Monday, 24 July 2017

Winter Outfits for Returning to Work After Maternity Leave - Fit and Flare Dresses

After an extended maternity leave, I'm back in the office and sharing my business casual office style again. It's been a while! Thanks for all your sweet comments when I hinted at my return earlier, and for the encouragement on Instagram as I've been sharing my office wear and return to work struggles.

Just like last time I returned to work, I'll clear up a few things first.

  • In Australia you are legally allowed a minimum of a year's maternity leave. You have the option to extend it to 2 years if it suits the company you work for, or go back sooner if you wish. My team, boss and workplace is flexible, understanding and supportive.
  • Yes I took a longer maternity leave this time around than last time. (If you followed me in December you'll know why).
  • I am back in the office part time again, so I'll continue to have SAHM outfits and corporate style outfits on the blog.

And although it's completely repetitive as I said it last time: "Everyone does the right thing for them and their child (or children) at that point in time. Mums always know best. And that means for me, that I've returned to work. "

Now that's out the way, the simple fuss-free outfits I wore for my first days back:

What I wore:

Scarf: navy bird print scarf
Necklace: Eye Candy LA 'Sasha' statement necklace
DressJeanswest 'Rita' stripe jersey dress
ShoesRMK Chester black ankle boots
BagRebecca Minkoff medium MAB tote in moon navy (on sale in pinkor in white)

Why I wore it:

No surprise, I went with my comfort colour and wore blue for my first day back. I also took advantage of being child free and wore the biggest most non-baby friendly statement necklace I have. I missed wearing it, last time I wore it I was very, very pregnant! The scarf kept me cosy for my early morning commute and I ended up keeping it on in the office too. A big blanket scarf is the closest you'll get to cosying up to a blanket at your desk!

My first day back was much like my return to work two and a half years ago - lots of emails to sort through and trying not to cry when I thought about being away from my boys. It took me a lot longer to go through my emails - I could delete all the meeting requests and event related emails, but there were a lot of changes while I was away so it was helpful to read the emails covering the changes, and there are so many colleagues that moved around the organisation or even left so it was good to try wrap my head around what it all looks like now.

As much as I missed the office and enjoyed being able to do things in peace and quiet for a change, I was so pleased to come back to my boys and my mum in the evening.

Last worn: navy mac, bird print scarf, striped fit and flare dress, black ankle boots, Rebecca Minkoff MAB tote.

Other ways to wearnavy mac and chambray dress, bird print scarf with jeans and blazer, striped fit and flare dress for a baby shower, black ankle boots and monochrome jeans outfit, Rebecca Minkoff MAB tote with the same dress 2 years ago!

Perfect for pregnancy: stripe fit and flare dress hiding a second trimester bump, ankle boots in second trimester, Rebecca Minkoff MAB tote in third trimester.

Fit and Flare Dresses For The Office Under $50:

What I wore:

camel trench black dress burgundy scarf navy tote bag, winter office wear | Away From Blue

camel trench, Rebecca Minkoff medium MAB tote in moon navy | Away From The Blue
Jacket: Barkins beige trench coat 
ScarfForever New Skye Foil Feather scarf in berry / gold (on sale!)
DressJeanswest tucked ponte black dress
Belt: Kmart thin gold glitter belt
ShoesAsos leather Chelsea boots in tan
BagRebecca Minkoff medium MAB tote in moon navy (on sale in pinkor in white)

Why I wore it:

Another day in the office, another fit and flare dress. I have this dress in the stripes above and in black here and I have no plans to get rid of either of them - they are perfect for work. Easy to wear in summer with less layers too.

The only thing these dresses aren't suitable for is expressing breastmilk at work. I don't have to do that as Baby Boy's older, but would that be something you'd want to see me call out with my office outfits, which ones would work for expressing/pumping? While I've not had to do it at work I have had to do it at home and occasionally on the go for both my boys so I have a little experience there. Shea has a wonderful guide on how she makes exclusive expressing work for her that could be helpful too.

Last worn: burgundy feather foil scarf, camel trench, black fit and flare dress, gold glitter belt, Chelsea ankle boots, Rebecca Minkoff MAB tote (above).

Other ways to wearburgundy feather foil scarf and flared jeans, camel trench and print mixing, black fit and flare dress in spring, gold glitter belt and maxi dress, Chelsea ankle boots and skinny jeanspencil skirts and Rebecca Minkoff MAB tote.

Perfect for pregnancy: trench coat in first trimester, fit and flare dress hiding an early baby bumpgold belt over a baby bump, Chelsea boots and belted dress in second trimesterMAB tote and plaid shirts in first trimester.

More Fit and Flare Dresses Under $50:

How You Can Wear It:

Returning to work after maternity leave is an emotional time - no matter what length of maternity leave you had! Pick easy, fuss-free outfits for your first few days back. Plan them out beforehand and have them hanging in your wardrobe ready for you to grab and go.

I like fit and flare dresses as they nip in at the waist without being too tight and flow flatteringly over the stomach if you have a leftover mum tum like I do. Plus a dress is an instant outfit, you didn't need to think about how pieces will look together.

If something makes you feel happy, comfortable and confident, it's the perfect outfit for your return to work.

Linking up with On Trend, Confident Twosday, Turning Heads, Fashion Frenzy, Style on the Daily, Fashion Files.

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  1. Do you have KIT days (Keeping in Touch) in Aus? We can take a year off in the UK although companies are only required to offer full pay for 6 months then it's statutory maternity pay for the next 6 months (I think I'm remembering that correctly). I took 7 months with Elodie and 9 months with Felix but did quite a few KIT days to cover holiday / earn some extra dosh and literally, keep up to date with what was going on. I think you can do 10 maximum during your mat leave and I found them really useful so that I didn't go back having no idea what had been happening during my absence :)

  2. I reach for dresses most of the time as well, they are easy but dressed up. Perfect for the early mornings. I am looking forward to get some inspiration for work wear from you, I think I am in a bit of a rut recently.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  3. Whoo, congrats on returning to work! I'm sure you did what was best for you and your family! I love your coats, and they look fantastic paired with your big navy bag! Xx

    Kez |

  4. All the best to you, dear Mica, back in your job! I think it is always a challeging being a working mom and the quote you share here hits the nail on the head.

    I really like your relaxed working looks and I absolutely understand that you are especially happy to wear again these big statement necklaces (was is not possible with little children ...).

    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  5. These are both lovely outfits. You look great:) And great to hear that the going back to work went well. It's a hard adjustment, isn't it? But I totally agree that only a mum knows when is the right time to do, and you seemed to be ready:)
    Here in Canada, we also get a year maternity leave, but I don't know if we have the extended option thing. That's good to hear that you work for a company that is very understanding about this kind of stuff:)
    Have a lovely Monday.:)

  6. Aw it is so hard to go back to work no matter how long. Glad you made it through. Like you said, moms always know best so I am glad you are doing what it right for you and your family. I also went back part time and love the balance. I like being able to wear my non-mom clothes some days like you said. It's nice to wear a totally non-mom friendly outfit sometimes. Then I love the days I get to stay at home with Ivy too. These work outfits look great on you!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  7. Congratulations on going back to work Mica. So true that this a personal decision for each individual. You look professional and chic in both outfits! Have a fantastic week!

  8. I love that bag!!! It seems to go with everything. I kinda know what you mean about the switch back to office clothes; whenever I start a new internship after a semester of college (mostly spent in jeans of course), it's fun to rediscover my wardrobe!

    🍉 Pia

  9. Congrats at being back and doing it when you thought it was best ;)
    I like both looks and confess that I had missed your work looks.

  10. I wrote my last comment too quickly, my apologies. I love your outfits for returning to work, and it's good to hear you are adjusting well to being back at work despite missing your boys. I think planning your wardrobe ahead of time is a great way to relieve some stress as you're making a transition.

    Sweet Helen Grace

  11. Welcome back to work! I hope you were successful at keeping your eyes dry on those first days back *hug*.

    I'm loving your scarf/coat pairings in these outfits. I know it's still a while before we hit autumn, but you have me itching for my burgundy items again. Your scarf collection is even more enviable than your bag collection in my eyes.

    Have a great week!

  12. These fuss free outfits are great, Mica. I think it's good to trust yourself and a year maternity leave is good for new mums. My bestie lived in Denmark and ended up taking a bit longer. The navy bag is stunning with your outfit. <3 :)

  13. Wow, that's amazing that maternity leaves are so long in Australia, I wish it were the same here in the States, we're only given 3 months maximum, at least by most companies! I love both your outfits, you look so stylish and I love the color combinations in the second outfit especially! Thanks for sharing and I hope you have a great week ahead!



  14. Hey thanks for sharing my post on pumping!! I will be very relieved to be done with that so that I can break out my dresses again!
    I look forward to seeing your back-to-work looks--these are both perfect, I would wear both of these looks to work in the fall or winter. Have you ever shared about your job? I'd love to know what you do for work!

  15. These are both such lovely outfits for work! Hope you are doing well and having a great week.

    Gemma x

  16. Congratulations on returning to work! I love fit and flare dresses, they along with maxi dresses are the most comfortable dresses. Loved the outfits you created, so work appropriate, well put together and most importantly, comfortable! :)


  17. Mica, you looked beautiful both days! Both are beautiful outfits. I'm really smitten with the blue one. I bet it's an adjustment. I know you miss them. Glad you're working part time. I think it is so awesome that one can take 1-2 years. Only 3 mos in the United States which is crazy!

  18. I love the scarves you added with both of these dresses! This post actually made me realize I have quite a few dresses I probably won't be wearing for a while as I do plan to nurse/pump for a year. I am sure it is nice to wear some of those clothes you've had tucked away for work, even if it is bittersweet to be back!

  19. I couldn't believe how many emails you had on your return! Phew. Glad your return is going ok, I hope people are being kind to you. Comfortable outfits that make you feel happy and confident are definitely the way forwards in these occasions, I always have a few favourites I go to on my first few days on a new client. Not the same thing but you know what I mean!

  20. Congratulations on returning to work and I love both those outfits naturally, as a massive fan of fit and flare!

  21. I love how you wore your comfort colour on your fist day back. Both dresses are really nice! The second one is so professional office worker! You made the blanket scarf sound really cosy! I need to get some more now haha

    TFM Life & Style blog

  22. Mica, your Balenciaga bag here is stunning! And wow, you're allowed a year maternity leave minimum?? That's insane!! Here it's a lot different. You get a minimum of 26 weeks and the maximum you're allowed is 52 weeks, which is additional maternity leave. So yeah the most you're allowed is up to 52 weeks, with 26 being the minimum. Crazy!

    Raindrops of Sapphire

  23. Hi Mica! Very smart and cute office attire!You layered and accessorized each look beautifully! Have a blessed new week!


  24. Love the bag! I also love how you layered the outfits. Sharing with a friend who is currently on maternity leave.

  25. Great tips here, returning to work after maternity certainly is an emotional time. Wearing fuss free comfortable outfits is a great idea.


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