There are things that I am beginning to find essential in a coat now that I spent about half of my week on the school run. Never mind the latest fashion, if I am standing out in all weathers (which, lets face it, mostly means ‘wind’ and ‘rain’ and often ‘both together’ in the UK) then I want to be warm and dry and Vogue can go and hang itself.
I’ll give you a minute to recover from the very idea that I even know how to spell Vogue, never mind actually read it.
There are certain key features that I- as a newly crowned member of the ‘School Run Mum’ (henceforth SRM) Tribe should be looking out for when shopping for a new winter coat:
1. Pockets: I know they can add the lbs, but if you have children you need to be able to tow an amazing amount of detritus around Further examination of my new winter coat (to be revealed) has turned out: two receipts for petrol (and a Dairy Milk *ahem*), one bobble, one sparkly bat hairclip, a doll’s hat, a pencil sharpener and a half-eaten packet of Love Hearts (useful!) As an added bonus they are good for keeping your hands warm/dry *delete as appropriate, dependent on the weather.
2. Warmth: I know that fleece should only be seen on sheep but my standards are so much lower than days when I worked ‘up town’. Frankly, fleece is my friend. If I could leave the house in my Slanket with any form of self-respect, I probably would. And, to be fair, in my totally non-scientific poll of Parent Bloggers, the majority favoured fleece (ideally their Other Half’s) as their regular school-run outer garment.) Warmth is also what is required 80% of the year when standing at the school gates, doing late pickups from friends or events, and lingering on the touchline of some mediocre sports fixture. Fleece is your friend. As is down.
3. Length: I don’t care how waterproof it is, if it doesn’t cover my bottom then it’s useless. I’d be better off wearing a black bin bag. Coats that do actual service need to cover one’s derriere. Warm and dry, people, warm and dry (the SRM mantra. Although now I think about it, that’s probably ‘home-made and organic’. Ho-hum.)
4. Hood: Need I say it again? Warm-and-dry before fashion-faux-pas. I cannot manage without a hood. It does double duty in covering up hair that I haven’t got around to washing or styling (by which I mean brushing) that day. And I can use it as an invisibility shield against the PTA mum. You know what I mean.
5. Price: If you wear it every day, you want it to last, so it’s a false economy to buy a cheap coat. Focus on price-per-wear if the husband gets snarky about the Credit Card bill.
Bearing all that in mind, this is the baby that I will spend my winter months cocooned inside:
*disclosure: would be better termed non-disclosure, since there is nothing to disclose. I bought this coat with my own money, and I heartily recommend it.