So my sister-in-law, Jen, was in town with her boys a few weeks ago.  (Ugh, we needed mittens.  Sigh.)

Despite the weather, each day she wore some version of this kicky little outfit. 


wearing (similar items): 

jacket: Military Jacket

sweatshirt: Forever 21 Boxy Marled Top

skirt: Forever 21 Ruffled Crochet Mini Skirt

denim: love the wash on the Big Star Mid-Rise Slim Bootcut in 15 Yr Cardova

boots: love these Frye look-alikes from the Vintage Shoe Co (and made in USA!)

scarf:  this scarf from Forever21 would be cute



One of the (many) things I love about Jen is she is totally and completely her own person.  She is uninfluenced by trends or labels, and is always unapologetically herself.  

When I asked her about the dress-over-pants "uniform", she remarked "Oh this? Yes – it's my favorite look.  I got the idea from watching how little girls dress."

Um.  That's AWESOME.

Coincidentally, I received an email from Megan.  She writes:

 I have been seeing the man repeller doing the whole dress over pants look and this is my suburban mom version.  It was super comfy and nice not to have to worry about my bum showing while sitting on my heels at story time. 

HA!  And look how well this works:

Photo (3)


jacket: Banana Republic Sweatshirt Moto Jacket

dress: Gap Shirtdress

jeans: J Brand

shoes: Oscar de la Renta…try this straw-and-leather ballet flat by Cole Haan


Megan, I LOVE this look (and your email).  Someone should seriously start a tumblr: Suburban Mom Does Man-Repeller.


Thanks to you both for the inspiration!




  1. Funny, the first thing I thought when I saw Jen’s outfit was, “That’s how my five year old dresses.”

  2. Yes. Yes to all of this & damn all those cute dresses that are way too short for this almost 40 mama to be wearing!!!

  3. I’ve been rocking the short-dress-over-pants look as a method of extending my maternity wardrobe. My short knit dresses still fit when my normal shirts didn’t, and I could wear them in winter this way. I like it so much I’ll probably keep it up!

  4. You’re right! Little girls do dress like that! I always thought it was because they insisted on wearing party dresses in inappropriate weather (coz party dresses are just fab!) and moms made a compromise! It’s like getting the best of both worlds.
    Is this trend limited to a certain length? Does it have to be mini, and is knee-length too long already?

  5. I’m so honored to be featured on my favorite blog! I’ve worn versions of this outfit a few times since then and I still love it. Most recently with an oxford style shirt dress, jeggings and nude ballet flats. Oh and I would LOVE a suburban mom does man repeller tumblr. Shana, I think you are just the person to start it!

  6. I have been doing this look for years!! Now I feel like I got the ok to do so lol. Having a girl and 3 boys 5 and under means I don’t get much chance to wear cute short dresses unless I throw a pair of pants (usually jeans) under them. It’s so comfortable and cute at the same time and no worries of flashing anyone!

  7. that’s my five year old as well…Never thought of doing it myself!! But will now..thanks for the inspiration Shana, Jen, and Melanie….

  8. Living in the Middle East, this is what me and my friends wear almost daily. Yay for something modest enough to wear in this part of the world!

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