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School run style

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The school run. It’s a dilemma, isn’t it? You might be sharing your school run with parents in pyjamas, parents in power suits or, far trickier, those effortlessly elegant parents who clearly just threw that perfect look together in five minutes this morning and always look that chic.

If you don’t need to go on to work, the gym or some other outfit dictating destination after the school run, the chances are you’ve had a school run style crisis – how to look effortlessly stylish without looking overdone or mutton-esque, and how to manage it in the approximately 17 seconds you have to get ready in the morning? Added to that, you have the inevitable comfortable-but-stylish footwear issue if you have to walk any distance. And of course, the whole can of style worms becomes even wormier in summer when you are trying to balance looking good with staying comfortable in any temperature, and possibly covering any body-paranoia-inducing body parts (the usual offenders here are upper arms, knees and décolletage).

The solution to the whole issue is, of course, a capsule wardrobe (you know I never miss the chance to put together a capsule wardrobe!). Even though this one will live with the rest of your clothes (unless you are exceptionally organised. And maybe a little strange), having a core of clothes that will work as an everyday casual wardrobe five days a week makes life, and that inevitable morning rush, a whole lot easier.

The capsule wardrobe below is, ahem, somewhat identical to my own school run style (I’m an Autumn), but to help you make it your own I’ve added my top tips for putting together your own casual capsule for school run perfection.

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Top tips for a perfect summer time casual wardrobe:

  1. Consider your own colour palette and personal style. The more tightly your capsule wardrobe sticks to both of these, the easier the whole thing is going to be, as everything will mix and match that bit more easily.
  2. Give yourself more than one option for the bottom half! So much wardrobe boredom is caused by pulling out the same variation on denim jeans ever single day. At the very least, one pair of shorts, one pair of jeans/casual trousers, and ideally either a skirt or a dress (or both).
  3. You need a bare minimum of four tops, preferably more (who among us hasn’t had a week where it all went wrong and we failed to do a single laundry from one end of the week to the next? You don’t want to be left doing the school run in your underwear on Friday next time it happens). Make your tops a mixture of sleeveless (assuming you are happy going sleeveless), short sleeved and one or two 3/4 or long sleeved tops for chilly days – this is Britain, after all.
  4. Give yourself a couple of distinctively different footwear options. By which I mean, don’t plan your outfits around a beige pair of trainers and a brown pair of trainers. A pair of sandals or flip flops, plus a pair of casual shoes/sneakers is an ideal starting point.
  5. Base your wardrobe around a smallish handful of colours, but don’t be afraid to add in the odd bit of print or texture to liven things up (you can see from the wardrobe above that it is slightly a case of ‘do as I say, not as I do’ here). Adding some slightly more distinctive pieces will stop your capsule from feeling too flat and boring.
  6. Accessories really finish a look, but so many of us are too lazy to both taking that extra getting ready time in the morning to find and don them. If you know full well that you aren’t going to plan fresh accessories every day, find a watch/bracelet, a necklace/scarf and perhaps a ring that go with everything, and just don them every time you get dressed. Keep them in the same place when you get changed (my bedside table is my spot, as I usually only remember to remove them as I fall into bed) so they are ready to go each morning.

Tricia on Nov 27, 2016 3:10 AM

I browse Kettlewell Colours from time to time and usually make a list of what I want to buy, then sometimes do not finish the list. Would it be possible to keep items in the bag for about a week, instead of having re-compile the list all over again. Wait to hear. Thank you.

Mary on Mar 31, 2016 8:00 AM

I had my colours done 20+ yrs ago but only heard of Kettlewell yesterday. All excited - until I see your sizing! I'm size 20. Only thing I can purchase is accessories. Why-oh-why?

Catherine Smith on Feb 25, 2016 2:20 PM

Will Kettlewell sell acid yellow clothes again? As a winter this is the only yellow I can wear and I'd love to find some acid yellow clothes!