As promised, I have created a possible post-partum work capsule wardrobe. I put this together with myself in mind, but I think it might be transferable to someone else in my position. This is a capsule specifically with going back to work in a casual professional office in mind.
These are the pieces you see:
1. Black ponte wrap dress: This one is a standard recommendation for a reason. Endlessly versatile, easy to wear, easy to launder, and even easy to nurse in! I actually go with a faux wrap, for a bit more coverage and an easier fit--actual wrap dresses often hit me in the wrong place. The one I chose is on sale for $30 at Land's End, too!
2. Slim black ponte pants: Do you sense a ponte theme? These are again, very versatile and easy for an ever-changing post-partum body to wear, while still appearing sleek and professional. The ones shown here are from White House Black Market ($78).
3. Wide leg gray trousers: I don't like all of my bottoms to be black, and I find a medium gray to be an equally versatile option. I also don't feel like wearing slim cut pants every day, so I think a wide-legged pair is a must. I actually had a workhouse pair of pants similar to these before getting pregnant that I hope to fit into again at some point. In the meantime, this pair is from White House Black Market, on sale for $50.
4. Black pencil skirt: Another classic recommendation. This one is not without its issues on the post-partum body, but a high waisted version might work well for tummy camouflage. Once again, I'm choosing a ponte option for maximum flexibility, from Gap ($55).
5. Ponte peplum blazer: With its distinctive peplum cut and aubergine color, this blazer might seem like a strange choice, but I think it would actually be a really versatile and handy addition to this capsule. I like peplum cut for drawing attention away from the post-partum lower belly issues, and the deep aubergine color can be worn with a surprising number of things, but looks particularly good with the black or gray bottoms I've selected. And, once again, choosing ponte for flexibility and washability. This one is sold out, unfortunately, but it was on sale for $27 at Dorothy Perkins.
6. Long cardigan: Assuming you don't have a super conservative/dressy work environment, I think a long cardigan is a must have wardrobe item, especially for days when you just want to feel a little bit cozy at work. I chose a merino option, to keep things looking nice, and a great bright color, since I didn't want the capsule to be completely neutral. This is one is on sale for $40 at J. Crew.
7. Patterned faux wrap top: Much like the faux wrap dress, this top allows easy access for nursing and a flexible fit for a changing chest. The high waist line also draws attention away from the lower belly problem area. This one, with a mellow floral pattern in pink, green, and blue, also offers a much needed pop in a pretty somberly toned wardrobe. It is on sale for $27 at Yumi.
8. White v-neck: Another one of those oft-suggested workhorses, but for a reason, as this top can go anywhere, from under a suit jacket to with jeans on the weekend. Though it's expensive for what it is, at $60, I like this Banana Republic version because of the half-length sleeves and slight dolman cut. I think white is a good choice for this shirt, too, since the capsule tends towards dark colors otherwise.
9. Print tunic: This is one that probably will only work in a fairly casual environment, but if you happen to have that sort of leeway in your wardrobe, I think it would be a great addition, especially on the days you just want to hide your post partrum figure. I like this economy version, $23 at Target, for its forgiving neckline and very cool bird print.
10. Chevron striped tank: Any sort of striped tank would work, but I love a chevron. This is a layering item, for sure, but I think it's still versatile enough to warrant inclusion in the capsule, as it easily pairs with all of the bottoms and both the cardigan and the jacket. I love adding a crisp, geometric type option, too, since this capsule tends towards less precise prints. This plus-sized option is apparently sold out, but was $26 at Maurice's.
11. Flat/low heeled knee high boots: Obviously, heeled boots are an option, but in an effort to keep things wearable, I chose a low heel. One cannot overestimate the versatility of knee-high boots, and they're available at all kinds of price points. This nice pair the Sam Edelman Loren, and they're on sale for $150 at My Wardrobe.
12. Black flats: Again, heels are an option, but not the one I'd choose at this point in my life. I do like a little wedge, though, instead of something completely flat, so I this pair, from Monsoon ($60) fit the bill nicely. I like the low wedge and the simple knot detail.
Total pieces in capsule: 12
Total cost of capsule: $626
And how many different outfits can it make? Well, I stopped putting them together at 16, but I'm sure there are more.
Did any of you attempt a capsule wardrobe when you went back to work after having a baby? How did it work out? Any must-have pieces I missed?