I’m not the most dapper of dressers, though in the past I thought nothing of splashing out 600 quid on a suit. Nowadays I reckon if it’s warm and comfortable that’s what I need. There are times though when you just have to make an effort. If you’re a bloke attending a funeral, for example, I reckon it’s good manners to wear a tie.
Last week, a headteacher called Kate Chisholm contacted all her schoolchildren’s parents, and said, effectively, ‘Enough with the pyjamas already.’ She was fed up of parents arriving to drop their children off while still wearing nightwear.
This created a bit of a to-do in the press, with both the pros and the antis wielding big sticks. However, I think Ms Chisholm is right to try and clamp down on this behaviour. It may just occasionally be all right to turn up in your jammies in the morning when you’ve misjudged the timing a bit, but it’s not all right to turn up for meetings or school concerts dressed like Wee Willie Winkie, and that had been happening too. You’re not going shopping in Wal-Mart; you’re attending your child’s school.
To return to the funeral analogy, I think a tie is a mark of respect. Not that the corpse will give a monkeys, since he or she is dead, but it’s respectful to the other mourners. I’ve missed funeral when I haven’t had suitable clothes.
If you rock up at your child’s school still not dressed, what that says to said child is, ‘School? Meh. I don’t think it’s that important.’ Not a very good message to give, is it?
I’m not saying you should aspire to look like one of the yummymummies who turn up with full warpaint (who on earth can put false eyelashes on at that time in the morning, and why?), immaculately coiffed hair, and this season’s must-have fashions. But it doesn’t take more than five minutes to drag on a pair of jeans and a sweater, and then run a comb through your barnet.
Somewhat inevitably, there’s been a backlash. This woman, among others.
Oh yes, before I forget, another bit of a school story. CallMeDave is considering sending his son Elwen to a private secondary school. The man in charge of state education feels it may not be fit for purpose. The school under consideration is the same school Gorgeous George attended.