Rock the Campfire: Off Duty Rocker Chic and Breezy Camper Cool Make for a Sizzling Summer Look

Whenever my friends talk about camp, the whole thing ends up being one giant nostalgia party. I always envied their summers spent up north, forging friendships and bracelets–while I sweltered in summer school. Between boondoggle bracelets, sticky s’mores and that perfect lived-in vintage tee, camp is an unexpected source of sartorial inspiration. Here are some of my picks for being a downtown camper.

1. The Breton stripe boater shirt: What do Picasso, Alexa Chung and Jean Seberg have in common? The ability to rock this horizontal striped shirt. It’s classic, simple and chic–allowing you to dress it up, or just pair it with a simple pair of denim cut-offs. Scour thrift stores or Bicyclette (880 Queen St. West) for some wonderful options.

2. The Panama Hat (Madewell, $58.00) : Protect yourself from harmful UV rays in style! My personal pick is the Panama hat, a wide-brimmed almost fedora made from straw. Whether you’re lounging on the porch, or hiking in the fields, a great hat always has you covered. 

3. Converse Chuck Taylors (Converse): Want to climb a tree? Ditch those heels IMMEDIATELY in favour of these classic Converse. Go to Getoutside on 437 Queen St West. to pick up your pair. 

4. Doc Martens (Doc Marten, $130): Whether trudging through the forest, or stomping on concrete streets, Doc Martens are comfy and cool. Emulate Sienna Miller’s early NYLON shoot and grab a pair in an unexpected floral. The Doc Martens store on 391 Queen St West has many great floral options.

5. Plaid Shirts: Whether you thrift one, or grab one from your father/brother/boyfriend/dudeyousortofknow’s closet–plaid shirts are a summer camp essential. 

6. That Rad T-Shirt (Wildfox Couture): Camper cool is all about ditching anything uncomfortable, and restrictive. An awesome vintage tee or fun graphic t-shirt is a great way to do this. My pick is any of the great tees from Wildfox Couture.

7. Wellingtons (Hunter): From Glastonbury to Collingwood to College St, these boots were made for walking. A long time festival fave appearing on the feet of even Kate Moss, Hunter wellies are perfect for those rainy days when all you want to do is run through the mud. 

8. A Great Backpack (Chloe Comme Parris): Add just a touch of rocker attitude with one of our favourite young, Canadian designers. A stand-out accessory at LG Fashion week, the Chloe Comme Parris backpack exudes pure downtown cool, and it’s practical enough for camp. Available at UPC Boutique (128 1/2 Cumberland St) and The Narwhal (8 Price St), this backpack won’t come cheap; if you’re loving the look, but are looking for a budget friendly alternative, keep your eyes out for leather backpacks at Silver Falls, House of Vintage or your local thrift store.

9. Tye Dye (Ashley Rowe): Recreate the carefree feel of being at one with nature by embracing your inner hippie. Ashley Rowe’s tye dye clothes provide a fresh and youthful take on this bohemian classic. Find her pieces at RAC Boutique (124 Cumberland St.) Want to recreate the fun of activity hour? Grab a bucket, a pack of RIT and some rubber bands.

10. Denim (BDG, $58)We’re loving these striped skinny jeans from Urban Outfitters. With just the right amount of fade, this classic pattern reminds me of lazy days spent lounging on the docks.

11. Denim Cut-Offs (Sub Rosa Vintage, $25)Who wears short-shorts? You wear short-shorts! Beat the heat and stay cool by finding your perfect denim cut-offs. I’ve been scoping out some killer ones at Sub Rosa Vintage in Kensington Market.

12. La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid: Keep your skin smooth and protected from harmful UV rays with this sheer, non greasy sunscreen. Especially for oily and combination skin types, Anthelios will moisturize and repair damaged skin.

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