Do you remember mufty day at school? One of the most prized and anticipated days during the year (other than school camp and school holidays of course), where you could actually wear your own clothes, and bring in a gold coin to donate towards whichever cause your school was supporting at the time. I remember the freedom I felt–without the constraints of dowdy, awkward length kilts that were rolled up from the waistband, and then bulged beneath baggy, ill-fitting V-neck jerseys that were unflattering not just in shape, but also colour. I’ve always like structured clothing, so I found a way to work a blazer into my school uniform, (even though it wasn’t a requirement) and yes, even a tie! For me, that was my point of difference. School was, and still is about conformity, sticking to the rules and there is very little room to express your personality, with the exception of how you might choose to wear those peripheral items; socks (slouchy, knee length or standard ankle), shoes (T-bar, Confederate, Dr Marten). But come mufty day and it was free reign…we were allowed to be ourselves. I’d notice on those days how everyone was much more relaxed, rowdy, invigorated, and excitable even though assignments still had to be completed, and our homework handed in. But it’s interesting how school seemed much more fun without that one restriction for a day.
School days seem so long ago now, and back then I never thought too much about the fact that we continue to wear uniforms (at least some of us), for the rest of our working lives, with Casual Friday and weekends being a time to approach dressing in a completely different way. I had a work meeting this week in preparation for my return early next year. I have to say, I’ve missed what I’d refer to as my work uniform of pussy bow blouses, tailored blazers and structured dresses in delicate fabrics (often with fussy details), that are dry clean only garments. These items have remained redundant in my wardrobe for almost a year now, as they’re nowhere near suitable for rolling around on the floor with a baby, who now lunges at me with food hands or sprays me with a mouth full of vanilla custard. Instead, I wear what I refer to as my ‘Mummy about town clothes’-items that I already have in my wardrobe which are wash and wear, and still make me feel presentable on a day out.
As much as I will miss rolling around on the floor surrounded by rattles, a pull along telephone, exer-saucer, inflatable bouncing dragon…(among many other toys that also make annoying sounds with repetitive tunes), I won’t miss those days without sleep (of which I’m sure there are still plenty more to come), where I’ve spent all day in my pyjamas.
I have two of these Peter Pan collar tops (the other one in pink and black) both from World a few years ago. These tops are so comfortable to wear and just the right length on me (neither too short or too long), and not too tight (similar ones from here). The red velvet skirt (similar) from Dangerfield (old), is one that I often wear through winter too, and of course even though it’s sunny, I’m still wearing tights as the weather is so changeable. I’m not normally one for flat shoes as I find them a bit unflattering, but out of practicality these cut-out leather ankle boots (from here) are great. I refer to them as my ‘mummy about town’ shoes as they’re perfect for walking around (didn’t need breaking in), and I don’t have to worry about the heels or soles wearing down as they’re rubber, so they should see me through my Mummy days, and they look good with bare legs. The red flower ring is completely plastic (similar) and I’ve had it for donkey’s years now. I bought it from Iko Iko in Wellington years ago, and it’s remained a staple accessory that just seems to go with everything.
- Keeping it Chic on Casual Friday (frugalmindedfashion.wordpress.com)