Thursday 13 March 2014

School run fashion -- and stylish teachers

When I lived in the US, and didn't have to do a "school run", I used to read tales of how women in the UK would feel pressure to dress up for the school run and breathe a sigh of relief. As my neighbours and I ambled out to meet the school bus, the dress code was anything but fashion - as many layers as possible in winter, and in summer, shorts, flip flops and bug spray.

So I was apprehensive at having to do the school run over here. Would I be forced to think about how to look stylish every morning and afternoon, among the yummy mummies of South London's private schools? I work at home, so generally don't bother to put on more than (non-designer) jeans, and never wear makeup unless I've been into town for a meeting.

I am happy to report that the mums at the boys' schools are on the whole, not designer types, and seem to lean more to the practical than to the pages of fashion mags. (There is one who wears her Hunter wellies every day - I happen to know she lives in suburban Southeast London, not in the Cotswold countryside, so at first thought this was rather over-the-top. However, with all the rain we've been having, I have now actually had to buy myself some "London wellies" in order to attend events such as rugby matches. I'm beginning to have some sympathy). There's lots of sportswear, and lots of fleece, and in the morning, Dads in fluorescent cycling jackets.

However, the one person who puts me to shame is Littleboy 2's teacher. She has clothes, and a figure, to die for. And it's not as if she's 25 -- she's older than me! (Or at least I would think so). I've rarely seen her in the same outfit twice, and some of them are so nice I'm tempted to ask her where she got them. In the winter, out came the stylish coats and knee boots, and now that spring is here, I'm seeing her spring collection and liking it. She's tall and slim, has immaculate highlights and always looks good in whatever she wears. I feel like taking secret snaps of her with my iPhone and starting a Tumblr or Pinterest page or something for inspiration.

I'm interested to know what it's like in other places. Do you dress up for the school run? And if so, are you more stylish than the teacher?


Uly said...

With my nieces, they were lucky if I remembered to change out of my PJs, and to be honest, as often as possible I tossed them off to a friend's mom walking the same way.

This year they walk themselves with strict instructions to the younger one to always cross with the guard (her school is slightly further away) so I most definitely don't get dressed in the mornings. Next year we will either homeschool or I'll make the new middle schooler pick up her younger sister and I won't have to get them in the afternoon either and it will be blissful except for the terrifying ten minute period every day where I'm certain they aren't late because they stopped to turn over a rock or chat with a friend but because they're lying dead in a ditch. We don't have any ditches, but that fact doesn't help!

Nobody dresses up to pick up their kids around here.

Kit said...

No dressing up here either. We're on a farm, I work from home, so am at the lower end of casual in style. And most people hardly even get out of their cars at school so you never even notice what they're wearing... plus the school is down a dirt road on a farm too. Glad not to have a style challenge added to the school list!

Expat mum said...

A lot of the mothers at our school go straight to the gym after drop-off (or tennis) so I rarely see them in anything but expensive workout gear. I don't do the school run this year as I have the 18 year old and the 10 year old walking to the same school, but on the odd occasion I go in, it's jeans and a touch of lipstick - just to let everyone know I'm awake!

Tanya said...

I always hear about this and just try not to 'go there.' If I'm dressed and feel comfortable with what I'm wearing I class that as a result! Remember that teacher is at work in the 'public eye' while the parents doing drop off aren't, at least at that moment.

family Affairs said...

It was always such a pressure doing the school run I found….a bit of a competition. I am happily at the point where one is at uni, one drives herself to school and my youngest doesn't want me anywhere near the school gates so he goes on the bus! Woohoo. I sort of miss it sometimes, but not that much. Lx