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Postpartum Workwear: What to Wear to the Office After Maternity Leave

October 9, 2023
Maggie Nash
Image Credit: Kindred Bravely

After maternity leave, there may come a time when your trusty pair of sweatpants and your favorite old t-shirt with spit-up may need to be swapped for work ready attire. Whether you are working in an office, a coworking space, or from home, dressing comfortably and practically while maintaining your sense of style can set you up for success. Tried and true, the pieces we have curated will be sure to ease your transition into working motherhood. 

1. Underwear

Underwear is the base layer for the rest of the outfit, and wherever you may be in your recovery process or breastfeeding journey, if they’re comfortable, practical, and supportive, you’ll be at ease and ready to rock your first day back at work. 

Comfortable & Functional Bra

Whether breastfeeding, pumping or just looking for a quality bra to get through those 8-hour work days, consider these bras by Harper Wilde, H&M or Kindred Bravely, which are easily accessible for those midday pumps. 

Harper Wilde - The Bliss ($45)

Soft yet supportive, this bra from Harper Wilde doesn’t dig into your skin, comes in a variety of colors and provides lift without any wires. 

H&M - Mama 2-Pack Nursing Bras ($14.99)

This 2-Pack from H&M offers pumping & nursing accessibility without breaking the bank. 

Kindred Bravely - Sublime® Hands-Free Pumping & Nursing Bra ($49.99)

Whether you pump or nurse (or do a combo), this bra will make things easier! It's designed to fit all standard pumps, is underwire-free, and allows you to easily switch from pumping to nursing in no time. 

Supportive Underwear

We’ll get to pants shortly, but first, we must cover underwear – because if what you wear underneath isn’t comfortable, neither will those slacks. while Kindred Bravely offers a similar, high waisted pair for those who don’t want to sacrifice style. Their perfectly stretchy and soft fabric will accommodate and support you in all of your movements throughout the day. 

Bodily - The All-In Panty: 5-Pack ($58)

The perfect postpartum transition panty. High-waisted and soft on skin, these are perfect for moms who had a c-section, being soft and comfortable while providing ample support in your midsection.

Kindred Bravely - High-Waisted Postpartum Recovery Panties (5-Pack) ($34.99)

The fabric in these panties naturally conform to your ever changing body. While they provide enough room for pads and other recovery necessities, they remain flattering with a lace waistband. Moms love this set for being functional and stylish with modest coverage.

2. Bottoms

Whether your job requires sitting at a desk all day or constantly being on the move, having the right bottoms will make all the difference in comfort and mobility.

Stretchy Jeans & Pants

New moms do all sorts of acrobatics to accomplish the job each day - when you're constantly picking up the baby, doing multiple laundry loads, and more alongside the 9 to 5,  your tight pairs of pants just aren’t going to cut it. Opt for a pair of pants that lets you move freely and allows for sufficient stretch while maintaining a professional look. 

Everlane - The Authentic Stretch High-Rise Skinny ($27)

On those days when the only thing you want to wear is a pair of jeans, reach for this stretchy pair that is durable, moveable and offers a supportive high waist. Many moms find this to a flattering fit for their postpartum body!

Athleta - Cardiff Pant ($49.99)

This pair of pants from Athleta can be worn anywhere as they are sophisticated enough to dress up while being relaxed and breathable enough to make then casual. The pair sits above the waist and has a stylish waistband that can be tied for a custom fit through all postpartum stages. 

Blanqi - Highwaist Postpartum + Nursing Support Leggings ($57.97)

The gentle compression of these postpartum leggings offer support without the constriction of typical athleisure. Perfect for a casual office space or layered under a dress, you’ll be sure that these will stay in place all day long.  

3. Tops

Having reliable and comfortable bottoms are important, but a top often allows for your personal style to shine and may be the one thing your coworkers see (especially if you work from home). 

Shirt or Blouse with Access

If breastfeeding or pumping, an accessible, flowy top is a must for work. Pro Tip: Use tops with prints to easily conceal any last-minute spills and spit-ups.

River Island - Long Sleeve Wrap Top ($15.00)

The satin fabric in this long sleeve top refines any look while maintaining the practicality of a mom who needs to pump – its accessibility is unmatched. 

Loft - Pinstripe Everyday Shirt ($69.95)

A collared, button-down top always looks classy. Try this one from Loft that is crisp & fresh and will certainly go with anything. 

Abercrombie & Fitch - Long Sleeve Satin Button-Up Shirt ($34.99)

The abstract print in this button-up is sure to cover any last minute spills, whether they be from your baby or your much needed morning coffee. 

Blazer or Jacket

A blazer or jacket can be a finishing touch that immediately adds sophistication. Choose one of these if you need to professionalize your outfit quickly.

Old Navy - Soft-Brushed Oversized Blazer for Women ($79.99)

Simple, but elegant, this blazer from Old Navy allows you to keep the rest of the outfit simple, while maintaining a work-ready appearance. 

LuluLemon - Define Jacket Luon ($118)

You never know what the work day may bring. This comfortable jacket is designed for those on the move and provides the perfect touch of classiness. 

4. One & Done Fits

Simple but effective, a matching set, dress or jumpsuit can make the perfect outfit without the mental strain of finding a matching top and bottom!

Matching Set

Whether it’s a shirt and a pair of pants or a skirt and its matching top, sets are the perfect way to create an outfit with ease that comes together instantly for those days you need just ten more minutes of sleep. 

H&M - Mama 2-Piece Top and Skirt Set ($34.99)

This set has got it all. A high waisted elastic skirt and a wrap top? You’ll be stylish and moving throughout the day with ease.  

Dress or Jumpsuit

Easy and accessible, a dress or a jumpsuit that either buttons or wraps makes getting ready in the morning a breeze and allows for pumping throughout the day if needed. 

Everlane - The Linen Workwear Dress ($44)

This dress is made with breathable linen and has pockets – what more could you want? Versatile and comfortably flattering (& available in three colors), you won’t want to take this one off. 

Kindred Bravely - Around the Clock Nursing Jumpsuit ($64.99)

Functional and luxuriously comfortable, this jumpsuit is the perfect first day back at work fit. You can dress it up with heels and jewelry, or keep it casual with your favorite sneakers – but best of all, the wrap top allows for easy nursing or pumping during your day. 

5. The Right Shoes

Professional and comfortable are not mutually exclusive. The wrong shoes could make or break your day–go for plush, neutral shoes that still complement your fit. 

Madewell - Bradley Lugsole Loafer In Leather ($158)

When it comes to shoes, you can’t go wrong with a loafer. The slip on style and neutral color of these Madewell loafers will match any outfit you choose. 

Rothy's - The Almond Loafer in Desert Cat ($179)

Read: comfortable, chic, and machine-washable! If you're looking for a stylish pair of flats that can just be thrown into the wash, Rothy's Almond Loafer has a great selection of designs.

Allbirds - Women’s Tree Breezers ($100)

Recommended by one of our moms, Allbirds Tree Breezers are made from eucalyptus fibers which create a lightweight shoe with a perfect fit. 

6. Accessories

Simple things, like bags and jewelry can amplify an outfit quickly. Make it easy with functional options below. 

Large Tote Bag

Make your pumps, bottles, and other postpartum accessories chic with a practical tote bag that includes all the pockets you need and the style you want. 

Portland Leather - ‘Almost Perfect’ Medium Crossbody Tote ($99)

Leather always feels sophisticated. This tote is not too big or small, allows for handheld carry or crossbody wear, and will seamlessly hide all of your postpartum care necessities. 

Baggu - Horizontal Duck Bag ($38) 

Large and practical, this bag is perfect to carry your laptop, pumps, and more. Better yet, let your style show with Baggu’s many fabric choices. 

ASOS - tote with double pockets ($37)

For the mom who doesn’t want to compromise her style, this bag is a bit more elegant, but still offers the pockets and space you may need. 

Jewelry That Keeps You Connected

Classic earrings, a trendy headband, a simple watch (or even one that allows you to read text updates about baby) can amplify your outfit in no time without the hassle of bulky jewelry. Try these options below. 

Fitbit - Luxe Watch ($129.95)

If your baby will be at daycare or with a nanny, having a watch that allows for text messages and calls may give you peace of mind as you navigate work & motherhood. Still simple and classic, this watch will do just that. 

Wherever your workspace may be, complement your personal style with these comfortable and practical options above. There is no need to sacrifice comfort with style – opt for soft and moveable pieces that allow you to head back to work looking and feeling your best! 

Maggie Nash
Maggie Nash is the Content Creator Intern for Hibiscus Motherhood who brings together creativity and education through her knowledge of all things women and gender. As a recent graduate from Creighton University receiving a BA in Cultural Anthropology, she utilizes her skills of research, adaptability, and analysis to create engaging content for the team. With a background in expanding reproductive health, Maggie is dedicated to Hibiscus Motherhood’s mission and vision of providing quality, comfortable care to mothers post birth, as well as educating interested individuals. If you have any questions regarding her work at Hibiscus Motherhood, you can contact her at maggie.nash121@gmail.com.

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