I love dressing up. The moment I transitioned from a work uniform to wearing business wear, I bought my first suit: a pale grey one from Ann Taylor. Over the years, my work style has evolved from wearing black or brown suits to wearing suits and dresses in brighter colors, like cobalt blue, salmon pink, and red. Brighter colors help me stand out and energize me. Yes, everyone can look sexy in colors other than black! Since becoming a parent to my daughter three years ago, my wardrobe evolved again to accommodate my new figure and busier schedule. Here are my five “can’t live without” wardrobe staples for my fellow working city mommies.
A suit (two-piece or three-piece)
Suits are underrated. I love them, and they are made so much better for curvy figures these days! A tailored suit stretches any wardrobe by miles. I use the two pieces together or as separates. The blazer can be worn over a dress, jeans, skirts, etc. Perfect when you want to be little more dressed up. The pants or skirt can also be worn with everything too. I recommend purchasing a suit in black or navy (Go bright if you are inclined). Don’t dismay if the fit is not perfect; no suit is. Tailoring makes all the difference. Hint: Reach out to your local dry cleaner to see if they do alterations. They will become your best friend. I love Express, H&M, and Loft for everyday suiting.
Before I moved to San Francisco, I had one scarf, and I only used it when I traveled. Now, I keep a drawer full of them in various colors. My one criteria is that the scarf must be at least twelve inches wide and twenty-four inches long. The dimensions are crucial for getting the double wrap around my neck during windy days, using it as a blanket on airplanes, and even using it as an impromptu nursing scarf. Look for lightweight cotton in patterns or solids. Scarves can be found at every major retailer. I always keep one in my bag because our weather can be fickle in a day.
A cross-body bag
Speaking of bags, my favorite bag is a crossbody bag. I loved them when I was in college and running to catch Muni to go to work. I love them more as a parent, so I can keep my hands free to wrangle my daughter and carry her gear too. As parents, having a free hand is everything! My bag shopping criteria is serious because cute doesn’t trump functionality. If you’re shopping for your next bag, you can find my top tips here.
Spanx, I am talking about you. One day I will be slimmer, have a flatter tummy, and more shapely arms. In the meantime, I will accentuate what I love and tuck in the rest. Nude shapewear is my best friend. I live in nude control-top pantyhose and nude bras. I highly recommend getting fitted for a bra if you haven’t done so in a while. Both Nordstrom and Victoria’s Secret offer bra fittings. Like most wardrobe staples, fit is everything.
Flats, flats, flats
I love stiletto heels and used to wear them to work with abandon, packing them in my work bag every day. However, my beloved heels are impractical for everyday wear. I’ve also gotten them stuck in carpet and street grates and in cracks in the sidewalk. Not fun! Now, I save them for special occasions and wear flats or low wedge shoes. If I find a style I love, I buy them in multiple colors, because I will wear them until the heels disintegrate. My favorite brands are Aerosoles, Dr. Scholl’s, and Born. DSW carries all three and has a stellar website. All three brands offer stylish flats with tons of cushion. No more trippings for this working mommy!
No matter what the work is in San Francisco, wardrobe staples are essential to effortless weekdays. I would rather focus my time on having breakfast with my daughter versus worrying about what to wear for work. What are your wardrobe “must-haves” for San Francisco? Share them with us.