All that’s lame is cool again! When it comes to what’s hot in outdoor fashion right now, it seems the more comfy and dorky your look is, the cooler and hotter it becomes. Andy’s got the goss on what’s hot in the outdoors this summer.
Ah! The Great Outdoors. You’ve gotta love it – fresh air, quality time with friends or your own thoughts and lots and lots of photo opportunities. As a member of Gen Z I’ve grown up with social media i.e. I’m always ready for an Instagram post, even out in the wild.
But what about my wardrobe? How will I look cute for the guy who didn’t text me back two years ago? The girl I met at a house party in Carlton North once? Hiking evokes the marriage between function and fashion. It’s the ultimate preparation for my final evolution into a sleek, silver fox. Get ready for me, your new gay best friend, to give you the ultimate summer camping Queer Eye fashion makeover.
The Bum Bag
The humble bum bag is a crowning jewel on anyone’s khaki-encrusted summer-camping-look crown. Cue violent flashbacks to family holidays where my Dad fumbled around in his bum bag for cash, crumpling up his chin and earning the iconic face we deemed ‘wallet chin’.
A key here is diversity, opt for a fun vibe that reflects the mood you want to accompany you in nature. Travelling around Vietnam I had a bright pink bumbag that let people know I was there for a good time, not a long time.
Oh so practical, the bum bag provides easy and quick access to your phone for that iconic selfie under a waterfall to caption ‘Guess I didn’t follow TLC’s advice and went chasing waterfalls, lol!’. So random, can’t believe you just did that!
Now don’t think I just glazed over khaki there without going into the beautiful details. The entire cast of Jurassic Park proved the practicalities of this emblematic colour palette. Rumour has it that to be a paleontologist now, you have to do a runway in full khaki to see if it’s a career for you. Hey, if Laura Dern can run screaming from a velociraptor and still look that good, then surely you’ll turn everyone’s head as you parade around the bush?
I usually opt for a sturdy pair of khaki Dickies chinos or a khaki vest – it gives you the look of someone who knows what they’re doing. And who knows? Maybe you’ll find some fossils along the way, just don’t forget to play the Jurassic Park theme as you uncover them.
Uh oh, you’ve reached a swimming hole, surrounded by men swimming in rugby shorts and women in bikinis, how will you make your statement? No need to fear! Of course you remembered your offensively, brightly decorated swim shorts. If you look at your shorts and feel dizzy from the pattern, you’re headed in the right direction for an awe-inspiring summer swimming moment.
Safety should always be at the forefront of your mind when heading out into the wilds, and what better way to stay safe than to be visible for kilometres? Double up and wear your shorts whilst hiking, and if you wander off when nature calls, your friends will be able to see exactly where you are, guided by a fluorescent glow of clashing pink and blue.
It gets pretty hot when you’re out and about. My pale, English skin has never been prepared for the harsh Australian sun. Remember the bucket hats and caps we were forced to wear to be sun smart in school? Carry through that vital education into your adult life and slop on a sun hat. You know what they say – no hat, no play!
The more you look like Indiana Jones, the better. How else will you let everyone know you’re someone who loves the outdoors? Cut those words from your Tinder bio and instead use a picture of you standing in a sexy, wide-brimmed beauty. Even better, make it a khaki one. Elevate the look by adding a curtain of mosquito net to keep those pesky critters from ruining your photogenic face.
The sun does more than toast your scalp – squinting gives you headaches, wrinkles and makes you look like you forgot your glasses. Think Velma from Scooby-Doo ‘My glasses! I can’t see without my glasses!’.
Have no fear, the wraparound sunglasses are here! Maybe they remind you of your Dad on a family cycling trip? Or someone at a festival offering nefarious goods that’ll keep you up for days? These beauties divide opinion, but as Justin Bieber said ‘Haters are just confused admirers’.
You are your own person, whack those reflective shades on and forget all your worries. Blocking out the haters never looked so good.
We can’t talk about heading into the great outdoors without talking about footwear. An ancient proverb goes ‘Give a woman the right shoes and she can conquer the world’. But don’t worry, all of my guys out there wanting to stomp the trails in style, I got you!
Storming out the gate from Clark’s, I present to you the humble and unisex Teva sandal. A foolhardy choice, the stylish way to avoid the social misstep of stinky shoes. Breathe easy and let the cool summer breeze flow over your toes. It’s like walking on air.
Why not throw in a funky print? What better way to show you’re not mainstream, you’re super fun and extra quirky! *Tucks hair behind ear and pouts*.
Time to Hit the Trail
Now that I’ve equipped you with your toolkit of Must-Have Summer Looks, it’s all on you now. Of course, the list isn’t exhaustive – from birks and white socks pulled up to your knees, to a hooded towel, your accessory options are endless.
But I can only offer so much help, it’s up to you how to mix-and-match these iconic outfits. Armed with these dangerous weapons, everyone will either want to be with you, or be you. Happy camping.