Home / Back to Work / Style Me: Returning to Work

Style Me: Returning to Work

Returning to work after the birth of a child is daunting…..Holy moly it is more than daunting! Not only do you have that dreading, never relinquishing feeling of mother guilt (dropping bub at day care, or feeling like you a relying way to heavily on the grandparents/relatives) it is hard work.
And not only are you dealing with guilt, but you’re mixing again with the real world, having adult conversations and making important corporate decisions when you’ve been up all night with a screaming teething child and made a mad dash 20km up the freeway at 3:00am to the night chemist because you left the only bottle of Panadol at your in laws house 8 hours ago (true story I swear!) can make any new mum shudder. Often we mums need to return to work not because we want to, but because those thoughtless bills just don’t seem to get lost in the mail or bounce out of the inbox. No matter what your reason for returning to work here at Mum’s Closet we are here to help make returning to work a little less stressful, a little less daunting and a little more sorted. We’ve joined forces with Daycare Decisions to give you some hints and tips about the essential wardrobe upgrades in heading to work.

Having a well-equipped wardrobe will help you massively, seriously MASSIVELY! Kirsty has returned to work two times since becoming a Mother, the first time was full time and the second was part time. She admits that they were financially at their lowest point and there certainly wasn’t much funds for the much needed new work clothes. Can you relate? Your body has changed, there’s a good chance the baby weight hadn’t quite shed, your confidence has taken a beating and your priorities have severely changed.

Whatever your story there are a few very important rules you should follow when organising working wardrobe.

1. An oldie but a MUST…Invest in the basics.
No matter what your job entails whether it be a PE teacher or a receptionist, a lawyer or a photographer you MUST invest in the staple pieces that will become your building blocks. You can wear and re-wear the basics and simply ‘change’ them by adding accessories or layers. (Note: if you sign up to the Mum’s Closet newsletter {over HERE} you will get a free printable checklist of all the wardrobe staples every woman needs.)

For a more corporate role your key pieces should consist of:

• Good quality black blazer to suit your body shape. The type of blazer that you can throw over anything, and instantly feel like you can address the entire corporation. Yes it will cost $$$ but buy the best you can afford.

• A fabulous no brainer, throw on and walk out the door dress. Call it the time-saving dress (must look fab with the blazer!).

• Dress pants that can be worn all year round with heels or flats and multiple tops, (black is preferred)

• Knee or midi length skirt

• White crisp business shirt

2. Build up a good store of accessories.
The most simple of outfits can be easily jazzed up with the use of accessories. A colourful scarf, a statement necklace, a belt or a standout handbag will do all the ‘dazzling’ for you. And the good thing about accessories is, they don’t have to break the bank account. Shops like Colette Hayman , Katies or Lovisa allow us to update our accessory collections regularly and affordably. An on-trend accessory or splash of colour can help bring your staple pieces to life.

3. Get organised.
Dedicate a section of your wardrobe to your work clothes, especially if you’re going to be working in a fairly formal/corporate environment and these clothes differ from your at-home, everyday clothes. Ensure you have a few outfit combos planned out in your wardrobe each Sunday evening, so you don’t have to give ‘getting ready’ much thought each morning. Because trust me, when you’re knee deep in the crazy new morning routine of cleaning crustated weet-bix blobs, school bags that need packing, Kindy projects that need constructing and a cranky toddler that needs calming – the time and effort allocated for YOU will be minimal.

4. Keep it real.
Life has changed. You have most probably changed. And your body has changed. Keep all of this in mind when you’re selecting your work clothes and dress for who you are NOW, not who you were pre-kids. Embrace these changes and keep it real. Yes, you need to look professional and ready-to-work, but you also need to be comfortable and still reflect your true self. Wear pieces that are practical for a mother of little ones and that are versatile to get you from the hectic morning routine, to the daycare/school drop off, to work, to a staff meeting, to the grocery store, to the after school co-curricular and back home again to tackle dinner and the evening routine. As school teachers, we understand that a structured dress or pencil skirt isn’t always very practical for what our day has in store. And heels are rarely a clever idea when working in and amongst little ones – therefore take this guide, combine it with your company’s dress-code and simply be realistic!
Below are some outfit options that will help you rock your new role as a working mum, especially those in a corporate role:

Back to Work Outfit

1. Dannii Minogue Petites for Target Emerald Sheath Dress $69.00
2. Metalicus Marlini Tank Dress $149.95
3. Colette Hayman Square Mini Stud Earrings $4.95
4. Trenery Alicia Heel $149.00
5. David Lawrence Avanti Silk Scarf $80.00
http://www.davidlawrence.com.au/DL-product-detail.html?styl=15838&clr=AVANTI PRI&cat=257#.U-9AZenxvIU
6. Cue Edger Keeper Belt $159.00


1. Dannii Minogue for Target Pants $59.00
2. Dannii Minogue Black Sateen 7/8 Pants $59.00
3. Country Road Geometric Print Pants $129.00
4. Target Grey Pants $49.00
5. Cue Contrast Waist Band Pants $225.00


1. Portmans Colour Block Shirt $59.95
2. Country Road Silk Shirt $149.00
3. Dannii Minogue Petite White Shirt $49.00


1. Portmans Trapeze Top $69.95
2. County Road Silk Top $129.00
3. Dannii Minogue for Target Top $49.00
4. Target City Top $35.00
5. Asos Top $49.42


1. Portmans Classic Sateen Skirt $69.95
2. Portmans Floral Dot Skirt $79.95
3. Cue Contrast Skirt $89.50
4. Target Scuba Dress $40.00


1. Ninewest Margot Pumps $129.95
2. Ninewest Karly Pumps $129.95

Before your first day of work, hit the shops (childfree if possible) and try on styles and brands like we’ve suggested in the above images. Once you get a feel for these staples and styles, shop around to see if you can find similar pieces in your price budget.

Obviously you won’t be able to buy every piece in the one hit {without killing the credit card} so start with a few basics that can be changed up with accessories and slowly {each pay day} build up your work wear collection. No, your every cent earned is not meant to be put towards clothing {because for most Mums, that would defeat the purpose of working}, but it’s important to build a strong collection of pieces that you can mix and match together to get as much wear as possible.
You really need ‘getting ready’ each morning to be the easiest part of your workday, not the most stressful. The only way to achieve this – is to be organised with your wardrobe options and to have a versatile range that all mesh well together.

Although overwhelming, you WILL find your groove and comfort zone with how you dress and how you organise your work days. Just be kind to yourself, ok!

And make sure you pop over to our stylist’s {Kirsty Ashe} Pinterest Board for work wear: http://www.pinterest.com/kirstyastyling/work/

Also, if you have any style questions or queries, please shoot them over to Mum’s Closet – because that’s our aim – to help Mum’s look and feel fabulous, so they’re ready to tackle anything! We also have another post on our blog that includes some current on-trend work pieces that you’ll love.
And if you’re Brisbane/Gold Coast based – consider a styling session with Kirsty Ashe, where she can guide and support you as you dress for your return to work, and she’ll help you every step of the shopping way! She offers some great styling packages, {online ones too for interstate women} just contact her for more info.

Claire & Kirsty x

About Rebecca

Profile photo of Rebecca
Hi I'm Bec and this is my my blog Daycare Decisions. I am a mum of 2, passionate about early education, nature play and a parents' transition back to the workforce after having a baby.

Check Also


Mindfulness and New Age Sh*!t for Overwhelmed Mums

If you are reading this blog things must be desperate, but lets not make light ...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *