You’ve been living in yoga pants and easy-access Ts, but now you’ve got to reenter the ‘real’ world and you’ve no idea what still fits. We’re here to help.
So you’ve been off on maternity leave for a while. Your current “mum uniform” consists of jeans and a tee, practical for the playground and easy to wash and wear, sadly not exciting or particularly stylish. But now it’s time to head back to work and your body shape has changed some since you were last there, some of your old work clothes may be looking a little dated or worn out too and you need to go and buy some pieces to wear to the office, but don’t have a fortune to spend.
Here are my 5 essentials to create a cohesive and wearable work wardrobe:
- Jacket (or two) in a neutral colour – a jacket says “I’m professional and ready to work”, it covers lumps and bumps as it skims over them.
- Pants or skirt (or both) in a dark neutral colour that goes with the jacket – you may be a pant girl, or a skirt girl (or enjoy mixing them up). But buy good quality in a flattering dark neutral that you can get lots of wear out of. These are going to be your work horses, the reason we love black pants is that you could wear the same pair to work every day and nobody notices. What they notice is the colours that change in your tops and accessories.
- Tops in a few different colours or neutrals, but they can all be worn with your pants/skirt and jacket – whether your tops are blouses, quality knitwear or shirts, it’s up to you and what you’re most comfortable wearing. Keep one in a neutral that blends with your pants or skirt, it will help to make you look taller and slimmer, plus you can then accessorize (see point 5) and make people think you’re wearing different clothes more of the time.
- Shoes that are smart, but you can still walk in them (your feet may have gone up a size with your pregnancy due to the hormones and extra weight) – your old work shoes may be worn out or just uncomfortable. Knee-high boots are a brilliant option for the winter months to wear with skirts to the office.
- Accessories – necklaces or scarves that you can wear with your tops to create a focal point, and so it looks like your work wardrobe is larger than it is. Have fun with costume jewellery, there are so many great, cheap options on the market that you can find pieces in different colours to add variety and interest to your outfits. Accessories really are the icing on your cake. If you don’t want people to look at your tummy, hips or thighs, a great necklace that draws attention will keep eyes focussed up high and on your face.
You may discover you already have some of these pieces in your wardrobe and only need to update a few. Just remember, if you haven’t got the time to dry clean, ensure that the majority of your wardrobe can be laundered at home. With these few pieces you can create a myriad of looks, add an extra jacket and you double the number of possible outfit options.
What do you need the most help with when it comes to your back-to-work wardrobe?