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From power-meeting to play-date: Double-duty fashion for moms

Vicki Clinebell majored in journalism at the University of Colorado, and headed an advertising agency before beginning a long career in broadcasting, spanning production and copywriting to sales and management for an ABC affiliate statio...

Busy mom wardrobe basics!

Practical clothing basics that transition from office to leisure help moms look stylish, feel comfortable and are kind to the budget!

mom working in an office

Moms today are multi-taskers and need clothing that fits their modern lifestyle and works just as hard as they do! Their active life demands clothing that is both affordable and chic, able to take them from the office to the playground, and comfortable enough to wear throughout a long busy day. Pieces that are effortlessly flattering and can be dressed up or down with an accessory change are ideal!

Dresses

A beautiful cotton-knit dress is functional fashion that works for an office paired with a cardigan and heels, and transitions effortlessly to the playground or a coffee date with a pal when you shed the sweater and slip into sandals. Look for a natural or empire waist to define your curves, and choose a length that's appropriate for the office — knee skimming to maxi. Scoop and V-necks are universally flattering and elongate the line of the body to make you look taller and slimmer. Basic black is always a safe selection, but pretty shades of grape, gorgeous green or navy are also fine for work and more fun away from the corporate environment.

Soft separates

The days of restrictive corporate dress codes are fading, so shed your basic black power suit in favor of smart soft separates that give you more fashion mileage! A soft A-line skirt is a flattering shape on everyone and looks great paired with a button-down blouse and jacket for work, and is versatile enough to be matched with a tank top for leisure wear. Knee-length with a flat waistband will give no-fidget comfort and easy movement all day, whether you're in a meeting with clients or on a park playdate with your toddler.

Loose and cool pants that move with you are a fashion basic for busy moms. A breathable fabric in a body-slimming silhouette looks office-ready with a pretty blouse — choose a neutral color such as navy or a subtle pinstripe. Paired with a mid-heel pump and small earrings, they are corporate-correct. With a flat or sandals for running errands and corralling kids, they are casual and carefree.

Versatile tops in easy-care fabrics are a must. The right top can pull your look together effortlessly and add a dash of color to any outfit. Try several lengths from tunic to waist-skimming in a wrinkle-shedding material that's lightweight and cool. Look for details that dress it up — satin trim, ruched sleeves, a draped neckline or ruffle detailing.

By choosing mixable pieces that transition well into double-duty, you'll save time, money and the morning hassle of wondering what to wear, and you'll look good wherever the day takes you!

Quick tip

Neutral colors are the smarter choice for office-to-play transitional garments. Browns, blues and greens look stylish in a corporate setting and will give you more options than pastel colors that may not be appropriate for double-duty in both work and play settings.

More tips

5 Office-friendly finds for under $100
Work items for looking professional

How to stretch your wardrobe budget

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