What To Wear For Moms: Summer BBQ 2009


Memorial Day Weekend always feels like the official kick-off of summer (I'm ignoring the fact that the first day of summer is actually June 21st, which some annoying, exacting person would no doubt point out.  Kind of like when my husband reminds me that is HIGHLY unlikely that there were actually a "million people in Starbucks today").  But you know what I mean – after Memorial Day, the weather turns warmer, the days seem so much longer and old people all start wearing white.  Ah, summer.  And with summer comes barbecues – kicked off nicely by the million or so BBQs on Memorial Day weekend.  (And in this case, there might actually be a million).  So what to wear to the millions of BBQs?  Let's start with a list of considerations for Moms:

1.  Something festive (a BBQ is a type of party after all)
2.  Something you can run around in – you need to be able to chase the little one, play ball, etc
3.  Something that will hide stains easily – think drippy BBQ sauce, mustard and dirt/grass/whatever else

For a 2009 Summer BBQ, I'm a little mad for plaid.  It's festive, it's campy, and this season it comes in a million different cuts and colors.  Not to mention that the plaid will help hide any run-ins you might have with the ketchup bottle (Ok – that's a stretch, but plaid is better than plain for hiding stains).  Here are my favorite plaid looks for this summer:

Man-Style Plaid Shirt With Shorts

Kimberly Ovitz Hunter Plaid Blouse

The inspiration (pictured above) is the Kimberly Ovitz Hunter Plaid Blouse in black, pictured with a pair of tailored shorts.  I love the combination of slouchy plaid with a tailored short.  I'd wear the whole outift with a pair of flip-flops to keep it casual-cool and practical.  The shirt is available from revolveclothing.com for $325.  If you are looking for something more budget friendly….see the options below.

Steven Alan Boyfriend Shirt J Crew Shorts
I'm in love with the Red Plaid Boyfriend shirt from Steven Alan (above), $160, at net-a-porter.com.  I like it worn opened (or partially buttoned) over a white tank and paired with long slim shorts.  The shorts I picked are the 9" chinos from J. Crew in navy, on sale for $32.  This shirt could also be used as a beach cover up, and worn all fall, winter, etc.  Worn alone it has that comfy-sexy vibe – the whole I-just-woke-up-all-sexy-and-put-on-your-shirt vibe.  The one my husband can't resist. Yum.

TopShop Oversized Check Shirt Mossimo Paperbag Waist Shorts

The fantastic shirt above is the Oversized Checked Shirt in Orange from topshop.com, $55.  This color would be amazing on someone who is not me.  This is the kind of shirt I always wish I could wear – and it would look great on someone who is tannish not pale pinkish.  Although, the Eccentric Orange Gentleman claims that all skin types can wear rust….hmmm…I'm skeptical but want to be a believer.  Anyway, I'm pairing this with my very favorite pair of shorts this season.  They are the Mossimo Paperbag Waist Short from Target, $18.  These shorts are seriously flattering, and would look great with the top tucked in.  Wear with flops.

Feminine Plaid With Denim

Sunner Park Top

The inspiration for this look comes from Sunner's Park Top, available at shopbop.com for $141.  I love Sunner – I find that my Sunner pieces manage to look classic yet fresh for years.  This top would do the same.  I love it in the summer, but could also picture it with a pair of Tux pants at a party this winter.  Something to consider.  But for a BBQ, wear this top with any kind of denim: distressed, cropped, cut-offs.  It all works.  And for those of you looking for budget friendly items….

Delia's Plaid Tank Forever 21's Bow Front Plaid Tunic Calvin Klein Plus Size Print Tank

The tank above left is the Deidra Plaid Tank in pink multi, $30 from delias.com.  Pair this with any kind of denim – skinny would look great with flat sandals, but bootcut, distressed or boyfriend would also work well. 

The tank pictured above center is Forever21's Bow Front Plaid Tunic, $23.  This tank is long, so it would really shine over dark slim capris or long slim shorts.  However, this top would also work over any jean with clean lines. 

The last tank pictured (above right) is the Calvin Klein Print Tank, and it comes in both regular and plus sizes.  It can be found at nordstroms.com for $70.  The tank is very sweet (ruffles on the sleeves, plus a little bow) so I would wear this with distressed denim.  Or tailored short black shorts and ballet flats.  But not khakis.  SNORE

There are two additional items that I didn't use above, but that I loved.  Both looks below are great for curvy girls.

Miss Sixty Cukor Top Crinkle Button Down Crinkle Button Down Wet Seal

Above left is the Cukor Plaid Top by Miss Sixty, $197 from www.ssense.com.  Despite the stupid name, this is a great shirt.  The off-the-shoulder neckline will help to offset wide hips.  And the whole thing just looks cool – almost trashy, but not quite.  Wear with denim.

Above right is the Crinkle Button Down by Blue Asphalt, $20 at wetseal.com.  Unlike the other boyfriend shirts I profiled, this one will fit quite a bit slimmer, due to the cool button-down back.  Great for showing off a small waist.  Wear this one untucked with long slim capris or long slim shorts.

Now bring on the hot dogs.  Or the organic Tofurky franks, cooked on a special grill that remains untainted by meat.  Whatever works.  Happy summer.



  1. Shana! Awesome ideas! LOVE the Target shorts- they are out of lots of sizes online- guess I will have to head down to the store this week:). Also on the to-do list: Thrift for fantastic men’s shirts and sew buttons on the back. Brilliant! FINALLY its summer! Wrapped up school on Friday, and I am certain to sew your Porch short order tomorrow- look for it in the mail this week. Sorry for the delay. I will pack something extra in the order to make it up to you:).

  2. Esther — You are making me want to change my life-long dream of waking up one morning with a Kelly Clarkson voice…to waking up one morning with an ability to sew! I so wish I could thrift for a men’s shirt and then simply sew some buttons on the back. Hmmmm…perhaps I should try…??
    Am excited to get the fab porch shorts! No worries about delays – I certainly know how that goes. Will send pics of the little man in porch shorts. 🙂

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