School Drop-Off/Pick-Up

Having taken Moose to and from school for the last two-and-a-half years, I’ve had the opportunity to observe the other mothers–in particular the way they dress. If anything, it’s an interesting commentary on society, to say the least, as well as proof of the necessity of What Not to Wear!

Most moms appear to fit into one of the following categories:

  • Working Moms–it’s obvious from the way these mothers dress that they’re on their way to or from work. There are actually sub-sections within this category, as the mothers showcase a range of occupations–business women, women in the medical profession, (obvious from their scrubs), even law enforcement–there’s one mother at the school who is a police officer, and often shows up in full uniform!
  • Moms Who Are Trying Too Hard–these women are obvious, regardless of their age. They’re the moms picking up their children while wearing short shorts and skimpy tank tops, or even worse, mini-skirts, midriff shirts, and thigh-high boots (true story!). It makes you wonder whose attention they’re trying to grab at the elementary school, but they clearly want people to look at them.
  • Moms Who Have Given Up–almost the opposite of the moms above, (because you get the impression that they wish they were invisible), these are the women who show up at school in pajama pants, baggy everything, and occasionally even their slippers. These ladies mystify me more than any of the other mom groups–accidentally oversleeping I can see, but routinely picking your children up at 2:30 and still in pajama pants?
  • Trendy Moms–These are the moms you wish you could shopping with. They can pull off any look, even if it’s something that ought to look ridiculous. They also have a certain confidence about them, which is probably why they’re able to wear anything they want.
  • Athletic Moms–You just know these women are on their way to or from the Y. The usually have on cargo shorts and a T-shirt, with their hair pulled back, and running shoes on their feet. In the warmer months, they also usually have a great tan. These are the people to go to for work-out advice.
  • Moms Who Don’t Dress Their Age–These moms can be mistaken for the moms who are trying too hard, because their clothes might be revealing. They might also simply be age-inapporpriate: an over-abundance of cartoon character shirts, jeans that were clearly purchased in the junior’s department, or clothes that simply just don’t fit right.
  • Moms Who Forgot To Check The Weather–You’ve seen people out in shorts when it’s in the 30s or 40s, and people in sweatshirts when it’s in the 80s. This same phenomenon occurs at schools, and these moms often also have children with them who are not weather-ready. At least the moms don’t have to go out on the playground like that, but it really makes you feel for the children!
  • Stay At Home Moms–These women can be harder to pin down, because their clothing can cover a range of categories, just as some of the women in other categories are also stay at home moms. Not dressed as nicely as the working moms, but usually more sensibly, (and appropriately), than other mothers, these ladies are easily identified by the strollers and dogs that accompany them picking up in nicer weather, and the fact that they tend to congregate in groups around the school entrances.
  • PTA/Team Spirit Moms–When you see these moms day after day, you begin to wonder if they own anything other than “school pride” t-shirts and sweatshirts. You do have to admire their support of  their child’s school/team/whatever…unless school shirts are just a convenient way to avoid real clothes shopping! These moms are not to be confused with…
  • Sports Fan Moms–The women who wear their team’s colors in and out of season. Even if you start to wonder how many T-shirts/hoodies/jerseys one person can own, you have to respect their dedication, especially the ones that are fans of non-local and/or non-winning teams (Cubs fans, I’m looking at you!).
  • Moms Who Dress Like…Men?–There’s just no nice way to say this. I’ve noticed some women at the school who are obviously wearing men’s clothes. Jeans are the biggest offender, and even I was known to purchase men’s jeans back in college for some inexplicable reason. But there are those that take it too far, and wear men’s shirts, (and, I suspect, shoes), as well. How do I know this? Because I saw a mom once who was wearing a shirt that Ryan owns. Worse yet, he was with me. He’s never worn that shirt again!
  • Moms Most Likely To Be Mistaken For School Staff–I have to admit, this is the category I usually fit into, especially in the warmer months, when I wear more dresses and skirts. Moms like me are usually dressed a bit nicer than stay at home moms, but not as nice as working moms. We tend to stick out like a sore thumb for reasons I don’t quite understand, and on more than one occasion, someone has stopped me with a question, expecting that I work at the school.
  • The Ubiquitous “Other” Category–I have to include all of the others–dads, usually in business attire, (or uniforms, around here), nice grandmas, dressed in the grandma uniform, and occasionally, an older sibling, wearing whatever happens to be popular these days. It’s a broad range of people who wander through the doors of the school!

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