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Wardrobe Must-Haves for Every Working Mom

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Updated March 2, 2017
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I walked into work the other day, fresh off spending the last few hours with my 7-month old. I made the usual rounds, coffee in hand, chatting it up with the boss and co-workers.  I suppose it was about two hours later when I shut the door to my office and settled in for a pumping session — I looked down as I unbuttoned my cardigan to see what I can only describe as Haley’s Comet traveling from my shoulder down the front of my black cardigan. The comet… was a booger.

I had a napkin in my desk drawer and a bottle of water nearby, so I dabbed at my little booger comet to no avail. Rather than blotting it out of the night sky, I only added to its glow with little bits of napkin fuzz. As I contemplated my next move, I realized two things. First, do a spit-up-drool-snot-boogey check before leaving the house. Second, never get caught without a backup.

The first I haven’t quite mastered. The second, I have.  What do I mean about a backup?  Well, there are several options — all of which will become a working mom’s best friend if you plan ahead.

1. Pack a scarf: Ah, that tasseled, slinky little weave of sanity in an insane world. The scarf is there when you need to cover the hickey-like splotches on your neck where your little munchkin thought it a good idea to explore the ol’ scratch 'n pinch on his road to motor skill mastery. The scarf is there when you dribble milk down your front (2% or breast) It’s great for dabbing messes, covering messes, and even makes a great breastfeeding cover if you need it in a cinch. They come in approximately 17 billion patterns, colors, and price-points, and they squish, fold, or roll into the tiniest little packet for fitting into purses, diaper bags, or if you’re like me, into a jumbo bin by the front door or under your desk.

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2. Grab your pashmina: With the fabric being a wee wider than the scarf, the pashmina is also great for those “oopsy” moments. Where the scarf falls short, the pashmina steps up and swishes its mighty girth over shoulders and around arms — areas which are all fair game for boogies, snot, spittle, and (gasp) even poop. All you need is one or two pashminas in a basic color to keep in your drawer.  Black, gray, or beige and call it a day.

3. Keep an extra cardigan at the office: Finally, the princess of the ball. That cover-all, dress-up, dress-down, all-American, apple-of-my-wardrobe cardigan. A working mom’s wardrobe staple. Not only is the cardiganmy wardrobe must, but it covers up any mess. Who knew? This little miracle garment is available for less than twenty bucks at most Target-like stores, and comes in long-sleeve, short-sleeve, 3/4 sleeve, crop, drop, button, zip, heavy, light (running out of air)… You get the picture. This is the big Kahuna of the working mom’s closet.  I keep a basic black one draped over my office chair for whenever I show up with my blouse crusted over with unknown substances. I’ve also been known to double up a scarf with a cardigan. (Hey, I dribble once in awhile myself.)

Who says we can’t be cute and stylish on the outside even when our boobies are leaking on the inside?  But, what do I know… I’m just the girl with the booger on her shoulder!

What wardrobe stables do you rely on now that you’re a mom?

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