The Fear of Being a Summer Frump.

21 July 2022

It is a thought that, I am 99% sure, has crossed all our minds at some point, even the ones that are supposed to know better – yes I am talking about myself here!

The actual definition of a ‘frumpy mum’ in the Free Dictionary is:

A girl or woman regarded as dull, plain, or unfashionable.
Now, correct me if I am wrong but you would not want to be described that way! 

I will say I am not offended by the ‘unfashionable’ association, to me that has connotations of being a slave to the trends and fashions of the time. Stylish is more the phrase that I personally aspire too, style is something that represents you, your body and your personality in the best way possible.
But ‘unstylish’ isn’t really a term is it, so how about if I replaced that word with say, dowdy?

Dowdy, frumpy, plain and dull. Wow! Now that’s a aspirational set of words for your style there isn’t it!?
So we have established that these are, given the choice, definitely not the words we would like to define the way we look. Although it maybe how we feel about the way we look inside. 

Mum life

As mums our lives are full to the brim with a varying degree of responsibilities and jobs to do.
Whether you are a full time working mum, part-time working mum or a full time stay homemaker our to-do lists are endless and our priorities will very rarely have ‘spend time finding a fabulous outfit for the school run’ on the list.

It will however have….pack kids lunches, do food shop, order new PE Kit, tidy house, clean house, send emails, reply to emails, send birthday cards, send back online shopping, take dog for a walk, pay school club fees….need I go on? 

Which is very often the reason why the ‘frumpy mum style syndrome’ starts to set in. 

The school run outfit is the first to go, having taken on a new intensity with the work from home culture we now live in. The days of going into the office after the school drop off are more often that not, replaced with walking back into your home, making a cup of tea and settling into your home office situation. No-one to impress with your outfit other than the dog, cat or succulent plant that is your new office companion. (It needs to work on its making the tea or water cooler chat though) 🙂 
For those not doing a school run…how many times have you sat at your desk in your pj’s or comfies praying you don’t have to Zoom!?

So why bother with a nice top, trousers that actually fasten or even with shoes as a whole!? (yup, slippers do make an appearance at the school gates)?

The Sun resident fashion expert Clemmie Fieldsend wrote this hilarious article identifying the 5 items that constitute a ‘frumpy mum’ on the school run.  

I mean I have to agree with her on some of the items.
Skinny jeans for some of you will be a shocker but I will be honest with you, they are fading out of the spotlight. Replaced with the ironically titled ‘mom jeans’ for the everyday comfort. I cannot remember the last time I wore my skinnies, I put them on and they felt well, just too tight and skinny!

Now I am not writing this blog to talk to you about the school run style. No, I am going to time stamp this blog and say we are waltzing through 6 week style abyss that is the summer holidays.
Cue mum summer uniform of denim shorts, T-shirt and comfy sandals. (If you have a pair of Hermes sliders (copies included) or Birkenstocks here that does not let you off the hook!)

The desire to be practical but feel like you are knocking on the door of trendy leads us to all picking up those 3 items frequently. I am also holding my hand up too! 

Your summer may involve a holiday abroad or a staycation which may or may not involve camping. The leech of the cool mum holiday style where practicality sucks out the opportunity for style. 

There may be a friend or family member on this holiday that you absolute adore but are, if you admit to yourself a little in awe/envious of, and will often find yourself comparing how you look to them with little reassurance in your own appearance, it’s more common than you think (yes my hand is up again)

We all suffer from comparisonitus. 

An article written by LIZZIE POOK in Grazia about comparisons making ourselves miserable, highlights that just because this is a natural behaviour, it doesn’t make it healthy.
She says In the 1950s, psychologist Leon Festinger popularised something called social-comparison theory. He argued that we all have the hardwired tendency to assess our self-worth by comparing ourselves to other people. He also argued that this self-sabotaging behaviour invariably results in feelings of insignificance and insecurity.’

So basically we already feel insecure about our bodies and dress sense then we spend our time comparing ourselves to others intensifying that feeling.

That is why I am going to solve this problem for you.

I am going to give you freedom from the mum frump, turn that style comparison frown upside down! 

I have created a 10 minute routine that you can go through every morning when you get dressed which will become your mental checklist to prevent the shorts and T-shirt from being on repeat. 

That will help you step out of your tent with a bit of sass (it is possible) or go out for dinner at your holiday resort with a strut or even make your local park your catwalk.

10 minutes. That is all it is and you will come to know it by heart.
It will carry you through to your school run mornings in September too. I reckon you’ll be an old pro by then and the items that you associated on Clemmie’s list may no longer feature in your outfit selections. 

Interested? I would be too. click here to find out more. 

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