Summer is upon us which means afternoon BBQ’s, camping, and poolside lounging – a full social calendar for you and your family. With the changing temperatures comes an opportunity for your wardrobe to evolve from the might-have-just-come-from-a-yoga-class-vibe to mom-with-flare. Before you go spending your kids’ college savings to look fashionable at your friends birthday dinner, I’m offering a simple guide to summer chic.
Here are my six go-to looks to get you through any occasion life throws at you these next few months:
The Road Trip
When you’re spending a long day in the car, comfort is key. You need something that can withstand coffee spills, a toddler’s sticky hands, and the awkward glances from middle-of-nowhere locals at the gas station pump. My pick: pair an over-sized tank top with water resistant shorts and gladiator sandals. When traveling across the state or country, you don’t want to go overboard on the accessories. Keep it simple and comfortable with easy to slip on and off shoes that are durable enough to handle a roadside bathroom pit stop.
The Camping Trip
Maybe you’ve never been before and you want to impress your in-laws. Or perhaps everyone else is the newbies and you need to exude confidence. The key here is layers. Start minimal during the day and start adding as the sun goes down. My style inspiration? Steven Tyler. Think crazy patterned yoga pants, flannel, a vest, denim jacket, and muck boots. Couldn’t go to Coachella? Now’s your time to shine. Bonus points for adding some feathers to your hair.
The Dock Diva
Also known as the poolside princess. You may have no interest in diving into the deep end, but you want to look fashionable around the splash pad or at your in-law’s lake house. Nothing signals, “I have no interest in getting in the water” like a patterned kimono and floppy hat. The kimono can also double as a scarf at night and it’s light enough to be carried in your purse for those chilly airplane rides. The crazier the pattern, the better and the more it hides dirt and toddler yogurt spills. Flowy pants will also get you through those mid-day runs to the local ice cream shop. See if you can go all summer sans washing your kimono.
The Backyard BBQ
Whether you’re playing hostess or attendee, one things for sure you’ll be invited to an outdoor soiree this summer. You’ll need something casual, but not the “I-just-came-from-spin-class” look, especially if your invite takes you to the neighbors or a Jazz in the Park. Rompers have become my top pick for just such an occasion. I’ve learned at these events you’ll fluctuate from standing to sitting on the ground and a maxi dress just won’t suffice. A romper takes the guess work out of what top to match with the bottoms, and if you purchase one with pockets, you can leave the purse at home. Compliment with gladiator sandals so you’re not the one getting stuck in the grass with your high heels or falling over during a game of corn-hole.
Break out the rosé! Between baby and bridal showers, brunch, with or without an agenda, has become the social norm. Perhaps that’s because mixing OJ and champagne is the highlight of brunch and it’s easier to sneak away for a few hours with your gal pals during the daytime. Here’s where a messy bun, a little lip gloss, and a cutesy shirt are acceptable. I glam it up with a maxi skirt, which is perfect for indoor or outdoor occasions. Instead of a regular bra, I’ve taken to layering sports bras under my muscle tank tops with large arm holes, to minimize the risque factor. If that’s not your cup of Irish coffee, then layer a denim jacket.
The Date Night
School’s out, which means high school and college kids are looking to earn some extra cash by babysitting. Take advantage by booking a date night with your significant other or bestie. True, you may have received some summer wedding invites, but this look is for something more spontaneous and frivolous. It will take you from a brewery hop on bicycles to a concert at Red Rocks or dinner at your favorite wing stop. This outfit resurrects the body suit. Pair it with a skirt, jeans, or shorts, you’ll be surprised just how slimming this “was-a- jr.-high-school-staple” can be. You don’t need a bra (winning) and you don’t have to worry about showing off your mom underwear (c’mon I know you’ve got them) when you bend over.
Didn’t have time to get your summer body ready for its debut? Don’t stress. My guide to mom’s summer chic isn’t about showing a lot of skin or spending a lot of money, it’s about thinking outside the box and trying something new. Never worn flannel before? Camping is a great excuse to try it out, and since there’s no mirrors, you won’t be apt to judge yourself. Try cutting off a pair of old jeans into denim shorts and rock them at your child’s next birthday party invite. Summer doesn’t last forever and neither will the opportunity to wear tank tops and rompers, so go nuts. Worse case scenario, buy yourself a nice pair of sunglasses and rock them every opportunity you get. Sunglasses will always make you look put together and save you from the hassle of mascara application on those hot muggy days.