In general, I am not a summer person. I do not like sweating through my white T-shirts; I prefer pants over shorts. My skin is highly sensitive to the sun and, no matter how much SPF I rub into it, I’m quick to burn and peel. And don’t even get me started on aggressive office air-conditioning! All that said, however, I am a summer camp person — in no small part due to my undying love of summer camp outfits. Fleecy sweatshirts for chilly, dewy mornings? Colorful, arts and crafts necklaces piled on en masse? Chunky, clunky-chic boots for a wander through the woods? I want to wear it all.
Of course, dressing for any outdoorsy excursions in my thirties is a different beast than it was two decades ago. For starters, I care way more about looking cute and coordinated for whatever activity is on deck, be it horseback riding, hiking, or (more likely) hanging back at the lodge and eating frozen grapes while I gossip. And as a fashion editor, I find that part of the fun is pulling together an outfit that performs for the task at hand, but still looks good on the ‘gram.
“When dressing for the a camping trip, hike, or any adventure in the outdoors, comfort is key,” says designer and fellow happy camper Eleanore Haycock. Her athleisure line Year Of Ours is filled with just the sort of elevated throw-on-and-go pieces one would want on hand while roughing it (or glamping) in the wilderness while trying to recreate the carefree days of kid’s sleep away camp. “When I think of ‘summer camp style’ I think all the layers your parents would put you in before sending you off for the day or week,” she continues. “As an adult, I think layers are still key but trading in the baggy tee for sports bra and pair with a runner short. Add a light weight windbreaker [like our] Terrain jacket that easily rolls up into the a bag and a wide brim bucket hat for sun projection.”
To Outdoor Voices CEO, Gab Conforti, summer camp style is less a look than a free-spirited state of mind. “It’s all about being carefree and having fun, freeing fitness from performance in the truest sense,” she says, emphasizing the need for comfortable and cool activewear pieces — or simply every items that hold up to a day of being active. “Feeling good about yourself and what you’re wearing is what helps you know you’re on the right track.”
Of course, pulling together perfect camper wardrobe is only half the battle: you also need the right gear to go with it. My top picks of the moment come courtesy of travel brand Away, whose recently launched F.A.R.—For All Routes line serves up the ultimate sleek-yet-durable duffels, backpacks, pouches, and packing cubes to squeeze all your camping wardrobe in (that you’ll still want to use post-trip).
“At Away, we pride ourselves in striking the right balance between form and function; ensuring all our products are not only useful and reliable, but also an extension of one’s personal style,” explains Luigi Auricchio, the company’s Vice President of design. When creating the products, which utilize responsibly sourced and recycled materials, his team was careful to balance practicality with a sporty, photo-ready aesthetic. “Historically in the outdoor category, functionality has overshadowed style, so we were delighted to offer our customers a line of bags that prioritized both.” The result? Sneaky-smart details (think internal compression systems and hidden yet assessable pockets) as well as bold colors and clean, modern lines.
As for what, exactly, I’m packing inside? Keep scrolling for five looks on my current camp girl moodboard, all pegged to a different activity I plan to partake in this summer.
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I don’t know about you, but if I manage to make it through a boat ride — be it canoeing, kayaking, or sailing — without falling in the water or being hit with a sail/oar I consider it a success. All of which is to say: I care way more about getting a fun photo than actually getting to a planned destination or winning a race on the waves. Luckily, these comfy (mostly — you might consider a bikini top under the sweatshirt) moisture-resistant pieces can manage more than a few splashes in the process.
What’s the different between outdoor and regular yoga? Once you try the former, it’s hard to go back to the latter. Dress for the occasion just like you would for an in studio class (hello, matching set), but be sure to have a durable, roomy tote on hand to lug along a mat, water bottle, and post-practice snack.
Sure, I could suggest a pair of leggings and cropped T-shirt here — but isn’t that a little obvious? Try a stretchy and supportive exercise dress instead, layered with an oversized button-down and sturdy hiking boots and you’ll have the same ease of movement, but look way cuter on camera.
Thicker pants, like jeans are important if you are planning to sit in a saddle for long periods of time (read: less chaffing), but fortunately they are also just the thing to set off a pair of Western-style boots (a little bit of a heel will help you stay secure in the stirrups). As for a bag, I’d recommend something small and hands free — think just big enough for your phone and hand sanitizer.
Hanging Around The Campsite
Now for my favorite part of any camping experience: Kicking around with my fellow campers, munching on gorp, and bonding. For these such get togethers, I’d go for a loungewear look I could easily transform by swapping the sweaters for jean or bike shorts if/when needed.