Monday, 26 January 2015

School-gate Fashionista

Nearly three years have passed since, inspired by a new generation of mummy bloggers, I shared my tips on how to conquer the school-gate catwalk. Things change in three years. Fashion moves on, circumstances alter and body parts start slipping. High time, therefore, that I show you how my style has evolved to meet the demands of 2015 and how you too can get the look that turns heads on the school run - or, in our case, hike.

Logistically, this sharing has proved a challenge. My usual photographer has started secondary school and is unavailable and the Vicar eats muesli at 8.30am and can't be disturbed. Moreover, the 10-year-old has refused to capture some of my more, er, retro ensembles. Here, however, is a photo log of my sartorial week so you can see how a woman's wardrobe moves with the times.

Monday




Some of the striking fashion differences in this picture can be explained by the fact that the first was taken at the beginning of summer and the most recent in mid January. Winter, for instance, calls for The Hat. The Hat guarantees you stunned stares from fellow parents and is a useful nesting place for tissues when you don't have pockets. It was a Christmas present from my mother three years ago, so you'll have to guess the price and origins. The scarf was courtesy of the Vicar and, if moth holes are as reliable an indicator of age as tree rings, it's passed its fifth birthday and is equally priceless. Who needs plastic surgery with a coat like this (£32 from Harpers Bazaar army surplus stores in Malvern)? Beneath it I'm wearing tartan pyjamas (Primark £8) and a pair of pink bedsocks (99p from the 99p Stores). The most obvious transformation is the wellies. Alas, my original Hunters only lasted two years before admitting several gallons of the local stream on one morning commute. This replacement pair was also a present from my mother. Genuine Hunters, don't you know. Price on application. Total price: £40.99 and some. Plus the Hunters.

Tuesday



The secret of sartorial success is to turn heads while adapting seamlessly to circumstance. My legs are modelling skinny jeans (£21 from M&S before you were born). Luckily the coat (£32 from Harpers Bazaar army surplus store) hides the evidence that cream is far too pale a hue for the unpredictability of our route to school. If you zoom in you'll see the label on those boots show they're genuine Hunters. Total price: £74 plus The Hat and Hunters.


Wednesday




Ditto Tuesday. The jeans are the same as yesterday. No point muddying two pairs of trousers. Note the designer Hunters which lift the whole ensemble. Total cost: £74 plus the Hunters.

Thursday


2012                                                            2015  


A menacing forecast and a tardy alarm clock mean we're driving today. That allows the mud to dry on my army waterproofing while I show off my contours in spring green. The coat was bought in the Next Christmas sale in 2007. £35 I think it was.  I should point out to those wanting instant gratification that that coveted distressed vintage look takes years of patience to achieve. Within it I'm sporting a skirt bought in the same Christmas sales as the coat, only across the mall at Boden (£35), and a jumper from Debenhams (£20) with Oxfam polyknit as insulation(£4). The boots bore a £180 price tag from Hobbs. To calm me, the assistant told me they should last five years. Ten years on they still have most of their parts attached. Total price: £274.


Friday



If you want to speed up the morning drop-off, wear moss green corduroy cut-offs and watch your little ones sprint the last hundred yards to school to avoid being seen with you. These were £4 from Barnardo's in Godalming. The average property price in Godalming is £513,000, so probably these crops were worn by a stockbroker's wife before me. The day after this picture was taken, though, they mysteriously disappeared from my wardrobe. You'll notice the scarf and coat have changed. It's essential for a woman's wardrobe to show variety. The former was a tenner from Covent Garden market. The latter is a genuine designer Barbour, although not the right kind of genuine designer Barbour according to the 12-year-old who only recognises the shiny quilted Gold Label Glamour range. A tissue in the pocket dates it to circa 2008 when I bought a box of Superdrug multi-coloured 2-ply by mistake. £80 as I recall (the Barbour, not the tissues). And no, those aren't my Hunters. I had to borrow the 12-year-old's wellies due to an aquatic calamity on yesterday's school hike home. But I hope you appreciate that they still bear the Hunters label (£19 from TK Maxx). Total cost: £113.

Now it's your turn. How do you combine glamour and adaptability on the obstacle course that is the school run?