Are you returning to work after having a baby? Do you feel guilty, confused, daunted, excited? Undoubtedly all sorts of emotions will be coursing through your brain, add to that what do you wear? Do you squeeze back into your pre-baby work clothes that are now a little bit tight and aren’t really you anymore? If not, how do you go about dressing for the new ‘mummy back at work you’?
I help women on a daily basis to feel good about themselves by dressing to reflect their personality, complimenting their body shape and wearing colours to lift their skin. Going back to work will undoubtedly incur anxieties about leaving your baby. Alleviating any wardrobe worries will help you to focus on the important stuff and make dressing easy, so when you reach into your wardrobe in the morning your clothes will shout confidence and demonstrate the new you.
So how can you do this?
Most importantly think about what you want your clothes to say about you? How would you like others to perceive you? Think of 3-5 adjectives that would represent your personal values.
If you are going back into the workplace in a creative role and want to look “creative, professional and approachable” a black business suit is unlikely to give the creative flair you are hoping for. However, if you are a returning solicitor then smart jeans and a flouncy top are not going to work but may be appropriate in a more creative environment.
Think about how you can use colour in your dress. What colours suit you and you feel comfortable in? Pick out a few colours that you love to wear and create a theme throughout your clothes to make dressing easy.
What shapes suit you? Your body has more than likely changed shape, so ensure you are not squeezing back into pre-baby clothes that no longer suit / fit you. However, don’t fall into the trap of buying big baggy clothing either as they will give you no shape and make you look much bigger than you are. If you have a waistline, show it off.
To make life easy you could create your own ‘uniform’. For example, if you are most comfortable in a certain style of dress then buy 5 or 6 dresses in similar styles, but different colours. Then accessorise with a jacket or cardigan, scarf and jewellery with the colour theme running through.
· Make life simple for yourself, have a good skincare routine, if you don’t wear much make up at least put on a bit of lipstick and mascara
· Accessorise. A necklace/bracelet can really lift an outfit and shows you have given time to the way you present yourself and therefore will take the same care in your new role
· When you buy clothes go for quality over quantity as they will hold their shape and look smarter. You can then add cheaper fashion items to demonstrate your personality.
· Wear good underwear, particularly a well-fitting bra. If you feel comfortable underneath it’s a great start before you get dressed.
Finally, always check yourself in a full length mirror before you go out of the door. Do your clothes shout those adjectives back at you? Do they instil confidence in you?
Great, now go and show them what you’re made of and good luck.
Niki Hall runs The Style Hall, a Buckinghamshire based Image Consultancy. Helping you to feel great about the way you dress. www.thestylehall.co.uk If you would like Niki’s help she would love to hear from you & you can contact her at:
Telephone: 07891 086162.