One thing I am learning as I progress through my first pregnancy, is that you will be judged for something as a parent, no matter what you do! Craziness!
Everyone's circumstances are so different so I don't think you can say "these are the only scenarios in which your child should attend daycare." Do what works for your family and situation.
I intend on putting our child in daycare 1-2 days a week once they are 12 months old, so I can return to part time work. If we have a second child, I anticipate that I will continue to use daycare for child #1, even if I end up at home again on mat leave for 12 months, as we would need to hold that spot. I am really lucky to have heaps of family support and not have the need for full time daycare, but I can only imagine how hard it must be for those without family and whose partners work away (or without partners).
As for what you wear when picking up/dropping off kids - really? Even my work clothes are very casual and I only wear a full face of make up if going out somewhere on a special occasion. I didn't realise drop off time was a fashion competition!