I’ve got extra kids around this week (their parents are teachers so are already back at school) and yesterday I took them to a newish “super” park in Brisbane.
There was seemingly a collective vibe – judging by the simmering tantrums (and that’s just from the parents) everyone is VERY ready for school to start.
I think the collective vibe will switch to a collective sigh when the school gates open for 2015. It will be heard like a virtual Mexican wave all around Australia, starting first with Queensland on Tuesday.
For some women it will be the first time they’ve done the school – or kindy – run.
At this time of year I’m always emailed/messaged with questions from readers in that very situation – women asking for ideas on what to wear on the school run.
I ummed and ahhed about writing this post again this year as last year it was so bloody polarising when I posted it on Facebook.
Here’s the thing. I don’t care what anyone wears for the school run – or on any day, for any occasion or any task.
What I do care about is helping women feel confident in any situation and what I’ve learned from personal experience, working with women one-on-one and feedback from so my SY readers is that so much of that confidence is tied up in how we feel about how we present ourselves to the world.
My book – Unlock Your Style (reviewed here and available here and all good book stores #shamelessplug) – is all about that. It’s not about creating a world where we all dress the same. It’s about honouring who you are and showing that in the best possible way to the world.
When you work on that, confidence flows because you are being true to you.
How does that relate to the school run?
Last year I was a new parent at a new school. I came into a school community – not in the beginning years when people are actively seeking out like-minded friends with kids the same age.
It’s not easy. You need to use all the tools you have at your disposal to be confident for your child, as ultimately they are the ones making the biggest transition.
I also knew that finding “new” friends, friends in the school community with kids the same age as my son, would enable me to build up a new support system.
I was lucky to find those new friends and do not have the same fears I had 12 months ago.
But maybe you do have those fears. Maybe your eldest is starting kindy or school and you will be hoping to meet new friends.
Maybe you’re someone who’s looking for some tips on what women wear on the school run so that you “fit in”; so that you feel confident?
This post is for you. That said, the shopping and style suggestions will apply to anyone looking for ways to freshen up their casual late-summer wardrobe.
1. Mums who are doing the school run and heading on to paid work are obviously going to be wearing their work clothes. My hot tip is if you’re walking your child/children into the school then have a pair of flats in the car for that walk as your car will likely be parked so far away that you’ll wonder why you didn’t just walk from home to school.
2. Wearing active wear is totally ok if that works for you. For many, you may have been up and exercising early and had no time for a shower and change between finishing a class or run/walk and getting the kids in the car to school. For many others, you are heading on to a class after the drop off. That’s ok. That’s your life and stick to it.
3. If you work from home or have other younger children and stay at home with those children, then your outfit is most likely going to be a casual one. It is so possible to be casual, smart and comfortable. It’s what I aim for every day.
4. Master a quick “face”. I’ve covered off on quite a few different two-minute makeup options here on the blog and in my book. It can be as simple as whacking on a BB or CC Cream, mascara and lipgloss. That might not seem much but to some it’s enough of an “armour” to help them face the day.
5. Dress for YOU and your personality – not who you think you should be in this situation. Doing this will help you connect with like-minded people.
6. Build a wardrobe on clothes that are ready to wear again the moment they are washed and dry. This removes one thing from the craziness that is the morning school-run rush. And you know what you pull out of the clothes basket will be ready to go.
7. Create a “uniform” if you like as a way to take away the guesswork each morning. If you love wearing frocks, make that your thing; if you feel more comfortable in shorts and pants, then create outfits around that.
8. If you are a new mum dropping your eldest at school for the first time, big sunnies are a must. Oh who am I kidding, I’ve teared up every year my kids have started – and ended – a school year. I’m a wuss!
9. It’s not a competition. As I said above, what you wear on any given day is always up to you. Be confident in that and who you are. The rest will happen.
So tell me, are you new to the school run this year? Or have been doing it for too many years to count and have some tips to share? Would love to hear from you in the comments below.