Mums – How Important Is School Run Style?

How important is school run style for mums? That’s the question I have been pondering now that we are back to school and warmer days are on the horizon.

During freezing cold, wet school runs, I have wondered whether my statutory ‘school run mum’ uniform of black leggings, t-shirt, oversized cardi and as many protective outer-garments as I can get my hands on is the school gate style I should be parading.

And what will happen with the sun comes out again and I have to take my winter coat off?

Because there’s always ‘that’ mum, isn’t there.  Immaculately groomed and made-up, outfit co-ordinated, shoes with heels (heels!) who manages to make me feel like Worzel Gummidge’s best mate, Aunt Sally.

So I asked some fellow bloggers and school run mums what they wear on the school run and how important looking good on the school run is to them.

Is it a case of blending in or standing out? Should you dress for success or just collect and go? Does social success at the school gate depend on dressing well?

What do you wear on the school run?

Of course, there are those who will say that it doesn’t matter what we wear and we should not be judged for our sartorial choices.  This rather ignores the point that for many of us how we present ourselves to the world is important – for men and women.  Pride in one’s appearance is certainly something I am teaching both Caitlin and Ieuan.

Here’s what they had to say.

Nikki at wears jeans and a big fleece that covers whatever top she wears.  Like me, she looks like she is wearing the same thing every day although she says that working from home means it doesn’t matter what she wears.

Kayleigh at Inspire Gratitude & Manifest usually wears leggings and a dress and sometimes black trousers. She applies make-up most mornings although how much effort she puts into it depends on how much time she has.

Lianne at Anklebiters Adventures wears leggings, the warmest jumper she can find, a big coat and a hat to hide “the mess that my hair is”! Debbie at My Boys Club says she wears something different each day depending on whether she’s off to a meeting, the gym or working from home.

Leggings certainly seem to win the style stakes for comfort.  But what about those who dress up a bit more?

Rachel at Coffee Cake Kids might wear leggings and jeans but, come summer she wears tunic-style dresses and maxis.  She says she always has a full face of make-up on and everyone comments on whatever bright coloured lipstick she has on that day.

Fiona at A Mum Track Mind says that she usually looks relatively ‘glam’ as she’s on her way to work but on non-working days she wears whatever she feels comfy in – and she doesn’t worry what other’s think.  Nor does she judge other mums for their outfits.

I think the point is that you have to feel comfortable with what you are wearing and that you have made a bit of an effort.  After all, great clothes are available these days at every price point and, I have to admit, there are ways of looking good more easily than planning a capsule wardrobe whilst juggling small children.

Michelle of Seeing Rainbows says her trick is to wear a lovely coat because it doesn’t matter what’s underneath and, as Emma of The Mini Mes And Me points out, once your kids are in secondary school, it’s usually a case of them opening the car doors and climbing out, so no need to worry.

Still, the Husband and kids are campaigning for the retirement of my leggings and a quick way of updating my rather tired (!) school run style is to invest in some easy pieces which can be dressed up or down, for example, some David Nieper dresses or a classic trench to see me through the spring and summer showers.

People will usually take us at our own estimation and it’s always a challenge for mums (and dads!) to find enough time for self-care.

Whilst we undoubtedly need to give each other a break sometimes, there’s no harm in painting on a smile, doing our hair and dressing up a bit, is there?


  1. Sharon stanley
    20 January, 2018 / 10:02 am

    I have electric blue hair at the moment and always have some kind of bright colour. I try to make an effort so I don’t look like a scummy mummy and I do wear make up on the run but that’s for me not anyone else there however I do know of parents who have received letters for turning up in onesies and other obvious pyjamas. I would happily turn up in lounge pants and a t shirt. I’m clean, my clothes are clean and I genuinely don’t care what anyone else thinks unless they live in my home, pay my bills or get up multiple times a night to deal with either my ASD and ADHD 7 year old or our dog who thinks no other dog has the right to walk past our home and barks the place down. I suppose there is a judgemental side of me despite the fact that I have worn a PJ top under my coat a few times because it’s comfortable. I would only really pay attention to what someone else is wearing if they wore something that stood out and wore it for weeks on end as I’m a clean freak and would wonder whether it had been washed but I wouldn’t make it obvious, going on the run in full pyjamas is something I wouldn’t do and it definitely draws attention from other parents and the school however tracksuit bottoms, lounge pants etc with a t shirt shows you changed your clothing rather than jumped out of bed took kids to school then retreated back to bed to arrive in the same pj’s rubbing sleep out of your eyes 10 minutes after the other kids have been collected. School runs can be stressful so I would say wear something comfortable, however keep the pj’s for home even if you chuck some loose trousers over them so as not to bring attention to yourself. As much as your kids can make you look bad it works both ways but so long as you’re wearing day clothes I don’t think it matters

  2. 19 January, 2018 / 4:51 pm

    I think if I was working or a well mother this would be important to me but the reality is my husband does the school run while I stay in bed. I have gone to school and dropped my child of in my PJ’s but I never got out of the car.

    • Sharon stanley
      20 January, 2018 / 10:08 am

      I don’t think that’s bad if you stayed in the car but I would be extremely self concious if I had to go onto the playground like that and know of one mom who continually wears her PJ’s and has not only received letters but was banned from the playground for a week for doing so.

  3. 19 January, 2018 / 4:51 pm

    I think if I ever had kids and had to do the school run it’d be in my Onesie or my PJs! I’m all about the comfort!!

    • Sharon stanley
      20 January, 2018 / 10:06 am

      One of the moms I know got banned from the playground for doing that. They’re a lot stricter than they used to be. I think furthest I would go is lounge pants and a pj top covered by my coat as I think I would die of embarrassment if I got multiple letters about my attire from the school ??. That said my hair is bright electric blue at the moment so I think that would draw more attention but everyone’s used to my crazy hair now and the kids love it and often chose my next colour for me. Xx

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