Sure, adulthood has its upsides—no curfews, no calculus class, ready access to booze you actually like rather than whatever you can swipe from your parents’ liquor cabinet—but one thing it’s sorely lacking is summer camp. For those of you who spent a few weeks or months a year living in cabins or tents under the (occasional) watchful eye of counselors, you know what I’m talking about.
It’s the place where you formed your tightest friendships, had your first crushes, and learned how to make masterpieces out of seed beads and gimp. Or, if you weren’t exactly the summer-camp type, then it’s the place where you spent most of your time writing letters begging your parents to come pick you up—but even if you fell into the latter group, we’re betting that now, with a little distance, you can appreciate the aesthetic: ringer tees, tie-dye, bandanas, and tube socks—clothes for carefree days before grown-up stresses ever entered the picture.
Fashion has always been a little obsessed with nostalgia, but these days, the impulse to pull from the past is stronger than ever—which is why it feels like the perfect time to pull inspiration from the summers of our youth.
That said, we’re not about to start wearing our old wooden name tags to work next week, but luckily, brands like Camp Collection have us covered with grown-up-friendly clothes with a “Wet Hot American Summer” vibe. Ahead, shop 25 sleepaway-style pieces, from fashion-approved Tevas to patch-covered overall shorts, that you’ll want to wear well past your counselor days.