Autostraddle’s annual A-Camp event is taking place in less than two weeks, which means its time for an annual ritual known as “deciding what to wear to the last-night dance.” If you’re a camper and this concept panics you, never fear — there’s always a solid contingent of attendees just wearing whatever. But if you never shy away from an opportunity to develop a costume of the day, then boy are you in luck.
If you’ve seen “Back to the Future,” then the words “Enchantment Under the Sea” will resonate deeply within you, and surprise: the human body is 60% water, which means wherever these words are resonating, it’s probably full of water or at least water-adjacent. If you haven’t seen “Back to the Future,” then wow you should go see it! It’s important, Marty McFly is a seminal lesbian fashion icon. (If you’d like to forego anything sea-adjacent and just dress as Marty McFly, there are some tips in this post.)
A-Camp Co-Directors Marni and Robin have suggested this dance theme at least five times before but it’s never really “caught on,” unlike a fish you are trying to catch and successfully catch. This year though, we decided to reel that sucker in. Robin is going to live her dreams in #20GAYTEEN with an Under the Sea all-day festival and then this great dance!! I can’t wait!
Femme & Flowy Under the Sea Queen
This is sort of what I imagine it feels like to be resplendent, and also gliding through the ocean powered by rays of glittery sunshine.
How about this: pair a white (black or grey) shirt or bralette or halter with blue pants! Instant UNDER THE SEA vibes. You could imagine that your body is under the sea, and your top is over the sea, and that’s why your legs are “the color of the sea.” In truth, most seas are not actually blue, but what is these days you know?
Shore Club Chill
Not all of us are mermaids or pirates. Some of us are just hanging out, floating a little, maybe doing a few backstrokes, getting our tan, having a fruity drink.
Sea it in Print: Masc
This is a great year for button-up short-sleeved shirts with hot prints, because this is the year that Hayley Kiyoko gave the world the music video for “Curious,” in which she is sporting that exact attire. Let’s be honest, this has been a hot look for a minute. But is it a coincidence that Wildfang decided this would be the year to make a dolphin-print short/shirt set? It’s not. Bless us, everyone!
Sea it in Print: Femme
It’s true that Sarah Sarwar and I had a BUSINESS LUNCH with a kickass queer girl from ModCloth a few months back, but at that point we did not know the dance theme at all, so it is obviously a pure coincidence, but also fated in the stars, that ModCloth decided to basically devote their spring/summer collection to things you could wear to the A-Camp dance. Also, they’re super size-inclusive — almost everything included here is offered from XXS to 4X.
If you’re a certain type of person, you saw the name of this dance theme and thought OH GOOD, I HAVE MY ARIEL SWIMSUIT FROM DISNEY GAY DAYS AROUND HERE SOMEWHERE. Nobody’s gonna tell you that you can’t wear a swimsuit to a dance, it’s A-Camp. Or, you could pair a flashy mermaid-themed top or bottom with a simpler top or bottom — like a black skater skirt with silver-scaled halter, or a black crop-top with turquoise scaled leggings.
Show up Prince Eric with some authentic lesbian chivalry, why don’t you? A little sea-side pirate flair in the top won’t hurt a thing.