One mama updates her style arsenal to get ready to go back to work
Over a year and a half ago, I found myself ready to go back to full time work. The last time I had been in a professional 9-5 setting was two years and two kids ago. My body had changed after the pregnancies and I was stepping into a whole new career where my work clothes as a teacher would be a tad bit too formal for a trendy media company (hello, Sassy!). To be honest, I was more concerned about how full-time work would impact me and my family’s day-to-day than my outfit choices. I ended up going out to revamp my wardrobe with fast fashion items that I already owned.
Hong Kong born, Aussie mama to two boys, Inez White found herself in a similar position where she found herself jumping back to full time work after being a SAHM (stay at home mum) for 5 years. Having moved back to Hong Kong with her husband in early 2010, Inez struggled to find work which led her to a position nearly 10 months after their arrival. She was in that role for a year and half when her first son was born and thus began her 5 year journey as a stay-at-home mum.
Read more: Getting a Job: 5 Tips to Revamping your CV
Inez says, “I felt it was time for me to start “owning” part of my life again. I was missing brain stimulation beyond the management of nap times, meal prep and playdate schedules.” Like many mamas, she craved adult conversation, and even the simple pleasure of an uninterrupted meal. Ideally, she was not planning to go back to work for another year but was presented with a chance to work one and half days a week! She says, “I jumped on it, as part-time work is very rare in HK!”.
In regard to dressing for work, her new office is quite relaxed so she was keen to have pieces that could cross from corporate to social– something Inez admits to not doing well. The limited storage space in HK means a dual purpose wardrobe is ideal. She also admits that she doesn’t enjoy shopping at the best of times, so the thought of having to source clothing was far from appealing.
Thankfully for all of us, British mama of two, Sheryl Bolden is the brains behind Make My Wardrobe Work. Established in 2013, Sheryl offers wardrobe editing and personal shopping consultancy with her years of experience as a buyer, retail insider and fashion lover. In short, she knows what works and what doesn’t! She founded the business in the belief that regardless of your shape, size or budget you can dress fabulously.
Sheryl believes that the answer to a wardrobe edit isn’t to purchase more clothes but to work with what you already own, by deciding what to keep, donate, throw or tailor your existing pieces, which will have you falling in love with your clothes all over again. Make My Wardrobe Work teaches you to shop smarter, ignore labels and focus upon the silhouettes and colours that suit your look and lifestyle, creating a wardrobe full of clothes you’ll love to wear.
Inez had the chance to try out a wardrobe edit session which started off with a phone call so Sheryl could understand her lifestyle and style goals better. The pre-work made for a more useful session. Inez says, “I found Sheryl prompt and proactive with her communication and very relatable. She took her time to understand me and my lifestyle, both where I am now and where I was going, which made for a good initial impression. She was ruthless – which I appreciated! – but also understood that some pieces do have a place in the wardrobe even if, for right now, may not be serving much purpose.”
Sheryl paired palettes/patterns/pieces that Inez didn’t think would ever match, especially the more casual wear with more formal wear, something she was keen to master. Inez says, “The experience was both fun and fruitful. Not only did Sheryl help me better manage my existing wardrobe, I also came away with a few key suggestions for more shopping successes!”
So mamas, if you’re looking to gain new insight for your pieces which are currently under-utilised, or want to identify items which should be discarded make sure to check out Make My Wardrobe Work. Learn how to shop smarter for your style, shape and situation… you won’t be disappointed!