Debenhams Reveals Mums Trying to Outdo Each Other at the School Gate

By Debenhams, PRNE
Sunday, March 27, 2011

DUBLIN, March 28, 2011 - Debenhams has revealed that a new breed of fashion conscious mums in
Ireland is fast turning the school run into a catwalk competition as they vie
to outdo each other at the school gates.

Usually obsessing about how well the apple of their eye is performing at
school, many mums are now turning their attention to themselves to ensure
that they get top marks in the fashion class.

The trend was revealed when Debenhams (
research team asked Irish female customers what they wore on the school

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Over 60% of women admitted to feeling pressurised to compete in the
fashion stakes thanks to ever increasing numbers of yummy mummies in the

Staggeringly, some women (37%) were managing to get their children
dressed and 'doll themselves up to the nines' before dropping the kids off
and returning home to change into more child friendly outfits.

To compete in the style stakes 52% of women admitted to taking tips from
celebrity super mums like Elle Macpherson and Claudia Schiffer - using them
as a benchmark of how it should be done.

"We were staggered with the findings," said Debenhams, Karen Nason. "It
seems for many being a model mum isn't just about debating whether nurture or
nature is the best approach to childrearing. Now modern mothers, it seems,
have the added pressure about what women's clothes ( you wear at the school gate as well."

The majority of women (79%) said they wouldn't be seen dead in their
track suits on the school run, 88% said they would never turn up without make
up ( on and 57% agreed that runners or Uggs
are not appropriate footwear.

When asked how much time they spend getting themselves ready for the
school run each day, women revealed the average time spent to be 1hr
15minutes, split between the morning and afternoon runs.

Mascara and lip gloss are viewed as the absolute minimum when it comes to
facing other mums at 8am, with 91% and 75% of mums respectively stating they
won't venture out without it. Under eye concealer and bronzer also help mums
feel confident at the gates with 64% and 50% of women using the products
regularly on the school run.

Some glamamums (22%) even said that they wore fake tan on the school run,
particularly after the mid-term break to suggest an exotic family break.

So worried is Debenhams about the trend that it has briefed all its
personal shoppers to ease the burden and offer advice on what it calls
transitional clothing that ticks all the boxes but without the stress.

Alain Mehada, Debenhams personal shopper, said: "Our suggestion for mums
wanting a chic look whilst maintaining some functionality consists of slim
cut or skinny jeans with heeled boots or shoes that can be swapped for flats
or pumps, a casual t-shirt or blouse and blazer."

Although competing with glamorous mothers emerged as the number one
reason for school run chic, impressing attractive single dads or teachers was
also cited as a reason to dress up.

About Debenhams:

Debenhams is a leading department stores group with a strong presence in
key product categories including womenswear, menswear, childrenswear, home
and health and beauty.

Debenhams is the second largest department store chain in the UK.

Debenhams operates 161 stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
Debenhams also has 61 international franchise stores in 24 countries and six
Magasin stores in Denmark.

Designers at Debenhams include Preen, Jonathan Saunders, Jonathan Kelsey,
Roksanda Ilincic, Ted Baker, Jeff Banks, Jasper Conran, Erickson Beamon,
FrostFrench, Henry Holland, Betty Jackson, Ben de Lisi, Julien Macdonald,
Melissa Odabash, Jane Packer, Pearce Fionda, Janet Reger, John Rocha, Lisa
, Eric Van Peterson and Matthew Williamson.

    PR Contact:

    Karen Nason
    Debenhams Ireland
    Debenhams Press Office
    Basement, 54-62 Henry Street
    Dublin 1
    Republic of Ireland

Karen Nason, Debenhams Ireland, Debenhams Press Office, Basement, 54-62 Henry Street, Dublin 1, Republic of Ireland, +44(0)85-765-0996

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