Baseball Mom? How to Dress Casual, Not Frumpy

Hi  Deborah,  

I am a 47-year-old full-time mom of two very busy boys.  Both boys play baseball, and we live in S. Texas where it’s very hot. 

I spent a lot of time at the ballpark and used to wear sweatpants, sneakers, and a t-shirt until I visited your amazing website and discovered this look was a no-go. Thank you for that little bit of advice.  It has been life changing!  

I am 5’10”, not a girly girl, but athletically feminine.  I want to carry my Fabulous After 40 with me into the ballpark but am totally stumped.  I am concerned about looking like I’m trying too hard.  

I tend to gravitate toward a classic look with hints of trendy. Can you please help me figure out what to wear? Warm weather dressing challenged, Cheryl S.

Hi Cheryl,

I love hearing how you’ve had an “ah ha” moment when it comes to your casual look.  Do you raise two good questions: 1) Is it possible to dress very casual and not look frumpy when you are a baseball mom? 2) If so, how do you not look like you’re trying too hard?

Let’s take a look.

baseball-mom outfit- jeans shorts and a tee


Halle-BerryHere’s an outfit that is very casual, but still looks pulled together.  Start with long denim shorts, add a simple neutral colored tee-shirt. Pump up the look with a classy leather cross body bag, some pretty studs to add color and a feminine touch, and some cool aviator outfit


Not everyone likes denim, so here is another sporty, classic option.

White or cream shorts always look cool and crisp. Wear them with a bright color like red or bright pink, and you’ve got one high energy look. A little jewelry adds femininity and elevates your look. This Michael Kors watch with a bold pink face has been a huge seller this year. It’s rich look but fun at the same time.

Don’t forget a cute hat to keep you cool, and again, shoes are important. If you want to wear sneakers, find some with personality to look youthful and modern. Heavy, boring sneakers are out. Sleek, bright,  fun sneakers are in.

baseball-mom- tshirt and capris




Prefer more coverage? Here’s a variation on look above using capris. Neutral capris + a bright top, fun shoes and fab accessories are the recipe you want.

Why not skirt around the issue?  You might be surprised to hear me suggesting a skirt, light weight sundress or even a maxi dress, but why not?

For example, a very casual midi skirt + a tank top and wide hip belt could look cute. Or how about a black and white striped maxi with with sandals or sporty slides, sunglasses and an oversized boho bag?

The one kind of skirt I would stay away from would be a jean skirt.  Short jean skirts are too young-looking a midi, or maxi jean skirt will make you look like a granny. Make sure any top you wear with your skirt is fitted (think shrunken polo or strappy fitted t-shirt) to speak to your sporty side.

You mentioned hats- Retire the baseball cap and slide on a more hip summer hat like a fedora, bucket hat, or even newsboy cap. They’re much more stylish. Then hit a home run with a cute handbag that’s sporty and unfussy. Don’t forget your sunglasses to sass things up a notch.

Once you’ve got your new look, take care not to fall back to your old ways.  No one will think you are trying too hard if you consistently show up looking put together and fab!

*This post was originally published in 2012 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. 

Join the Conversation

21 thoughts on “Baseball Mom? How to Dress Casual, Not Frumpy

  1. I also live in South Louisiana, New Orleans to be exact. I am the opposite of Cheryl- I am a proud 5’3″ 40 year old at about 118 pounds. I have 3 boys under 6 and am just getting into the whole baseball/soccer etc fashion thing. Help please! What shorts can I wear to the practices and games all while running around with a 3 year old. It is humid 100% of the time around here. I also have a fairly large bust so maybe someone could give me some advice? Thanks so much in advance!

    LOOOOOVE the website!

    1. Hi Ami, My friend is just about your height and weight and happens to be traveling in Southern Florida these days so I can relate to your problem. She’s finding that a sundress can be one of the coolest and most comfortable items in her wardrobe. Also she likeslinen shorts that are longer with a thin tank top (with wider straps) or thin cotton fitted t-shirt with a “V” neck. Sometimes she wears a straw fedora hat rather than a baseball cap for more style. A gladiator sandal will work well on you to balance out your top too. Don’t forget a minimizer bra to help “support” the girls!

  2. I, too, am a baseball mom – and I wear plus size. My best look uses a skort as the anchor piece (length – just above the knee.) I pair it with either a cotton short sleeve sweater (sleeveless would be great too)or a good looking cotton or gauze tunic. (I plan to experiment with Ulla Popken’s shark bite and hankie hems on tops this season.) When the weather allows, I add a tonally matched, safari style zippered vest, worn open – which has lots of pockets. In terms of footwear, I love well-designed flip-flops – but all sandals and open toe flats work great, that’s truly a matter of personal comfort. Add great sunglasses and sunscreen and you’re good to go for double-header days and celebrating the W over a bite to eat after the game.

  3. As another sweltering southern belle, could you please give ideas on very lightweight ways to do the third piece when dressing?

  4. Think loose, breathable fabrics; nothing too clingy. Airflow is what you need (which is why I heartily concur with the skirt/sundress suggestion). I much prefer to wear sundresses and skirts with t-shirts/tanks and flip flops/sandals rather than shorts which (when it gets hot enough) can still get baked right on to your legs.

  5. Thanks Deb! That is a question I’ve been wanting to ask for a while. It’s very difficult to dress for baseball tournaments that last all weekend in extremely warm and HUMID climates like we have in South Louisiana. You want to look chic and stylish, but not overdone. Overdoing it will sometimes get “who does she think she is?” looks. I like the kneelength shorts idea, with a lightweight t, in your child’s team colors and the “bling” rinestone shirts are adorable too. It makes them so proud when thier biggest fan sports their team colors! Thanks for all of your wonderful advice. Keep up the good work!!

  6. Yes, yes to the cute ideas. It’s triple digets summers in Northern CA, and sitting in the baseball stands is sometimes miserable. Would love more skirt ideas – skirts stay cool and chic when I’m feeling heavy and don’t want to wear shorts…but I don’t want to look like a grandma either!

  7. These are excellent suggestions through Spring, but when the triple digits get here my go to outfit is: Fitted shorts that hit the knee and cute flowy sleeves blouses, tucked with a cute belt, or untucked. I’d pair with gladiator or substantial sandals and a light colored straw fedora.

  8. Re: the clothing for a very hot day at a game, why not some light pants rolled up a little, and a light, fitted T, with a long cotton scarf looped around for colour? Love those cute newsboy caps and fedoras the glam girls suggested too. And I’m a fan of gladiator sandals through summer (flat and comfy, while still on trend), but that’s just me.

  9. A nice tee and jeans, spandex shorts or yoga pants works for me. I am a plus size over 50. There are so many cute flirty tops available now to wear on the weekends. Comfortable shoes or sandles. I try to wear my own hair but might attach a pony tail, or wear a cap. But if you add a little make up and hoop earrings. You will turn heads and look good. Your husband might even grab your hand :)

  10. I am a baseball fan, big time and used to attend 20 games a year when we lived in Toronto, plus whatever spring training games I could manage to get to. While your outfit sounds great, about the only time it would really work in most baseball cities is during the World Series. Even in March in Arizona or Texas, you are sitting in HOT weather. You would not even consider leggings and cowboy boots for another 6 or 8 months.
    Can you suggest a ‘warm weather’ ball game outfit? Wanda in Edmonton

  11. Yes, Sharon is right. When it’s 100 degrees, boots, hats, layers – many of the things used to spice up an outfit are just out of the question. In the Deep South, during many months, layering is usually not possible. It’s warm or HOT from March to November! Today (Jan. 28) in north Louisiana, it’s a springlike 65 degrees outside. Perfect for the cute outfit you described for Cheryl. Would you please share your ideas for ballgame attire when it’s a really hot day? Thanks!

  12. Great comments! Yes, flip flops are waaaay better than a tennis shoe! Let’s remember that Sheryl is a tall athletic gal with curly short hair. She is going to have to find a style that feel natural for her. Sparkle t-shirts and might not be her thing, even if others are wearing them. We would suggest she stay with a more free and natural style that will be in harmony with what feel good to her.

  13. While I love most of your advice, I don’t think you have attended a baseball tournament that runs an entire weekend in 100 degree weather!

    The moms on my sons’ teams have found a local vendor to create “Mom spirit wear,” such as fitted t-shirts in team colors with rhinestone wording across the front. Our team is “Thunder” so the stones spell out thunder, or some shirts have a “T” in rhinestones. Pair that with a cute pair of knee-length shorts and some sparkly flip-flops and a cute bag. Much more practical, a bit glam, team-oriented, and not frumpy.

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