Camping Out

It always happens this time of year: I daydream about spending a night or two camping with my nearest and dearest somewhere in the Blue Ridge.  The idea of s’mores, the smell of campfire, and all of that “into the wild” goodness are endlessly appealing.  (Mr. Magpie, please refrain from commenting on the sheer insanity of this commentary — I know you know better than anyone that I’m not exactly an “outdoor” kind of girl.  Bugs = ew.)  For such an excursion, I’d of course need to bundle up with all sorts of laughably inappropriate gear, including a black fur vest (Elizabeth and James, $595, LesNouvelles), a glen plaid flannel top (Isabel Marant, $385, Net-A-Porter), and some skinnies:

Even though I kinda half think that this get-up calls for some moto-inspired boots, they scare me too much.  I feel like they cross the line into masculine/terrifying territory, so I’ll stay calmly over here, far away from them.  Instead, I’ll finish with these equestrian-inspired Hunter boots ($195, Shopbop), which add just the right blend of practicality* and polish:

*This little Magpie does not do “real” camping, as evidenced by the bogus statement/blatant falsehood that the above outfit is in any way “practical.”  Oddly appropriate, then, that the title of this post is about “camp” — camp referring in one sense  to the physical activity of pitching tent and toasting s’mores, and in another, to the aesthetic sensibility, as in “kitsch,” or the sort of artificial/ironic “putting on” of an unsophisticated, low-taste-level quality.  Campiness.

At any rate — back to the threads.   One of my other go-to habits for cooler weather?  Layering long-sleeved tees over oxfords for a borrowed-from-the-boys look that still maintains a feminine silhouette.  I begin with one of my Ralph Lauren oxfords, layer a thin crewneck shirt over top ($72, Madewell), and finish with white jeans (IMHO, these do NOT need to be stowed post-Labor Day.  I like them tucked into brown boots in fall or with sloafers well into autumn), tortoise shades (Thierry Lasry, $375, Opening Ceremony), and some Minnetonkas ($44, Zappos):


Once the sun sets and the temperature cools, slip into a parka — I’m over this Crewcuts style for boys ($148, J. Crew), but this grown-up Madewell style is also lovely —

Or go really “back-woods” (really “campy”) with a classic plaid flannel, borrowed from the boys (love the elbow patches! — $295, Jack Spade), denim skinnies, and some classic Sorel boots ($140, Shopbop):

Wear the shirt unbuttoned with a tank underneath to add some girlishness, and then finish with aviators ($139, Ray-Ban) and cozy mittens ($52, WinkNYC):


Still too masculine for you?  Try the feminized version of the flannel shirt above in the form of this cape ($268, Steven Alan):


Perfect with these sherpa-lined mittens ($15, Dorothy Perkins):


Come nightfall, snuggle up in these girlified thermals ($42 for top, $58 for bottom — JuicyCouture):

Layer as appropriate.  For me, this means a cashmere snuggly wrap sweater ($386, SeatonSurf) and Smartwool socks (they ain’t pretty, but they are all about function, and man, do they function well.  I wear these of the winter — $17.95/pair, Smartwool):





Who are we kidding?  I’d also probably have this cable-knit scarf wrapped around my neck ($115, Reiss) and my trusty ol LLBean mocs (they are so ratty and disgusting at this point — sort of like little balls of debris strapped to my foot…time for a replacement pair?! — $59, LLBean):



And then, finally, a tidy little luxe camping set (ridiculous?  Yes. But I’ll take cashmere pillows and eye masks any day — $209, Bluefly):

I’m a notorious overpacker, and I will not miss the opportunity to disappoint, even when camping.  I’d stow an extra fleece pullover (this oatmeal fleece is my all-time favorite piece of outerwear — it is so.warm. and so snuggly.  And I like its retro styling — $139, Patagonia), some extra socks ($40, Aubin and Wills), and — of course — an extra, sherpa-lined throw ($120, Woolrich), all stowed in a totally ridiculous leather weekender ($395, JackSpade):

I’d keep cosmetics and lingerie in separate pouches ($30 each, Aubin and Wills) —

— and, for fun around the campfire, pack a deck of cards and the fixins for my favorite cocktail for fall — The Town Hall (well, that’s what they call my favorite drink at a local watering hole of the same name — it contains Woodford Reserve, house-made ginger ale, and apple cider molasses…yum…!):



Anyone else in the mood for a jaunt into the woods, Magpie style?!


  1. Just moved to from DC to Boston and immediately invested in those Sorel boots! They are as comfy as they are cute. Great pick 🙂

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