Back to Work: Shopping After Baby

Now that you’ve been through the pain of childbirth, and have spent a wonderful year tending to your baby’s every need, it’s time to think about a major transition – going back to work.

After having Audrey, I had a dilemma, all my pre-baby work clothes either didn’t fit me the way that they used to or I simply felt that they no longer fit my style. So if you are returning to work after a maternity leave, no matter what you budget is, you should definitely do some back to work shopping, especially if you are not looking forward to the transition.

The issue that I encountered was that I had lost allot of weight postpartum due to breast feeding and my weight didn’t start to normalize until nearly 6 months later (thanks to the gym, less nursing and a heathy appetite). Then, once my weight went back to normal, all of the pants and skirts that I purchased for going back to work were too tight.

In order for you to avoid this problem, my advice would be to invest in more blouses, sweaters, and blazers until your weight goes back to normal (this will depend on many different factors from person to person) because it’s not fun to have all these lovely trousers and skirts that are too tight and uncomfortable to wear several months down the road.

If you work in an office, the style of the clothes you buy will depend on how conservative the dress code is. My work is fairly lenient, in that you can wear any colours or styles you want but there is no flip flops, no leggings as pants, skirts must be a reasonable length, no extreme cleavage and no shorty shorts. All of those guidelines are fair and easy to follow, and I feel gives me ample room to be creative.

The first thing to decide on is a budget, this will make it easier for you to decide how many pieces you can buy and approximately how much you can spend on each item.

The second thing to consider, is whether you will go for quality or quantity in the clothes you buy. I now believe that certain wardrobe staples (a structured blazer, a pencil skirt, and a tailored pair of trousers for example) are worth spending a bit more money on – especially in neutral colours – because they are the classic pieces that will last through the years as trends come and go. On the other hand, things like t-shirts, dresses, blouses and accessories can be more affordable and are more likely to be trendier pieces that can fall out of favour relatively quickly.

My third and last recommendation, is where to buy this news and wonderful wardrobe. Over the last few years I have really fallen in love with online shopping, there was once a time when the concept seemed foreign, when I would have said “you’re crazy” to anyone who said I would prefer shopping on my computer to the real physical experience, but here we are. The reason why I recommend online shopping for a larger purchase like a
back-to-work wardrobe is because it gives you the opportunity to visualize all the items in one place; you can add many items to your “cart” and sort through them to decide which you really want without the pressure to buy right away; most sites have serveral pictures of each item of clothing and the ability to zoom in; and the majority of large online shops have free shipping when you spend over a certain amount and free returns which is helpful if you happen to order the wrong size.

So there you have it! Those are my mom tips for getting yourself back into the work groove and looking fabulous while you’re at it. Let me know if you’re returning to work soon and how you went with your work wardrobe shopping.



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