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Sandbox style: 7 Play-appropriate skirts and shorts for mom

Vicki Clinebell majored in journalism at the University of Colorado, and headed an advertising agency before beginning a long career in broadcasting, spanning production and copywriting to sales and management for an ABC affiliate statio...

Casual, comfortable shorts and skirts

Add some smart wardrobe staples that bring style to the sandbox and your busy days with kids -- cute shorts and skirts for moms-on-the-go!

mom and son at park

To look great and feel comfy and put-together all day long, moms need clothing pieces that move with them and are easy to wear and care for. Summer style staples are shorts and skirts that can be paired with tanks, slim T-shirts and casual tops for dress-and-go ease that doesn't sacrifice style.

Denim

Lightweight denim has outgrown the basic cutoff jean short! Today's denim fabrics are colorful, easy-to-wear and cool. An above-the-knee slim denim skirt looks just right matched with a tank top or light cotton cardigan and is a comfortable choice that's perfect for the playground with your kids, but not so casual that you'll hesitate to wear it if you are meeting a friend for a coffee date. Graphic tees and embellished tanks are a simple way to dress it up without actually having to dress up!

Trim denim shorts in a dark wash are a great basic you'll reach for often. Choose a length that flatters your legs, from knee-skimming walking shorts to mid-thigh.

Khaki

Summer means khaki casual! Flat-front khaki shorts are a wardrobe staple and look great paired with a polo or Henley-neck top.Their neutral color matches any top and the wrinkle-resistant fabric — opt for an easy cotton blend — is movable and retains shape through a busy day of bending, stretching and playing with the kids.

Add an easy A-line khaki skirt to your go-to wardrobe. Summer skirts are fun to wear and offer lots of options for partnering with a variety of simple tops. Slip on a pair of flip-flops and you're good to go!

Capri

Everyone loves capris — a cute compromise between a pant and a short that offers a little more coverage. Solid color or perky print, this fun option can take you anywhere — pair it with a flat sandal and trim-embellished tee and you're ready for a casual restaurant.

Gauzes

A gauzy skirt in a wear-everywhere knee length is fantastic on hot summer days. Cool, breezy and easy to slip on, it's versatile and fun in a solid or patterned colorful cotton. No ironing required!

Linen

Cool linen in sherbert colors is so right for the season! It's washable, wearable and lightweight. Try a tennis-length short or the ease of a linen wrap skirt for the warm days ahead.

Pattern

Pop goes the pattern to add some pizazz to your summer sandbox mommy style! Cotton walking shorts in a subtle windowpane check — try a navy and cream combo — add instant style partnered with a simple T-shirt.

The A-line skirt is universally flattering to every figure. It skims over wider hips and creates curves on slimmer shapes. Choose a skirt that sits at your natural waist and falls just at the knee. One with pockets is a bonus! Go a little bolder with the pattern, and select a bright floral to wear with a basic tank or a graphic print that adds some punch to this easy-to-wear look. Cool cotton or a cotton and synthetic blend is a great choice for this basic.

Bike shorts

If you have the figure to rock a bike short, it's a great addition for the active mom. Black is the most popular, but shades of blue are closing in on favorite color status! The fabric blend makes bike shorts wick away moisture in steamy weather, and they're up to the action when you're racing around with the kids. Check the fit in a 3-way mirror to be sure the silhouette looks bump- and lump-free. The spandex shouldn't feel tight or restrictive, and the legs should fit comfortably without riding up.

Quick Tip

Look for skirts and shorts in lightweight and cool summer fabrics. Cotton and linen blends are comfy on hot days and offer wash-and-wear ease. Polished cotton adds some sheen to dress up a casual skirt of pair of shorts.

More tips

Darling denim
Jeans & tees: Perfect the look

Mommy style: How to wear a black cardigan

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