Summer Style Tips For Moms That Don’t Include Lululemon Pants

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You know those moms who walk around all day in yoga pants? I was one of them, briefly, after my first child was born. Then a friend pointed out that that Spandex is Spandex no matter how you slice it – and that it’s a material suited for the gym and not much else. Project Runway‘s Tim Gunn echoed her sentiment recently when he told Shape magazine: “Gym clothes in public? Never! Change at the gym!” Sounds harsh, but they have a point. Just because you’re spending $100 on a pair of Lululemon pants doesn’t mean you should wear them all day long. (Admit it: you’ll throw them on even on a non-workout day.)

Speaking of appearances, last week I wrote about Vanessa Hudgens chopping off her hair and feeling like a “soccer mom” as a result. The comment offended me because, last I checked, moms can be a pretty stylish crew (when was the last time you spotted a frumpy MILF?). Turns out not everyone feels that way. One reader wrote in to say that 90 percent of the women in her various “moms groups” were dressed in unflattering clothes, hardly wore makeup and didn’t do their hair (“dowdy” is how she described them).

I was surprised to hear this given that I live in a city brimming with hot moms (at least where I hang out). But “dowdy” types and stylistas alike often have no clue what to wear while in “mom” mode. For example, I’ll often take my kids to the park on the weekend and, ever since I banned Lululemons outside of the gym, I have no idea what to wear aside from my one maxi dress that’s currently stained with coffee and ice cream (don’t ask). There’s always my cute little Virginia Johnson printed sundress, except I got so many compliments on it last weekend – which was nice – that now I have to wait at least a couple of days before wearing it again.

So I consulted to the experts to bring you the top summer looks that are at once fashionable and practical for chasing after your little ones (or at least standing there while they run wild in a splash pad). Of course, in the grand scheme of things, what you wear means nothing. But if the clothes you put on help to bump up your confidence level and make you feel good about yourself – which fashion tends to do – then it’s certainly worth the effort. Click through our slideshow for the season’s best looks.