Like every parent, I have the bi-annual joy of attending parents evening. This week, it was my 14 year old sons' GCSE options evening. He's at the age where he has the social skills of King Kong - one minute he is roaring and beating his chest because I won't give him a lift to his mates house, the next, he's cocking his head coyly as he gently lifts the tenner from my hand, like he's caressing Fay Wray!
Anyway, I digress. I take my very own Kevin/Perry to options night. I grill the teachers over the subjects on offer for GCSE. I grill my son on what he fancies taking. After some shrugs and a few 'dunno's', we are seated in the hall for a talk and slide show. All fine, run of the mill, been there before etc etc up to now.
As I sat down, my eyes whizzed around the room (I had worn my glasses for once) to see if I recognised any parents. Whilst I didn't see any faces I knew, I instead saw around 100 women with bad hair, bad shoes and wearing anoraks.....
Come on girls - it may not be London Fashion Week but have some respect for yourselves! Even on parents evening. I felt like I was sat in a packed hall, rammed with women who didn't care what they looked like. It was like an army of SuBo's pre-makeover....
I took to Twitter immediately to exclaim my disappointment and the response inspired me to write this article! I wanted to storm the stage immediately, bat the Headmaster out of the way and give these girls a good talking to! Just because you're over 40 and have teenagers, doesn't mean you have to hang up your stilettos! Far from it.
Let me just explain some basic fashion and grooming rules for the benefit of those gathered at said evening.
- Wearing crocs with socks is not acceptable. In fact, unless you have a medical condition (and I do know several people who think crocs are a life saver) crocs of any style or colour are a no-no. End of.
- If you are hiking across the Lake District, you may wear an anorak. I get it. If you're not, WTF are you wearing one for? You might as well go the whole hog and use a Karrimor rucksack as a handbag.
- Whilst a full face of makeup a la Lily Savage is not always required, a lick of lippy makes you look in control. A squirt of perfume gives you a little extra confidence and can revive you enough to get through another hour when you're most knackered. Honest.
- Nothing ages a woman more than a bowl haircut, a curly perm and 2 inches of grey roots. Not everyone can afford a shiny head of highlights but Boots and Superdrug have a fabulous collection of DIY hair colours - just make sure you get help from a friend! Better still, all hairdressers do model nights. They are a great way of getting an on-trend style without having to sell the dog or spend your weeks grocery money.
- If you're overweight, don't think that hiding in a black, shapeless dress will save you. It will drag you down! Get some structure to your clothes and add some colour.
Rant over. Don't let me have to tell you again.