The Maternity Coach

The Maternity Coach

Don't just survive after your return to work, thrive.

7 steps to get your style back after maternity leave

Guest blog by Sally Smy of Queen Bee Styling 

sally@queenbeestyling.com

22 June 2020

Many months after the birth of my first child I was shocked at the reflection that stared back at me. The Vicki Pollard look-alike was actually me, complete with (mousey) pony tail and dodgy tracksuit bottoms that weren’t trendy enough to be called joggers! I no longer recognised myself! The prospect of returning to work forced me to get myself back on track and pull myself out of my style rut.


My advice to mums in the same situation is not to be too hard on yourself. It’s no surprise that due to pregnancy and the demands of a new born baby it will have been a while since you updated your wardrobe. Lack of time, body shape changes and feeling out of touch with current trends are just some of the challenges we face.


Please be reassured that you DO NOT have to be a size 10, perfectly made-up or dressed in the latest trends. Focus on being the best version of yourself you can be. By that I mean take time to work out what is right for you and don’t be influenced by unrealistic media images.


Here are my seven steps to help you get your style back:


1. Declutter and organise your wardrobe

Wearing clothes you love and feel great in will boost your confidence. Get rid of anything that doesn’t fit or is worn and torn. Work out what you need for your lifestyle now. There is no point holding onto formal wear if you are likely to be dressing casually for the foreseeable future.


2. Dress for the body you have now

Don’t put yourself under unrealistic pressure to be a certain size. Once your body is out of the transition period accept is as it is unless you are planning a new diet and exercise regime. It is far more flattering to dress for the size you are.


3. Understand YOUR personal style

Personal style is just that, personal, and there is no one size fits all solution. We are all unique and there will be some styles that work for us and some that don't. Create a mood board of your favourite images for inspiration.


4. Ensure you wear the right underwear 

Our breasts change after having children and especially when we stop breast feeding. Get measured regularly by a specialist when you can. I appreciate that’s difficult in the current climate but there are articles online that can help you in the meantime. You just need a tape measure handy.


5. Shop wisely 

Take time before you shop to work out exactly what you need and do lots of research before buying anything. Focus on just one or two items to start with, especially when buying online. If you would like some more tips on online shopping you can find some here


6. Introduce colour to your wardrobe

I see so many women subconsciously hide themselves away in dark, baggy clothes. This is very common in the early days given the lack of sleep and demands of a newborn. The last thing we feel like doing is socialising. Wearing colour is a great mood booster and will help when you feel like getting out there again.


7. Don’t neglect make-up and hair

I’m not suggesting a full face of make-up or a salon style blow dry. Just a little bit of make-up and clean hair will work wonders to lift your mood, not to mention mask a few hours of missed sleep. Most of the make-up brands are offering home delivery services and let’s hope it’s not too long before the hairdressers open!


If you would like some support to do this, my new course ‘Halve you wardrobe and double your outfits’ will guide you through this process. You’ll learn how to rediscover your individual style and how to create more outfits by having fewer pieces in your wardrobe.

Sally Smy is a personal stylist and founder of Queen Bee Styling. Prior to setting up her business eight years ago, she had a successful 18 year career in fashion buying working for leading high street retailers. Sally now specialises in helping women feel confident in how they dress whatever their body shape, budget or lifestyle. She is recommended on The Parenting and Professional panel of experts as well as being a partner of Capability Jane with whom she presents a regular webinar. Sally recently contributed to book A New Way for Mothers by Louise Webster from Beyond The School Run. She also runs workshops and talks at many women’s networks. www.queenbeestyling.com