Last week, I wrote about how to style a mini skirt– and, coincidentally, about strategies for keeping your underwear covered up on a windy day. In the comments for both posts, readers asked about what to wear under the skirt, just in case.
Honestly, that’s something I don’t worry about; I’m not a fan of adding an extra layer under a skirt, probably because I can still remember how uncomfortable it was to wear shorts under my uniform skirt in middle school. If it’s crazy windy and I’m going to be outside for any length of time, I’ll opt for shorts or capri pants, to keep from flashing the neighbors.
That doesn’t mean I don’t have strategies for the inevitable upskirt, though. Because it happens to the best of us. Sadly.
Wear decent underwear. And by “decent” I mean both “not ratty” and “not a thong.” Thongs have their place and time, but a day of running around with the kids is not it, nor is a very windy day. Choose underpants that won’t embarrass you if your skirt heads north. A neutral, patternless pair will be less noticeable than the ones with the bright pink polka dots — and they will work under more pieces in your closet.
Sit like a lady. Someone asked how I navigate things like the bleachers at karate in a short skirt; the answer is very carefully. No I’m not kidding — wearing a short skirt (or a skirt of any length) means thinking about how you walk and sit. The most comfortable way to sit on bleachers is, of course, with your feet up on the row in front of you; in a short skirt, that’s a no. Think twice about crossing your legs, too — even if you’ve got great underwear on, your goal is not to show it to anyone. Keep your knees together and your feet on the ground.
Have a sense of humor. A windy day plus a short skirt may very well mean you’ll wind up flashing the parking lot at Target. Don’t worry too much about it — worse things could happen. At the premier of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Emma Watson’s vintage dress went flying and fans saw her undies. Embarrassing, yes, but as she pointed out to David Letterman, “This was a small wardrobe malfunction that happens.” More importantly, though, she added, “At least I’m wearing underwear!”
Be pragmatic. A skirt isn’t always the best option, particularly if you’re going to be wrangling kids or climbing on the playground equipment. Give yourself options other than skirts and dresses — look for great shorts or cargo pants that will look chic and keep you covered. I own three pairs of chino shorts, which is plenty for the summer; two are khaki and one is a fun lime-green, for variety.
shorts: Old Navy
One last thing: Moms of toddlers, take heart! One day, your kids will be big enough that they won’t need to be followed all over the playground and you — and your skirt — will be able to sit on a bench and not flash anyone, even on the windiest of spring days. Until then, don’t give up on style, but don’t compromise modesty — and comfort — for it. If shorts are really the most practical option for windy days at the park, then wear them. Your kids won’t remember how your legs looked; they’ll just remember how much fun it was to have you go down the big slide with them. I promise.