This week, I’m going to (finally, I know!) share my summer capsule. You can read more about my past capsule wardrobes and reasons behind it here. Its been a long time since I did a capsule, the last was in Autumn. I was inspired to start by Caroline Joy over at Un-fancy and she does 4 a year. Her seasons in Texas (and now Seattle, ) don’t quite align with ours and having lived with a capsule for almost a year, I realised I don’t need to update 4 times a year. I added a few pieces to my autumn wardrobe for Christmas, then updated a few tops for spring before the weather started to warm up. This wardrobe I’m about to share has been in effect since about the beginning of May and I plan to wear it until October. I’ll be shopping for Autumn/winter pieces in September when the new season stock comes in.
As it’s Monday, I thought I’d start with my work wardrobe. My capsule has had to include a work section for the first time this season, as I went back to work in March. I’m lucky because I dress pretty casually at work so a lot of my wardrobe is interchangeable, but I do have work staples that I use to smarten up the other pieces I mix in and that give it more of a professional edge.
I have to say, I didn’t give a lot of thought to my work wardrobe. There’s a big difference in working 5 days a week when my philosophy was that I spent so much time at work I might as well look nice while I worked, to working 3 days and just hoping you can find something without food or snot on it that’s passable and comfy and fits your postnatal body! Consequently, I pulled out a few postnatal and even pregnancy pieces and was forced to buy a new pair of trousers that fitted, et voila!
I have quite a few nice work dresses but I don’t fit them just yet, plus when I initially returned to work and for about 3 months, I was expressing still so needed boob access. This jersey dress I bought and wore during early-mid pregnancy and it’s still flattering now, plus it washes easily and quickly, like the blue blouse that I hardly wore in my AW capsule, but has come into it’s own for work. This chambray shirt was an amazing find by my mum in GAP. I loaned one of hers during pregnancy and wore it open over things but it had a really soft fluid texture with fantastic drape, just like this one she later found for me. It works brilliantly tucked in as a shirt for my own particular style of smart-casual work wear. The remaining shirt is an old favourite of mine. I don’t usually do such blousy florals but it’s colour is bold enough and the fabric thin enough that it’s perfect for summer. As you can see, I always roll my sleeves!
My old navy work trousers had had very good use before pregnancy, so I intended to renew them on my return to work, but I’m not yet at my usual weight, so I held off and went to Zara for a different work pair. That was particularly demoralising (when did the sizes in Zara get so small?!) but they did have a good selection of styles in Navy trousers and I found a flattering pair that made me feel smart again. I’d say these get the most use week in week out and were pretty cheap at £24.99! Again the jersey tube skirt was a pregnancy buy that still works now as it was just a size up, and the printed skirt was a postnatal win that came from my pre-pregnancy wardrobe and I fit! Yay! The only ‘this season’ addition were these jogging bottom pants, which again, my mum found. A complete bargain from New Look, I think they were £10. They are ridiculously comfy, work for work because of the silky (but not shiny) fabric, tapered ankle and with a tucked in blouse or shirt, they look great.
I wear all of these with either navy pointed flats, or summer sandals, depending on the weather, and of course opaque tights earlier in the year.
To make the whole look a bit more ‘done’ I have a small selection of jewellery I wear for work too – which is quite nice, as I don’t get to wear much at home. I stick with a gold pair of studs and my sparkly ones, plus 2 rose gold pendant necklaces that I have. I don’t paint my nails anymore (although toenails are an essential in sandals I think,) but I do always wear make up to work. Not much, but again, it makes me feel more done and professional.
So here are my tips for creating a functional capsule wardrobe when you are a working mum. I’m making the assumption that you a. don’t want to spend much, b. don’t have much time, and c. would rather spend said time and money with or on your baby.
- Choose a colour palette and stick to it, particularly for your basics – mine is Navy and blues, obviously.
- Make sure you have a good look through your old wardrobe and check for any keepers that still fit.
- Choose fabrics that wash easily, dry quick and don’t need ironing, so you don’t have to get changed before you cuddle your messy baby or toddler when you get in.
- Think about using things in ways you wouldn’t normally – i.e., tucking in a more casual summer shirt or chambray, and dressing up items like ‘relaxed trousers’ (Read:jogging bottoms) with heels.
- Make sure you have one outfit or top and bottom option or a dress, per day you work, plus a spare, then even if you only get to do your washing at the weekend, you’ve always got something to wear.
- Dress it up with jewellery and shoes, and have fun with those pieces as they’re probably bits you won’t wear when you’re off-duty and being mummy who gets clambered all over and needs to wear flats to run round after said baby/toddler.
- Treat yourself to some new makeup if you’re feeling a bit sloppy or nervous about going back to work. Getting your game face on always helps and gives you confidence.
Ok, I hope you enjoyed that insight and I’ll be back later in the week with my casual wardrobe, knitwear and occasion wear. Give me a shout if you have any questions and i’d love to hear about your work wardrobe and how you approach it!