I’ll go first.
Yes, I admit to dressing up for the school run. I can’t help myself. No matter how tired or busy I am, I make an effort. And I’m not alone. A recent survey out of the UK shows 3 in 4 mums feel the pressure to dress up to take their kids to school and then to pick them up, and we’re not just talking about touch up their lip gloss.
Sure, I’ll never look as effortlessly chic as Elle, but I like to at least attempt to look like I am coping, even though sometimes I’m not. We all have our bad days. For the most part, I have a lot of fun being a mum.
And, I don’t own a track suit.
I know, I’m a freak. What kind of self-respecting Aussie mum doesn’t own a track suit? What did I wear for the first year after my children were born?
Well, pyjama bottoms all day if I had nowhere to go and later, leggings so I could leave the house without embarrassing myself.
There are a few distinct groups at school pick up each day.
There’s the Gym Mums who are always dressed in gym gear. To be honest, I’m not sure if they actually do work out but they look awesome. Maybe they’re on their way to the gym? Their hair is too neat and their make up too perfect to be coming from the gym. After a workout I look like I’ve walked through a tornado.
There’s the New Mums who are wearing track suits or leggings and may have just rolled out of bed after a nap after realising it was time to pick up their older kids. They look a little dishevelled but comfy, and they cradle cute little babies who complete their outfits.
There’s the Working Mum. This group wears a variety of different clothes depending on their jobs. From my afternoon analysis I can see they are employed at medical centres, physio centres, one is a cook and there are quite a few office workers who didn’t have time to change out of their heels. I’ve just joined this group. I keep a pair of ballet flats in the car.
There’s the Constantly Dishevelled Mum and I suspect some days I look like this. We have made some sort of effort but have hits and misses due to severe lack of natural fashion ability and organisation. This is what I fight against every, single day!
Then there’s the Effortlessly Chic Mum who may or may not work, it’s hard to tell. They wear cute jeans, tops, scarve, even leggings but they always look like they’ve put some thought into what they’re wearing. There’s always a fashionable twist to their outfit – either studded boots or a cute necklace. This is the group I wish I was a part of.
I have belonged to every single one of these groups over the past three and a half years that my children have been attending school. I started out wearing leggings and comfy jeans when I still had babies, then spent some time making an effort to be fashionable as they got older. Now I am working I usually am the one wishing I was wearing flats. I am yet to pick the kids up in my gym gear. I’ve dropped them off like this once but it’s an easy trap to fall into and I don’t want to be only seen in gym gear because I don’t look particularly good in it.
I know it seems like I spend a silly amount of time thinking about what to wear for the school run but clothes are everything to me. If I am feeling tired and flat, getting dressed up makes me feel so much better. If I’ve put on a few kilos then leggings are all I want and they can be dressed up or down and are so comfortable.
Don’t you love seeing photos of celebrities dropping their kids off at school? I do, and it’s so obvious who has made an effort and who hasn’t. Let me know if you agree with these:
Gosh Claudia Schiffer is STUNNING. The scarf puts her in the Effortlessly Chic category. And her hair! Why do I bother?
Cynthia Nixon. Yikes, but I love that she looks like she’s wearing her son’s hat and he’s still eating his toast. Definitely Dishevelled Mum.
Look, I’ll give Halle Berry Effortlessly Chic due to the dress but that hair. I didn’t even recognise her. Love it!
Effortlessly Chic. Liz Hurley is stunning and gives me hope that no matter how old I get, I can always look cute as long as I own good jeans, a cute jacket and can be bothered to blow dry my hair.
Helena Christensen is Dishevelled Mum. She gorgeous but that hair! Someone slept in. But if I looked half as good as she does after rolling out of bed I’d be a happy girl.
Heidi Klum looks like an Effortlessly Chic Mum but on me, these clothes would leave me looking terrible. She is stunning.
I love everything Helena Bonham Carter says and does. She is in a group all on her own. Let’s call her Experimental Mum. Love love love it, but would never wear it myself.
Jennifer Garner looks Dishevelled Mum meets Effortlessly Chic Mum. The jacket and the coffee save her, and the dimples. These girls are cute!
Oh my gosh. Why do I even bother. Jessica Alba in white. I HAVE to buy some scarves and some white pants.
Sarah Jessica Parker. Look, whatever she’s doing is working because her son still holds her hand at the age of 9. And she’s SJP. She and Helena Bonham Carter should have coffee, or a burger.