We know it’s time to peel some layers, Mamas, because suddenly, right around March 21, we were inundated with reader questions about what to wear to hide veiny legs during the dog days. Here are a few excerpts to give you an idea of the sense of panic ANMJ mamas are feeling as the weather warms up:

I have pants on all.the.time.  Of course, pants lend themselves to cooler-weather tops, and I look ridiculous.  When it's 90 degrees and humid, I still have on jeans or khakis. I'd love to wear skirts and dresses, but my legs make me so uncomfortable. . .

– Laura

I'm 33 weeks along with my fourth baby, and lucky me, this pregnancy I got varicose veins. UGH! And now I have the joy of wearing ugly compression stockings or old man athletic socks.  At least this has been a winter pregnancy and they are easy to cover with pants so far.  I am told that the veins will recede after I give birth (in April), but I don't know how soon, or how much longer I have to wear the ugly socks.  And I'll be nursing again. And I'll have the lovely postpartum body to deal with.  Sigh. 

– Jodi

I work in the public schools. So summers for me are all about running around with kids in hot, dry Denver, sitting by the pool, or "hiking" in the moutains (as much as one can hike with a 1-year-old and a four-year-old). In the past, for me, all of those activities have been done in a short skirt or shorts. But, this summer I cannot bring myself to bare my awful veins to the world. Please help!

– Talia

Well mamas, there are TONS of fab options for staying cool, playing with the kiddos and looking summery, all while keeping your gams covered.  Read on for our vein-hiding picks.

Palazzo Pants Are Back?  Seriously?
Yes.  One of my favorite ways to stay cool and covered last summer whilst prego with number three was by wearing wide-legged palazzo pants with skimpy tanks and sliver wedges or flops.  They let me lounge on the grass with my boys after eating too many strawberries, climb on the jungle gym and look reasonably put together running around town. 

Palazzo Pants

 

A New Crop
Capris can risk going all-out mom jeans, but there's a new crop (excuse the pun) of slouchy but slim pants that hit just so, either right at the ankle bone, or just below the knee, and I'm loving them for mamas who don't want to bare their legs. 

Modern Crop Pants

 

Prints and Brights Are Just Right
I am in love with the statement denim trend.  It's so fresh and easy to wear, and it instantly speaks to the season.  Again, pair spring/summer pants with skimpier tops to make sure you're not sending the Diane-Keaton-turtleneck-in-June-vibe.

Printed and Bright Denim

 

Yes to Maxis, Midis and High-Lows
Of course.  Maxi and midi skirts and dresses are back with a vengeance this season, but with a fab new update to keep the wheels of industry turning–the high-low hemline.  Love it.  Especially if your varicose veins are up higher or on the backs of your legs, this fresh take on the maxi will be perfect for you.

Maxis, Midis and High-Lows

 

Rompers?  Seriously?  Again?
Uh-huh.  So maybe they didn't end up being the life-changing trend I predicted a few years ago, but I seriously adore these two, and the Anthro Stonington Romper is getting fab reviews–one I read was even from a nursing mama who sang the praises of its comfort and ease for nursing.  It's in my cart.

Rompers

 

 

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Fake It 'Till You Make It

If your'e up for a little art project, it is a fundamental truth that everything, from veins and general pastiness to scars, flab and celulite, looks better with a little golden touch of fake bake, er sunshine.  I like a nice professional spray tan to get started in the summer, but that stuff does start to look a little kooky when you're in the pool a lot, so I'm also going to try the Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs–it gets great reviews and apparently even stays on after a dip in the pool, until it's washed off with soap, water and a wash cloth (!).

And. . . I don't want to minimize anyone's discomfort with their appearance.  Our number-one goal here at ANMJ is to help mamas feel confident by taking some much-deserved time out of their busy, multi-tasking, self-sacrificing schedules for themselves.  But I have a feeling that all our worrying over our perceived flaws–varicose veins, mummy tummys, stretch marks, cellulite and all the rest–is going to seem crazy a few years down the line, when we look back at pictures of ourselves with our babes, who will then be driving cars or going off to school or finishing their post grad work or getting married and having their own–and realize how scary-fast it all buzzes by and how truly beautiful and happy we looked. 

Here's to warmer weather, Mamas!  Let's do our best to enjoy every minute of it, in spite of all our flaws.

– M.