The Wardrobe Every Canadian Mom Needs to Survive the School Season

Let’s look at this logically, and plot it out.

We’ve been back at school for a few weeks now, and the shine has certainly rubbed off that penny, hasn’t it? By now we’re sick(er) of packing lunch bags, our hands are crooked and cramped from filling out reams of permission forms, and we’ve started encountering homework battles.

I’m here to tell you it’s all going to be okay.


Next up: joining school committees, Parent Night, and (shudder) Holiday concerts. And that’s only the start of it if you fall prey to your school’s “Do-Everything Debbie” and her web of volunteer opportunities. If she corners you at carpool, you can add Pizza Day Mom and “Field Trip Parent” to the list. No one is saying doing good for your school isn’t a great idea, but for many of us, it comes down to simply this:

What in the hell am I going to wear?

I’m here to tell you it’s going to be okay.

For sure.  

Let’s look at this logically, and plot it out. You probably have at least a couple pairs of good jeans, and if you work outside the home you may even have a skirt or something called “pants.” If you work at home or wrangle littles for all your waking hours (as I do), familiarize yourself with the concept of fabric tubes that encase the legs. They’re fun and can keep you warm in Canadian winters, plus, they come in super cute colours and styles. Here’s what a mom like me – like you, like all of us who enjoy looking and feeling good without spending future inheritances or college tuitions – will need for the fall/winter to make it through the school season:

A Pick-Up/Drop-Off Look:

Who amongst us hasn’t done drop off in long johns, a tank top, house slippers and a long winter coat? The problem with this is twofold: it almost guarantees it will be the day a teacher summons you inside to chat for a sec, and ensures you will not receive a goodbye kiss from your parting child. There’s no reason to not travel in comfort. Joe Fresh boyfriend jeans are as soft as butter and this bright bomber jacket is warm and stylish.

Go ahead; wear it over a pajama shirt, even. We won’t tell.

A “You Said You Wouldn’t Volunteer This Year But Look; You’re a Volunteer this Year” Look

You’re gathered in a room with other parents and children of various ages. Maybe you’re handing out cardboard slices of pizza in a smelly gym, or perhaps you’re collecting empty juice boxes on a field trip school bus destined for “Historic Ole-Timeyville.” Whatever the reason, you need to be comfortable and confident because 30-odd wisecracking grade 7 kids in one room will shake ANYONE to their core after half a day in a replica pioneer home. This is the time for a modern look, and flats – dear heaven, don’t forget the flats, because your feet at doing triple time as a volunteer. Take a cardi, too. It’ll keep you warm and double as a place to cry quietly in private if the bus breaks down.

A “Oh $%^&; The Principal Wants to See Me Look"

At least once per kid per school career you will be summoned to speak to the Principal about your child. All you can do is hope it’s for an award of recognition and not because of making that new substitute teacher cry on her first day; it’s a crapshoot, really. Dress the part for confidence no matter the reason. A kickass pair of boots, a soft-cut jacket and jeans, or a twill dress work; they all mean business but without taking the soft side needed for this conversation away. (And Joe Fresh had larger sizing now because they recognize that real women’s bodies come in sizes up and down the charts!)

A Casual and Comfortable “Because My Kid is in the Play” Look

Plays and presentations are fun – until grade two. Do you know why the kindergarten parents take up half the gym on holiday concert night? BECAUSE THEY’RE NOT JADED YET. Multiply three kids over two schools and 10+ years of academics with school plays and you have a whole lot of concert seat wedgies, friends. Go in looking good without the constant adjusting by planning a killer concert outfit. This vibrant and fun jumpsuit fits the bill and it is ONE PIECE. Plus, the piping looks so crisp and put together that no one will know that during the grade five acapella rendition of Kool and the Gang’s “Celebration,” you’re really planning next week’s dinner menu.

A “I Can’t Believe this Day is Finally Over” Look

Get home, hit the tub, and wrap yourself in something comfy and colourful.

You owned this day, and tomorrow is looking even better, what with a closet full of comfortable, mix and match, vibrant style choices to choose from. It’s like having costumes for a real-life “choose-your-own-adventure” storyline.