Easy summer fashion for busy moms on a budget

Most mothers tend to put themselves last on the care-for list. Things like makeup routines get cut out of the day-to-day schedule and personal needs get swept under the rug like dropped Cheerios. Well, frumpy makes you grumpy, friends.

If you’re a mom, remembering to take care of yourself this summer (and always) is just as important as remembering to feed the family pet. When you feel good about yourself, it shows, not only in the way you carry yourself but, not surprisingly, also in the way you parent. Those little eyes and ears are soaking everything in like a sponge. They take their cues from the world around them and it’s just as important to show them what self-appreciation looks like as it is for them to learn their ABCs. We’re not saying that you need to look like a model or dress like one to feel good about yourself. We’re suggesting that taking a few minutes for yourself to consider your wardrobe can make an impact on your spirit, especially if it’s something you enjoyed in your pre-mommy life.

While moms don’t necessarily have oodles of time to mull over wardrobe options, we want to look like thought and purpose were put into our mom outfits. Functionality is key but that doesn’t mean mom clothes have to be drab or uninteresting.

If you can chase a toddler in 4-inch stilettos this summer, more power to you. Most of us would like to keep from rolling our ankles and opt for something more practical, but still fashionable, like cute wedges, flats or boots. Finding versatile and mom-appropriate but stylish summer fashion pieces for your closet that can take you from work to playground to date night is key. So go reheat your coffee for the third time today while you take a few minutes for you and read on. It will be time worth investing.

Versatility is UBER important

Finding pieces that fit you well and that can be worn multiple ways for multiple different occasions this summer is key. For example, a great pair of shorts are great for playground supervising and running errands (because … pockets) but also can double as date-night worthy. Pair them with a Henley tank or graphic tee and sneakers and then for a night-appropriate look, swap out the tee for a flowy blouse, great pair of wedges and a structured bag.

We often sing the praises of a good jean jacket and they are super easy to find at your local Goodwill thrift store. Throw one on over a dress, blouse or basic tee for added cool-mom style. You can dress it up or down, wear for work or for play, and you can cuff the sleeves for even more style cred.

If you have yet to discover the magic of a maxi dress, you’re really missing out. It’s the queen of the mom clothes world. Think about it: a summer fashion dress that doesn’t expose your unmentionables when trying to chase down or wrangle a child. And you can wear it to work. Or church. Or a baby or wedding shower. Or a casual coffee date. Plus, it’s a dress, so no worries about having to match it with another piece if you don’t want to. Mind blown, friends.

Pretty much any outfit can be elevated by a cardigan. Blouse and trousers for work? Add a cardigan and you have a new outfit. Tee and cut-off shorts? Add a cardigan and a baseball hat (you know, to camouflage day three hair) and you’re the coolest mom at the park this summer.

Emulate a celebrity

So, where to begin? How does mom style become, well, fashionable? Wonder how a celebrity mom always seems to look like they have it together? Sure, they probably have someone who cleans the house and watches the children, but we bet they are sweating bullets just like you are during that trip to the grocery store. Find a celebrity, like Jessica Alba or Chrissy Teigen, whose mom style you adore when they are caught by the paparazzi being a mom and take note of the key pieces they wear. When making up your summer fashion shopping list, be sure to include pieces similar to those. You most likely won’t find everything on your list in one shopping trip, but over time, you can make adjustments and morph your style.

Consider what you already have

Remember those pre-mommy days when you felt like a rock star in your favorite outfit? Just because you’re a mom now doesn’t mean you have to give that up. Sure, maybe you should trade in your deep V-neck tee for a crewneck so you can avoid your little one causing a fashion oopsies. And maybe you should change sizes in skinny jeans because you grew a tiny human, but your summer style doesn’t have to change just because you’re a mom. The basics of your favorite outfits before kids can be altered and made to work for you now, too.

Prep the night before

Mornings pre-children were challenging enough, but now that you have another being to get out the door, things can be downright crazy. Do yourself a favor and get into the habit of thinking through the next day’s outfit the night before. Yes, we know you worked hard to get that sweet babe to bed for the third time in one night and the couch is probably calling your name, but a little time spent before turning on Netflix will be well spent come morning. Preplanning will help you put yourself first and help you avoid grabbing the same, tired outfit.

Take photos

Take some time to lay out your favorite summer mom outfits and match them with accessories like shoes and jewelry. Grab your phone and take some snapshots. Then mix up your pieces and try pairing new things together to create a new look. If you think you are missing a few key pieces, stop in at your local Goodwill thrift store to stock up for less. These photos will come in handy for those mornings when you are at a loss as to what to wear. Just pull up your outfit photos, grab and go.


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