Here is a fashion topic I can finally say I am an expert at. I now have multiple years experience in dressing for the office while wrangling small children at either end of the day. Here’s my story and some tips on how to dress when you have small children in tow.
I returned to part time work when my first son was 10 months old and then a few weeks later I found out I was pregnant with our second little lord. I then returned to part time work the second time when little lord 1 was two and a half and little lord 2 was ten months old. I won’t go into the details too much but it was tough going. Peak hour traffic, assembling prams in corporate carparks, dealing with escalators and then the tearful goodbyes at daycare from both my boys left me on edge and feeling stressed by the time I started work.
I endured this routine for about 8 months before I made some changes to my work location and situation. I did away with the traffic and corporate carparks however I still face the same challenges of trying to get out of the house ready for work with two kids in tow three days a week. Two backpacks, my laptop bag and my handbag come with us – I like to call this packhorse style.
So I have put together the following tips for choosing workwear when you have small children in tow:
1. Go for comfort and practicality in shoes. Put away the super high heels and platforms. Save them for a girls night out or sell them on eBay. Quality flats and lower heeled shoes are definitely the best for gathering stray children, carrying multiple bags and extracting children from sandpits at the end of the day.
2. Choose pants and skirts that are comfortable and don’t ride up, slip down or twist around. Skirts can be tricky. I have had many a rushed morning when I’ve arrived at work to find the back of my skirt is now at the front. Tres annoying. I now have a couple of work skirts with…..elasticated waistbands! Yes they might not seem stylish for work but with a longer top over them, they are a fantastic option. I am wearing a Country Road skirt with elastic waist in the pic above.
3. Pockets are your friend. For your keys, phone, tissues, swipe card, dummy etc.
4. I love a crisp work shirt but lately, I’ve enjoyed watching Suits on TV in the evenings more than ironing so my shirts haven’t had a run in a while. If you’re like me, choose clothes that don’t require much (if any) ironing.
5. Work dresses are great. They can be super comfy and if they come with pockets – extra bonus! Knee or just above is a good length for a dress or skirt. When the little munchkins come running for their cuddle and you assume the squat position, you want to be able to enjoy that moment
6. Choose a set of core basics in neutral colours (black, grey, navy, beige) such as pants, skirt, dress, blazer, flats and low heels then add colour and interest with a few nice tops, scarves and accessories.
7. Dry clean only is not your friend. Chances are you’ll have weetbix smears, paint and maybe some delightful snot on your work clothes at least once a week. Even if you don’t, who has the time or arm space to visit the dry cleaners!
Blazer by Jeanswest. Shop similar here.
Top by Portmans. Shop similar here.
Pants by Glassons. Shop same here.
Shoes by Sandler. Shop same here.
Same pants and jacket as above.
Top by Country Road. Shop similar here.
Shoes by Betts. Shop same here.
Necklace by Katies. Shop same here.
Do you do the work / childcare juggle? How do you like to dress for work?