Sunday, 17 February 2013

Returning to the Workplace

What to wear?


I am not the first woman who has taken a career break to have children and spend some time raising them at home. 

Neither will I be the last.

There have been great advantages and also many sacrifices made along the way. It has been the old adage of 

" You can't have your cake and eat it"

 If I could have managed my career and raised a family with the hours my husband worked maybe I would have continued working, but at that point, with two young children and trying to juggle both, it was evident the cost for us was too great. So at that point we gave in. We were fortunate enough by then to be able to manage on one wage, with budgeting.

I have missed my independence and identity that is separate from my role as Mum, but I remember again another favourite saying..

"You can't have roots and wings"

Whatever road we choose has sacrifices. 

 I am happy with the choices we made, but I am now ready for the next stage. 

I have a wardrobe full of lovely clothes, but realistically most of these are practical for home use or for the odd meeting I may attend, not particually for teaching. The dress code for a teacher varies tremendously from school to school and as I will be starting by doing supply work I need to strike a sensible balance. Smart, but practical in a classroom full of children - so no short minis and wedge trainers for now! I have visited some schools where jeans and trainers are accepted. Others where the head teacher is in a skirt and jacket all the time and the teachers not far off. 

If you are a regular visitor to my blog you probably have noticed my love of clothes that goes hand in hand with my love of a bargain. So I have been trying to pick up a few pieces to supplement some existing items to build a workwear wardrobe. Despite giving myself a firm talking to about my dependence on grey I still couldn't resist a few items. 

It is just such a versatile colour.

As it is teaching I am returning to , the requirements can be very different from officewear .I tend to stick to smart, but practical trousers and comfortable but not overly casual tops. A few jackets to smarten the look up when needed and I'm done. I opt for comfort when it comes to shoes as I will be on my feet all day. 

I had a budget of £150 to include shoes.

I kept to my brief and budget and got:

NEW:

  • One pair of grey smart trousers linen mix trousers from Next.  NEW  £30
  • One pair of black cigarette trousers from H and M.  NEW  £24
  • One pair of mustard skinny ankle skimmers with stripe - Zara £12.99
  • Two 3/4 sleeve tops with zip next feature from H and M. One pink, one grey. NEW £19.99 each
  • One grey and coral scarf from H and M NEW £7.99
  • Reiss black patent loafers NEW sale £44



     I have added some existing items from my wardrobe to give me some outfits that I feel comfortable in for this big step! I have tried to stick to a couple of colour palettes. Grey with some pink and coral accents that I can mix and match. Then mustards, creams and yellows. I am sure I will discover other elements from my wardrobe that I can also wear, but not only do I want to avoid "overly" casual attire, but I want to avoid wearing some of my nicer items of clothing  that may get wrecked in the classroom. 


    Linking up with Visible Monday......

    Here are two of my outfits put together ready for after half term.









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39 comments:

  1. They are both very smart outfits and you did really well with your shopping budget. Good luck with the return to work. I'm sure you'll enjoy the new challenge.

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    1. I'm learning to shop at different shops on the high street.....and quite enjoying it!!!

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  2. Love the pink and coral as accents! Looks like you did very well and good luck on your new adventure!

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    1. Thank you - I love coral I must confess . It goes with grey so well!!!

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  3. Claire - you look so ready for business I feel like I should call you 'Mrs Appleby'! No seriously you've done really well and got a good selection there - the outfits are well thought through. I wish I had your discipline - every outfit of mine is just thrown together at the last minute!

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    1. I still remember a little boy always calling me Mrs Honeybee - I didn't have the heart to correct him , it was so sweet! I'm sure It's nerves making me plan and organise - it's been soooooo long!

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  4. You look great! Good luck on going back to work!

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  5. Well done, such a great capsule you've made to mix and match! I love the colorful accents, and the gorgeous scarves. Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday.

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    1. Thank you Patti - scarves are my security blanket!

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  6. Claire - how long are your legs? Were you at the front of the queue when they were dishing out long legs because I was definitely at the back. You've made some great purchases there and very versatile. I particularly love the Reiss loafers - I'd eyed them up before Christmas but they weren't as cheap as what you got yours for.

    I know what you're saying about going to work in a school is quite different from going to work in an office. For a start - you don't get to sit as much and another thing you're always in danger of dirty hands (depending on the age group) and snotty noses. And don't apologise for buying grey. NEVER apologise for buying grey.

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    1. Ha ha Sue I am a lanky legs and long arms - good for kicking and reaching, but I do have trouble buying trousers! It is a funny old job, leaving your own kids for someone elses! I teach up to year 6 so dirt is always possible! Grey is a good colour for concealing dirt so thats a good excuse. I love grey . My kitchen cabinets are going to be pale grey - I am mildly obsessed.

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  7. Both outfits completely work...love the scarves. I also took time off to stay home with my three kids..then I worked at a private school so they could attend there. I love that you are pouring into your family and know you will be blessed by it! Enjoy your ME TIME.

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  8. Based on your outfits, I'd say you are ready to go back into the workforce! These are great looks :)

    Sylvia
    www.sylvialovespink.com

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    1. Thank you - I hope so. It has been a while :)

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  9. Following from the Let's Get Social Sunday hop. Those are some snazzy looking threads for the new teacher! Thank you for giving of yourself to help educate our children!

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    1. Thank you LuAnn! I am looking forward to going back into the classroom again. X

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  10. Congratulations on heading back into the work world and good luck in finding that other buried part of yourself! It's an exciting transition and should be celebrated! Great job on the new clothes and love these first two outfits.

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    1. Thank you - I am looking forward to discovering a bit of me again!

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  11. Gray and pink is one of my favorite color combination! Both looks are very elegant and chic!
    Elena
    http://dcinstyle.com/

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    1. Me too! I am somewhat addicted to the combination! x

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  12. You look beautiful...I like the second outfit, so pretty x

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    1. My favourite too - I am tempted to go back and get a second pair of the trousers before they disappear forever - they are so comfy!! X

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  13. I think you have done well with your budget particularly to get a pair of Reiss shoes for that price! As you know I recently did this for my daughter and it is amazing what you can put together with existing pieces once you take a good look at what you have x Good Luck honey xx

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    1. When I went into Reiss I could not believe they had one pair left in my size! They were mine before I tried them on really!! I loved your post with your daughter! Xx

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  14. I think you have chosen some very smart versatile pieces

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    1. Thank you - i was strict with myself!

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  15. Great selection there Claire and the outfit pics look fab. You got a good selection on your budget :)

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    1. I saw some more expensive pieces, but stuck to my guns. I don't clothes shop often anymore as I see so much I love :(

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  16. Looking really beautiful, love the shoes

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    1. Such a bargain too - one pair left, in my size!

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  17. very, very elegant and cool, yet casual, I love it!

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    1. Thank you - trying to strike the right balance!

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  18. I love the outfits you came up with--you look professional & pretty!

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    1. Thank you - enjoyed my visit to your blog by the way! X

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  19. Wow ! You look fab. Wish the teachers at my children's school dressed like you. You need to give them lessons ! They should read your blog. xx

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  20. That is such a lovely wardrobe. I love the shoe choices too! One of my favorite teaching jobs was at a Catholic school. We all had uniforms, so it was very easy to dress! Cop out? I'm not sure. It saved a ton of money and time.
    You look beautiful :)

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  21. Ooooh! Looking gorgeous in scarves, tied just right. Pretty combos! Glad you enjoyed your shopping.

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