Summer is here, and if “camp” was a foundational part of your life as a child and young adult, then surely you are pining for simpler times. I never went to sleepaway camp and was wildly jealous of those afforded that privilege, and watching The Parent Trap for the umpteenth time has reawakened the desire to sleep in a cot and wear fetching little shorts, just like Hayley Mills is doing here.
The little shorts are both crisp and casual and the matching top with the notched collar and scarf? Transcendent! A beautiful uniform for any sort of activity that includes the outdoors, even if the outdoors are just a walk to the store, the park, the deli, and back. If Hayley Mills’s chic separates are not for you, I urge you to consider other options.
For instance, call me crazy, but the outfits worn by the children and counselors in Nickelodeon’s iconic series, Salute Your Shorts are outfits that I have recently seen on strangers on the street.
Another venerable entry into the annals of summer camp mythology is, of course, Troop Beverly Hills. Though these looks are a bit fussier then I would prefer, they are still worth your consideration.
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The ensembles on display in Troop Beverly Hills are an upgrade to The Parent Trap’s camp chic, but a tiddly bit too fussy for my needs. However, the Diet Coke holster on the girl on the right is inspirational to me, as are the natty yellow and white striped camping backpacks. I want that backpack. Thank you.
However, if all of this feels just too much—too studied, too composed, and too, well, dressed—then let’s look at these women, who are members of a “girl’s club” in South Wales, from 1936. They appear to be doing some sort of dance exercise that faintly resembles a barre workout one might do from the living room, but with the support and comfort of good friends.
Something about the quiet simplicity of these dance costumes soothes me. Perhaps it’s time to find the wrap dress in the closet that you once wore to “events” when such a thing existed and attempt a Martha Graham-esque dance routine in your living room. If so, do it with the enthusiasm and vigor of these women, holding hands, and grinning into the abyss.