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Mums trying to outdo each other at the school gate, Debenhams
Mar '11
Debenhams has revealed that a new breed of fashion conscious mums in Ireland is fast turning the school run into a catwalk competition as they vie to outdo each other at the school gates.

Usually obsessing about how well the apple of their eye is performing at school, many mums are now turning their attention to themselves to ensure that they get top marks in the fashion class.

The trend was revealed when Debenhams research team asked Irish female customers what they wore on the school run.

Over 60% of women admitted to feeling pressurised to compete in the fashion stakes thanks to ever increasing numbers of yummy mummies in the press.

Staggeringly, some women (37%) were managing to get their children dressed and 'doll themselves up to the nines' before dropping the kids off and returning home to change into more child friendly outfits.

To compete in the style stakes 52% of women admitted to taking tips from celebrity super mums like Elle Macpherson and Claudia Schiffer - using them as a benchmark of how it should be done.

"We were staggered with the findings," said Debenhams, Karen Nason. "It seems for many being a model mum isn't just about debating whether nurture or nature is the best approach to childrearing. Now modern mothers, it seems, have the added pressure about what women's clothes you wear at the school gate as well. "

The majority of women (79%) said they wouldn't be seen dead in their track suits on the school run, 88% said they would never turn up without make up on and 57% agreed that runners or Uggs are not appropriate footwear.

When asked how much time they spend getting themselves ready for the school run each day, women revealed the average time spent to be 1hr 15minutes, split between the morning and afternoon runs.

Mascara and lip gloss are viewed as the absolute minimum when it comes to facing other mums at 8am, with 91% and 75% of mums respectively stating they won't venture out without it. Under eye concealer and bronzer also help mums feel confident at the gates with 64% and 50% of women using the products regularly on the school run.

Some glamamums (22%) even said that they wore fake tan on the school run, particularly after the mid-term break to suggest an exotic family break.

So worried is Debenhams about the trend that it has briefed all its personal shoppers to ease the burden and offer advice on what it calls transitional clothing that ticks all the boxes but without the stress.

Alain Mehada, Debenhams personal shopper, said: "Our suggestion for mums wanting a chic look whilst maintaining some functionality consists of slim cut or skinny jeans with heeled boots or shoes that can be swapped for flats or pumps, a casual t-shirt or blouse and blazer."

Although competing with glamorous mothers emerged as the number one reason for school run chic, impressing attractive single dads or teachers was also cited as a reason to dress up.

Debenhams Retail plc

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