Going back to work after having a baby is already stressful enough with worrying about how your little darling will cope without you, how you'll cope and manage to concentrate on anything without your little darling, how you'll control your leaky boobs and how competent the childminder is. But on top of that, you have to fit back into the world of the working woman. You've had several months out of the loop and dressed permanently in milk-stained leggings and baggy T shirts, so getting back into smart clothes is a bit of a nightmare, especially as hardly anything in your wardrobe will actually fit any more ! Persil are at hand with some great advice for sorting out your workday wardrobe.
Award winning personal stylist Lisa Talbot has joined forces with Persil to create some failsafe fashion advice for busy working mums
A recent survey conducted by Persil found that more than half of working mums feel left in the shade by trendier, single work colleagues.
As all mums know, we lead very busy lives and mornings are the busiest time of day. Often, it seems that once the kids are up and dressed and ready for school, you barely have time to grab the nearest discarded piece of clothing and run for the door. Not only that, but having children means you have so much less time and money to go shopping!
My top fashion tips for Persil show how you can create a cost effective capsule wardrobe that will make your life so much easier and help you dress the part in any kind of workplace. The capsule wardrobe, a reflection of versatile key pieces, means that whatever your career, you will have an array of outfits that have more than one job. You can do the school run, go to a business meeting and still look fab when your husband walks in the door.
Styles can be varied depending on the type of industry you work in. For example, media, marketing and advertising work in a more artistic, casual environment while those who work in environments such as banking and telecommunications require a more business like dress code. Regardless of the place you work in there is a capsule style to suit everyone and here I have outlined my suggested seasonal shopping list for three different types of workplace;
The Creative Business (Marketing, Advertising, Publishing, and Media)
Industries such as marketing or small creative businesses like graphic designers want to show clients that they have a creative flair in their personality and are ahead of trends; some employees will even go so far to start a trend.
Wardrobe must haves:
• Jeans ‐ Denim is a minefield, I can recommend H & M, ZARA and River Island for boot cut and skinny jeans. If you like branded jeans then pop into a House of Fraser, they hold a great range of jeans such as Hudson, 7 For all Man Kind and J Brand
• Oversized blazer ‐ Primark have some gorgeous blazers this season at super prices
• Leggings ‐ Try H & M for knit leggings this season, this works brilliantly for the ‘country trend’
•Tunic tops ‐ Opt for black leggings with a coloured tunic top to bring in this seasons ‘colour’ trend
• Dresses ‐ Opt for a 50’s style dress with a floral cardigan to bring this trend to life.
• Jumpers ‐ There are some gorgeous ‘country’ jumpers in Zara, Primark and M&S this season
• Accessories ‐ On trend statement necklaces, rings, bangles, bracelets and earrings are a must. Casual trend handbags, hats, scarves and great belts all add interest to these outfits.
The Traditional Office
Many offices have a conservative dress code, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be creative with your outfits and enjoy the confidence that brings.
Wardrobe must haves:
• Dress (Military/Uniform style )‐ Some great dresses can be found in H & M, these come in black, khaki and camel or try Karen Millen for a more structured look. The shirt dress looks amazing on all body shapes
• Skirt ‐ It is important that the skirt you chose suits your body shape. My failsafe tip is to invest in an A line skirt. This style looks great on all body shapes
• Tailored trousers ‐ A pair of black trousers is a must have for the ‘simplicity’ trend teamed with a simple ‘camel’ merino wool jumper. This simple outfit can look wonderful if you add in red wool jacket, from Hobbs or Oasis or a military blazer from Primark
• Shirts ‐ The high street currently has some super office shirts with lycra. I highly recommend a white shirt with a little detail to add some interest. This will go with everything!
• Suit ‐ You can find some great, classic power suits in Zara and H & M this season
• Stunning shoes ‐ For this seasons trends go for a high ankle boot, knee high boot, shoe boot or court shoe
• The Coat ‐ A coat should be your statement piece, hot for this season is the camel coat. My favourites are the H & M Military, Pied a Terre’s gorgeous camel cape, Wallis’s double breasted coat in purple or red and Ted Baker’s tweed coat in purple and pink
• Great accessories ‐ Jewellery, belts and handbags. The office handbag for this season is a patent bag with a small strap worn over the wrist or a soft structured bag.
The Great Outdoors
Women who work in the great outdoors tend to have a natural style personality and love the open spaces and the love of being outdoors. Their working wardrobe will reflect their love of the outdoors which will reflect in the fabrics they wear also.
Wardrobe must haves:
• Cord trousers / Combat trousers ‐ Zara has some beautiful navy and khaki cords in store this season. Jaeger also has some gorgeous camel cords, perfect for pulling off the outdoor look
• Jodphurs ‐ Zara have some gorgeous jodphurs in navy, black and oatmeal this season. These comfortable trousers have more strength than leggings and look great worn with a checked shirt and a faux fur gillet from River Island or Top Shop
• Argyle jumpers ‐ Primark, River Island, Next and Oasis have a great range this season
• Barbour jacket / Aviator jacket ‐ The Barbour jacket has made a comeback this season, you can find the original Barbour in House of Fraser or lookalikes in M & S, Next and River Island
• Hiking / Timberland boots ‐ Suede looking lace up boots with faux fur, available in all high street stores
• Accessories ‐ Wooden chunky jewellery has a real link to the great outdoors and is a great cost effective way of pulling off the outdoors look. Also hats, scarves and gloves pay an important part as they not only keep you warm and cosy in the winter but make this country look complete!
Persil Colour’s Top Tips To Maintain Your New Wardrobe!
Once you have created the perfect working wardrobe and want to maintain that confident air of success, the task is to keep your clothes looking their best!
Persil knows that busy mums often need to make their clothes last and have put together some fail safe tips to ensure your clothes will stay perfect for longer!
• Always use fabric conditioner like Comfort. This helps prevent the fibres in fabrics from tangling or bobbling, so your clothes retain that new look for longer.
• Check new clothes are colourfast before washing them by dampening a small area on an inside seam with water and then iron it through a scrap of white fabric. If the fabric soaks up any colour, your garment isn’t colourfast in which case, you should wash it separately in cold water and rinse.
• Follow the washing instructions, if it say ‘Dry clean only’ then please do, if the garment says 30 degrees then wash in this temperature as this is what the fabric requires
• To stop your colours fading wash in a specialised colour detergent for example Persil’s small and mighty colour. This specialised detergent protects the colours in the fabrics
• Do not tumble dry all garments; instead pop them on an airer or in the airing cupboard to dry naturally in the autumn/winter months. You will stop any shrinkage and it keeps the shape of the garment which therefore makes your garments last longer.
• How you store your clothes is just as important as the way you wash them: keep them out of direct sunlight, preferably in darkness, in a clean, well ventilated spot
• Fold garments when popping them back in the drawer, this will help them keep their shape and makes your draws neat and tidy
• Use wooden hangers for shirts, jackets, jumpers and coats. Wire hangers mark the shoulders
• Use wooden hangers for trousers. Wire hangers mark the thigh where you fold them over
• Only hang up 1 garment on each hanger, this will allow the lines of the garment to flow
• Hang skirts on extendable hangers, these keep the shape of the waist