Dear Sharon: It’s time for me to address what it takes to create a wardrobe of business fashion for a back to work mom. After being away from the concrete jungle for 6 years, it’s time to go back to the office on a part-time basis.
The thing is that my wardrobe is looking a bit dated and close to a size smaller although I am hoping to get back to my original weight. I want to start to rebuild my wardrobe slowly, as I’m not sure if I will stay in an office environment or opt for consulting work later. What’s a good strategy to build an appropriate wardrobe of business fashion for a back to work mom? (J.D. via Fashion Advice)
Style has no size but making a wardrobe that flatters as it fits is a whole other story. So, let’s talk about size first. My son is in high school (how did that happen so fast???) and I don’t think I’ll be getting into those skinny-minny pre-pregnancy jeans anytime soon no matter how hard I try. Eh, low riders and boot cut always seem like a style oxymoron to me anyway. The point is, dress for the size you are now and not the one you once were or hope to be.
That said, it’s always best to have a core wardrobe that does double-duty, whether it be for work & play or business & party. If you have pieces that effortlessly interplay with each other, it’s easy to use them as a launch point to dress for the occasion and not limit yourself to a business situation that may be short-lived or iffy.
The best way to accomplish a dual purpose wardrobe is to…
- Combine soft + structured A silky loose-fitting top can go boho when worn out with jeans for weekend mom wear or look perfectly chic when tucked into a pencil skirt. Just look at the glowing examples of the Ann Taylor Ponte Pencil Skirt and Ann Taylor Abstract Pebbles Print Pleat Front Bubble Hem Blouse pictured above.
- The power of unmatched suits- Bold and vivid colored modern pants suits were a staple of Paris Fashion Week street style and perfectly simple suits are a go to wardrobe uniform. Now take that jacket and pair it with jeans (boyfriend or cropped and white), add an espadrille and simple T and you have instant weekend wear. Try an updated sweatshirt with your dress paints and you have another wardrobe extension.
- Switch-a-roo on your shoes- Pumps or pointy flats, choose your weapon and reverse the logic. Pumps with jeans and a blazer instantly dresses up a weekend look and pairing pointy flats with your silky blouse and jeans creates a chic and casual vibe.
See, just a few basic pieces mixed and matched can take you though the week from work to mom play.
What are your favorite double-duty looks? Please share in the comments below…
- Uma Thurman’s Motherhood was my yucky pill
- What to wear when you work from home AND a peek at my office. Here’s some stylist advice
- What’s a stay-at-home mom to wear & not look dumpy?
- Business chic posts
JUST ASK: Do you need some quick stylist help to amp up your style? Email us for Fashion Advice.