Starting school can be an emotional time for all. Especially when you realise you have no idea what to wear to school drop off…
This time six years ago there was a flurry of activity at my place in the lead up to a new school year – the very first year at school for my little-big boy.
In the lead up to this school year, I’ve re-discovered this article – one of the first written for Fox in Flats – and thought it’d be timely to re-publish for all the women embarking on the school run for the first time.
Here’s to a happy, cruisy, hug-filled transition for you and your little ones during this awesome and exciting time.
Yesterday, my first-born started school.
In the lead up to this mile stone, I’ve been studying up on school readiness, making lists of ideas for his lunch box, taken him to the obligatory school inductions, and wandered around the campus ourselves, out of hours, so he is ok with the vibe of the place. I’ve bought uniforms, shoes, lunch boxes, drink bottles, and hats, and had trial runs with all of these. He even got a new hairdo.
For him, yesterday morning was filled with excitement and anticipation about the new adventure that lay ahead.
But for me, yesterday morning, I realised I no idea what to wear.
Now, I know this statement may sound ridiculous to some of you, but think about it…when your kid starts school you meet a whole new bunch of people, some of whom may become lifelong friends. First impressions are gonna count.
Advice from the ‘old hands’.
Luckily for me, I’ve got a couple of buddies who have navigated their way though the fashion landscape of school drop offs and pickups for many years already. These women also took part in our Motherhood and Fashion Survey, and were among the 25% of women who claimed to feel ‘good’ about what they wear to school pick-ups and drop-offs. They were happy to – very candidly – share their tips:
1. Keep to your regular style.
This is no time to start experimenting with neons or animal print if you are more a chambray and pearls kinda girl.
“Stay true to your own look, because you won’t be able to fake it every day for the next seven years.” offered one mum knowingly.
2. Grab the gym gear.
It is perfectly acceptable to wear your workout clothes for school drop off . “They are the staple for mums at my school” said one.
Another slips into her running clothes two mornings a week – whether she is planning to exercise or not – and admits she does it so she doesn’t have to think about what to wear.
3. Make an effort, but don’t let it look like you have made one.
Keep it simple. Simple hair, makeup, and outfit. Jazz it up with some lip gloss, perfume, a feature accessory and leave it at that.
4. Keep your shoes flat.
It can seem like common sense, but unless you are heading off to work, heels will look like you are trying too hard. This includes high-heeled wedges, apparently.
“Sandals or ballet flats are great, especially if you have to navigate a rugby or cricket oval” claims a mother of two boys who has been there and done that.
5. Sunglasses are practical – in more ways than one.
We all know how a great pair of sunnies can take an outfit from blah to whoo-hah! And given how hot and glarey it is at the moment in Australia, they are really essential.
But, according to one mum, they are also useful for getting the low down on the politics that go down in the playground with the mums. “Hiding your eyes behind your sunnies lets you check out who’s talking with who, and who is friends out of school hours. This can really help when it comes to navigating issues in classrooms or with the PTA”.
Right-o. I might start calling them spy-glasses instead…
6. Consider your knickers.
“I avoid flowy skirts or dresses that can blow up in the wind, especially when I’m holding little hands” said one friend.
Another agreed, saying she worried that her dress might get hooked up with the school bags, so she keeps jeans or shorts as her staple.
7. A smile goes a long way.
It is natural to be apprehensive about your little one starting school, and if you don’t know many other parents, you might feel a little like a ‘Nigel No Friends’ yourself.
“Make eye contact with the other mums. Say hi and introduce yourself, and just smile!” said a mother who has gone through it before.
Seems like a genuine smile is the best accessory.
Good luck with your little ones – and with your outfits – this week.
What tips can you share for the school run?
For more Fox in Flats: