Last week I celebrated one whole year of being a working mum. I rejoined the workforce after two years off with Daisy following my redundancy and it took those two years for me to realise how much going back to work meant to me but probably not for the obvious reasons…
When I first discovered I was pregnant I, like most mums-to-be, imagined how wonderful it would be to take some time out from the office to be with my new baby and enjoy a work-free way of life. Little did I realise that as much as I loved spending time with Daisy, I really missed going to an office, having grown up conversation and the feeling that I was contributing to something again (aside from raising Daisy of course).
I also really missed getting dressed up to go to work. Sweatshirts and jeans lost their gleam quiet early on and hindsight made me realise that even though I worked on a fashion desk on a magazine I never really made as much effort as I should have or could have. As glamorous as it looks on films, the reality of being a Fashion Editor was anything but. Trainers were a must have and I was often found lugging suitcases around, kneeling on studio floors, adjusting hemlines or traipsing up and down Oxford Street gathering clothes to make other people look fabulous (the irony was certainly not lost on me).
My current job is part time and I’m really fortunate that there is a relaxed dress code but I’ve consciously made my three days a week at the office the time when I make the most effort (aside from the rare nights I go out of course). Don’t get me wrong, I still like to make the effort on my days off but my days with Daisy are probably more about function than fashion.
However, before I went back to work I was faced with the problem that I a) hadn’t been in an office for two whole years so had lost my confidence a bit on what to wear and b) had no funds to go and buy a new wardrobe. So I had to rework pieces of my wardrobe that I (fortunately) hadn’t parted with and could still fit into.
Over the past twelve months I have added to my work wardrobe but because I only work part time and mostly because the majority of my income goes on nursery or Daisy I have bought wisely. I’m a shrewd buyer now and only key pieces, classic colours and items that can be dressed up or down for days off have made it into my wardrobe. So I thought I would share my tips and an edit of items that I hope will help you to curate your own “work-drobe”…
My Top Style Tips:
- Invest in a white shirt. I was kindly gifted this one from GANT and it’s a classic I know I will wear a lot. Oversized or fitted, a white shirt is a timeless piece and will smarten up any outfit to be office appropriate in an instant. They are also great for layering under dresses for warmth!
- Don’t save clothing for best – those days rarely surface anymore for me so if I fancy wearing something dressier I do and often team it with something more casual to dress it down a notch or two.
- If your budget is tight keep your palette classic – black, white, navy and camel will never go out of style. By all means have fun with colour through accessories, neutral prints such as leopard and snake or try a classic piece in a bold hue.
- As a rule I try not to wear jeans to work, being that they are my main off-duty staple I like to avoid them which is where I’ve found my coated black jeans the most useful. Teamed with heels for work and trainers for off-duty, they are so versatile – and wipe clean which is helpful with a toddler around.
- If in doubt pop on a pair of statement shoes. They don’t have to be high but on days when the weather misbehaves or I just don’t have the energy or time to think about an outfit, a pair of eye-catching shoes help – well that’s my excuse for the amount I own anyway.
- Treat yourself to some items that you couldn’t wear with a child in tow – I’ve developed a big love of cream and off-white clothing which is mostly down to the fact I can ensure they stay clean away from chubby little food-covered hands but it also helps me feel more like a grown up. It’s also an effortless shade you can wear to look stylish and expensive (and will brighten your complexion after a broken night’s sleep) – check out my off-white blog post here.
- If you only pick one dress, make it a shirt dress. Worn alone, with a polo neck underneath, a jumper over the top or undone over trousers – they offer a multitude of ways to wear.
This post was not sponsored. Some items were gifted but all thoughts, writing and opinions are my own.