Given the current economic climate, while I was filling out job applications recently, I hadn’t got past the ‘imagining getting an interview’ stage.
Which is why, when I DID get an interview, I suddenly had a big problem on my hands. Everyone knows that first impressions count, and of course, what you’re wearing is a big part of that. Looking down at my sagging maternity jeans (yes, I know Bubby D is nine months old but they’re comfortable – and it means I don’t have to confront the reality that my pre-pregnancy clothes don’t fit me…), breastfeeding top covered in various unidentifiable toddler inflicted stains, and worn out greying nursing bra, I realised I was going to have do something about my clothes.
First step – a new suit. There is only one place I go to for suits, and that’s because I know from experience that if I want something that fits my short legs, wide hips, trimmer waist and a bit above average chest – without costing a small fortune – then Next is the place to go.
So that’s where I went, and after walking around Westfield for a bit to convince Bubby D that sleep was a good idea, I was ready to hit the fitting rooms. Three potential suit candidates later, and I was feeling a little bit despondent. Either the trouser pockets stuck out alarmingly, the trousers draped strangely, or the suit jacket made me look a bit like an oddly shaped sausage roll.
I was just about to give up, when a tailored blue suit sitting alone along with all the summery seasonal clothes caught my eye. Normally, I wouldn’t go for a blue suit, and from what I remember they’re not recommended as ideal interview wear either. But something about it drew me in, and after trying it on in the fitting rooms with a plain white shirt, it actually looked rather good.
So I bought it. And then came my second dilemma – the shaping of the nicely tailored jacket was being rather let down by the somewhat inadequate support being provided by my seen-better-days nursing bra.
Most nursing bras are unwired, unpadded, and offer maximum chest coverage. My HotMilk! bras have always been my favourite, because whilst they do meet all three of these criteria, they are also a bit pretty, and still offer good support even when you are feeding thanks to a bit of material that still stays in place all round the breast, rather than the whole cup dropping down like many brands.
But even HotMilk! bras weren’t going to give me the support I needed in this instance to make the suit look good (and make me feel good – a bit part of exuding the confidence I needed having been out of the working loop for the last nine months).
Time to try out my new Mammae bra! I’d been a bit dubious about underwiring on a nursing bra, and it opens differently to my other bras too – the clips are in the middle rather than at the beginning of the shoulder straps. It’s also more low cut than the majority of my current underwear, a definite plus for my interview as I often end up flashing a bit of underwear with my usual cover-all-evils style.
Putting it on under my suit I was pleasantly surprised to feel nicely supported without really noticing that the bra was underwired – in the past some of the underwired underthings I’ve had the misfortune to wear have seemed to be created more as torture devices than something to make your life easier. The way the bra worked to support and shape my chest filled out the suit in all the right areas and made it look much more how it was meant to, and the co-ordinating breastpads included were a big plus too – as throughout my interview process which took several hours, the milk that Bubby D would usually have been drinking was instead leaking out in protest.
At £75 it’s certainly not the cheapest nursing bra on the market, but for a special occasion, be it a wedding, graduation, important job interview…I think it’s worth the extra spend to make yourself feel great. And feel great I did, albeit extremely exhausted into the bargain.
Returning home, worn out and fairly engorged, it was a relief to have a lovely cuddle with Bubby D and get her feeding – and although I spent a few confused seconds trying to unhook the bra before remembering the clips were in the middle, once my brain kicked back into mummy mode it was very easy to access the milk – something Bubby D and I were both very thankful about. The Mammae bra offers the option of discreet feeding with a small opening, or the option to reveal much more of the breast for maximum skin to skin contact. At this point, all discretion was out of the window and I went for the ‘get it out and get feeding’ option – which was quick and easy and still left me feeling very supported.
So all in all, finding a new interview wardrobe was money and time well spent. And I’m glad to say that my new suit, new bra, and newfound confidence thanks to my much smarter appearance did the trick – because I got the job!
Just so you know, I was given a Mammae bra to review for the purposes of this post, but I was not required to write a postive review and everything I’ve written is my own honest opinion.