Whether this will be your first year walking your child to the bus stop, or you’re a seasoned pro at the stroll, stand and socialize routine, you need to be dressed for the role.
Trends for the 2017-18 school bus season include faded flannel PJ pants and oversized sweaters, accessorized with wool caps and travel mugs. We’re seeing a shift away from the curlers-and-slippers vibe, with an emphasis on casual elegance.
Let’s start with the basics. Get dressed if you want, sure. But after the first day or two, I usually only have real clothes on if I’m planning on driving somewhere as soon as that bus pulls away.
The trick is to plan ahead. I only wear nightgowns or shortie pyjamas when I know I’ll either (A) be getting dressed before the bus in the morning, or (B) won’t be going to the bus in the morning. Otherwise I’m forced to change out of them, into something bus-stop appropriate, and maybe I don’t WANT to get dressed yet.
Flannel PJ pants are a bus stop staple, especially in the winter. If you find yourself waking up in jammies that shouldn’t leave the house — we all have a pair or two with a hole in the crotch — throw on a pair of yoga pants instead. Otherwise you’ll find yourself pressing your legs together in the cold, hoping no one sees the rip and wishing you had some underwear on …
Pyjamas can be elevated by throwing on a sweater or a jacket. It’s still clear you’re wearing PJs, but not obvious that you’re also braless. Yes, it kind of sucks to wear a sweater when it’s hot, but if you skip it, that’s going to be the morning someone new shows up (a handsome dad) and you’re forced to awkwardly cross your arms the whole time.
From mid-September to early May, you’ve got the green light to wear a comfy knit cap to the bus stop. Just plunk it on over your tangled morning hair and you’re good to go. Any hair peeking out below the hat doesn’t have the just-rolled-out-of-bed look — it’s casually tousled.
I wear (or bring) sunglasses to the bus stop every single day. Squinting causes wrinkles, and sunglasses also hide your tired, early-morning (mascara-less) eyes. Plus, you can close your eyes, if you’re the first to arrive, and you don’t look like a weirdo standing with their eyes closed on the sidewalk.
“Bus shoes” are any pair that are easy to throw on and don’t require bending over to tie. You want something comfortable that you can slide into while simultaneously slipping a lunch bag into a backpack and twirling yourself into the first adult-sized jacket you can grab. My bus shoes are sandals or slip-on BOBS until it’s so cold that my feet go numb. Then I switch to my winter boots, unlaced for that cool haphazard look.
Once you’ve hefted backpacks onto little shoulders, you will have about four seconds to grab what you need. Your pocket should contain a couple of crumpled tissues — for seasonal allergies in fall and spring, and constant runny noses throughout the winter — and a piece of lint-covered emergency gum for the days you can’t remember if you brushed your teeth.
Grab your phone so you can check the time and tut to the other parents about how the bus “seems to be running late this morning” (this occurs all mornings). Most importantly, pick up the travel mug of hot tea or coffee that you hastily, but lovingly, prepared for the journey down the street. If you tend to hang around chatting with the other parents long after the bus has left, consider taking a second mug for proper sustenance.
Now hit that catwalk — er, sidewalk — with a confident little spin. You’ve got this.