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Friday, 6 September 2013

School Gate Style



It was George's first day at school on Wednesday. It went rather well. There were no tears, no tantrums, just  a hug and a big boy wave bye bye when the Grumps and I left him there in the classroom. Awwww. My baby's growing up.

I very briefly contributed to an interesting conversation about the pressures being felt by some mothers to look good for the school run. This reminded me of the rumpus online last year regarding a certain Daily Mail article about fashionable mums who blog. Some of the comments were quite vitriolic about these mums who were deemed to have too much time on their hands and were considered to be vain and cared more about what they look like than their children. I was quite surprised at how much furore the topic generated actually - I'd only just started blogging myself and did wonder what kind of minefield I was going to be getting myself in. I didn't really think that people thought about it that much or could feel so strongly about the matter. I always thought that most women who liked to dress "nicely" did it for their own self esteem and to feel good about themselves - like they did before they had children. If it was a part of them before, who says you've got to stop caring what you look like after you've had children? Anyway, my rather rubbish contribution to the whole conversation went along the lines of "I didn't really notice what any of the other mums were wearing on my school run today". Strange coming from a person who loves clothes but basically I had other priorities such as getting George settled in his class and that Ben was in the right line for his new class year. On another day, I might look more and think - ooh nice boots on that lady! But very rarely do I think, there goes a woman who looks after herself and not her kids. Anyway, moving swiftly on  ....

Did I wear anything special for the school run? No. I wore old clothes which I felt happy and comfy in.



Primark blouse, New Look jeans, Zara sandals (all old).


The £6 Primark blouse I bought post first pregnancy, has paid for itself many times over. This is an old faithful and I always feel good in it. If you take a good look at your own clothes, how many clothes do you actually own which you can just pop on and makes everything fall in to place? Some clothes give instant impact but you struggle a little maybe with the fit, the colour or the design but this blouse, I pop it on and it just works. Same with my Whistles chopped down dress top and same with my Aubin & Wills Annaside top. Simple tops which just work. They have enough about them to hold their own. Treasure them and love them and never ever forget to wear them.

The old New Look jeans came back out to play. I've tried on so many boyfriend jeans this year trying to get a pair which could replace these and all have failed. Let's just stick with what we have. Why was I looking in the first place? I was worried they would wear out. That's a genuine worn to death rip there across that knee.

And a pair of nude coloured sandals to show off the Chanel Elixir'd toes.

For the afternoon school run, I added the owl bag as I knew there would be book bags, drinks bottles, gym bags and jumpers to be carried by good old muggins me. Well it was the first day after all, but they can carry their own from now on. Get them started young, I say ;o)


Primark Owl Tote (current)


To all the mums out there - hope you all had a good first day/week back at school. 


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Last note : 

  • Credit to the boys' school - they laid on teas, coffees and tissues for all the new teary new starter parents. Awww.
  • Some good came out of that Daily Mail article. I found some wonderful blogging ladies who I have been lucky enough to meet in real life. Hi Avril (I couldn't resist stealing your moniker for this blog post), hi Kat, hi Beth, hi Lucy.

35 comments :

  1. Was that article written by Liz Jones? She is generally insulting to her fellow gender in all articles she writes which I can never get my head around. I also think women who write comments like that are usually the ones without children and for some reason feel the right to make such sweeping statements. I don't have children myself but if I see a mum looking good, I feel the same way as I do about any other woman - she looks good. Nothing wrong with making an effort and loving your clothes whatever your status in life. Love your school run trusted favourites x

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    1. It was written by someone else but Liz Jones does get a mention but it says she's actually a fan of these type of blogs and yet I've heard otherwise since.

      I'm with you in that I don't think it matters whether you are a mother or not, if you want to make an effort, it's your perogative. I love looking at well dressed women - it's all inspiration to me.

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    1. Well it was that same article I found you all as well!....... Oh I never think that about another woman.... I just think well she looks fab. You looked great for your 1st school run.... I played it safe with what I feel comfy & confident in also .... When I picked up my little one from Pre-school last night.... I wore my grey tee and my dark grey j brand. Glad your little one settled in well.... That will be us next September.

      Very thoughtful with the tissues, tea & coffee....cute.

      I love those jeans on you, when I was looking for BF jeans I was trying to find something similar to them.

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    2. This wasn't actually my first school run but it was George's first day.

      And I always think you look better when you're comfortable with your clothes. So old favourites are good. I dislike clothes which technically make a statement and look good but you find yourself forever fiddling with them. I have a few pieces like that and guess what - they don't get worn much.

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  3. I agree whole heartedly - I think I take more pride in what I wear these days as well - I need to feel like a woman as well as a Mom and why should I subscribe to the sweat pants every day brigade - though they do get aired occasionally:) Clothes make me happy and a happy Mom means a happy family - I don't think that it is shallow - it's just my thing. I like getting dressed in the morning and the kids still get fed a hearty breakfast and a kiss goodbye. These boys are so grown up aren't they - Hugh didn't bat an eyelid on his first day - he has completely embraced school as I know George will - it's good for their energy levels:) We get all sorts of parties and BBQ evenings here to welcome new moms and dads and new kindergartners - it's quite exhausting. xxx

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    1. Oh I have good days and bad days where I look like I dressed in the dark. I try to limit them but if I need to dash out in sweatpants/joggy bots, like you I will do but I try to keep it few and far between. And yes, clothes make me happy too and like you say, happy mom, happy kids Happy home in general.

      Glad to hear Hugh settled in well. George took it all in his stride and there have been no problems so far. I've not had any teachers pulling me over yet to say "err Mrs .... could I have a word with you about George?".

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  4. I think if you want to make an effort do, if you don't, don't. Whatever rocks your boat. I get up early enough to give time for me and my kids, but comfort always comes first, especially when I'm in the classroom all day! Love the idea of tea and tissues for the new parents - may use that one!

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    1. Exactly. And what one woman loves to do will be anathema to another. Whatever rocks your boat and as long as no one gets hurt, that's all that matters.

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  5. I know just what you mean about that item of clothing which makes everything else fall into place - rare gems and worth hanging onto - and buying more than one of if you can... (Trouble is, when you realise how valuable they are they have usually long since sold out.) You looked great. Love the toes :-)

    And as for the furore over what people wear - nonsense. I dress to make myself feel good. And if I feel good, I feel better able to parent. As Claire says - whatever it takes. Some days I look good, some no doubt very bad, but to slate anyone just for 'making an effort' is just silly. I never judge a book by it's cover. But I may ask a book about its nailpolish ;-)

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    1. It's a double edged sword with these items of clothing. You love to wear them but you don't want to wear them out. Arrghghgh. And like you say, by the time you've realised how fab they are, they're last season and irreplaceable. When I remember, I have a little trawl through Ebay to see if I can find the Primark top but it's a bit of a needle in a haystack situation.

      And do you know what - I think I may have asked the odd book about their nail varnish too.

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  6. I couldn't understand the utterly bitchy comments from that article. But fast forward a year on, I wouldn't have met Avril, Beth or Kat either. I hope to meet Lucy someday who's such a sweetheart as well. You're so right! I didn't even really look at what everyone's worrying. I was trying to locate the queue because it's now in different place, getting things sorted, returning stuff etc etc.

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    1. I don't actually think there was anything wrong with the Daily Mail article - I even thought it presented all the ladies really well and explained their reasons and why they blogged but it still generated such extreme reactions which I totally couldn't understand. No one professed to being some big fashion guru and telling you what you should be wearing - all were just ladies talking about something they enjoyed. If the article had been about men blogging about cars - I wonder what the reaction would have been?

      Anyway like you say, who would have thought we would be mixing with such celebs eh? And we'll have to arrange a meet up with Lucy at some point.

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  7. Hi Sue....great post! I have always dressed to please myself and really don't see it changing at this stage of my life. Comfort is key for me and once you feel good in something, it really shows! I am sure you enjoyed the tea on the first school day....I never remember that happening when I dropped mine off! Have a lovely weekend:)
    ~Anne

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    1. Hi Anne. You are right about if you feel good, it shows and it comes through in your demeanor. I like clothes but I'm not all about making a big statement. I just want to feel nice. Simples.

      Have a good weekend too! Take care.

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  8. Hear hear! And not only would I not have met you guys through that article, I wouldn't have actually started blogging.
    I know exactly what you mean about certain items of clothing 'just feeling right' I have a few pieces like that and frankly, I think I'll cry when I finally have to retire them! Glad to hear that George settled in well - what delights do you have planned for your few free hours each morning?

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    1. Really? Did this article start it all off for you then? I think it nearly put me off.

      And the free hours? What free hours? I feel like I'm busier than I've ever been. I've a shed load of toys and stuff to sort. A spare room to declutter. Clothes to list on Ebay. Busy, busy, busy!

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  9. Great post and each to their own I say. My little man started this week too and after a rocky start now loves it. Relief! Hope your boys settled quickly too. Looking great as always, Sue. I adore those jeans. Lynne x

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    1. Glad your little one has settled. I have to say, I haven't had any problems with either boys. They both took it in their stride and it's all you can ask for. It's much harder when they are hanging off your leg pleading "don't leave Mummy!".

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  10. I was looking round the playground tis morning and the mix of styles was great. No-one looked like they were "dressed up", they were just wearing their clothes.

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    1. Hi Elizabeth. That's how the playground should be - just mums milling around, all comfortable in what they wear. Everyone has their own style, one person's dressed up is another's dressed down. As long as you're happy with yourself, thats it.

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  11. It was a Daily Mail article, enough said! I dress for myself. I have found your' blog, and others, so useful and inspirational. The best thing is a true feeling of 'friendship' which comes out of a basic common interest and of just being alive in the here and now. There is no hidden agenda and I think the blogs help you to feel and look better. I think if you feel good about yourself it has a knock on effect with everyone who you come into contact with. Simple.
    H xx

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    1. Hi Helen. You are so right. A lot of the blogs I started following, I did so because I wanted a more real take on what people actually said, did and wear. I wasn't looking for particularly fashionable or aspirational blogs, I just wanted something I could relate to and take away ideas from. Every now and then I liked the boundaries pushed a little and I think that blogs are so diverse, you can get so much out of them. There's no one blog fits all.

      And I hear you about the "friendship" which comes out of a common interest. Our common interest - we all like clothes! :o)

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  12. Since I don't have kids, I don't have to participate in wonders of doing a school run. But if I did, oooh, I would definitely be feeling the pressure....and probably failing miserably in sartorial stakes.

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    1. I doubt that very much. Infact if you were a mum on my school run, I'd keep an eye out for you daily. You are one lady who doesn't blend in unlike me.

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  13. God Sue I remember it well...bloody nightmare, stupid judgemental DM ,no one takes it seriously anyway......I'd love to say something outrageous back to them like " I taught my children,from the age of 2, to get themselves up,dressed and fed so I could spend an hour pampering myself for the school run. Doesn't everyone?" Idiots!
    So glad George's first day went smoothly.x

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    1. LOL Claire. I think that would be so funny and to see someone's face whilst you kept a straight face doing it.

      George has settled in well - it's all you can ask for isn't it? It's better than when they hang off your leg as you hobble out of the door. Hope you haven't had too much of that this week.

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  14. Oh my! I hadn't heard about that controversy but then women+ fashion is often an easy -borderline- misogynist target. I remember an article by Glamour France about the amateurism of bloggers... It always amazes me how this pseudo journalists and others must feel theatened by women blogging to aim so low.

    Anyway, you looked great (love the blouse!) for your son's first day of school and thankfully, it all went smoothly for (both of) you!

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    1. I do think it's strange that something like this generates the kind of response it does when there are much worse things to really get het up about. And I didn't know about the Glamour France article - I just like the fact that everyone gets a voice via blogging. I don't think that just because you have a specific title makes you and expert in your field. You get good and bad in all walks of life.

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  15. Sue, your school run outfit is just perfect and totally what I aspire mine to be!!

    My mum was a total career woman and I remember her coming to school for parents evening and being embarrassed as she was dressed up to the nines when I just wanted her to be like every other mum and wearing ski pants (so eighties, I know!!). Obviously now, years later I realise I should have totally embraced the fact that she was such a great role model but hey, hindsight is a wonderful thing!! It's made me very mindful of what I wear to school though as I just don't want to stand out too much!! So I very much try to stick to some basic attire, in the hope that I am everything my daughter wants me to be! Especially as even at age 7 girls are so fashion conscious these days.....ooh the pressure!! x

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    1. Your mum sounds amazing. I had the opposite problem. My mum and dad dressed "down" not intentionally but because that's just their style. It would have blended in in Hong Kong but not so much at school with Western parents. Consequently, I have tried to "blend" in to my surroundings. But as I get older, I don't think I care as much and there's the naughty gene in me which wants to embarrass my children sometimes.

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    2. Glad George's first day went well Sue! I came home and sobbed when both mine started - silly me! I just pull any old thing on for the school run (jeans and something!) - how did you guess? School is at the top of a steep hill and I can't walk downhill in heels - even if I'm going into work! Many of the mums do the hill in heels though and I admire them! I have an 'old favourite', a t-shirt from Gap which I'm slowly wearing into the ground!

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  16. Oh how nice that George had such a good first day at school. Same here, and it was a huge relief to me. Husband wasn't concerned and was sure she would be fine. I was less sure.

    Anyway, I love your school run outfit. Am not surprised you feel good in it, as you also looked good in it.

    Notice I didn't mention that mean spirited "mummy blogger" article? Not worth adding fuel to that fire.

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  17. Oh glad to hear George settled in without any dramas Sue. They grow up so quickly! I haven't seen my cousin's kid in a while and he looks so different in photos, I think he's starting school soon too. That article sounds to me like yet another internet flame bait. Everyone will have an opinion! I think your school gate style is just bang on, functional and comfy with a good dose of style :)

    steph / absolutely-fuzzy.com

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