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

Volunteer Trustee opportunities now available at The Society for Experimental Biology

Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Volunteer your expertise as Tr...

Early Years Educator

£68 - £73 per day + Competitive rates of pay based on experience: Randstad Edu...

Nursery Nurse

£69 - £73 per day + Competitive London rates of pay: Randstad Education Group:...

Primary KS1 NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A supporter of the Kurdistan Workers' Association holds a placard during a demonstration against Islamic State (IS) in front The Hague  

Nothing will stop Isis except a Syrian truce

Patrick Cockburn
The victory of the NO campaign was confirmed at 6.08am on Friday morning  

Scottish referendum: Partisan fallout, Gordon Brown's comeback and Elizabeth, the Queen of unity

Jane Merrick
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam