When I accepted my promotion at work, I knew I'd need more than two outfits for this new job in the office. Gone are the days when I could wear three pairs of khaki pants with three different polos while treating patients as a Physical Therapist. And thank goodness for that! Realistically, I haven't donned the classic PT outfit of khakis and a polo for many years, but they still a wardrobe staple for many of my kind. It's a culture, I think. :)
To make matters more exciting, not only do I need an office wardrobe but it needs to be a maternity version right now. Maternity clothes are both awesome and awful, if you ask me. It's painful to spend money on items that you know are just temporary, since I much prefer to invest in nicer pieces that will last me 'forever'. Pretty sure that the full panel work pants I just bought will last me a few months, if I'm lucky, and the 'temporary' part of this new wardrobe is just ironic.
I did save most of my maternity clothes from the first three rounds My Bump Life, and even splurged on several newer pieces at the end of Porter's pregnancy. Having those three-year-old items to pull from are key, but some of the seven-year-old stuff from Truman's pregnancy should probably be retired for good. Many of the older clothes from 2009/2010 are for winter months, much of the 212-2014 stuff is for spring and summer....thus the need to plump up my maternity wear yet again, this time with intentions of looking professional in the office.
Let the games begin!
I've been rocking my desk job for three weeks now and I really enjoy my (brief) hours spent as Rehab Supervisor. It's all still new and challenging and exciting, and I'm finding myself prepping lunches and outfits the night before to save time in the morning. For the past three weeks, I've sort of struggled to find the 'right' outfit to wear to work. But it's not because I don't have anything to wear, since I did spend a lot of my Christmas cash on maternity clothes. I struggle because I'm not always sure how to pair the items together, how to accessorize, how to select the right shoe, and how to stay warm in a somewhat chilly building for five hours during our brutal Wisconsin winter. Basically, I just want to wear flats without socks but it's totally unrealistic in February!
I've been wanting to take pictures of my various office outfits to create a catalog of options, a visual for me when I'm selecting what to wear each night. Perhaps it could be helpful for some of you out there who are feeling less than inspired with your office attire. But mostly, I just want feedback on brown versus black boots, and which scarves look better than others. Also, any major NO WAY outfits? Any ultimate favorites?
Outfit 1 | A and B [Bling neckline top]
Top: A Pea in the Pod | Pants: Motherhood | Booties: from my last Stitch Fix, by Steve Madden.
Thoughts: I love the top for the comfortable, flowy fit and for it's bling neckline (Cecelia is obsessed). Excellent material, super stretchy and good length. I like these pants enough, although I do feel a little strange in ankle length pants because 'high waters' are exactly the look I've tried to avoid my whole life, being 5'10". And the black ankle boots are a go-to for the office lately. I think I like the red with the black best, but I've worn both of these outfits in the past three weeks. Not sure what else to pair the gray pants with other than a black top.
Outfit 2 | A and B [favorite polka dots and red pants]
Top: Motherhood, buy two sweaters get third free (!) | Cardigan: Motherhood, same deal | Bottoms: Motherhood | Shoes: Yosi Samra flats that you can't even see here, boo.
Thoughts: Obsessed with this sweater. Wanted to get it in a medium but the last one they had was snagged, so I got the small and am not hyper sensitive to it's length. I think this could work postpartum as well. Because it's short sleeved, I usually wear the cardigan for warmth. I love all Mr. Roger's cardigans, they are a weakness of mine. Bought the red pants to specifically go with this polka dot sweater, not going to lie. And I like I like the ankle length with flats best, but that will have to wait until April-ish so my skin doesn't get frost bite.
Outfit 3 | A and B [bright purple top that I love]
Top: Motherhood, circa 2014 | Long necklace: Loft, circa 2013 | Cardigan: Motherhood, circa 2014 | Pants: A Pea in the Pod, current! | Shoes: Steve Madden/Stitch Fix
Thoughts: I forgot about this purple top but I really love it, it's long and simple and a nice color. The cardigan feels a little dressier and I'm always a fan of a long necklace. Now, the pants? These are my new favorite maternity pants ever. They are expensive and I really hesitated to buy them because of the $88 price tag. They are form fitting and I just know I will grow out of them before the end of this pregnancy. The sales lady assured me 'that will only happen if you gain more than 30 pounds.' Um, duh!!! That's not a problem! But the material is soft as butter, almost like yoga pants but better. There are pockets and rivets, they are long, full panel, and seriously so comfy I had to get them. And I wear them twice a week or so, because you better believe I will get my money's worth now before my butt gets too big! Then I'll cry because I will miss them, seriously.
Outfit 4 | A and B [Stitch Fix tops that still work]
Cardigan: last Stitch Fix, Skies are Blue | Gray leggings: Old Navy (not maternity, still love) | Tank: Target, probably Liz Lange Maternity, circa 2012 | Brown riding boots: Corso Como from Zappos, 2011 | Scarf: Stitch Fix, Octavia
Thoughts: I love cardigans, long tanks, long necklaces, and/or scarves. I also try to wear my brown tall boots more often because I feel like it's so easy to wear all black pants and shoes in the office. It's like bucking the trend wearing something other than black! I think I like the scarf better than the long necklace option here, just to add more color. I know leggings aren't always the most professional option for an office job, but these are SO comfy, are really thick, and as long as my butt is covered I think it's okay. Also with a tall boot, I don't think you can even see much of the leggings to feel offended, but since they aren't maternity I probably won't be wearing them much longer anyway.
Outfit 5: A and B [Gray, so much gray in my closet]
Top: Stitch Fix, Market and Spruce | Scarf: Christmas gift from Lois, not sure store | Pants: favorite ones from Pea in the Pod | Black riding boots: Corso Como again, circa 2011, can't find online anymore
Thoughts: I really love this top, even non-maternity, and think it's nice for the office. I will probably wear a cardigan over it (I did this later in the shoot) for warmth, and the scarf helps with that, too. Kind of nice that I can wear so many of my Stitch Fix tops while pregnant, at least for now! It's a little plain without the scarf and without a cardigan but it's nice enough. Could also do a necklace and I am also a fan of brown shoes with a gray top...just not always with black pants (my brown boots and booties aren't the right shade to wear with black pants, IMO).
Outfit 6 | A and B [Favorite tunic-slash-dress]
Tunic: Motherhood, circa 2011 | Leggings: Old Navy | Scarf: Stitch Fix | Boots (both a brown and black in first photo): Corso Como, circa 2011
Thoughts: Do you like the black or brown boots better with the gray leggings? Once I add the navy scarf, it needs to be brown boots, right? Love this tunic, but why is everything I own 3/4 sleeves and therefore a little chilly in the office?? This is one of my favorite colors of all times, the purple-pink shade frequents my closet.
Outfit 7 | A and B [ Bright colors, so many scarves ]
Top: Aspire at REI, circa 2015 | Scarves: no idea, super old | Pants: Pea in the pod | Booties: Stitch Fix, Steve Madden
Thoughts: This is one of my favorite tops, I've had it for awhile and it's definitely not maternity. I just like the color and the drape, and it was one of my go-to choices for working with patients, too. I think wearing a scarf and booties make the outfit a little dressier, perhaps. Which scarf is better? I have so many freaking scarves...
Outfit 8 | A and B [Old dress, some color in the scarf, pushing for brown shoes]
Gray dress: Motherhood, circa 2010 | Scarf: Target, circa 2013 | Gray leggings: Mossimo at Target, circa 2012 | Brown booties: Chinese Laundry, no longer online, circa 2015 | Brown tall boots: Corso Como, 2011
Thoughts: So booties or riding boots? This was the only time I pulled my brown cuffed ankle boots for these photos but I do like to wear them to work, since they are comfortable and a little different. It's a shame I didn't try them on more often for you because I do want to know which outfits will look nice with the brown shorties. Is there too much gray with the leggings and dress? I just tried to make brown work here but maybe black leggings and boots make more sense. I do like my scarf for color and because without it, the dress feels depressing to me. I do want to wear more dresses to work, my boss only wears dresses or skirts. I think dresses are pretty maternity friendly, not so much skirts.
Outfit 9 | A and B [previous favorite maternity dress]
Dress: Motherhood, circa 2014 | Cardigan: Motherhood, circa 2014 | Leggings: Motherhood, circa 2014 | Booties: Stitch Fix, Steve Madden
Thoughts: This has been one of my favorite striped dresses, although I'm not feeling super cute in it this time around. Something about the neckline makes me feel a little wider than I like (or maybe it's the horizontal stripes), but it's still a cute dress and I'll for sure wear it. I'll pair it with the cardigan for now, maybe even with tall boots instead of booties? Would a colored cardigan look strange? I NEED COLOR!
Outfit 10 [Oldest dress tries to make a comeback]
Dress: Motherhood, circa 2009 (!) | Necklace: Stitch Fix, Romolo brand | Leggings: Motherhood, 2014 | Black riding boots: Corso Como, 2011
Thoughts: I want to like this dress, but the tight turtle neck kills me. I mean, it seems very old school to me, because I know that it's eight years old. But it is pretty modest and office appropriate, I guess. Thoughts? Long necklace makes it more modern? Can you tell I'm suffocating in the turtle neck? Why can't it be a cowl neck instead? I turned to the side to prove I really am pregnant;)
Outfit 11 | A, B, and C [A favorite top three ways]
Striped top: Motherhood, 2014 | Pink cardigan: Loft, 2013 | Blue cardigan: Stitch Fix, 41Hawthorn | Leggings: Motherhood, circa 2014 | Black riding boots: Corso Como, 2011 | Necklace: Stitch Fix, Romolo brand
Thoughts: I forgot how much I like this striped top, even though I can't find the black belt thing that ties around the waist. It's a nice length and flattering, but feels like I need to add a cardigan or something. Preferred color? Long necklace, or no?
Outfits 12 and 13 | [Different Stitch Fix tops, all similar]
Blue Shirt: Stitch Fix, Market and Spruce | Maroon shirt: Stitch Fix, 41 Hawthorn | Pants: favorite ones from Pea in the Pod | Black riding boots: Corso Como, 2011
Thoughts: I haven't worn either of these tops lately but I think they will work nicely in the office! Stitch Fix really nailed my style with several 'button tab' sleeved shirts, huh?
Outfits 14 and 15 | [More Stitch Fix tops/sweaters]
Poncho sweater: Stitch Fix, RD Style | Striped cardigan sweater: Stitch Fix, Mystree | Pants: favorite ones from Pea in the Pod | Black riding boots: Corso Como, 2011 | Necklace: Stitch Fix, Romolo brand
Thoughts: I've worn the poncho to work once, and am wearing the striped sweater tomorrow, I've decided. I always get a lot of compliments on the striped one and it's pretty cozy but still put together enough with tall boots, I think.
Outfits 16 and 17 | [Older Motherhood tops, sleeveless editions]
Sleeveless tops: Both Motherhood or Pea in the Pod from 2014 | Pants: favorite ones from Pea in the Pod | Black riding boots: Corso Como, 2011
Thoughts: I don't think I can do these sleeveless tops much. I've always loved the green one but it's really short once my belly gets bigger. The purple one used to be my favorite but for some reason it's really tight in my arm pits and therefore impossible. Options in a pinch, I guess.
Outfits 18 and 19 | [Seriously, so much gray in my closet]
Gray cowl neck: Pink Blush | Scarf: Itsy Ritzy | Blue cardigan: Stitch Fix, 41 Hawthorn | Pants: favorite ones from Pea in the Pod | Black riding boots: Corso Como, 2011 | Necklace: Stitch Fix, Romolo brand
Thoughts: My sister--in-law got me the gray top from Pink Blush and it's seriously the most comfortable material! I wear it a lot, just haven't donned it in the office yet. Then I was playing around with that other gray top by Stitch Fix, trying to dress it up with a cardigan and scarf. This type of outfit could be my wardrobe staple, really.
Outfits 20 and 21 | [I love royal blue]
Striped top: Liz Lange Maternity, 2014 | Solid top: I.N.C. at Macy's, 2013 | Pants: favorite ones from Pea in the Pod | Black booties: from my last Stitch Fix, by Steve Madden | Necklace: Stitch Fix, Romolo brand
Thoughts: I forgot how much I love the striped top because of it's length. And then there's the solid top, one that isn't maternity but I've worn it a TON over the years. I almost went back and bought it in other colors and I always wish I would have done just that---the cut is really nice and of course, the length! It has pockets and for now I'm sure I could wear it (or both tops, really) with a cardigan. Wouldn't a black blazer look nice? I want one, it's on my 'must find' list but I think I need to try them on, lest I look too formal and not trendy enough. Where might one find the perfect blazer for the office? Not too stiff or suit-like, maybe cotton?
Outfit 22 | [Too casual?]
Gray tee shirt top: Amazon | Sweater vest: Lands End | Necklace: Stitch Fix, Romolo brand | Leggings: Old Navy | Boots: Corso Como
Thoughts: I want to love this sweater vest and want to make it work. My mom got it for me for Christmas and it's very much my style. I'm struggling to pair it with the correct top and bottom though. I think that maybe I need a navy blue shirt to wear under it, then I can go with these gray leggings? Black doesn't work. I don't have a white shirt. Is it too casual for the office? It's warm and cute! Maybe best for my days at home, though.
Summary: I think I need a blazer or two. Any top favorites? Any suggestions for accessorizing/shoes? Do I need more than a pair of black and brown tall boots and booties? Office maternity wear, here I come.