Today we bring back freelance writer, forum member, and super stylish Mum on the go Laura who lives in Chicago. Laura has road tested several of my Mum on the go outfit formulas and her posts have been very popular. With vacation season just a few weeks away I asked Laura to write about an outfit formula for the beach and pool with little ones in tow.

School’s out! Are you ready for fun with your family at the pool or beach? I am.

I like to feel pulled together yet relaxed, alluring yet modest, and ready to play with my two young sons at the beach or pool. Yes, this is a tall order!

Here are the components of the formula:

Bathing suit + cover-up + sandals + sunglasses + hat + tote bag

+ cotton dress and undergarments for après swim

Because I like to be comfy and covered in the right places (no bikini top slippage or awkward overexposure, please!), I prefer a one-piece suit. I love Miraclesuit’s Sonatina for its tummy-reducing magic and own it in black — and would also love to add a second in a print.

So before I head out to the beach or pool, I’ll put on my bathing suit and over it I’ll wear a turquoise cover-up dress. And here’s your chance to wear flip flops to your heart’s content! Mine are colorful and fun – no chance of mixing up your basic black flip flops with some other mom’s at a crowded pool. Sunscreen and sunglasses complete my outfit.

When I swim I take off the dress, but pop it back on as soon as I come out the water or when we eat lunch. The mesh is great for that reason because it dries super fast in the sun since it gets wet when my bathing suit is still wet. Alternatively, I’ll cover up with a black knee-length swim skirt instead of the mesh dress. Board shorts will also work if dresses and skirts are not your choice of cover-up.

With those key pieces in place, you can add tote bags, towels, hats, portable coolers and beach umbrellas. One tote isn’t enough: Our family usually brings three. Two totes never leave my car — I keep all of the sand toys, kids’ towels, juice boxes, snacks and sunscreen packed and ready. When we get home, I wash the towels and pop them right back into the bags when clean, and reload the snacks. That way, I only need to pack my own bag and put the kids in their swimsuits, and we’re ready for a day in the sun.

Before heading home, I like to change into dry clothes to avoid soaking the seat of my car. In my tote, I pack a simple, lightweight cotton dress, like the Patagonia Kamala dress that’s in Angie’s store, with a set of undergarments.

Let’s hear from you! Do you have any favorite mom on the go items that make your life easier at the pool or beach? And how are you doing on assembling your own swimwear capsule? Anything we’ve forgotten?

Beach & Pool 1

Beach & Pool 2

Laura’s previous MOTG posts: