Nailing the school run look

If you thought that the school run is all hastily pulled together ponytails, jeans and runners, think again. Regular mums are getting up half an hour before their kids to make sure they turn heads, writes Paula Burns.

Nailing the school run look

The crazy lazy days of the summer holidays are drawing to a close. It’s that time of year again when thoughts turn to organisation, routine, school uniforms, school bags, pencil cases and what on earth will I wear! For some this will be the inaugural school run. Entering a foreign land of mums meeting at the school gates ready to send off their little ones to the classroom. For most mums the school run is far from a stylish affair. Jeans and dry shampoo have become the uniform of those who spend the hour previous coaxing the little ones to eat their breakfast and get their pretty little asses out of the house in time for the school bell.

But thanks to our celebrity culture, the school run has become a catwalk and even the scruffiest mums will be able to tell you what their local Rock, Classic and Boho Mums are wearing. And then there’s the toned, bronzed taut Gym Mums ( not in Lidl or Aldi gymwear I hasten to add) who despite spending a month overseas haven’t put up a pound over the summer.

New mums thrown into the jungle of the school gate brigade have looked to celebrity mums for style inspiration and a guide to getting it right. The journey to school run style began in the hip London burbs of Notting Hill and Kensington. Supermodels Claudia Schiffer and Elle MacPherson began to brave the British paps to drop off their kids to school. Their stunning looks and inate glamour sent fear into the wardrobes of mums tracking the same gauntlet each morning. A new fashion precedent was set. Suddenly the style stakes were raised and no school gate was safe. It was official — school-run-chic was born.

This new-fangled school-run-chic hasn’t been without its controversy. The descent of the ‘supers’ onto the untouched world of the school gates has created another place where what we wear matters. Fellow mums were so outraged that one went so far has blogging about her hate for Claudia Schiffer while others were interviewed anonymously expressing their annoyance at having to live up to the supermodel standards that now met them at the school gate. But at the same time it has to be remembered that super models aren’t fully fledged aliens. They have the human attributes of being doting mothers too that just happen to be really, really good looking even in their gym gear!

While we can take the negative of having to contend with perfectly groomed celebrity mums, there is the positive where a touch of style inspiration can be helpful. In Ireland we tend to conform to a type of uniform. Every suburban school gate has one. The most popular look of the moment is the long puffa coat aka Sarah Jessica Parker matched with a Michael Kors tote. But this doesn’t have to be so. Having children doesn’t mean the end of your fashion identity. Time may not always been on your side in the morning but if keeping up with the latest trends was what you did before then taking some inspiration from the celeb mums could be just what you need to relight your fashion fire.

Boho Mum

Despite her super model status Claudia Schiffer emulates a casual model off duty come mummy look. In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar the 44 –year–old mum of three admitted that ‘you can’t be too over-dressed or too sexy on the school-run’. Sticking to her words the school run pro demonstrates an easy, laidback style. The seventies boho trend that is very much in Vogue this season is her thing. Flares are a go to favourite of model mum along with knee-high boots styled with leggings. For Schiffer inspiration add a scarf to any outfit and match with large sunglasses — perfect for the low winter sun and hiding a multitude of sleepless nights.

Classic Mum

Sarah Jessica Parker brings style everywhere she goes. The New York resident has made the long puffa coat chic again thank the fashion angels. Due to the bitterly cold New York winters wrapping up is paramount to SJP when walking her little peeps to their West Village school. Parker is a supporter of the cosy Ugg boot. While they may have fallen out of fashion favourite over here, the leather style can’t be discounted especially on those freezing mornings. Parker can be spotted donning her favourite winter must-haveUggs with boyfriend jeans tucked in. Before winter bites the former SATC star keeps the casual look with jeans, ballerina pumps and a cardi. Forget the ‘It’ bag when it comes to SJP the ultimate accessory is the sunglasses.

Power Dresser Mum

There will always be a Victoria Beckham among us. The girl who wears heels like they’re slippers. The girl who has power dressed most of her life and for her going casual just isn’t in her fashion vocab. And so when it comes to the school run wearing flats just isn’t an option. Mum of four, Victoria Beckham is rarely spotted without her signature heels. The designer, who says that she designs her collections for her to wear, is always immaculately dressed. The VB look is structured tailoring with pencil skirts, dresses and of course the heel. There’s not a hint of dry shampoo here. This look isn’t for the faint hearted.

Curve Loving Mum

Keeping along the same lines of power dressing, she may not be making the school run yet but Kim Kardashian West certainly adheres to her own sense of mummy style. The pregnant mum-of -one is as ever proud of her curves, opting for the tightest of body con dresses to show off her baby bump. While the dresses may be tight Kim K maintains some modesty by opting for this season’s midi and maxi length. For curve embracing style the Kardashian clan are the Queens for this style inspiration.

Rock Mum

No runway, be it even the school one, would be complete without a mention of the ultimate super model and uber style mamma, Kate Moss. Mum to Lila Grace, Moss is the queen of stylish school runners. In great Mossy style she never lets us down. Street style is her mantra so even a trip to the school gates can be a fashion revolution. Kate is a rock chic at heart and a skinny jean devotee. Think skinnies matched with a faux fur coat for winter mornings. Anything even the pyjama top can be hidden under the seventies inspired over-sized faux fur. When it comes to grooming Moss keeps it au naturel which is perfect for busy mornings.

More in this section


The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.

Sign up