There isn’t much that can prepare a woman for motherhood and the various changes that come along with it.
Now add secular work to the mix and you find that most women become overwhelmed so much so that they care less about their fashion choices.
But being a mum does not automatically mean you’ve been sentenced to a lifetime of wearing frumpy and boring clothes– far from it!
Now you can look stylish, yet feel comfortable and not sacrifice modesty with these 11 tried and trusted tips for the working mum.
Work some ‘black magic’
Whether you’re sporting post-baby belly bulge or you’ve gained some weight in recent time, you can do no wrong with a black dress.
An all-black outfit creates the illusion of smoothness while disguising lumps and bumps and making your body seem longer and slimmer.
Break up the single colour by adding lively accessories such as a patterned scarf, a statement necklace, fabulous shoes, or a stylish bag.
You can also pair a draped dark cardigan over a light tank top with dark pants or leggings.
If classic noir isn’t your thing, try dark brown, navy, or charcoal gray – they all do the trick just as well.
Focus on fit
The most flattering way to dress is to make sure your clothes fit your body, bearing in mind your current weight.
Dress in tops that skim but don’t squeeze, and bottoms that follow the curve of your hips but aren’t too snug.
If you don’t already own clothes that fit well, you may want to get some – and you don’t have to spend a fortune on a new wardrobe every time you drop a size.
Just remember that these clothes may not fit you for long, especially if you plan on losing weight, so buy only a few key pieces.
Simple, multifunctional, yet sassy
A clean multifunctional look works best if you’d rather not emphasise your shape.
Opt for pants with classic, medium-size patch pockets that are centred on your behind and pair with shirts or blouses without many ruffles or pleats, or ones with a simple silhouette.
A stylish shift dress or shirt dress is always a winner and you can easily switch up your look with heels or dress down with comfy sneakers.
Dig through your jewelry box and scarf collection and spice up an otherwise boring look.
Layer a few sparkly necklaces to draw attention away from certain areas, or drape a long, flowing scarf around your neck to add verticality to your body.
People will be too busy complimenting your fabulous earrings or beautiful statement necklace to notice anything else.
‘Toe the line’
Do not compromise when it comes to the hems of your pants. Longer inseams give the illusion of height, so wear pants or jeans with a hem that stops about a half inch above the ground.
Pairing perfectly hemmed pants with low-heeled, slightly pointy shoes adds more length and leanness to your figure.
If you prefer flats, don pants with hems that stop just above the ground.
Find forgiving fabrics
Garments made of soft, flowing materials drape more smoothly over your body than ones that are bulky or tightly woven.
Think silk jersey (or silk with a touch of spandex) or cotton blends.
Wear lightweight sweaters or kimonos that hang gracefully down your body instead of clinging.
Pair a fluid but body-skimming top with a great pair of dark denim jeans for a refined look.
The items no one but you can see make a huge difference in how you look and carry yourself.
Take advantage of “shape wear” – slimming tanks and camisoles that have a wide, hidden band of compression all around the belly to keep jiggly bits smooth and firm.
Shape wear panties that hold in your rear, thighs, and waist are surprisingly comfortable and can help you stand taller and feel more confident.
Show off your neck
Now is the time to embrace V-necks, scoop necks, boat necks, and off-the-shoulder necklines.
Any article of clothing that reveals a bit skin around your neck and shoulder draws the eye upward.
V-necks in particular create a more vertical line to your body and emphasise the elegant shape of your collarbone.
Add an inch or two
Although you may feel like living in sneakers during those first few postpartum months, switch things up with similarly comfortable shoes that have just a little bit of a heel. You’ll instantly look and feel longer and leggier.
Block heels and wedges give a great lift and are quite sturdy. (Stability is important when you’re toting around a new baby.) If sneakers are really the only thing you care to wear, try a pair with platform soles.
Mom jeans are definitely all the rage in the fashion world so jump on the bandwagon and rock yours with confidence for a chic and smart look at work.
As always, fit is essential: If your jeans are too tight and low, you’ll be left with the dreaded “muffin top” or uncomfortably squeezed thighs.
Too loose and you’re entering into saggy butt territory.
But the classic high-waisted style – appropriately named “mom jeans” – may be your new best friend.
Find a pair with a waistband that hits at your natural waist, and make sure the fabric has enough stretch to give your lower body some shape and support.
Easy natural makeup
You will need to switch from work mode to mum mode for the better part of the week, hence you probably need to keep your makeup routine fuss free.
Let your skin breathe and even out your complexion, using a tinted moisturiser with sun protection factor (SPF) and anti-ageing ingredients.
It will protect your skin while also giving you a little colour.
Add pink lip gloss and a quick coat of black or brown mascara to make your eyes speak and leave you looking and feeling beautiful.
Adding a pop of colour like red on your lips, can make you come alive and boost your confidence level from zero to 100 real quick.
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