Hannah Betts, columnist in The Times Magazine, this week points out that breeders, though clearly successful at procreation, aren't particularly known for their sartorial elegance.
I had to giggle. She's right. This week, at the school gate, there's my tucked-in trousers and flats trying to be inconspicuous; my mate Jo, in her casuals (having done the usual parent thing and drank far too much wine on a rare night out the night before); Charlotte and Emily in their work gear, looking all smart and professional; numerous grandmas in knitted cardis; dads in football shirts and every other mum sporting leggings teamed with gladiator sandals in defiance against the autumn chill.
But it is clear that parents, as a species, just don't do fashionable. But then I got to thinking. Fashionable by who's standards? Last week's Sunday Times Style magazine talks about fashion 'growing up', with more and more glossies opting to put women over 35 years on their covers, and advertisers selected the 'older women' in current campaigns (Reebok, Pringle). But despite that article, the magazine itself is still full of features for current fashions modelled by girls who don't look over 20 years old. And whilst fashion may be 'growing up' the clothes that are designed for women over 35 also come with an inflated price tag to match. The advice is to splurge on investment pieces from Prada and Lanvin. As a mum, with 2 toddlers, my response to this well meaning advice is "no chance". I don't have the spare cash to blow it on designer pieces that are usually 'dry clean only' and do not respond well to having tomato sauce spilt down them.
I guess I'm looking for a glossy with models over 35 advertising clothes for the over 35s. Somewhere I can find clothes to suit my generation, and still be, whilst perhaps unfashionable, still pretty yummy. And, don't get me wrong; those parents in the school yard all look pretty yummy. We just perhaps don't sign up to the experts view of fashion elegance!