The Smalls have skipped with glee as they’ve slipped back into their uniforms and another school year. But – without a uniform of my own – I am wondering if it’s time to smarten up my back-to-school wardrobe. While I’ll never look (nor want to look) ridiculously glamorous, it would be great to achieve some ‘effortlessly fabulous’ style as I drop them at the school gates.
Mandy Watkins, founder of Hush and mum to Rosie (7) and Finn (5), has this look mastered. I begged her to share some fashion advice:
What is your fail-safe school run outfit?
My all-year-round banker is our long harem trousers. I usually team them up with a jersey blazer, but this winter I will be living in the Goldie Jumpers, our wrap skirt, leggings and boots.
How would you describe your personal style?
Easy and casual, very much what you see in the Hush catalogue.
How long do you take to get ready in the morning?
I spend 15 – 20 minutes getting myself ready and 40 minutes trying to get my kids ready! It’s always a mad rush to get them out of the door dressed, with brushed hair and teeth and no obvious signs of what they had for breakfast on their faces.
What do you think of the Fashion Mummies on the school run?
I love looking at stylish women and take my hat off to anyone who can get their kids to school on time and still manage to look great. I wonder though what time they get up in the morning?
Autumn boots of choice?
We are offering winter footwear for the first time this season and I suspect my collection of boots is about to get a whole lot bigger. My first purchase was the suede boots, which I love – they make me feel very tall and they’re super comfy.
Describe how you would spend your coziest night in?
There would be candles, a very large sofa, an open fire, my favourite home-cooked lamb tagine (prepared by my husband), chocolate, a brilliant movie and soundly sleeping children.
What makes one pair of slouchy trousers look good and another look like a sack of potatoes?
I worked at Adidas for 7 years and spent many hours sitting in fittings while garment technologists tweaked the fit of joggers. The fit of our trousers is very much based on my experience at those meetings.
What’s the first thing you do when you get home from work?
Kiss my kids, then change out of my work clothes and into my home clothes.
Favourite local pub?
I’m not really a pub girl and this one’s not local, but I love going for walks on Hampstead Heath followed by lunch at the Freemasons Arms. Otherwise, nearer to home is the Canton Arms in Stockwell, which does the most amazing slow cooked lamb.
What are you currently reading?
The Priory by Dorothy Whipple. I have read lots of her books and loved all of them.
Which film has recently blown you away?
The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life. It’s a French film centred around five key days in a family’s life. Very believable, funny, sad, heart-warming and beautifully acted. It’s brilliant.
Who is your hero?
There are many people I admire but no one I’d describe as my hero.
Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser. It’s ridiculously expensive, but smells incredibly good.
Tell us a secret about your life…
I don’t wear pyjamas to bed.
Check out Hush’s fabulous lounge and nightwear at www.hush-uk.com