Wardrobe Malfunction: Finding Professional Attire Postpartum and Beyond

When I decided that it was time to resume the job search, for paid work that is, I knew I needed a new suit. These days my wardrobe consists mainly of worn New York Giants shirts and yoga pants.

I bought my last suit almost 10 years ago. I still have it. It was the suit I wore on my last successful job interview so it’s almost like a good luck charm. The problem is I have birthed two children since then. Even if I had 5 pairs of Spanx underneath, size 6P just isn’t going to work anymore. If I wear it to an interview, I fear my chest would spill out in a Janet Jackson-like wardrobe malfunction right around the time I am asked to talk about my strengths and weaknesses. I was able to wear it, sort of after MBA Son came along. What I mean by sort of is, I could wear the jacket but I could not close the buttons. Now that MBA Toddler has taken away what few abdominal muscles MBA Son did not destroy, there is no hope of wearing that suit ever again.

A great piece of advice I have come across repeatedly since business school is to invest in a good suit even if you are remotely thinking of setting up interviews. So right around the holidays, off I went to our local mall, children in tow since MBA Dad and I decided to get in a visit with Santa. Well, MBA Son and MBA Toddler decided they didn’t have the patience while I searched though the poorly stocked petites section in the store. Come to think of it, neither did I. Shopping isn’t fun for me, especially since I am still sporting a baby bump two years after delivery. As a result, I traded in my 6P for double digits.

I decided to go back after bedtime. No stroller, no screaming, just my indecisiveness. Do I want blue or black? Skirt or pants? How about the shirt, patterns or plain? Don’t forget about the shoes. Accessories? All of these decisions had to be made in the two hours max before the mall closed. For once I was fairly pleased with my choice, not to mention the 40% off. I love shopping at holiday time during a bad economy!  So, I was very happy to walk out with a basic black skirt suit with two tops. Done.

Stay tuned to see where I will wear the suit next.

Other than getting a babysitter and a gym membership, any shopping tips for an out-of-shape mommy who needs new work clothes?

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Tags: job search

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