It’s my life! With Karen Pasquali Jones - half-naked in a room full of strangers!

Karen Pasquali Jones
Karen Pasquali Jones

Karen Pasquali Jones juggles being a mum and working as a freelance journalist from Eastbourne - often with disastrous results!

Smiling, I twirled in front of the mirror. The skirt was a perfect fit. Black lace billowed out around me like a mini meringue. Best of all there were no rolls of fat cascading over the waist, and the ballerina style hid my jelly belly under metres of tulle.

‘I’ll get it,’ I thought, triumphant. It wasn’t just that it was only £25. In this skirt, I felt smaller than my size 16 without going on a diet or wearing Spanx pants.

But as I slipped out of the skirt, I realised why it was so comfortable. It had an elasticated waist.

I hadn’t worn one of those since having my baby two-and-a-half years before. Though thanks to my love of rioja wine and ricotta and spinach cannelloni my bump is now bigger than when I was pregnant.

‘Oh well, no one will know,’ I thought. ‘I’ll make sure I wear a top that covers the elasticated waist.’ And at least I wouldn’t have to worry about my new favourite outfit being too tight after a massive blow out.

So I paid for it and hung it in my wardrobe, ready for its first outing. Less than a week later, I was asked to try out for some freelance work at Sky News.

‘I need something impressive to wear,’ I wailed. Working among so many high-powered men and high-heeled women meant I needed to look smart and steely.

Then I remembered my ballerina skirt. ‘That’s perfect,’ I thought, mentally accessorising it with a black top, giant jewellery and ankle boots.

So I felt super-charged as I marched through the publishing room on my first day, ready to rub (padded) shoulders with media executives. My skirt swished as I strode past the rows of desks towards the Head of Publishing.

I smiled, confident that for once I looked more like a serious journalist than a slummy mummy.

And then – as if in slow motion – I felt a draft and gasped as the elastic in my waistband pinged and my brand new skirt slid to the floor, exposing my giant Bridget Jones-style pants.

My cheeks burned. ‘Oh no,’ I shrieked as the entire room fell silent

and everyone stopped to stare. I wanted to cry, or throw myself out of the nearest window in shame.

But I did what any self-respecting woman standing half-naked in a room full of 70 strangers with her tight gusset hanging out would do. I bent down, picked up my skirt, and gave my biggest grin. ‘I’m here about the job,’ I said, to a gob-smacked secretary. And do you know what – I got it! I didn’t know if it was out of sympathy or because I was game for a laugh, but at least I styled it out! I also learnt a valuable lesson – always carry a safety pin in case I become a fashion disasterista! Until next week,

Karen x

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