Getting dressed for work when you have kids can be tough. Whether you are returning to work for the first time after having kids or been back at it for a while, you need a game plan. You need a working mom uniform — something that takes the guesswork out of getting ready.
Before kids, I would spend at least 40 minutes each night deciding on the perfect outfit and packing it in my gym bag for the next day. After becoming a mom, however, that changed. It probably did for you, too. When your kids are young, you have a lot less free time, and those evening fashion shows are probably one of the first things to go.
However, as a working professional, you still need to look somewhat put together. That’s where the working mom uniform comes in. Of course, we all have different styles and styling needs, but you really can’t go wrong with the following tried and true staples.
1. Sparkly jewelry
When you’re in the trenches of working motherhood, you sometimes may worry that you look as tired as you feel. Enter the sparkly piece of statement jewelry. A fun accessory can immediately brighten your day and help you feel poised and pulled together. Plus, a statement piece may even draw attention away from the fact that you haven't slept in five years.
2. A power suit
A wardrobe staple guaranteed to make you feel like a fearsome force to be reckoned with, the power suit is a must-have for working moms. Explore which looks suit you best — whether that’s relaxed and cool or pretty and pastel. However, you really can’t go wrong with a well-fitted suit with clean lines in black or navy. Remember — your goal is to streamline and make getting ready a breeze. So, don’t be afraid to buck trends and stick with a classic.
3. Wrap dresses
Wrap dresses are known for being stylish and universally flattering. Wrap dresses can be dressed up or dressed down, and there are stylish options for all social settings and occasions. So, regardless of whether you work in a hip, fashion-forward atmosphere or have a more serious dress code, the right wrap dress can still fit the bill.
4. Elegant cardigans
A fun cardigan is a really simple way to pull an outfit together. The fabrics are often breathable and functional, which is important when you spend your morning racing to get everyone to school and work on time. Find a style or brand you love and stock up!
5. Cute but comfortable shoes
Whether you prefer stilettos or flats, find the shoe that makes you feel like a million bucks when you slip them on. The right shoe can pull together even a casual outfit. As a working mom, you likely prioritize function and comfort — so pick a stylish pair that checks off both boxes. When you find a style you love, purchase it in multiple colors. Just make sure your shoes match before you leave the house!
6. A fashionable yet functional bag
Finally, every working mom needs a stylish yet sturdy bag that will fit files and electronics plus all the diapers and juice boxes that will eventually find their way inside. Pick a neutral color like black or beige, or opt for a pop a color.
Candace is a practicing attorney, working parents advocate, freelance writer, and proud mom. Her legal practice focuses on workers’ rights. She can be found writing about law, motherhood, and more on her blog as The Mom at Law.