18 April 2007

Going to camp!

Even when I was a wee thing walkin' barefoot as a prairie dog with a grape Sonic slush sticky-gripped in one pudgy hand and a blue leather Darryl Strawberry outfielder's glove in the other, there was no above-the-waist wardrobe component you would more likely find me sporting than the fitted camp shirt.

These days, aside from living against a backdrop with less honeysuckle and fewer homes on stilts, not to mention having sports heroes who aren't in-and-out of the clink and a BMI that doesn't hover in between "obese" and "super obese," my life - my style - is pretty much the same.

After a thorough closet assessment, I can claim official ownership over 11 camp shirts, all of which are fitted, all of which pass the "keyhole effect" test and all but two of which - the linen ones - I wear on a year-round basis.

What is a camp shirt, exactly?

A camp shirt is a hits-right-at-the-waist, short-sleeved button-up, sometimes with a rounded-collar, sometimes with breast-pockets, and is reminiscent, as you'd expect, of the kind of shirts our parents or grandparents might have been issued back when those Parent Trap-type summer camps still existed. The camp shirt is in no way a sexy top, it's a cute top.

What color should I look for?

The sky's the limit. I myself have five solids, two plaids, two with geometric patterns, one with terriers (shut up) and one with cherry bunches.

What pairs well with a camp shirt?

It really depends. About half of my cache, due to their prints, are strictly post-work appropriate and are pretty much limited to dressy shorts and jeans. The other half can go the casual-to-professional distance, complementing both the shorts and jeans and nearly all my below-the-waist work bottoms.

What's the best fit for a camp shirt?

Fitted, fitted fitted. While I believe in a more generous cut when it comes to a traditional oxford, I like my camp shirts to hug my curves just short of tight, which is difficult to achieve in conjunction with a keyhole-free front when your rack is disproportionately more heaving than your waist is wide.

Whether you're headed to the dog park, brunch just off the cobblestones of M Street in Georgetown or to the Manhattan Vintage show, a camp shirt is a sure-fire way to achieve that sweet, low maintenance, I'm-a-guy's-girl fa├žade we all work tirelessly to maintain until they move in and we can finally admit the under-15-minute shower doesn't exist, we will be watching Pretty Woman every time it airs on TBS and that au naturel really means "everything but eyeliner."

Ladies, your man-trappers:

Top to bottom:
1. Cherry blossom shirt by JW Los Angeles ($152 at couturecandy.com)

2. Plaid Jen shirt by Ben Sherman ($69 at urbanoutfitters.com)

3. Pinstripe shirt by Classiques Entier ($118 at nordstrom.com)

4. Puff-sleeve button-up ($39.50 at gap.com)

5. French schoolgirl shirt ($78 at jcrew.com)

6. Welt-pocket button-down ($220 at activeendeavors.com)

7. Farm shirt by Rag & Bone ($170 at activeendeavors.com)*

8. Passiflora blouse by Fei ($49.95 at anthropologie.com)

9. Pop shop blouse by Odille ($49.95 at anthropologie.com)

10. Puff sleeve shirt by Nili Lotan ($203 at shopbop.com)*

11. Ruffled silk blouse by D&G ($295 at saks.com)

12. Dulcie blouse by Theory ($180 at saks.com)

*your editrix's favorites


Brooke said...

I strongly disagree with numbers 2 and 7. They look very Kmart to me. I think plaid shirts are almost always a no. For example: http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/p_10151_10104_99900600ZA189000P?vName=Clothing&cName=Womens&sName=Shirts+%26+Blouses

I think it's cha-bu-duo with 2 and 7.

Johanna said...

Ooooh, them are fightin' words!

Numbers 2 and 7 are two of my favorites! I *love* the plaid camp shirt!

Kmart? Really? I don't get it. I think it's a really cute look -- a throwback to being 8 years old at the summer cottage.

dc girl said...

I love the camp shirt! It's so cute and deceivingly sexy if fitted to your curves just right. I really like the green Dolce & Gabbana one...

elle said...

I think plaids/prints are a fun way of keeping the kid in you happy while firmly residing in the grown-up realm. After all, these are play clothes, not work clothes. I think it would take a certain je ne sais quoi to pull them off, the plaid/prints at least.

denver fan said...

I'm love the first plaid one but only mildly like the second one. The first one would be super cute with jeans and ballet flats!