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It’s Back-to-School! Here’s How to Dress Like the Parent You Want To Be

Sep 9, 2016

September is finally here — Hooray! You survived the summer with your child/children/small monster.  As you prepare your mini human for their first weeks back, you’ll be faced with one of the most difficult questions any parent must ask themselves, "What should I wear during the first few weeks of school?"
No, not your child. You. How do you want to be seen as a parent by other parents? Are you the Gossiping Dad who knows all the dirty secrets? The Jokester Mom who pranks their kids and sends around the video? Here are a few ideas to help you plan your outfits.


The Hot Mess Parent

This outfit is a no brainer, perfect for the first-time parent dropping off their little one. The night before, ball up a pair of jeans and gently shove them deep into your laundry hamper. The following day, pull them out and pair them with an inside-out shirt. Splash a few drops of grape juice down the front for an extra hit of colour. Accessorize with a piece of scrambled egg in your hair to complete the look.

Dress Like the Parent You Want to Be: The Hot Mess Parent. An illustration that looks like a page from a fashion magazine.

PROS: You’ll never get asked to organize a bake sale. Or a fund raiser. Chances are if you forget to attend a meeting, you’ll get a pass. WIN!
CONS: You may not get asked to do ANYTHING. Missing out on connecting with other parents and hearing the latest school gossip. BOO!


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The Hipster Parent

Ironically this look is almost identical to the Hot-Mess parent, but with a bit more flair. Slip on a pair of tastefully ripped jeans, an indie band T-shirt (Wilco or Yo La Tango tour shirts will do in a pinch) or a second-hand shirt your Grandfather once wore. Add Converse high tops and a take out coffee cup from an intimidatingly cool cafe. Tie your hair or beard in a loose bun and stick a fake Tattoo of a tiger on your arm. Amazeballs!


PROS: When it comes to organizing creative activities, your look will give you a ton of street cred.
CONS: “Curated” and “Hand Crafted” will now be regular staples in your vocabulary. Start reading Pitchfork.


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The A-Type Parent

This look is not for the faint of heart. Sport a 100% cotton button down with a crease that can cut a diamond with a pair of fitted pants, polished shoes and a tight smile. Pull back your hair, clip your nails and roll a lint brush over your entire body an hour before you walk out the door. Accessorize with at least two electronic devices (iPhone and fitbit recommended).

PRO: You’ll have the admiration of many of the parents and put the fear of God in the rest, including the school staff.
CON: Expect to be asked to plan everything. Like, EVERYTHING. Also, the pressure for perfection is constant. Sounds…fun?


The Helicopter Parent

This is not literal term, although showing up in an aviator jumper and a helmet would certainly be making a statement. A heavily pocketed outfit is a must along with a GPS to track your child’s every move. Cargo shorts with either a muliti pocket vest or jacket is perfect for holding all your child’s sunblock, water bottles, lunch, band aids and any other item you can imagine your child may need at any given time.

Dress Like the Parent You Want to Be: The Helicopter Parent. Illustrated to look like a page in a fashion magazine.


PROS: Teachers will keep updating you on your child’s progress, since they assume you’ll want to know every tiny detail.
CONS: You’ll need to make your child a living accessory. Limited time will be spent in the company of adults. Start saving for your child’s therapy.  


Start your year off right with an outfit that defines your parenting style. Thankful you do not NEED to be this type of a parent, just look like them. And as for the kids? Whatever you dress them in will be lost, ripped, spilled on or smugged in some way so don’t even stress about it.

Article Author Jen Goodhue
Jen Goodhue

Jennifer Goodhue is a performer/writer in Toronto. As part of a stellar ensemble, she wrote and performed in five Second City MainStage revues. She co-starred in CTV’s Comedy Inc. for five seasons and has written for several television shows such as This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Stroumboulopoulos Tonight and YTV’s That’s So Weird. As a member of Comedy Inc. she was nominated for a Gemini Award and has won three Canadian Comedy Awards for her work with The Second City and Monkey Toast: The Improvised Talk Show.

She’s currently a staff writer for the much anticipated comedy Baroness Von Sketch Show on CBC. She continues to teach writing at The Second City Training Centre and perform in various impov shows around Toronto.

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