Going back to work after maternity leave can be tough. You’ve missed out on months of developments in your company and industry, colleagues will have left and new ones joined, and you can’t quite remember what it is you actually do. Not to mention it’s normal for your confidence to be a bit battered (‘Am I actually any good at my job?’ and ‘They’ll have realised they can get by without me’ are two worries I’ve had).
Call me superficial and vain (I am indeed both of those things) but one of my biggest concerns about going back to work at the end of this month has been what on earth I wear. My office is, perhaps unusually, very young and trend-led. Imagine The Devil Wears Prada but switch the Fendi for Forever 21, DVF for Dorothy Perkins, Prada for Primark, Missoni for Missguided – you get the picture.
This is Sophie, the lovely Executive Style Director at the magazine I work for. In her new Miss Selfridge studded biker jacket, this is probably one of her more dressed-down looks (she has been known to wear a glitzy party dress to work on a wet Wednesday). In short, she’s the stuff fashion legends are made of.
Which is great, but means that in the stylish world of my work, my faded skinny jeans and baggy vest tops with holes in them just won’t cut the mustard (one of this season’s hottest colours, by the way. Along with mallard green).
For the last 12 months, my style icons have been Cerrie from CBeebies and Lorraine Kelly. So drastic action was needed. Last week, I employed the services of a stylist who has created a whole look for me. She scoured the shops at lightening speed, made me try on clothes that I would never have even looked at previously, and teamed items together than I’d never have dared to. She introduced me to chinos, kimonos, cigarette pants, heeled loafers, draped jackets, tucked-in tops… a whole new world. She also spotted THE Winter Coat™ and as she handed it to me, to try on, said “Top tip – if you spot the perfect coat, or boots, in August, buy them. They’ll sell out and you’ll always regret not snapping them up.”
So thanks to my super stylist, I’m all kitted out. My only problem now? Keeping it up. What’s going to happen come S/S 2012?