Summer camp nostalgia has hit us (a.k.a. the stylish masses) hard this season. From seashell accessories to beaded friendship bracelets, bucket hats to fanny packs, the unofficial uniforms of our youths are finding their way back into our wardrobes.
The biggest, and most fun, comeback of the year, however, is tie-dye. And while Net-a-Porter has pages upon pages of designer takes on the trend from the likes of Prada and Proenza, spending hundreds of dollars on a tie-dye tee just feels like a betrayal of our pre-teen selves.
I'd argue the only way to fully embrace this colorful staple of a simpler time is to relive those long summer days filled with arts and crafts and dirty hands and decidedly DIY it. This time around, you don't need the supervision of a camp counselor. And you're old enough to drink (something other than the Smirnoff Ice someone's older sister smuggled in). Ergo, tie-dye parties should absolutely be a thing for adults. Starting, like, right now.
Trust, I wouldn't lead you into this messy and admittedly time-consuming undertaking without confirming that it actually is an enjoyable way to spend a Saturday afternoon with your friends. During a recent getaway to Palm Springs, my own crew planned a poolside tie-dye sesh at our Airbnb, complete with frozen margaritas. We ordered some white t-shirts and found the easiest all-in-one kit on Amazon, the Tulip One-Step Tie Dye Party Kit, laid out some garbage bags on the patio, and got to work (in our bathing suits, natch). The kit comes with 18 bottles of dye, plastic gloves, and rubber bands, along with a step-by-step design guide. One of my besties actually came close to copying one of the hypebeast-y shirts he saw on SSENSE, while I achieved, for the first time in my life, the perfect tie-dye swirl.
For an hour or two we put down our phones, laughed a lot (while getting progressively tipsy), and tapped into our childhood creativity. It was nice to do something with our hands other than mindlessly scroll Instagram. After all our masterpieces were complete, we let them dry in the sun for a few hours, rinsed them off (you do have to squeeze out the excess dye or risk it running onto all your clothes the next time you do laundry), and voilà!
If you want to go all-out with the theme, mix up some colorful cocktails (like this layered frozen Lemon Drop from Delish) or pick up a few of Starbucks' new tie-dye frappuccinos (I told you this trend was everywhere). Not only will you come away with one-of-a-kind, #OOTD-worthy looks, you'll also have a ton of new summertime memories you haven't savored this much since your days at camp. So yeah, order the kit and invite your friends. You can only have so many summer boozy brunches before they get boring, anyway.
[Photo via @jessicaminkoff]