My son begins kindergarten this fall, and this past weekend, we attended an ice cream social for incoming families at his new school.
It snowed nearly 2 feet at our house in the foothills outside Denver, and my son’s school is down from the hills and closer to the city, where there was less snow but where the weather might still be slushy and sloppy. When I’d first received the invitation for this event, I had envisioned a cute, springy dress with some easy and comfortable slides. That obviously wasn’t happening – unless I wanted to look ridiculous!
I know there are many parents out there who attend school functions – picnics, open houses, plays – and don’t think twice about what they are wearing. After all, the focus should be on your kid and his um, education, not your clothes, right? But I’m the kind of person who debates which sweatshirt I should wear when I’m lounging around the house. Therefore, when I plan an outfit for a school engagement – especially at a new school where I’m making a first impression on a dozen new people with every visit – I consider my outfit carefully. I knew I’d be managing ice cream with my son, so I wanted to be comfortable, and not wear anything new or delicate that would cause great distress with a popsicle smear. I knew the weather would be cool and possibly messy, and we might be walking around outside. It was on a Sunday afternoon, when fussy apparel doesn’t look appropriate, unless (possibly) you’ve been at church. However, I wanted to look smart and put together; I wanted to give the function the respect it deserved through my sartorial choices.
This ensemble seemed to fit the bill for the occasion, and I felt comfortable, warm and classy. This striped sweater from Isabel Marant Étoile (a more economically priced sister line from Isabel Marant) is a stretchy knit, made from a blend of viscose and polyester, so it’s not super hot, making it perfect for spring or cool summer evenings. I love stripes and recently grouped together all of my striped items when I organized my closet. Paired with denim, stripes give a chic Parisian touch to an outfit without a lot of effort. I purchased these culottes over a year ago, at the very beginning of the culotte trend, and they were actually in my “to sell on Poshmark” pile until a few days before this event, when I realized I’d hopped on the culotte trend so early I felt funny wearing them around and about, but now, as wider pant silhouettes and lengths are taking hold, I feel happy I have this pair and feel like I have a brand new item. I’d already put away these knee boots for summer, but was secretly happy about the snowy weather so I had one more opportunity to wear these beauties out and about until next year. Culottes seem like more of a warm weather pant option, but they look so modern and fun with tall boots – an idea to keep in mind when you begin shopping for clothes this fall!
Oh, and the ice cream social? It was fantastic. We love our son’s new school and can’t wait for him to start kindergarten there. He is so excited about it that he slept with the school directory they handed out to us at the party. He met a few new friends, and so did we. And even though I’d obsessed over my outfit choice, and was relieved I felt confident, I was happy to see that most of the other moms were dressed in jeans, worn booties, loose sweaters and much-loved down vests. Just like I don’t judge other people based on what they are wearing, I didn’t honestly think I – or my son – would make friends based on my ridiculously considered outfit. But we all do what we need to do to feel like we are wearing our “armor” to be our best selves. And for me, this did it this past Sunday.