Throughout maternity leave, you are suspended in a baby bubble. You wear what’s comfortable, and it doesn’t matter if it matches, if it’s on trend, or even if it’s particularly clean. That all changes when you go back to work though, especially if you work in a corporate environment. Maternity leggings and baggy nursing tops with spit-up on the shoulder just aren’t going to cut it.

So, what do you wear when going back to work after baby? In this post, we’re going to discuss the ins and outs of what to wear to work after maternity leave, from what to look for in post-maternity leave corporate attire for women, to how to organise your wardrobe to make it easier to get out the door – on time – every morning.

Get Organised

Going back to work after having a baby can be emotional. You’re likely sleep deprived, perhaps a little hormonal, and overall, you’re stressed about leaving your little one with someone who is not you. Add to that the fact that you may be feeling somewhat self conscious about how your body has changed, and dressing for the office suddenly seems like the last thing you want to do.

Making time to organise your wardrobe before going back to work can help though. Putting aside your post-bub clothes, take time to look through your wardrobe to see what still fits. Find a selection of go-to pieces that you feel comfortable in now, that you know will be suitable for an office environment. Now, assess the gaps, and think about what you need to fill them.

Buying a whole new wardrobe isn’t the goal here, especially if your body is still on its path back to its pre-baby state. But, you can invest in certain key pieces that will make you feel more confident about returning to work – and to appear a normal, functional human being, even if you don’t particularly feel like one.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you put together your ten-day work wardrobe.

Pink shirt for woman

1. Keep Comfort in Mind

When you think corporate clothing for women, comfort tends not to be top of mind. But, as you slot back into office life – with 1001 other things to think about – being comfortable in what you wear is essential.

Avoid wearing anything too tight, especially around your C-section scar if you have one. Invest in a good ‘work bra’, and consider the advantages of wearing flats rather than heels. Opting for a loose fit can help hide the bits you’re not happy about yet, while also giving you the room you need to feel comfortable in your skin.

Oversized shirts over pants, loose fit shirts with belts for structure, and relaxed fit dresses can be ideal.

2. Best for Pumping

If you’re still breastfeeding and need to pump to keep up your supply, you will need to take how you pump into consideration. Whether you prefer a top you can push up or a top you can open at the front will depend on what type of pump you use, and how you’re comfortable using it. Shirts and wrap dresses often work well when pumping.

faux leather maxi dress

3. Easy to Clean

When you have kids, you learn early that it’s best to set aside clothes that can’t be cleaned easily, at least for the first few years. Whether it’s baby vomit or nappy leakages, a snotty kiss goodbye or leaky boobs because you’re late to pump, there are oh so many ways an outfit can be ruined when you return to work after having a baby.

Opting for clothes that are easy to clean – such as faux leather – can help to avoid disaster, and you can also consider leaving back-up clothes at the office, just in case.

4. Know What Works

Looking for modern, trendy corporate attire? Not even sure what that is any more? If you’ve been away from the corporate scene for a while, take time to find out what’s on trend right now. Invest in some new pieces to go alongside your classics, while taking time to think about colour. Avoid colours that won’t work for you right now. Beige or pale colours may wash you out, for example, especially if you’re sleep deprived.

5. Opt for Prints

In the same vein, prints and patterns can hide a multitude of sins. When building up your post-maternity wardrobe, consider investing in blouses, tops and dresses that feature a dark print. Layering can also work in the event of accidents, allowing you to take off or put on a blazer, for example, to hide leaky boobs or snotty shoulders.

6. Draw Attention to the Little Things

Even if you don’t feel particularly polished, you can look it by adding the right touches. Accessories not only add polish, but can update an older wardrobe, while drawing attention away from certain areas where you don’t want attention to be drawn. Lastly, think of your hair. Investigate styles to minimise postpartum wispies, that are also easy to throw together in the morning.