Advice » In the Workplace» Workplace Issues » Office Fashion Tips for Back-to ...
Office Fashion Tips for Back-to-Work Moms

Office Fashion Tips for Back-to-Work Moms

Returning to the working world after being a stay-at-home mother (SAHM) presents women with a lot of challenges. In the swirl of making the arrangements to facilitate the transition, it may be hard to remember what to wear to an interview or for your first day back at the office. Here are some tips to help you get off on the right foot:

Learn the Dress Code

If you’re interviewing or starting a new job, start by checking out the scene. “Ask around, visit the office or ask the boss to see what the dress code is, if any,” says Jené Luciani, New York City-based style correspondent for the Today Show and author of The Bra Book. “It's more important to look appropriate than it is to be trendy. Most offices are business casual, so unless they require a suit, women can get away with separates. It’s [generally] acceptable to go bare-legged; however, some larger companies still have rules, such as you must wear hose. Find out. It may seem trivial, but it's important to ask.”

Do an Inventory

Before you hit the sales, inventory your current work clothes. Donate anything that’s worn out. “Clothing that is pilling or shows with a shine will keep others from taking you seriously,” says Holly Quartaro, the fashion stylist for Galleria Dallas in Dallas. Same for clothes that are outdated (think huge shoulder pads). “Dated clothes remind all around you that you’ve been out of the workforce,” she says. If you’ve been at home for a while, consider getting a personal shopper or stylist to help you choose updated business attire for women.

If your office is business casual or you’re a new mom, you may be able to hold on to more items, says Minneapolis-based Sally McGraw, a stylist and body image expert. “Utilize your second trimester maternity clothes,” she says. “You probably want to set all of your maternity clothing on fire, but try to restrain yourself. While you’re in body-limbo, spring for a few fun accessories and accent pieces, but use your second trimester duds as base layers.”

Keep the Good Stuff

Make sure that whatever you keep fits properly. If alterations are needed, invest in them -- it’s still cheaper than buying new clothes. “Be conscious of the ways your body has changed,” says Erica Zidel, a mom and co-founder of Sitting Around, a Seattle-based resource for people wanting to start or find a baby-sitting cooperative. “Select pieces that complement your body now and ones that continue to work as your body changes. You’ll look much better wearing the appropriate size and style, no matter what that size or style may be.”

Shop Smart

Dawn Baker, a designer, stylist and mother of two in Manhattan Beach, California, says SAHMs can shop smart by purchasing just two new items -- a black dress and a pair of flats -- that will satisfy almost any dress code. “A great fitting black dress that’s conservative, classy and flattering can be worn with heels or flats -- dressy or casual,” she says. “It’s versatile, and you will get a lot of use out of it. You can tie a scarf around the neck, pair it with a blazer, even wear it with boots and tights in the winter.”

If your budget’s tight, pick up a few accessories to update and revitalize your style, Baker says. Cardigans are versatile and can be worn in lieu of a blazer. Bold-patterned scarves, a high-quality handbag or briefcase, and age- and work-appropriate jewelry can jazz up your look without breaking the bank.

Clean Up Your Act

“I know it's hard when you're schlepping the kids, helming the household and trying to get out the door all at the same time,” Luciani says. “Even if you can't afford expensive clothes or you don't have time to shop for several outfits, you can wear the same black blazer, black pants and crisp white blouse -- but always make sure they are clean, tailored and pressed. People won't notice if you wear the same item often but they will notice if you show up wrinkled and stained. You want to stand out for your work, not your fashion choices.”

Latest Jobs
Posted: 05/28/2015
Lorain, OH, 44053
Posted: 05/28/2015
Louisville, KY, 40209
Posted: 05/28/2015
Kingsland, GA, 31548
Posted: 05/28/2015
Portland, OR, 97086
Posted: 05/28/2015
Philadelphia, PA, 19133

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile


Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
Create and connect.
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.


100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2015 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2015.8.0.34-314