Decluttering your closet: 6 tips from Marin’s Maternity Fashionista

Here is Part 2 of our interview with local Marin resident and author of Fashion Dues & Duen’ts: a Stylist’s Guide to Fashionably Embracing Your Baby Bump, Katie Rice Jones. We asked style questions related to dressing your changing body from growing a bump to dressing your post-baby body.

Rachel Schohn of Petite Marin: I’m a big fan of the Lean Closet Movement as you talk about on your blog. It’s so much easier getting dressed with a few key, well-made pieces. As I’ve been scaling down my own wardrobe, I’m finding myself with cool basics, and old accessories. What should I be wearing to keep my basics current?

Cuyana Founders Source:

KRJ: For those who don’t know the Lean Closet Movement, coined by San Francisco’s lifestyle brand Cuyana, is about paring down the closet so that one is left with only effortlessly stylish pieces that are loved. It’s a pragmatic dressing approach and it’s picking up momentum. While there may be a myriad reasons for its acceptance, I believe the foremost is a planetary one. These days thoughtful people aim to reduce their carbon footprint and buying less, of everything, helps ensure this.

KRJ image for post 2
Maternity Wear Basics Source:

However my intimate introduction to the movement was not as noble in cause. It came to me by way of my first pregnancy. Maternity wear can be expensive and I didn’t have the funds to wardrobe my burgeoning bump as a fashion stylist would like.

The bigger I grew, the smaller my closet’s options got. Gradually my closet was pared down to only a handful of stylish maternity pieces.

lean closet
A lean closet.      Source:

After the birth of my daughter Evelyn, I highly anticipated a triumphant return to my closet plumb full of regular clothes. But once I finally got down to my pre-bump size and could wear the stuff, the return lacked luster. In fact living for 9-plus months with little to wear left me changed.

For one, I got really good at making less, look like more and two; I now longed for a clutter-free closet. By the time Evelyn was 6 months old, I scaled down my closet substantially by donating those items that were:
1. Too small
2. Collecting dust
3. Unflattering
4. Impractical
5. Dated
6. From a former life or career (ball gowns and suits)
7. Poor quality and cheap construction
8. Not my personal style

As for which basic pieces should live (and be loved) in a lean closet, read my answer to Rachel’s final question…in 2 weeks!

KateinGardenCropKatie Rice Jones (KRJ) is the author of the pregnancy fashion guide, Fashion Dues & Duen’ts: a Stylist’s Guide to Fashionably Embracing Your Baby Bump (available at Learn more about pregnancy fashion at
Katie is also an on-air style expert who has appeared on over 400 television segments. Some of her channel appearances include: E! Entertainment, Style Network, Travel Channel, USA Network, HGTV, and FOX Reality TV. She has written for Pregnancy magazine,,, and and has been a frequent style/celebrity commentator for In Touch Weekly magazine,,,, and She is also an elected commissioner on the San Anselmo Arts Commission and on the town’s Capital Program Monitoring Committee.

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