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Avoiding the upskirt: Three playground-friendly summer options for Mom

Categories: beyond 9 to 5

6 comments

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tiered gauze skirt, $29.50 at Old Navy

What are you wearing to the park this summer? Robin is opting for a skirt, but she’s wondering how to navigate the elements. “I prefer skirts and dresses in the summer to shorts, and A-line skirts and full skirts are more flattering on my figure.” she writes. “I have young children and live in Texas where it tends to be very breezy in the summer. A windy day at the park in a full skirt can be a bit embarrassing in my typical underwear. So my question is, what are some options to wear under my full skirts that wouldn’t be embarrassing if the breeze blows my skirt up?”

Robin, I feel your pain. Unfortunately, the solution isn’t to buy prettier underwear; it’s to find a skirt that won’t go flying over your head in the wind.

An A-line skirt is a wonderful thing; it hides a multitude of figure flaws, and is flattering on virtually everyone. But in a strong wind, that skirt will head north at exactly the worst moment, and no matter how nice your underwear is, it’s not ok to be showing it off at the park. Robin has three options for summer that will not leave her flashing the other parents on the playground.

The long skirt. Longer, more Bohemian skirts are back this summer, and while a maxi skirt is a bit much to manage at the park, a hemline that hits just below the knee may be exactly what Robin needs. Because these skirts have a little more length, they are less likely to be swept over your head in a strong gust, but they’re still light enough to allow for lots of climbing and running at the park. Pair with a tank top and flat sandals for a cool, retro-60s summer look.

Jersey-knit skirt. Robin can look for an A-line skirt in a heavier, jersey knit fabric, similar to what yoga pants are made of. She will still get the flattering shape but with a little more weight, which will minimize the chance of flashing anyone. Keep in mind, though, that the jersey skirt is a very casual look — this skirt really cannot be dressed up. Pair with sandals or cute flip flops and a tee or tank for a sporty look that’s perfect for windy-weather outings.

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cuffed cargo Bermuda shorts, $26.50 at Old Navy

Shorts. Yes, I know, Robin said she’s not a fan of shorts, but here’s the thing about being a mom: sometimes you have to choose function over fashion. That does not mean, however, that Robin should default to whatever shorts are available; she should have at least one pair of really great shorts in her closet for those extra windy days. I like the line of Old Navy’s cargo Bermudas; the soft drawstring waistband and low cargo pockets mean that these shorts offer similar proportions to an A-line skirt — your eye is drawn down and out by those details. These are practical and comfortable shorts; Robin wants to choose a pair that fit properly through the hips, for a flattering look.

What are your summer go-to-with-kids pieces? Are you choosing function over fashion, or have you found a good balance?



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6 comments so far...

  • Hah! Those longer skirts STILL blow up in the breezes we have around here. Shorts are the only option on windy warm days for me sadly. I’ve even had a maxi skirt flipped up over my head. It’s quite a feat but the wind always manages to find a way.

    Mich  |  May 6th, 2011 at 11:53 am

  • Several years ago, I bought a brightly colored circle-print jersey skirt (this was before foldover waistbands came into fashion) from New York & Company. I’ve dressed it up and down so many times that it’s kind of in embarrassing condition, but I can’t bear to put it to rest… and I’ve stalked NY&Co for years without finding a replacement.

    Lisa  |  May 6th, 2011 at 12:26 pm

  • The skort is my summer friend! Athleta and Sahalie both carry longer, fuller skorts than the typical athletic, running skort. Fully functional for days at the playground (not to mention riding the bike).

    Sarah  |  May 6th, 2011 at 12:33 pm

  • I’m a year-round skirt wearer. In the summer, I wear bike shorts underneath (Champion 9″ bike shorts are great.) Not only does this ensure public decency, but it also prevents thigh chafing.

    rb  |  May 6th, 2011 at 5:33 pm

  • What about the mini? I have several minis from Boden that are perfect for parks or playdates. Since they lie so close to your body, no wind gust fears.

    elz  |  May 9th, 2011 at 11:48 am

  • I like wide leg yoga capris with a fold-over waist or harem capris. If you’re going to the park to run around with your kids these are comfortable and practical but they are more feminine than shorts.

    Athleta has great harem capris in black and Zobha has nice harem capris and wide leg yoga capris in a variety of colors.

    mneave  |  May 10th, 2011 at 12:21 pm

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