these are what I’m leaving in here, and then you figure out you know and then I have the mom, who is just really busy and she just does not want to think about getting dressed like she’s just a client that I had last week. And she was like I don’t even really think about getting a dress. So I said, Okay, well we’ll make you a capsule that will be your capsule that you get dressy, you don’t have to reach for anything else, unless the season changes, and then you have to get your sweaters and you have to get your jackets out. Other than that, this is what you grabbed from, so I created one for her so I do it based on the lifestyle and whatever, whatever they need.

Leslie:

It makes total sense because, you know, some people if they’re going to the office every day might need a different wardrobe than someone who is yet they’re chasing a toddler all day but still wants to feel good and not just be in yoga pants, or some yoga pants and that works too.

That makes total sense to have it fit their lifestyle. 

Maria:

When the lifestyle and whatever, whatever they need.

Leslie: 

So, what is one thing that every mom needs in their closet?

Maria:

Nobody ever asks me about just one item. Yes, let me think. You know what, a really nice t-shirt. With a really nice white crisp t-shirt, you could dress it up with a pencil skirt, or heels with a blazer, or pair of black slacks and dress it up with a blazer. You can also dress it down with shorts and wear it to the park with the kids. I feel like the one item they should have is a white nice white t-shirt.

Leslie:

As moms, we are always looking for versatile items, especially items that you can dress it down, or dress it up, according to your lifestyle. So we are actually going to have to take a quick break, to thank our sponsor and we will be right back with Maria.

A Taste of Olive sells high quality extra virgin olive oil balsamic vinegars and gourmet goods from artisans around the world. They have two locations in Chestnut Hill and West Chester, Pennsylvania. You can also find recipes, shop or find more information at www.atasteofolive.com. Use a coupon code family for 10% off your order Happy cooking.

[music] 

Leslie:

So welcome back to Life After Baby, I’m your host, Leslie Hudson, and I’m

here chatting with Maria Swann. So we kind of talked earlier about, you know, figuring out your new post pop baby/pregnancy body and new size. How do people figure out what is the best shape for them? What is the best style for you know? Women’s clothing doesn’t make any sense as far as sizing goes.

Maria:

I feel like the best way to know what you’re the best call and effort your shape and style is to get familiar with your body. All right, so I encourage women to stand in the mirror naked with your bra and with your panties on so you can know what you want to enhance and know what you want to hide. When you figure out what you want to enhance and what you want to hide, then you can go in the store and you can put on things and try on things and say I like this top right. A lot of times when it comes down to dressing for our style and our shape is the work that we really don’t want to do right? We don’t want to do it, we just want to put on something and it just needs to fit like this is a one x this is a small I need this just to fit how it needs to fit. But finding your style is work. So you have to go in my play like we did when we were teenagers, go in the store trying a lot of clothes, and say I like these jeans. I like this brand. Take pictures of the brands, the brands that you like because nine times out of 10 in a brand that you like, if a large fit you with those pants, a lot is gonna beat you with the other colors or the other, you know sizes. So that’s what makes shopping easier. So you can find your style. I just really suggest like, just know your body and then go into the store and figure out what looks good on you. Like when you see it and you say, “Oh my gosh, I feel like a boss and this or I feel amazing in this,” you need to take a picture. And you need to find things that look like that are similar to it, or find it in four different colors or two different prints, you know, so you can have that in your closet. And you don’t have to worry about, you know, if you look good, or if you’re gonna feel good in what you wear. And a lot of times, we don’t want to take time to do that for ourselves, which I don’t know why we don’t do that. Like we don’t just like you know, I want to feel good. I want to look good. Let me go into the store and figure out what makes me feel good or makes me look good. And you know, take the time to do it. So that’s you have to do that you have to

Absolutely. 

Leslie:

I also know like you mentioned before, I’m very short and I hated pants shopping until I found out that New York and Company makes a petite size pant. Yeah, they fit me and I didn’t have to do all the hemming or deal with the weird hanging off of my shoes. So, yeah. But once I discovered like, Okay, my pants I go here and don’t worry about it like that just made things so much easier. Yes. So if parents are looking for really great deals, what do you recommend?

Maria:

I recommend when it comes down to finding good deals and finding pieces that are worth the money and you won’t spend an arm and a leg. I am a big clearance shopper. I don’t care what store I go in. I do not look on the outskirts of the store. I look on the inside where the sign says 30 to 80% off like and I don’t even look anywhere less than 30% if it’s not anything less than 30% I’m not even chopping it. So I look and I go there. That’s where I shop. And because I’m intentional about my shopping because I know a lot of times what I’m missing, or what I’m meeting to look for, I can specifically be like, okay, you know, with this sale or with this clearance they have going on, I’ll be able to find whatever it is, the more I’m not gonna say hi into stories for the morning are the quality of the store, like if you go to JC Penney’s, or if you go to Macy’s, or somewhere like that, they have higher end clothing, and they have pieces that will last you for years. So go there and look for their queries, they will have clothes that you will find in florist, a, you know, lower, fast fashion stores, and you’ll get the quality that you need. And you’ll get the staff that you need that that’ll you know, keep going. So I just shop clearance. I’m a big thrifter. I’m gonna go to the thrift store. I’m gonna spend my time in thrift stores. If you tell me it’s a good consignment shop, you know, somewhere close to me. I’m gonna go, I’m gonna be different. Because a lot of times I find high end clothing at our local thrift stores and consignment shops. So if you like thrifting do thrifting if you don’t like thrifting shop clearance does that mean it is out of style clearance means that they’re trying to get it out of inventory. So that’s what I suggest.

Yeah, we’re really fortunate we have some great thrift stores by us but a lot of times like you said, you’ll see brand names that either have the price tags already on them or they look like they’ve been worn maybe once or twice and they’re basically brand new. 

Leslie:

I think that’s great advice. I know you had talked about you know, looking at the higher end stores for those kinds of investment pieces. Are there certain items that you know you recommend that are worth it just to spend a little bit more that you know, an item that’s gonna stay around for a while? 

Maria:

Yes, if you’re into blazers, spend the money on a blazer because a blazer will never go out of style. A good pair of jeans would never go out of style. These are pieces that you can dress up, you can dress down there versus versatile pieces, you know, a plaid dress, you’re going to always need a black dress for something, whether it’s a dinner, a funeral, something you will be able to put that black dress on. So the piece would be a white t-shirt, I do not suggest that people go and just buy a white t-shirt from like Walmart or something because it stretches and then it looks tight It looks lazy and just you know, you want something that’s going to hold his form and hold and stand through time. So those are pieces that I feel like you should invest and spend a little more money on. I’m not saying go crazy because I don’t think I’ve ever spent more than to be honest with you. I don’t think I’ve ever spent more than I think $40 when a pair of anything and I have really hot in clothing And I want, like, if I say to myself, I need this laser, and I need to be really good and I don’t want to spend $120 I want to spend $150 I will go searching for the thrift store. But because I know what I’m looking for, I can really, you know, kind of go in and go out, you know what I need, you know?

Leslie:

Yeah. Do you recommend that people always go in with like, these are okay, I need a pair of dress shoes?

Maria:

I need this one here for when it comes down to shopping, a lot of us shop when we’re in distress, or we do emotional shopping. Or we do just quick like I’m just gonna go on a shopping spree because I’m just over my day, right? That’s just not a good idea. Because now you’re adding pieces to your closet that you don’t really like. You’ll look at it later and you’re like, why did I buy that or what was my attention for buying them? I don’t wear that anywhere you know. So I suggest going into the store with like a list or or something. Leave something On your mic. Like for me, I have four blazers sitting in here. I would love 20 more because that’s just my thing. I love blazers. So when I go into the store and I say I’m going to go shopping I don’t really have a list. I already know you know what, I could afford another blazer. So I’ll go in there and I’ll get a blazer and that is because I know what’s missing from my closet. 

Yes, much rather have things that you can use and you know you’ll look good in. I think especially like you said I’m kind of shopping, especially now with the stress and everything going on if people aren’t sleeping I am it’s really easy to just kind of scroll through Amazon or scroll online and just kind of keep clicking and adding things to your cart. 

Leslie:

And I would imagine you go true. With online shopping you kind of take the same approach as well.

Maria:

Yes, I do online shopping. I tend to look at reviews because a lot of people say how do you shop online, you get good things online and you never have to return it. They always ask me that. And it’s because I will look at reviews for days. I will scroll and I will scroll and I will scroll because people are not going to waste their time on reviews. Just to say a review. They’re going to say um, you know, I got this, I love it, but I should have got a smaller size. They’re brand too big or whatever. So I look at reviews and I base my purchase on what the reviews say. But guess what I do online shopping, especially because everything is at your disposal. It’s different when going in store because when you go in store, you know you gotta live This is the pan section. I’m gonna walk away over there to go to the shirt section. I might not go over there right? But when you’re an online, girl, everything’s just there. You could just scroll with a click of a button you can be in a you know, the shoes, or the accessories. So yes, knowing what your budget is, that’s big. And then like knowing exactly how much you’re going to spend on you know, your clothing and your accessories that speed and then knowing what you’re going to be shopping for is definitely something that I encourage every woman to do.

Leslie:

Women may not like doing this but is it helpful for people to know their measurements, especially if shopping online?

Maria:

Well, um, I think so. Because you know, depending on what store you shop on the measurements is what’s going to get you the right size to be honest with you like you can’t do the small, medium or large thing that’s why the chart is there. You know, especially when it comes down to shoes knowing your shoe size. In measurement, especially if you’re ordering from another country, it’s definitely what you need to do to make sure you get the right size and you don’t have to return it or you get something that you have to give away you know, so definitely know your measurements will definitely help you do online shopping.

Leslie:

Then, I think that went along with the reviews guys, I’ve know I’ve definitely seen this, you know, like one of my A lot of people are like, Oh, well, you know, I’m petite and this really fit well or this felt weird in the chest. And you know, like you said, it’s worth it to take that extra few minutes to look at what other people have already found out rather than you open the box and find out yourself. Yeah, exactly. So you met we mentioned earlier so you have three girls, what’s their attitude towards style and how do you approach fashion with them?

Maria:

I have a blended family, so, my oldest daughter, she’s my stepdaughter, so, um, she does not really instyle like my girls are of course because she’s not here all the time. But my girls they’re big on like my five year old dresses herself. And if it doesn’t feel right, she’s not gonna wear it. She’s not gonna wait even if she had to dig through the dirty clothes to find something that she knows so good on her, which I can appreciate. I’m trying to teach older women to do it now. Like just wear what feels good on you right by that he has it down pay. And then my oldest one, I think she’s gonna be a fashion designer because she just could cut up stuff and make dresses and all kinds of things that I wasn’t doing when I was a kid. So she dresses very well. She’s very stylish. And I mean, they just really got it honestly like I have the I am like the girl’s mom girl’s mom, like I have Barbie dolls in my house. Like I can pretty much be like can you go put on something and they come out like you know like so

Leslie:

That sounds adorable. Mm hmm. So I would imagine a lot of Project Runway and next and fashion is watching your house. Do you have any suggestions for parents of,

you know, how they what kind of, since there are so many different messages out there toward girls and style and their bodies of figuring out their own style, you know, I’m a big confidence person. Like I call myself the confidence keeper. I call myself that because I believe that if we have confidence, we can pretty much do anything when we walk outside of our door. And I’m trying to teach my girls that now. So when things come up about body image, because that’s a big thing, right now, that’s a big deal. Like a lot of people are changing their bodies, and they’re not happy with their bodies, they get their bodies done. They’re enhancing things. And I just, I tell them like, you don’t have to do that stuff. Like when God created your body, he just created your body and your body. Work with what you have. Like, you don’t have to look like everyone else. And if you’re confident, you have one up on the girl, get her body done, you know, you have one up on the girl who wears the face full of makeup, because you’re confident, you know. So my suggestion really is to really like it, we have to boost our girls confidence more than ever. Like, I feel like we need to boost our girls, more than when I was a little girl, because there’s so many women doing things in our body. And it’s the norm now. You know, so we have to really try girls, that’s just not the way to go. love who you are, embrace who you are, and just be the best you work on your personality, like people remember you for your personality, not your body, you know, so those are things that we could just tell our daughters. They’re really just especially as they get older, and you know, the peer pressure gets heavier. They can kind of kind of have it in them, you know? Sure. I was talking to my girls the other day, and I was telling them that when they get older people are gonna try to change you. You know, I believe that if we start with them young about being authentic young and just being themselves young, they wouldn’t have as many problems as a lot of these women have.

Leslie:

Oh yeah. I saw something great on Instagram of, you know, your keep an eye out because you’re raising who your future child is going to be. And I’ve definitely heard of, you know, pay attention when you look in the mirror because chances are they’re right behind you watching your reaction and it’s so true. 

So we could probably talk about this all day, but we are going to move on to our parent pop quiz. Okay, so life with kids is unexpected and so are the questions in the segment. So we are going to spin a wheel and see what question you land on. What is the weirdest parenting question that you’ve ever googled?

Maria:

You know, I didn’t Google it. But I had it in. I had to really think about it. Are you ready for it? Yep. My nine year old asks me, Where do babies come from just last week?” And I said to myself, I’m gonna have to have to talk with her. And I was driving, so I couldn’t Google the correct way to like, say it to a nine year old. And it just really drew me completely off. I’m usually ready for questions. And I really think she just kind of set me up because it was just me and her in the car. She was like, I have something to ask you. I was like, Okay. And you know, for years, I’m telling her it comes out of the stomach. Baby just comes out of the stomach, you know, but she’s getting older and she’s had conversations with the girls at school. It’s all her other things. So that was that was it for me, like so many things have thrown me off, but that completely just off leveled me.

Leslie: 

Yeah, I feel like especially when you’re driving, it’s not like you can really like. Second and you’re kind of just like, we but yeah, that sounds like it would, you know be a lot easier if you were like at home or out getting drinks or something or exactly

So I started this podcast, because I felt there was so much education up to you know, second, you get pregnant till you deliver, and then it switches immediately how to take care of the kid. This past year I felt a little lost in my postpartum life. So what advice do you have? If you could give your pregnant self? Any advice? And then if you could give the first three months new mom self, what advice would you give you?

Maria: 

I would tell myself to just kind of relax, you know, because we think because I knew babies were like, Oh my gosh, you know, I have to do this. And I have to do that, you know, we still want to be that mom that cleans all the time. Like, that was my biggest thing. I was very OCD like, and, um, when my baby was born, like, a few days after my baby was born, I knew after three days that was  a bad decision. But I saw my apartment getting dirty right so I got up to sweep. wrong thing. I should not have done that because I had a setback and it really hurt my body. And I knew them like, ready yet to relax, you know. So my advice to my, you know, postpartum self will be just relax, like the house will get clean things will get done. You have a new life that you’re trying to adjust to, and just enjoy that and don’t be so hard on yourself. That’s the advice I would give myself.

I feel like I learned that produce probably more like seven months and then right off the bat, but I was the same way I like. It was so silly because you know, it was two days after I had the baby and like my parents came over. I’m like, I’m sorry. It’s a mess. I’m like, why am I wait, what like, of course it’s gonna be a mess. It’s two days after I had a baby. I think I’ve heard a lot of people say just kind of changing your expectations of you know what you can do and like you said, just, you know the laundry piles of laundry piles up. Exactly. bring in someone else. Exactly. Yeah, I think that’s great advice. So where can people you know, have you given us so much to think about, where can people find you online to learn more about your services?

Maria:

Yes. So they can find me on my website at www.dabarcouture.com. They can find you on my Facebook page, which is Maria Berry Swan. I have a lot of information and tips that I give on my personal page. I do Dabar Couture on Instagram. And I have a lot of tips on there as well.

Leslie:

Well, thank you so much for joining us. This was a really good conversation. And I think after our conversation, I’m gonna go check out my closet and see what I actually like and what I don’t, yes, but I can say goodbye to. This episode was brought to you by A Taste of Olive. 

A Taste of Olive sells high quality olive oil balsamic vinegars and gourmet goods from artisans around the world. Visit their website at www.atasteofolive.com and enter the code family to save 10% off your total. 

Thanks for tuning in to Life After Baby. We’d like to thank Maria Swan for joining us today. This show is a production of crimson planet media and our theme song was created by Doug Keller when the kids are finally asleep, visit our website at www.lifeafterbabyshow.com and follow us on Instagram and Facebook at Life After Baby show. And, don’t forget, to take care of yourself, so you can take better care of them.

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