If you ask me...I'd never heard of 'school gate chic'

I always thought getting the kids to school on time was the issue, not whether you're wearing pyjamas under your Chloe coat. I'm a schmuck, a fool, an idiot

Share

If you ask me, or were to ask me, if I’d been hiding under a rock all these years, do you know what I’d say? I’d say “Yes, I have been hiding under a rock all these years”, and I’d then thank you for pointing it out, and for saving me from yet further embarrassment.

The fact is, until this week, when newspapers and magazines suddenly became full of it, I had no idea that “school-gate chic” was a thing. Not a clue. I always thought getting the kids to school on time was the issue, particularly on those mornings when, just as you’re about to step out the door, they’d announce: “I have swimming”, or “I have to dress as my favourite book today!” I’m a shmuck, a fool, an idiot. Get a gun and shoot me now. May be the kindest thing, in the long run.

That said, though, I am learning. I am. I have read up on “school-gate chic” and I have read about Holly, mother to six-year-old Grace, who attends “a little prep school” and according to Holly: “Seriously, what you wear says whether you want to get involved in school life... it’s a huge deal. I’m not going to show up in my pyjamas, even if they are under a Chloé coat. It’s all about showing I care and value the system.”

I don’t own a Chloé coat, or anything like it, but can you imagine if I did? Can you imagine how many times I’d have worn pyjamas under it? Loads, I bet. And I’d have turned up and everyone would have thought: “Pyjamas under a Chloé coat! She may make sure her kids do their homework and she may belong to the PTA and she may be spearheading the campaign to keep the school kitchens and local library open, but pyjamas under a Chloé coat! She obviously doesn’t give a shit!”

Advice abounds. One mother says she keeps it “low-key” with “a cashmere roll neck and black coated jeans or leather trousers”, while no mother says: “I like to dress up as a deranged clown, complete with those big comedy shoes”, which seems a great pity somehow.

Whatever, I do wish I’d known all this earlier; that the school gate is all about judging and being judged. And I certainly wish I’d known it when I once saw a mother at my son’s inner-city state primary drop off the kids, lift her skirt, and then wee in the gutter. I’m kicking myself now because I didn’t ask whether the skirt in question was one of the favoured “school-gate chic” brands, which are, apparently, Hobbs, Whistles, Miu Miu, Chloé and Jigsaw. Now I’ll never know. Damn, damn, damn.

Twitter: @deborahross

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

Recruitment Genius: Product Quality Assurance Technologist - Hardline & Electric

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role in this successful eco...

Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

CPAC 2015: What I learnt from the US — and what the US could learn from Ukip

Nigel Farage
 

If I were Prime Minister: I would create a government that actually reflects its people

Kaliya Franklin
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower