12 Summer Wardrobe Essentials for One Hot Mama

You may have guessed from the title, that this is a guest post. Andrea from the completely fab blog Fox In Flats has compiled a list of 12 summer fashion essentials for mums in 2011. I have known Andrea has been putting this piece together for awhile so have held off from updating my wardrobe for summer until now!

Summer Fashion from Fox In FlatsFor those who are yet to have become acquainted with Andrea, she is the mother of two little boys, who she credits for the motherhood induced fashion rut that she fell into sometime between the labour ward and now. She created Fox in Flats to share tips, ideas and inspiration to make it much, much easier to navigate motherhood in style. I love Andrea’s blog as it showcases fashion in a way I can relate to. You can also find Andrea on twitter and facebook as Fox in Flats.


The days are getting longer, the air is feeling warmer, and the skies are looking bluer. Hands up if you’re thrilled that summer’s on it’s way?!

If you haven’t done so already, it’s probably time to pull out your summer clothes from storage, and take stock of your wardrobe in preparation for the season ahead. We’ve compiled a list of wardrobe basics that’ll get you through the summer in style.

1.Large Woven Tote

Nothing says summer quite like a raffia bag. They’re fresh, inexpensive and darn practical.

2011 Summer Fashion Essentials - Tote

Tote, from a market. Around $20.

2.Neutral Shorts

2011 Summer Fashion Essentials - Shorts

{link:http://www.witchery.com.au/shorts/w1/i1280216/}Witchery shorts{/link}, about $80.

Shorts are an essential part of our day-to-day mummy uniform for many of us. In fact we surveyed 150 women with kids and a third named shorts as their favourite item to wear when the weather was warmer.

Tip: As a rule of thumb, choose a top that is proportionately opposite to your shorts. For instance, if your shorts are more fitted, choose a fuller top, if the shorts are wider and baggier, team them with a more fitted style.

3.Kaftan top

2011 Summer Fashion Essentials -Kaftan

{link:http://www.treeoflife.com.au/}Kaftan{/link}, around $50.

A kaftan, or tunic style top is oh-so-flattering for every figure, the perfect disguise for a mummy tummy, and also a stylish option to wear when you are breastfeeding.


  • Pop it over your shorts or loose-fitting pants for a relaxed yet polished summer style.
  • Accessorise with ethnic inspired earrings, woven sandals and a stack of bracelets and rings.
  • Pile your hair into a high messy bun to show off your neck and décolletage.

4. Straw hat

2011 Summer Fashion Essentials - Straw Hat

{link:http://www.generalpants.com.au/}agentninetynine from General Pants{/link}, about $30.

It’s a good idea to update your hat each summer – not just because of the built-up sweat (ewww!) – but because it’s a shortcut to staying on trend, even amongst your basics.

Tip: This summer, look for a straw Panama, rafia Trilby or a wide-brimmed floppy hat. Tips on how to wear the wide-brimmed hat here.

5. Colourful dress

2011 Summer Fashion Essentials -Colourful Dress

{link:http://www.wish.com.au/}Wish{/link}, about $80 from a few seasons ago.

23% of women with kids say they feel most attractive when they’re wearing a dress, so this is a must-have in everyone’s wardrobe. And best of all, a great dress will take the guess work out of coordinating an outfit. One piece and you’re ready to roll.


  • Experiment with cuts, styles and patterns till you find a dress that you love.
  • Look for natural fabrics that ‘breathe’ and will keep you cool, but also with some stretch in them. They’ll be more comfortable throughout your busy day.
  • Get more wear out of your dress by mixing up the way you wear it: Wrap a belt around your waist, top with a cropped denim jacket or light cardigan when it’s cooler, and mix up the femininity of a dress with a more masculine shoe like a brogue, loafer, or your favourite cowboy, biker or ankle boot.
  • Browse around second hand stores and markets where you can usually pick up gorgeous dresses for just a few dollars. Simply alter the hems to suit.

6. Loose white tank

2011 Summer Fashion Essentials - White Tank

{link:http://shop.countryroad.com.au/#%3Futm_source=countryroad.com.au&utm_medium=shoplink&utm_campaign=ShopLink%2B&page=/Shop/Womenswear/Apparel/T-Shirts_%26_Tops%5B1%5D.htm&product=/Shop/Womenswear/Apparel/T-Shirts_%26_Tops/WTSC79K632/Hi-Low-Tank.html}Country Road tank{/link}, About $80.

There’s something about white that makes you look more alive and more awake – even if you’ve only clocked a couple of hours sleep between the kids crying for milk, their nightmares about the ‘Evil Mummy’ in Scooby Doo, or the possums on your roof.

7. Comfy harem or PJ style pants

2011 Summer Fashion Essentials - Pants

Harem pants, Supre around $20.

A pair of light-weight pants are oh-so-comfy and practical throughout summer, and especially when busy with your kids. This summer, move on from the wide-legged, heavily pocketed cargos and the ¾ length pants (unless you’re in the army or are built like Audrey Hepburn) and try a lightweight pant with gathered cuffs harem style near the ankles, or wide-legged pyjama style pants.

8. Navy & white striped T-shirt

2011 Summer Fashion Essentials -Striped T

{link:http://www.supre.com.au}Supre{/link}, T-shirt, about $15.

Fresh and breezy nautical stripes add a classic, polished element to any outfit.

Tip: Ignore the idea that horizontal stripes will make you look bigger and/or wider. Take a look at these women – of different shapes and sizes –  rockin’ the suburbs in nautical stripes.

9. Lightweight skirt

2011 Summer Fashion Essentials - Skirt

{link:http://www.sportsgirl.com.au/}Sportsgirl{/link}, around $70.

18% of mums we surveyed listed skirts as a summer favourite as they are cool, feminie and – if you find the right length – practical.

Tip:Extra points if you can find one with pockets to stash some of the extras you inevitably need when you’re with your kids.

10. Bright tanks or t’s

{link:http://www.witchery.com.au/tees/1x1-rib-high-back-tank/w1/i6233269_1002783/}Witchery tank{/link}, about $30.

Brights such as tangerine, hot pink, canary yellow, cobalt, purple and kelly green are all huge this summer, and you’ve got a free pass to mix them into a rainbow of colour (that the fashionistas are calling ‘colour blocking’). Stock up on brightly coloured tops to mix into your basics.


  • Layer tanks over one another for some colour-fun.
  • Loose tanks and t-shirts can be flattering – just don’t leave them hanging out or you’ll look boxy and they’ll swamp your figure. Tuck them in, blouse them out and pull together with a belt, or knot to the side to give you more shape.
  • Try a bright tank under a maxi as suggested by Gwyneth Paltrow here.

11. Long Black Dress

2011 Summer Fashion Essentials - Black Dress

Stretch cotton dress, bought at local shop for around $25.

This garment is pure genius, and if you don’t already own one I implore you to do yourself a sartorial favour and do so – stat.

Tips: Need more convicing? We’ve banged on about the 7 reasons the long black dress is genius over here, including – but not limited to – the fact that Angelina Joile wears it as her staple. Love her or hate her, the woman has 6 kids, an Oscar, and shags Brad Pitt. She’s a genius.

12. New sunglasses.

2011 Summer Fashion Essentials -Sunglasses

Sunglasses: {link:http://www.shopthetrendboutique.com/hoofha19su.html/}House of Harlow 1960 Nicole{/link}, $150.

Nothing can update your outfit faster – or hide tired eyes better – than a great pair of shades.

In fact, wearing sunglasses is one of the top 12 tips for looking good when you have kids from 150 mums who completed a survey for Fox in Flats.

Tip: Save your designer sunnnies for non-kid outings, and build up a wardrobe of cheap and chic sunglasses. We scoured the net to find the best up-to-date styles for under $40 here.

Once you’ve got the basics covered, it’s easy to update your wardrobe further with new season items.

And don’t think we’ve forgotten about the shoes!

We sifted through the shoe trends to find the Top 5 most awesome, comfortable and practical for spring/summer 2011/12 here. The all-time favourite shoes for women as voted by mums are here, and you could WIN a $500 shoe wardrobe by entering here.

What’s your all-time favourite thing to wear in summer?