I’m Nina, your average working suburban mum – always racing around in a flurry, lover of caffeine, efficient at my job, giver of hugs and kisses.
Some days, I feel like I am absolutely winning at life—good at my job, good with the kids, good with my husband. Those are the days when everything runs smoothly. Nobody has the sniffles, lunches are packed the night before, the car has petrol and a major project milestone at work has been a success.
They are the winning nights when all the kids brush their teeth without whinging and when we have time to sit down and enjoy reading stories before bed. And I get a block of seven-hour sleep. But then we have the other days. Those days when I feel absolutely stretched. Running on empty. Uninspired. Dejected.
We all have those days. It’s normal.
I work in corporate affairs in a big Australian bank, and I love my job. I’m allowed to be creative and push the boundaries. I work with really clever people. At home, I am married and have three bouncy, energetic boys, a six-year-old and twins who are three-and-a half.
I’m often asked how I fit it all in, particularly with three young children and working four days a week. Hard-working, efficient and masters of the juggling act, working mamas are the modern-day action women.
My functional corporate wardrobe is really important to me – it gives the aura of “I’ve got this” (even when I’m running on three hours of sleep and a night in the emergency department.) Presentation matters and looking good can be easy and fast.
Let me take you through 15 key (trans-seasonal) wardrobe pieces that every working mama should have—we’ll save shoes and jewellery and make-up for another time. These are the corporate staples—the holy grails that transcend all budgets and shapes and can work together to create a few different looks quickly and easily.
Most importantly, many retailers carry a version of these pieces so they suit all budgets. You might already have most in your wardrobe, otherwise—happy shopping!
- The black blazer—quintessentially classic, always versatile and a winner for all seasons.
- The navy blazer—Iike its black counterpart, equally versatile but particularly awesome with camel, reds and stripes.
- The black pencil skirt—the hard worker of the wardrobe that goes with everything. A good one sucks you in and keeps you feeling feminine.
- The tweed skirt—as above, but adds some dimension and interest, and is a beauty in the winter months with a knit, and in the spring/summer with a silk blouse.
- The technical legging—something in this sort of fabric washes and wears (no creases, no ironing!)
- The wide leg pant—preferably black, but navy and dark grey works too.
- The black warm coat—a well-cut coat that doesn’t lint is a timeless investment- a winter staple!
- The camel trench coat—this doesn’t need an introduction because we all know that a trench coat has been a wardrobe winner for decades and is the quintessential trans-seasonal piece.
- The black knit—goes with everything, keeps you warm (particularly in chilly offices during air-conditioning season!)
- The grey knit—as above, it’s a classic colour and always chic- buy yours in a ¾ sleeve to get longevity in cooler and warmer months
- The silk blouse—buy to suit your style and colour preferences
- The silk blouse—as above. Yes, you need more than one.
- The wrap-around cardigan—I have a preference for crepe or milano knit, never creases, always looks polished.
- The silk scarf—mixes up the look, can add some colour.
- The black dress—nothing needs to be said about the corporate black dress, it just works all the time and is a winner for all seasons!
Until next time, Nina
Nina is a happy mum to three energetic boys and champions flexible working in her media and communications role at a big four bank. Between working and family there isn’t a lot of spare time, but her love of fashion is unwavering—follow Nina at @what_ninni_wears