It’s time to hit the city with suitcase in tow. But wait! What will you wear? When it comes to city trips, picking out the perfect summer wardrobe can be baffling for mom as she tries to pack up the kids and herself, too. Don’t worry ladies, we have you covered. When it comes to metropolitan excursions, we are all about keeping it simple. Pack up a few lightweight dresses, a couple cute hats, sandals and accessories, and you are good to go.
Mom’s Summer City Wardrobe: Dress
Moms, let’s just admit it right now: we love those cute one-piece jumpers, but with kids in tow, they just aren’t always practical (even if they have pockets). This is why we still turn to dresses of all lengths and styles to keep us cool in the heat. Grab a bohemian polka dot maxi dress or an off the shoulder mini before you start hailing cabs in Manhattan. When you need to rock a bit more professional wear, you skip the spaghetti straps and go for a geometric pattern dress that shows off your unique style, while still letting you run around to museums with the kids after a client meeting. Personally, we love the fun and flirty midi maxi for hot summer days. The key is to always have straps. When you are picking up kids and carrying a big purse filled with toys, snacks and everything in between, you can’t afford a wardrobe malfunction.
Mom’s Summer City Wardrobe: Sandals
Walking is generally your best mode of transportation when in the city. Sure, there is the train, buses and taxis, but your feet will allow you to see more than that tour bus ever could. This is why your footwear is the most important wardrobe item to invest in this summer. We swear by our Miz Mooz sandals when we need cute, but practical footwear to go with skirts and dresses. Superga white tennis shoes are all the rage, even with the younger members of the Royal Family (you know Kate Middleton is always in the know). Not everyone wants to wear flat sandals or sneakers, though. Nope, for you, the pavement warrior who wants to walk from one end of the city to another, there’s Clarks. This brand has built in arch support, varying heel height and so many styles. You’re sure to find at least one (*cough,* we own at least three, maybe five) that will go with every outfit in your closet.
Mom’s Summer City Wardrobe: Hats
A good hat is not only functional, but also stylish. It can cover up a bad hair day, protect your face from the harsh rays of the sun, and keep you cool on a hot summer day. Not everyone can or wants to pull off a baseball cap, though. Lucky for you, you don’t have to. Designers and fashionistas have been touting the virtues of a good hat for years and we couldn’t be happier. We love a good fedora to liven up an outfit, especially for nighttime outings. We’ve found that the cowboy hat isn’t just for those southern gals, either. Nope, ladies across the country can pull off a straw cowboy hat with a fun trim with the right maxi dress, skirt and top, and even shorts. No cowboy boots required (although we do find those adorable, too). When all else fails, grab that wide brimmed summer hat and embrace your inner Audrey Hepburn a la Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Nothing says glamour like a gal in a cute dress, big hat and sunglasses. For packing purposes, try to find a foldable hat so you don’t have to worry about crushing it in your suitcase. These days, we can’t afford to bring our hat box, as well as all those carry-on bags and checked luggage.
Related: Best Packable Sun Hats for Travel
Mom’s Summer City Wardrobe: Sunglasses
Your eyes are nothing to mess with, especially in the summer months. Sunglasses are one way to show off your personal style because no two faces are alike. Whether you want to go vintage or classic aviator, there are loads of styles to choose from when you start shopping. To help you narrow it down, ask yourself a few questions first: metal or plastic? Black, brown or a fun color? This will cut your choices at least in half. Then you can start looking at shapes. Cat eye sunglasses are always fun, but big and round sunglasses give you more coverage and that mysterious Hollywood star look. No matter which style you settle on, make sure your sunglasses always have 100-percent UV protection. Yes, your sunglasses are fashionable, but they need to protect first and foremost.
Related: Best Sunglass Brands for Moms
Mom’s Summer City Wardrobe: Bags
You can’t go to the city and not carry a purse, backpack, camera bag or tote with all of the stuff you’ll need for the day. Yet, not any bag will do. You need a bag that will pull double, triple—no—quadruple duty. If you have little ones, it has to be a diaper bag that doubles as a purse. The Kelly Moore bag and the Jo Totes Gracie Camera Bag both do it all for shutterbugs who need a bag that can hold their camera, as well as a wallet, phone, chargers, snacks and water bottles (but not look like they have a valuable electronic inside). For those who don’t want to carry a heavy purse all day, a cute backpack is what you need and Herschel does it best. If the weather gets you down, a waterproof backpack is a lifesaver and can pull that quadruple duty you have been looking for—purse, diaper bag, camera bag, snack bag.
Mom’s Summer City Wardrobe: Jewelry
Summer calls for light, breezy colors and layers, including our jewelry. We love to layer delicate gold necklaces with chunky longer pieces. And nothing screams summer like bold stacks of bracelets for a cause. Pura Vida bracelets and 4Oceans bracelets both give back to charities, help preserve our oceans and make the world a better place. There is no better time to show off the causes you support than in the summer, when those bulky winter coats aren’t covering up your style.
Keryn Means lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. with her husband, two boys and one fluffy little pup. She is an award-winning travel journalist with bylines on Thrillist.com, Travel Age West and more, and loves to talk travel on ABC’s Good Morning Washington. You can find Keryn dragging her two boys around the DC area most days and across the globe several times a year. Follow along on their adventures on WalkingOnTravels.com and on Instagram.