I’m no fashion guru. (Au contraire, it’s something I don’t pay a ton of attention to, if I’m entirely honest.) But given working mama wardrobes are important to our confidence levels and can be a source of anxiety for so many of us, I’ve made a conscious effort on this blog to provide helpful advice from the experts. Lani Inlander of Real Life Style brought us the Wear Your Power e-course (coming back again in a 4-week format in January 2019!). And Krystal Stubbendeck of Borrow for Your Bump clued us in to the advantages of renting maternity clothes.
Today, I’m honored to be able to bring you some advice from Ripe Maternity, an Australian company that specializes in stylish maternity wear. If you’d like some wardrobe tips for heading to the office while you’re pregnant or some ideas for nursing dresses and tops for when you go back, this one’s for you. Also: through October 31, 2018, use coupon code MINDFULRETURN10 to get a 10% discount off Ripe Maternity clothes on their website!
Throughout pregnancy, your body will go through changes you may not have anticipated, and it’s important that your wardrobe evolves as you do. This is especially true when it comes to your professional life, in the time leading up to your maternity leave.
Once you notice that your favorite dress starts to cinch in all the wrong places or your favorite pair of slacks becomes tougher to button, don’t fret! There are plenty of workplace-appropriate maternity clothes that are made to make you feel both comfortable and professional as your baby grows.
What to Look For
You’ll want to choose clothing that allows you to work freely without worrying, and offers some stretch so you can wear your favorite pieces throughout your pregnancy. All while looking like the professional you are.
Make mixing fashion and function a priority as you search for workplace attire. Start by getting a good understanding of the dress code. Business casual, for example, can actually vary from office to office. This will help you narrow down the types of clothing that are appropriate to fill your working mama closet.
Above all, choose clothing that fits your body comfortably, so you can focus more on getting the job done and spend less time worrying about potential wardrobe malfunctions or ill-fitting pants.
Must-Have Items for Moms-To-Be
A versatile and comfortable black tunic-style top is the perfect staple to keep in your wardrobe for those days when you’d rather not show off your bump, but still look professional. This type of blouse is super flattering (the black color is also key!) and pairs beautifully with everything from a pencil skirt to fitted trousers.
Another must-have for mamas-to-be is a pair (or five) of well-fitting straight leg pants with a comfortable and stretchy waistband. These essentials look amazing with your favorite workplace blouses and blazers, while sitting comfortably higher at the front to support your growing tummy. You won’t have to worry about hiking up your pants during an important meeting or outgrowing them anytime soon.
Dressing for the Return to Work
Some of the best pieces of clothing you can own if you are a breastfeeding mother are nursing shirts and dresses. Even if you’re nursing but not pumping at the office, the versatility of these pieces cannot be understated. They allow you to discreetly breastfeed without taking off any clothing — a huge timesaver! These pieces are great for nursing right before you head out the door, as a last stop if you commute with your infant, and right after work.
There are plenty of affordable nursing dresses and tops that are workplace appropriate and also easy to layer under a blazer or cardigan for a totally office-ready look.
Choose Versatile Clothing
As an expectant mother and a working parent, you may find that the fewer times you have to change throughout the day, the less stressed you will feel. That’s why it’s helpful for expecting and new mothers to look for clothing styles that are comfortable enough to be at home in, stylish enough to feel good about wearing to work and beyond, and easy to dress up if you have a special event or engagement.
Separates are some of the best pieces for making the most out of your wardrobe. Mixing and matching chic sweaters and flowy tops with more tailored pants (that are secretly stretchy) is a great way to just grab and go during those hectic mornings. If you’re office-bound, simply add some classic pumps or flats, a blazer, and a necklace to complete your ensemble. These types of looks are also perfect for date night or grabbing coffee with a co-worker.
For more from Ripe Maternity, go here for maternity wear and here for nursing tops and dresses.
If you need more help getting your head in a better place to return to work after maternity leave, join us for the next session of Mindful Return.
Want more practical tips on working parenthood? Check out my book, Back to Work After Baby: How to Plan and Navigate a Mindful Return from Maternity Leave.
Thank you! Glad it resonated.