Last year I became a first-time mom, which has been the most magical, challenging, blissful, emotional, tender, exhausting, and joyous experience of my whole life (and there are plenty more adjectives to describe this extraordinary time!). But juggling work life and mom life has unquestionably been a demanding job in itself, and certain activities that I would spend a ridiculous amount of time on pre-baby—read: hours doing my hair, makeup and changing my outfit 10 times before I left the house—are simply not possible anymore.
We moms run on short time, and dressing for any occasion—be it for work or a weekend brunch—needs to take zero effort and time yet still make a stylish impact. You don’t lose your innate personal style when you become a mom, you know! Moreover, you no longer become too precious with your clothes—spills, vomits, pee, and drool are a reality, and it’s inevitable that expensive silky work blouse is going to get a spill on it at some point or another. This means more affordable options become a lot more attractive. (The cost of childcare is real, my friends.)
With this new approach to dressing, I asked some of the most stylish moms at the Who What Wear office to share their affordable picks from our very own Who What Wear collection at Target. (You’ll always spot plenty of WWWC pieces in the office on a day-to-day basis!). Scroll below for our chicest picks we moms are wearing on repeat this season.
Judith Jones, Market Editor
Mom to 9-month-old, Jasper
The Summer Work Top
"This is my go-to summer blouse when I want something polished, pretty, and comfortable enough to get me through 12-hour work days. It's flowy so I don't have to think twice when I'm feeling bloated. It's also perfect when I have an after-work event. Plus, it looks way more expensive than it actually is… I don't have to feel too precious about it since it's just $25—baby drool and spills are inevitable, after all!"
The Day-to-Night Vacation Dress
"This is the perfect dinner dress for my upcoming vacation with the family. It has such a flattering silhouette and it's a no-think option when I want to look like I've made an effort but have zero time to actually do so. If you're still breastfeeding, the wrap silhouette is perfect for easy feeds."
The Beach Weekend Look
When I want to be comfortable on the weekends yet still look pretty and feminine, I gravitate toward this striped maxi dress. The bow strap details are so charming and the smocked waist is stretchy for ultra-comfort. This particular frock is not available until July 8 on Target's site (I was able to get a sneak peek before the summer drop!), but I've added a chic alternative below. Get your hands on it fast when it comes out in July.
Kara Sutton: Brand Strategy Manager
New mom to 5-month-old, Hadley
Summer Office Look
"I'm not usually a huge shorts girl, and full disclosure, my legs during my pregnancy resembled more of a mermaid tail than two individual legs. Now that it’s getting warmer, shorts are happening for me—ready or not. I’m a fan of these because of the higher waist, flattering bow, and longer length. The all-black feels pulled together and effortless. They're even polished enough to wear in our office."
"I wore this bright yellow tiered maxi for Saturday morning coffee and a quick family trip to the park. I love the fun pockets and billowy fit, especially as I’m in the process of transitioning sizes. I prioritize comfort much more now that I’m a mom. My days are longer, and being in tight or restrictive outfits is not something I have the patience for anymore."
"This is my go to look for an easy Friday-night look. In general, I like my outfits to have a sense of ease to them while still feeing pulled together. I’ve been staying away from skinny jeans post-baby as the overall tightness and tapering has not been a great look for me. These utilitarian pants are ultra flattering—high waist, great pocket placement, and cut wide so I can move. The fringe on this white tee updates a classic basic and feels perfect for summer."
Karen Klein: Vice President, Product
Mom to 4-year-old, Hudson, & expecting in July
The Day-to-Night Dress
"I love this dress so much, I wore it twice in one week. The print is great, and the cut flatters the growing belly. I wore it once with heels for a date-night dinner and again with flats for a weekday event promoting Shannon Watt’s new book, Fight Like a Mother. It was the perfect dress to wear to work and into the evening. The dress is chic and looks high-end, but is also super comfortable for the tail end of pregnancy."
The Practical Weekend Dress
"On the weekends, I keep it pretty casual as I’m heading to soccer practice and farmers market hauls with my family. This dress, paired with a hat and sneakers, is perfect for especially hot weekends. What I love the most is that it is truly a perfect basic for pregnancy. I can see this paired with various shoe and accessory options, making it work for any occasion. It’s also something that can work really well for all trimesters."
The Flattering Brunch Dress
"I’m not usually one to wear a lot of color, but this print is really pretty and the shape is flattering. I wore this to a luncheon, but can also see this working well layered with a light blazer for work. At this stage of pregnancy, I prefer clothing that isn’t as fitted, giving me room to breathe and keep it cool. I particularly liked this cut because it was more fitted on top and not the usual flowy, less-flattering pregnancy dress I’ve been more drawn to."