Is getting dressed up for the drop-off a fun distraction from the hard work of the day ahead, or a competitive arena for the worst of sixth-form style bitchiness? We ask two mums with very different view...
Whose side are you on?
"Don't make me laugh!"
says Tanya Barrow, mother and blogger at Mummy Barrow
"School run fashion parades? Don't make me laugh. I read these stories and I pity these women. Are their lives so shallow that looking their best, and in their best, at 8am is really the be all and end all of their day? Do they really have time to lay out their clothes the night before and colour co-ordinate their bra and pants to their outfit to drop their children off at school? Seriously?
"I have been doing school runs for 17 years and I can tell you right now that I have NEVER given two hoots what I wear to do that daily task, either at 8am or at 4pm. Ever. And my bra and pants only ever co-ordinate if they are 'gone wrong in the wash grey'. The morning outfit is generally whatever is at the end of the bed, and clean. Because, believe, me that really is all that matters.
Don't get me wrong, I am not a slob, I am in the 'wash hair before going to the hairdressers' and 'tidy before the cleaning lady arrives' camps but dressing up for the school run is just insanity squared.
"Who are these women doing it for? Themselves? I doubt it. Nobody needs the confidence that a pair of Jimmy Choos gives you when you are walking to the school gates. Yes, going to a business meeting with high powered execs, or meeting friends for lunch, but the school run in designer heels is a step too far.
"Other parents? Really? Are they going to think any differently of you because you are wearing last season's Stella McCartney? If they are... well that says a darn sight more about them than it does about you or your wardrobe.
"Or is it for your own children? Do they care what their parents are wearing to do the school run in? No, of course they don't. They only care about how they are going to get through double maths or if that person in the year above they fancy is going to finally notice they exist.
"Added to which what are we teaching our children, with whom we do this school run? That what we wear is THE single most important thing about us. The point on which we must judge and be judged. No, I'm sorry. That is not a world I want to live in."
"It makes me feel better"
says Amanda Start, mother and style blogger at The Online Stylist.
"When I worked in finance after returning to work part time following the birth of my daughter, I always looked forward to the days when I could dress for the office. Smart clothes, slightly higher heels... and no baby sick on my shoulder!
"Now that I work from home writing and my daughter is at junior school, I still like to make an effort before leaving the house each morning. It's as much a part of the routine as making her packed lunch and ensuring I get my first caffeine fix.
"An obsession with style and fashion has ingrained in me the need to feel together. I spend a lot of my time writing about it so to sit here in track pants, baggy T-shirt and a face devoid of makeup every single day wouldn't exactly inspire my creativity.
I just feel better when I look like I've made some sort of an effort.
"A normal work from home uniform day is very different to what I wear if dropping off en route for a London trip but I still enjoy putting together an outfit. I love Breton striped tops, easy to wear jersey dresses, good jeans, cropped trousers, bright scarves and cashmere cover-ups.
"Ballet flats, sequin sneakers, a good handbag and any accessories in leopard print are sure fire winners and lift staple jeans and a T-shirt out of the ordinary.
"Since we got a Labrador pup in the spring I've got into the habit of changing into old clothes for the daily dog walk but usually try and find the time to change back again before the afternoon school run. The baby sick on the shoulder may have morphed into dog slobber on the knees but I'll still make the effort.
"Some may see it as frivolous, unnecessary or even perhaps competitive to make an effort for the school gate but I don't see anything wrong in taking pride in your appearance. After all, before I become a mum and a pooch owner I was 'me' – so why change?"
So what do YOU think?
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