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What Not To Wear: On The School Run




 It has come to my attention that in some areas (ie, posh ones), the school run is a bit competitive. Not competitive as in vying for parking spots, but competitive fashion-wise. Now, you might scoff as I did when I heard this – because seriously, we’ve ALL shown up in trackpants (not the slouchy designer kind), or with shower-wet hair (not in a fashionably slicked way), or in our oldest, stained ‘round the house tee (which we can’t pretend is an amazing vintage piece) – but it’s an honest-to-goodness phenomenon. It’s become the latest (and most ridiculous) thing that mums have to stress about. Not surprisingly, we can thank celebs for this one – or perhaps more accurately, the paparazzi who have taken to stalking the school run for shots of Claudia, Elle, Jennifer and co showing us all up how it’s done.


(Pics from the UK Telegraph; Glamour Magazine)

No doubt your school is a sensible place where parents enjoy each other’s company, and nobody gives two hoots whether you show up in your work clothes or your workout clothes. But what do you do if you feel your school run is becoming a fashion show?

For starters, don’t assume shorter and skimpier is better. It isn’t, regardless of body shape or amount of time spent at Zumba. Cross the following items firmly off your list:

  • · Daisy Duke cutoffs – unless you actually are Daisy Duke.
  • · Tight stretch tank dresses – every lump and bump will be exposed (and probably your knickers).
  • · Boob tubes – it is not the 90’s and you are (presumably) not a teenager.
  • · Hipster or bumster jeans – it is also not the early noughties, and muffin tops and plumber’s cracks have not and will not experience any kind of revival.
  • · Ugg boots, particularly worn with afore-mentioned Daisy Dukes – they are SLIPPERS. THEY BELONG INSIDE. IT IS A FORM OF FASHION CRUELTY TO MAKE THEM SCUFF ALONG THE FOOTPATH.

At the other end of the spectrum, baggy, saggy and all-out daggy – while inevitable on some days – can easily be avoided, and without spending a small fortune on designer duds. Add to your list:

  • · Well-fitting jeans – I know, I know, every magazine article about “mummy fashion” espouses the benefits of well-fitting jeans, but they’re the most versatile wardrobe staple of them all. A good pair make you look and feel amazing; a bad pair can be unflattering in all the wrong places and make you feel frumpy every time you pull them on. Boo! Hiss! Away with you, terrible denim! Gosh, that was a bit dramatic, wasn’t it?
  • · A blazer or softly draped jacket in a neutral hue – black is dramatic but classic, a soft grey or beige is flattering and modern, and this season’s navy looks effortlessly classy. Teamed with those well-fitting jeans it makes casual daytime wear look polished.
  • · Ballet flats or low wedges – it’s not going to win you points for originality, but there is a reason this look has stuck around for so long: it’s classic, comfortable and flattering.
  • · A statement necklace – it doesn’t matter if you pick it up at Diva or if it’s an independent designer, but some bold beads around your neck jazz up any old outfit – try a plain tee and jeans, add the necklace and ta-da! Instant style.


One more rant: please, banish your Crocs to “walking to the letterbox” or “only for gardening”. Even a rainy day is not an excuse to wear them out – they have holes in them, so they are not wet-weather shoes. You can slip on some cute fIats or a pair of Havaianas in the same time it takes to slip on a pair of chunky, rubbery, clown-like abominations. In short, there is no reason to wear them anywhere beyond the boundaries of your house, especially not to school. You don’t want to get papped in them, do you?



Katrina is a shopaholic, who, despite running well-known online boutique Frock You, still finds copious amounts of time to shop for her own and her 5 year-old daughter’s overflowing wardrobes. She doesn’t understand why some people wear leggings instead of proper pants, and thinks all Mums should shake off the shackles of ¾ pants and Crocs and have confidence in developing their own style!

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