Polka Dots & Pleats: Tips from a Working Mom

Polka Dots & Pleats: Tips from a Working Mom

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I remember my first day back to work after the birth of my daughter like it was yesterday. Chances are if you are a working mom, you do too. What you wear on the inside as a working mom far surpasses any outfit tips I can provide. Here was my blog post the night before returning to work:


I’ve been planning what I will wear to work tomorrow for over 12 weeks. Yes, that is much more intentionality compared to the quick outfits I throw together while hurrying out the door. Tomorrow I will wear what many mothers before me have suited on.

My first day back to work will be so emotionally challenging. I pray I can wear pride, a sense of self, courage, and intelligence. But my accessories will no doubt reflect guilt, doubt, and vulnerability.

Making the choice to be a working mom is one I always knew was right for me, but it doesn’t make it any easier. This article inspired me to remember why I’m making this choice for our family: http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/3069576 

I hope one day to explain to Emory why I work and how heartbreaking it was to leave her. I hope she understands and feels empowered to make whatever choice best meets the needs of her family and her heart. I hope she is blessed enough to be able to have that decision. There are so many things I wish for my little girl!

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Although the details of my outfit are included, it’s what I wear tomorrow and everyday within myself that counts.



So a year later, what have I learned? Being a working mom is HARD WORK! Here are some tips to simplify your life if you want to maintain a sense of fashion despite a busy lifestyle:


Plan Ahead
I used to enjoy trying on several outfits in the morning before heading to work. Now with limited time and a little one who causes a welcome distraction, it’s crucial to plan ahead. When possible, plan your outfit the night before or spend time on Sundays organizing options. Consider diversity in your planning. Wear dresses on Mondays and Wednesday, skirts on Tuesday and Thursday and pants on Friday…or whatever combination works for you. Setting some kind of outfit routine will help you plan looks in a pinch and minimize the anxious am emotion of having nothing to wear. When in doubt, wear all black and pile on the accessories. You’ll look polished and professional.


Shop Online
You spend the week busy at the office and evenings and weekends are booked solid with activities. Who has time to shop? Sneak in some shopping before everyone wakes up with a nice cup of hot coffee or late in the evening with some wine. Think of it as retail therapy in your jammies. Spending money on yourself is tough to justify but set a budget and treat yourself to a few trendy pieces each season. When shopping online, make sure to buy a brand you know you like the fit and quality. You definitely don’t have time to run around making returns. Another great mommy secret is Target. Let’s face it, you are going there this week anyway, why not browse quickly for yourself? They always have fun, fresh styles.


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Buy Weekend Wear
Most of your clothing budget probably is allocated to look the part from 9 to 5, but be sure to save some for the weekends. Buy comfy yet stylish looks to run your kiddos to sports and avoid that MOMent where you are caught looking like a hot mess. If you want to spend a little more, Lululemon is great for weekend wear. Otherwise, T.J. Maxx and Old Navy tend to have chic, comfy options. Invest in a fun pair of snazzy sneakers to complete the look like some throwback New Balances or leopard print Nikes. Finally, the hardest thing for me as a working mom is finding the desire to go out on the weekends. This was probably the biggest shift since I used to be the life of the party kinda gal. But there’s a season for everything, and those days are behind me for now. However, when you do decide to go out on the town with grownups, be sure your wardrobe is ready. Leather leggings and a fun top will do the trick.