Summer is often known as a season of adventure, but this year there’s even more to it.
While we’re still in the process of recovering from a 14-month pandemic, many Americans are going back to the office, film lovers are rediscovering movie theatres, foodies are returning to restaurants and students of all ages are getting ready to go back to school in person. And all while still respecting the changing rules of covetiquette we’ve learned over the last year.
This summer is not just a time of adventure. It’s also a time of transformation.
That can be a big, scary word (even if you don’t count giant alien robots) but transforming is the process we’re all going through right now as we get out from under the all-too-familiar feeling of being overwhelmed and grow into our new post-COVID lives. It’s a chance for us to reset our expectations and our lifestyles. One of the most obvious ways this takes shape is in our wardrobe.
Over the next few months we’re going to explore a few different aspects of this shared transformation. We begin this month with Purposeful Play, a chance to jolt yourself out of a life on pause and play a little. This idea incorporates both the adventures of summer and the preparations for returning to “normal” school and work scenarios.
One thing that is not changing is that the outdoor boom of 2020 is showing no signs of slowing down. If anything, the advent of summer has many yearning for the open road and searching for “forest resorts” and “mountain travel” in bigger numbers than ever.
Enter Gorpcore, an idea that’s been around since 2017 or so, but has found new relevance this year. Gorpcore represents the convergence of outdoorsy gear and fashion. Other terms you might have heard that play along with this idea are “Cabin Couture” and “Trad-Plaid.” These bring the types of gear you might wear while hiking a distant trail into your everyday life.
A lot of outerwear can work for this, such as the Camp Fleece Snap Pullover or a soft Tri-Blend Hoodie. But don’t forget the layers underneath can also lend themselves to that Gorpcore feeling – try a Long Sleeve Perfect Denim Shirt for a timeless choice or the rugged Woodland Shirt Jac for a look that rides the line between outerwear and base layer.
This trend embodies the unfettered sense of freedom we feel while we’re out in the middle of nowhere and brings it to wherever we happen to be. Even when we’re not on vacation…we kind of are!
Vaccinating Against Boredom
If you’re a parent, you’ve probably lost count of how many times you’ve heard that phrase in the last year. And while it’s annoying, if you’re being honest you are probably feeling some of that boredom yourself.
Boredom can be a result of both understimulation and overstimulation, which we’ve all experienced since the beginning of the pandemic. Wherever it comes from, the end result of all that ennui is often a lack of motivation and an abundance of frustration.
This is just one of the reasons both kids and parents alike are excited to be getting back to school this fall. Most school districts around the country are opening up to some form of in-person classes, as are universities and college campuses. Just as teachers seek to build educational experiences that stimulate the senses and the imagination alike, the clothes we wear can do the same thing.
You don’t have to look far for examples of this. The bright color choices of the Re-Compete Tee are a great starting point – take a look at Atomic Blue or Neon Yellow to make an immediate impression. The Crystal Tie-Dye Pullover Hoodie practically explodes with bursts of striking color in tie-dye patterns.
Pieces like this encourage us to play hard, to rest easy and to find the fun whatever we’re doing by creating little moments of surprise, humor and delight. Getting vaccinated against COVID is on everyone’s mind lately, but this cure for boredom is a lot more fun.
When you think about Purposeful Play and how to bring it to life, give some thought to another summer tradition that’s coming up soon: the Olympic Games. The outfits the athletes wear are designed to help them win, but over the years they have also often been eye-catching and playful, including bright colors, sparkles, polka dots and yes, even feathers.
Purpose is important and we all need it, but never forget to play too. These styles should express the kid that lives on inside all of us and bring a much-needed sense of joy to our lives.
As we begin this time of transformation, we can do it in a way that honors both the traditions we rely on and the joy we need. This summer, let’s get out and play!
In the coming months, we’ll look at the basic goodness in our new attitude and the practical magic that’s putting the “extra” in “ordinary” these days. I hope you’ll join us as we continue to explore these times of transformation!