Dressing up to the nines for the school run

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Thursday 12th July 2012

My school run days are long gone.

But even though I’m nostalgic about those mornings when my daughter and I walked hand in hand to her North Yorkshire primary school I’m relieved about one thing. There was absolutely no pressure whatsoever to look chic at the school gate. We Iived in a windswept farming village, so the most common look for mums was mud-spattered wellies, coats and scarves. None of us turned up in Made in Heaven jeans, Joseph jackets or Kurt Geiger shoes. And rather than carrying Mulberry bags, we clutched book bags, show and tell treasures and lunch boxes.

Now the trend to dress up to the nines on the school run is gathering pace. Yummy mummy superstars like Gwyneth Paltrow and Elle Macpherson get praised to the skies for their school gate style and loads of bloggers proudly post daily pictures of the outfits they’ve worn for that morning’s drop off.

The August issue of Easy Living magazine features a piece showcasing seven mums on “the school runway” in Newcastle upon Tyne.

They all have glowing skin, immaculate hair and full make-up. One wears a Missoni dress, Prada sunglasses and Nine West wedges, while another is in a Hugo Boss suit and Gucci sandals.

It’s galling to admit this, but they’ve clearly put more effort into their school gate outfits than I do for a posh wedding…

10 comments so far

  • Clearly there isn’t enough pressure on women as it is.

    I always rather admired the glamourous women who turned up at school in lipstick (I could never even manage that much), on the other hand I always seemed to be less cross than them, less rushed and somehow rather happier, but perhaps I’m kidding myself.

  • I… what?… splutter, splutter! What a horrible trend!
    Although, inevitably, the few times when I had to go straight to a business meeting after the school run, I got lots of rather pointed compliments from everyone Indicating I suppose, just how much of a mess I usually look!

  • I’m sure you’re not kidding yourself, Nicola. I was always rather pleased that we actually got out of the door on time, even if we all looked a bit of a shambles…

  • Quite, Marina. I’m glad there wasn’t anything like this when my two were little. Now one’s at university and the other is far too old to want his mum meeting him.

  • I’m lucky if my (unmade) eyes are open during the school run in the morning. Definitely too early to be prancing around in make up and designer gear.
    I’m not sure what my excuse is in the afternoon…

  • There was a LOT of dressing up for school run at daughter’s primary. The school was on the outskirts of the city, in posh commuter belt, with a lot of small business owners, directors and wives, a radio DJ, a TV presenter and even B list footballers but mixing with the ‘just inside city’ housing estate normal folk. What one wore counted for a lot!

  • I know what you mean Emma, I live in Whalley in the Ribble Valley and when we take our grandson to school it’s like a fashion show….did you take Lottie to Downham school?

    And Gwyneth Paltrow. Interestingly her daughter Apple shares a class with my nephew’s son Jake, in North London!

  • Hi Sheena. Yes, she went to Downham, but it was all very laid-back in those days. And it’s fascinating to hear about Gwyneth Paltrow – I’m sure she looks very glam at the school gate.

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