A-Camp Fashion Trends for People Who Haven’t Started Packing

A-Camp is just around the corner, have you started packing? I personally have not. My strategy includes throwing all of the crop tops I own in a bag and hoping for the best, and it’s never failed! But if you’re anxiously looking at an empty suitcase and hoping for some inspiration to fill it with, there are some time-tested camp fashion trends to rely on. Don’t sweat it, Intrepid Camper, you’re gonna look great.

Bold Patterns

Patterns are the eyes of the fashion soul. No matter which one you choose, bold patterns are a reflection of your distinct style. You could wear tropical themed button downs with your friends and walk around camp like chill dads on a cruise.  Or you could stroll around in a colorful floral print dress and accessorize with a lollipop like you’re on femme patrol. Or are you saucy enough to rock a Bart Simpson sports jersey with pleather pants? Rory sure is. When all else fails, a last minute visit to your local thrift store will provide endless inspiration and give you the opportunity to provide a second chance to a shirt that hasn’t been worn since the ’90s. That shirt is so happy now.

Dashingly Dapper

Ties. Bowties. Suspenders. Leather jackets. Swoopy hair. These are the ingredients of a dapper wardrobe, and it’s on full display at camp. It does not matter that the mountain is determined to get dirt on every piece of clothing you have, you better work that blazer. This look is so strong at camp that sometimes a simple walk between cabins can turn into a feelings journey brought on by the presence of overwhelmingly handsome cuties. Feel free to say out loud: “SOS, send help, everyone is too good-looking!” This is how to make friends. Bonus: bowties don’t take up too much space in a suitcase, so you still have room for that animal onesie.

So Much Denim

Did you know that denim was invented in California? It’s a rule that everyone at A-Camp must bring denim in order to show gratitude for the denim homeland. Just kidding. We don’t need a reason to wear denim. Well, we do have one reason: queer people look amazing in denim. I mean, look at these people. They are really covering the spectrum – light denim vest, dark denim jacket, even a denim-on-denim button down! Levi Strauss would shed a tear.

Exciting Headware

Flowers, bandanas, sailor hats – there are so many creative ways to put things on top of your head at camp. I’d like to say that these also serve a practical function, like keeping bears out of your hair, but in reality they’re just the easiest way to keep your hair cute in a situation that allows for very little one-on-one bathroom time.

Various Plaids

You know what else all queer people look good in? Plaid. There are so many beautiful, magnificent, heartwarming shades of plaid on display at camp. Every color of the rainbow can be found at camp in plaid form. You really can’t go wrong with this look. Seriously, go ahead and put five plaid tops in your suitcase and also one sweater and maybe some pants. That’s it. I just packed your whole suitcase for you, you’re welcome.

Last Dance Fancy

The best looks always come out for the last dance. There are so many fancy dresses and ties, it’s a wonder to behold. This year, the dance is Met Gala themed, which means it’s “Fashion in An Age of Technology” themed. Which I think means bring a dress and some aluminum foil that you can shape into a tiara. Other ways to wear this theme include silver bomber jackets, lots of glitter, and futuristic choker jewelry.

Photos by: Robin Roemer, Al Stanton-Hagan, Gilles Stromberg, Sofia Barrett Ibarria, Dwyn Asher, Kip Reinsmith

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Cecelia is a playwright and student living in Houston. She is most passionate about writing and watching the honest queer experience in film, television or theatre. She also finds herself to be very moved emotionally by zines, squirrels and emojis. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @zo0mbini.

Cecelia has written 24 articles for us.


  1. so deeply honored to be in the feature image for this post but also so angry that with this post you just raised the bar for my a-camp 7.0 wardrobe #repacking

    • As I type this I am on the shuttle bus to the airport with my hiking pack and a carry on suitcase. Last night I was up till the wee hours, packing and repacking my bag.

      Despite this, I have NONE of these looks. And I had a MAJOR meltdown that I will not look as cool/hip/gorgeous as anyone else at camp.

      But fuck it, I’M GONNA DO ME. And if it helps anyone else: I kept telling myself that the whole point of Camp is that I’m comfortable. This means my favourite tees, 2 new pairs of pants, a really cool hat, a specially knit beanie with my cabin animal on it, my hiking boots and a KICKASS ATTITUDE.

      Can’t wait to see you all!! Los Angeles, here we come!!

  2. I’m just going to wear all these fashions at once, at home, and pretend I’m on the mountain with ya’ll.

  3. i have NO SPACE in all three of my bags but after seeing this i just keep thinking: “but i still need to pack ____!!”

  4. This made me want to pack a backpack for A-Camp even though I’m not going to A-Camp

  5. I’m just now thinking about the physical part of packing. For months though, I’ve been slowly incorporating new things that fit my ideal A Camp aesthetic, so that I’ll be confident and cute. This has had the added bonus of being confident and cute and feeling the A Camp-ish aesthetic in real life. Mostly lots of really boldly patterned pants <3

  6. Just me that misunderstood the ‘packing’ that the title referred to? I was expecting a different article ?

  7. Last night i tried on my met gala dress and my gf said i was too visually overwhelming.

  8. oh my god i forgot that picture of me with all my favorite people in formalwear! RIP those gold tights, who perished when i fell on new years’ and ripped both my knees open.

  9. I’ve started packing and wish I had room for all of the things! Mostly thought I just want to be weather appropriate and comfortable.

  10. I’ve got the plaid on lockdown, y’all.

    And I’ve been considering wrapping myself in plastic wrap, tin foil, and electrical tape for the dance. We’ll see what will come of that? I’m not the dress up type so IDK

  11. Really Fashion in An Age of Technology” themed. Which I think means bring a dress from lovemyfashions and some aluminum foil that I can shape into a tiara. Other ways to your wear this theme include silver bomber jackets, lots of glitter, and futuristic choker jewelry.

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