Fashion at the school gate

Matalan back to school line-up, autumn 2018. Picture: Matalan

Matalan back to school line-up, autumn 2018. Picture: Matalan - Credit: Archant

New school year - what will mums and dads be wearing?

Barbour quilted jacket �219. Picture: Barbour

Barbour quilted jacket �219. Picture: Barbour - Credit: Archant

There is a certain amount of style-jostling at the school gate when parents deposit and pick-up their little treasures.

It used to be mainly mums and, over the course of the year, trackies and trekkies, trainers and even carpet slippers would give way to school gate power dressing to match the one-up-personship of the pre-school and after-school convention. More recently, men have been joining in and I have noticed that, in the course of waiting for their darlings to exit into the playground, they are just as likely to be vying to be the most popular/most influential at the school gate.

Parking the 4x4 in a busy residential area can be a challenge but it’s so worth it when a parent can slide out of the driver’s seat in full Lycra clutching their designer water bottle, flying into the school premises with their offspring, kissing them and patting them in the direction of their classroom before announcing, in a voice meant to be heard: “Mummy’s off to the gym now.”

It is probably good to aim for somewhere between a dressing gown with PJs and designer fitness wear. Maybe, mums and dads should have uniforms too... “Parents should wear plain skirts or trousers, plain polo shirt and school pullover, with white or black socks and black, sturdy shoes.” I note that supermarkets sell all of these items at very reasonable prices.

Burton faux wool single-breasted check coat �79; knitted sport zip-neck �32. Picture: Burton

Burton faux wool single-breasted check coat �79; knitted sport zip-neck �32. Picture: Burton - Credit: Archant

In the end, it’s probably all down to the time you have to get ready. If you have a horde of young children, all of whom need washing, feeding and dressing (there will be missing shoes), you are unlikely to be able to spend a great deal of time on yourself.

One good tip is to go through the school bags the previous evening and remove anything mouldy and read and sign any return slips at the bottoms of letters about school trips, school photographers etc. Decide what you’re going to wear and have it all ready to go. Clear a path through the Lego bricks to prevent standing on them and having to explain why mummy/daddy used a naughty word.

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The more disciplined households (I wouldn’t know anything about that) may rise at 6.30am and be ready and beautifully turned out by 8pm. Well, good for them.

Finally and, as I learned, crucially, remember that your kids have sensibilities. When I had my hair dyed “burgundy” it turned out to be more purple and when I turned up at school to pick up my son, he burst into tears because another child commented on his mummy’s hair colour.

Dorothy Perkins Teddy Biker jacket �55; ivory blouse with roll collar �22; Berry pencil skirt �24. P

Dorothy Perkins Teddy Biker jacket �55; ivory blouse with roll collar �22; Berry pencil skirt �24. Picture: Dorothy Perkins - Credit: Archant

Check out the looks (courtesy of PRShots)

F&F (Tesco) Tartan coat �39; jeans �20. Picture: F&F

F&F (Tesco) Tartan coat �39; jeans �20. Picture: F&F - Credit: Archant

Joe Brown's Hennessey longline jacke with velvet trim �79.95. Picture: Joe Brown

Joe Brown's Hennessey longline jacke with velvet trim �79.95. Picture: Joe Brown - Credit: Archant

M and Co jeggings �22; coat �65. Picture: M&Co

M and Co jeggings �22; coat �65. Picture: M&Co - Credit: Archant

M&S Back to school, autumn 2018. Picture: Marks and Spencer

M&S Back to school, autumn 2018. Picture: Marks and Spencer - Credit: Archant

River Island stone wool blend overcoat £90. Picture River Island

River Island stone wool blend overcoat £90. Picture River Island - Credit: Archant

Vision Express Oakley sunglasses �169. Picture: Vision Express

Vision Express Oakley sunglasses �169. Picture: Vision Express - Credit: Archant

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