How much do you conform for your setting?

(38 Posts)
AlternativeMoniker53 Wed 06-Nov-13 13:06:18

I just dropped something off at DD's school wearing black jeggings, black leather jacket, green light jumper (cami underneath, neither it nor lumps showing), bare feet and some nude and black heels. I thought it went together fairly well and was just popping in the car to drop off her forgotten homework. Well... I got some disapproving up-and-down looks. At the weekend I ventured into town in some over the knee boots. Again, looks.

It annoys me because I know what I need to do to conform, I just don't like doing it. I'm going into town later and I'm just going to give up and don the brown knee boots and pink gillet, losing the green jumper which is in fact Boden because I'm so beaten into submission! It's my own fault, we moved here on purpose for the schools, safety etc so I shouldn't bitch but I really don't want to morph into another middle class Boden clone!!!

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Wed 06-Nov-13 13:10:34

Ack, my area is a bit like that. I dress very dull so the stylishly/differently dressed mums on the school run always brighten my morning. Stick to your guns.

Also, are you sure they are all being disapproving? I ask because I am a total nosey parker and often find myself looking at people, or indeed staring into the middle distance with people in the way. I'm really not judging in either case.

As long as you couldn't see your pants through the leggings. In which case I always want to tactfully tell them grin

AlternativeMoniker53 Wed 06-Nov-13 13:15:39

No! I have a terror of pants seen through leggings! I haven't actually worn any leggings in a year or so but when I did I'd double them up or wear tights underneath just to avoid such horror. I'm wearing a good quality of more jeans-y jeggings, no lumps or lines on show, thank you very much wink

ElizabethBathory Wed 06-Nov-13 13:16:21

How do you know they are disapproving looks? Maybe people are looking at your clothes because they like them or they're eye-catching as different? Even if the looks are disapproving, do you really want the approval of people like that?

I don't conform to my setting exactly, and I do notice people look at my clothes occasionally, but I don't assume they are disapproving. Even if they were, meh. Wear what you like.

AlternativeMoniker53 Wed 06-Nov-13 13:20:36

I suppose I'm assuming a classic up-and-down look with a sour face is disapproving? I'd rather not get any attention at all really when poddling around on my own, I suppose that's where the camouflage clothing comes in.

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Wed 06-Nov-13 13:30:16

Well, if you want to 'disappear' you probably need to blend. But if you like your clothes and wearing them makes you feel good, don't let a few bitchy faces put you off.

AlternativeMoniker53 Wed 06-Nov-13 13:30:17

Sorry, Elizabeth, that sounded really snippy, it wasn't meant to. I should try to give people the benefit of the doubt. I just really hate the up and down look, it makes me come over all stabby grin

AlternativeMoniker53 Wed 06-Nov-13 13:33:20

Thanks Penguin, I suppose that's the gist of it, isn't it? How much do I want to blend? Is everyone doing this, do you think?

Pagwatch Wed 06-Nov-13 13:39:04

I don't conform in that I usually looked pretty dressed up for a shm.
I get lots of 'are you off out somewhere?'
But to be honest if I want to dress to please myself I can't really be arsy when people notice.

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Wed 06-Nov-13 13:39:07

I don't blend exactly. I am just very dull and not particularly 'visual' so I tend to stick to simple things I know work because everyone else does them.

I'd love to be stylish and interesting. I really envy those who are, and who have a 'look' that isn't what everyone else is wearing. Maybe when the kids are a bit older and I can spend time at the shops without a whining toddler in tow!

Bonsoir Wed 06-Nov-13 13:41:27

There are alternatives to, at one extreme, black jeggings and a place leather jacket and, at the other, Bodenesque.

AlternativeMoniker53 Wed 06-Nov-13 13:57:27

Penguin you shouldn't call yourself dull, I'm sure you're not. Shopping with toddlers is no fun at all, I know, I couldn't enjoy shops for years.

There are alternatives, certainly. Yesterday I wore a polo neck with pearls and the same leather jacket, which is very "jacket" shaped and really rather conservative. I tend towards classic and slightly rocky. I'm also younger than most the mums and piercingly well-spoken in a way I often fail to attempt to tone down. I've got the brown boots on (I really rather like them in fact!) and I'm eyeing the gillet. Interestingly, I was in Milan last week and made a point of looking, not a gillet in sight. I've got two.

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Wed 06-Nov-13 13:59:51

Honestly, in clothing I am dull. I am sure I am interesting in other ways grin. I just find something vaguely generally acceptable (skinnies, ditch the bootleg,etc) order online and ignore.

Bonsoir Wed 06-Nov-13 14:00:38

It sounds to me as if you are searching for your own style in a new life/environment.

youretoastmildred Wed 06-Nov-13 14:03:27

"I'd rather not get any attention at all really when poddling around on my own"

Are you from London, and have moved somewhere else?

elskovs Wed 06-Nov-13 14:11:54

Good point, I definitely do dress a certain way for the school run. I am usually an unfashionable slob, but at our school there are lots of polish women who wear the most awful uniform of neon sports wear.

Im worried Ill be mistaken for one if I dress in anything too casual. Its a bit of a pain actually.

ElizabethBathory Wed 06-Nov-13 14:15:57

It didn't sound snippy to me OP! But I do think you should give people the benefit of the doubt. It's very easy to take an unsmiling face as 'sour', especially if someone's looking directly at you. And if you're wearing interesting clothes and have made an effort, lots of people are going to look at you - you must want people to notice you're wearing nice clothes, surely? I reckon most of them are thinking, 'I wonder where that's from' etc. Very few people are going to have genuinely strong, judgey opinions on whether you are dressed appropriately (unless you're at a wedding or a job interview!)

And anyone who does a really obvious, exaggerated 'up and down' look is clearly a twat.

ElizabethBathory Wed 06-Nov-13 14:21:01

Also...jeggings, jumper, black leather jacket...? I seriously doubt that outfit in itself would cause disapproving looks?!

My style is quite different to how others dress, it's very me though, so I don't mind if people notice and/or comment on it. I agree that you need to find a style you are happy with, then the looks won't bother you.

It could be that the Boden and gilet wearers are very envy of your rocky-vibe!

polyhymnia Wed 06-Nov-13 14:33:11

Would have thought that black leather biker and black jeggings are very much standard wear nowadays at least where I live (leafy London suburb). I wear those as do several friends over 50. Sounds like

RobinVanPrissy Wed 06-Nov-13 14:38:47

I conform a bit for work. It's smart casual here, but I probably dress up a bit more than most of my female colleagues, who are quite 'safe' dressers. I don't reveal cleavage or leg, but wear over the knee boots and heels (most colleagues wear flat boots or shoes), lots of different styles of dress, and experiment with hair, makeup, jewellery. It makes me happy, so couldn't care less what others think.

Outside of work, I wear what pleases me. I'm a grown woman!

polyhymnia Wed 06-Nov-13 14:41:22

Sorry! Sounds like only the shoes were in any way slightly unusual. I might have looked at them out of interest and, if I couldn't guess where you bought them, would have wondered just out of curiosity not judgy-ness.

Must say these school run threads do make me grateful that, as a working mum, I was first always in too much of a hurry to look properly at other's clothes and second in a 'uniform' I knew was right for where I was going ie the office! Made life simpler.

AlternativeMoniker53 Wed 06-Nov-13 15:50:51

Are you from London, and have moved somewhere else?

Lol, yes, is it that obvious?!? Perhaps that's what they're thinking!

ElizabethBathory Wed 06-Nov-13 15:59:33

The London thing was not very obvious to me. I live nowhere near London and the clothes you describe sound very normal.

StephenKatz Wed 06-Nov-13 16:07:27

I suffer from a severe case of 'bitchy resting face' grin (whoops, I mean hmm ) Honestly I bet the people looking were just looking, no particular mean opinion crossing their minds, they were probably just wondering what to have for tea!

As for conforming - I'm a SAHM and find I'm usually a bit more overdressed than the other mothers at toddler group. This is partly because the likes of skirts suit me far more than jeans, and partly because I'm a saddo and toddlers may be my only outing for the day so I make the most of it!

ElizabethBathory Wed 06-Nov-13 16:18:44

YY to bitchy resting face Stephen grin I reckon most people have it when out and about. I've ended up chatting to so many people on my daily commute who turned out to be lovely and friendly, even though they looked like scary, sulky bastards when I didn't know them.

PukingCat Wed 06-Nov-13 16:28:54

I just saw a woman with knickers completely on show under leggings. White patterned pants and stretched out black leggings and waist length jumper. I wonder if she knew.

Anyone who gives you disapproving looks for your clothes is a twat.

Ragwort Wed 06-Nov-13 16:33:50

I have no idea what people think of my 'style' <such as it is>, I hardly notice what people wear unless it is totally outrageous - I look at people to see if they have a friendly, welcoming look on their face, not what clothes they put on hmm

Sonotkylie Wed 06-Nov-13 16:35:40

Hi - I know what you mean. I try to dress up a bit and we too moved to sticks from big city when DS was little. I found both at pre school and later at school, I initially got a few looks but the other mothers got used to me and now its a running but enjoyable joke - and I get plenty of compliments too. So don't blend in, just smile - inwardly or outwardly, depending on how its going.
Personally, I would have disapproved of you not wearing socks today for it is both cold and wet (and filthy muddy) here. But I'd have said it to your face!

FrameyMcFrame Wed 06-Nov-13 16:37:55

Maybe it was the shoes? Bare feet with heels in this weather isn't exactly practical, more summer wardrobe?

FrameyMcFrame Wed 06-Nov-13 16:39:21

Also over the knee boots can look a bit Dick Whittington or sex worker if not careful!!!

Madmog Wed 06-Nov-13 16:42:23

Always in jeans with trainers or boots here. Very lucky as everyone just accepts everyone for how they are here (unless it's me who's oblivious and haven't noticed odd looks). Others are the same, but some are smart, some are trendy (oh, I wish that was me!!) and others a real state with muffin tops on total show hanging out of jeans and leggings.

rockybalboa Wed 06-Nov-13 17:48:05

If it was me it I would have been looking at you thinking "damn her, why don't I look that cool?". I'm trapped in frumpy mumsy hell most of the time and am too fat to claw myself out of it. Stick to your own style and don't be a sheep.

Beaverfeaver Wed 06-Nov-13 18:00:29

I don't conform.
I love it.

Most people I know like it too.

I wear mini skirts and coloured tights with over knee boots (to work).
Don't care if people disapprove

EyeOfNewtBigtoesOfFrog Wed 06-Nov-13 18:07:47

I work from home so I do a variety of looks - scruff bag, gym wear (on zumba day!), or dressed up if I feel like it. Today I'm wearing a quite formal charcoal grey dress with orange tights - not for any occasion. In summer I love wearing bright dresses.

I do notice that it's not usually quite the school run uniform - which is jeans or A-line skirt, boots, breton, gilet and ponytail (I have short hair and this is where I stand out the most I think...) However I don't think I get nasty looks. I think I'm well established into a "NOT in the clique" role and I don't care, so so nobody else cares.

I do know I always feel most comfortable if I wear what just feels right that day.

Marylou2 Wed 06-Nov-13 18:53:16

I wouldn't worry.I must look like a classic Boden clone from the outside. I don't have the time or the confidence to dress differently. However, in my 40 something head I want to be different and If I saw you I'd probably have a good snoop and make mental notes to look for something similar if I get a chance. PS no one ever looks at me and I assume that it's because I'm not worth noticing. I wonder which is worse?

Coupon Wed 06-Nov-13 18:54:33

I'd be wondering why you had bare feet in this weather, and offering to buy you some thermal socks. Rest of the outfit sounds fine though!

AlternativeMoniker53 Wed 06-Nov-13 18:57:15

The over the knee boots are the new look, not thigh high, knee high at the back with a raised front that covers the knee when standing. Less pirate/ prossie than you might imagine!

It does go from the sublime to the ridiculous, today I literally walked house-car-school and back with the forgotten homework. It was dry so I just slipped off my slippers and on with slip ons, sock less. Yesterday I got a call from DS's school, he'd forgotten his trumpet, I'd got ready for a dog walk and dropped it off en route, walking into reception in wellies and waxed jacket.

I'm going to try to observe my resting face, perhaps I'm giving everyone the stink eye and I just don't realise!

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