Can cute clothes and camping coexist?

Can cute clothes and camping coexist? Go to any campground in America, and I promise you the females with the most style will be under 8 years of age.  This weekend I saw ruffly petticoats worn over hot pink sweatpants, polka dotted pom-pom adorned hats, multi-colored sweaters and distressed denim jeans worn with tie-dye converse high-top sneakers. It was inspiring.  (Perhaps mothers should just let their little girls wear whatever they want  more often?)

Meanwhile, everyone over 20 seems to settle into a wardrobe of grey sweats, ancient running shoes and “mom jeans”.  I’m not being a snob.  You can include me on that list.  My husband absolutely refused to turn his camera on me and instead focused on our kids and the landscape. It’s probably a good thing. I’m not sure I want to know how frumpy I looked.

I did manage to put this outfit multi-denim outfit together on the last day of our trip.  It was a warm morning so no need for fleece, and I did have to change into said “mom jeans” for a later bike ride, but I looked cute for a few minutes.

The Cute Camping Challenge

So the question I want to pose my readers is this: Is it possible to look good while camping? Can you come up with some cute outfits while living out of a bag and sleeping on the ground?  If you’re like me and you like to look good while taking on the great outdoors, how do you do it? This is a serious question my friends.  I’m planning a month of road-trecking this Summer and I need some advice.

So here’s what I’d like to do; Please submit a photo of one great camping outfit by Saturday May 7th by e-mailing me at  (This doesn’t have to be a photo you took while camping, but an shot in some greenery might be good for ambiance.) Include why you think your outfit works for camping and any advice you’ve gleaned from trips in the past. Be practical!  Remember, this outfit might see anything from a morning bike ride along the beach, to hiking up into rattlesnake infested hills, to sight-seeing at tourist destinations.  It really does sound impossible, but I know a lot of you have some serious style.

On Monday May 9th I will post the best submissions along with your sartorial camping advice.

Results! Yes, cute clothes and camping can coexist

Update! The challenge is finished. Read all about it here: Here they are! The Cute Campers. 

Since writing this post I’ve done quite a few more posts on what to wear camping. See them all here: Camping Outfits

Like what you see? Follow me!

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32 Responses to Can cute clothes and camping coexist?

  1. Alexis of NorthOnHarper April 25, 2011 at 9:13 am #

    Thanks so much for the shout out Heather!!!! I can’t see what people come up with and I am racking my brain right now on how I can partake. This should be fun!
    Alexis of NorthOnHarper recently posted..Timeless TurquoiseMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca April 25, 2011 at 9:21 am #

      I hope someone participates! It’s an unusual challenge ins’t it? I certainly find it challenging to dress nicely when I’m camping. But there has to be a way, right?

  2. Joy April 25, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    This is an excellent challenge, Heather. I’d have to do some shopping before I could participate though!

    Take yesterday for instance. I was wearing a cute spring dress and then we decided to go fishing. The outfit I changed into was anything but cute.

    I’m thinking I need a pair of cargo capris, then I’d have something to work with.

    I can’t wait to see what your readers can come up with!

    • Heather Fonseca April 26, 2011 at 7:05 am #

      I really hope you can be part of the challenge Joy! I think I need a pair of cute cargo capris too.

  3. anne
    April 25, 2011 at 10:21 am #

    I’m in!

    I used to camp a lot… did a 12-day backpacking hike in WY in 1975 – AND I wore clogs! I still hike in clogs. People think I’m nuts.
    Then there’s car camping. Totally different types of outfits. Having driven across the US 12 times, I’ve got my road trip outfits down. Wear clogs for that too – haha.

    No longer camp. My current man is a city boy. I cannot imagine him in a tent. He’s very good at shopping though, so I’ll keep him!
    anne recently posted..4-24 camellia girlMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca April 26, 2011 at 7:06 am #

      Oh Anne I can’t wait for your submission! It’s going to be cool. Be sure to include the clogs.

  4. SACRAMENTO April 25, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

    I would love to join in, but I am nearlly packing. I am off to spend 3 weeks in Berlin with my daughter.
    But go for it. I will be watching you all.
    SACRAMENTO recently posted..My Brother´s Fan &amp Blog OverbrandingMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca April 26, 2011 at 7:07 am #

      Have a wonderful time on your trip! I hope you continue posting while you’re on vacation. I want to see your Berlin outfits too.

  5. Raquel Rzeszotarski April 25, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

    It’s definitely possible, I don’t go camping so I don’t think I can try it but I know it’s doable. & I agree with you, I love how little girls can look like princesses all of the time. I cannot get enough ruffles, bows, or sparkles ever & try to add those to my outfits : )

    • Heather Fonseca April 26, 2011 at 7:15 am #

      Next time we go camping I’m going to try to get some shots (from the back or side as I don’t like posting photos of other people’s children) of the girl’s outfits. There were some great ones!

  6. Fashion Limbo April 26, 2011 at 8:55 am #

    This is a really good idea! it is true that not only camping, but dare I say dog walking, or grocery/food shopping makes us commit the biggest crimes againts style.

    I don’t do much camping, but I may have a picture somewhere with an outfit representative of what I normally wear on such times 🙂

    • Heather Fonseca April 26, 2011 at 7:26 pm #

      That would be lovely! I hope you’ll contribute.

  7. Kim April 26, 2011 at 11:06 am #

    That’s definitely a challenge! I hate camping, I only do it when I go to festivals and even then I don’t like it 🙂

    • Heather Fonseca April 26, 2011 at 8:58 pm #

      I know a lot of people don’t like camping. One of the reasons I like it is because I get to camp on the beach in California, which is darn nice!

  8. Aquí April 26, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    such a good idea for a challenge! I thinks its possible, probably just extremely frustrating!

    • Heather Fonseca April 26, 2011 at 8:58 pm #

      I’d love to see your take on it!

  9. Oh to Be a Muse
    April 26, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    this is probably one of the reasons why i don’t camp. not sure i could pull off camping while also looking cute–maybe, i don’t know! you did a great job though 🙂
    Oh to Be a Muse recently posted..Whats In Fashion- Top 5 Headlines for AprilMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca April 26, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

      Ah, but that was my ONLY cute outfit! The rest were mega-frumpy.

  10. Terri
    April 26, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    Hm, I lived in western Montana for so many years, this kind of thing should be right up my alley…we’ll see what I come up with.
    Terri recently posted..Helgas BagMy Profile

  11. Paula April 26, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

    I’d love to join in–although not a camper myself, but i do love to partake in activities outside so next time I go hiking, I’ll see if I can do “cute”! Kudos to you for camping; we always said,’we should have gone camping” when something went wrong with the kids! Still cold here in NE tho…
    PS Thanks again for the shout out for Link Love–very thoughtful, GF!
    Paula recently posted..De-old-ladyingMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca April 26, 2011 at 9:01 pm #

      I think any outside adventure outfit would be find for the challenge, and I’d love to see a cute hiking outfit. We mostly go hiking for the kids, but we have fun too! Of course, we’re in California, where campgrounds require reservations, but the weather is wonderful.

      You’re welcome for the link love. I loved your post!

  12. mary jo
    April 26, 2011 at 11:28 pm #

    I love the idea of camping cute! You managed to pull off a very difficult feat!

    xo Mary Jo
    mary jo recently inspired- hans hofmann- the golden wallMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca April 27, 2011 at 7:34 am #

      Thanks Mary Jo! It is a challenge.

  13. Couture Carrie April 27, 2011 at 9:58 am #

    Really fun post, darling!
    Love this look!


  14. Ada April 27, 2011 at 10:21 am #

    This is a great idea. Off to send you some “campy” fashion shots. 😀
    Ada recently posted..Sailing Down the RiverMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca April 27, 2011 at 8:49 pm #

      And they’re so cute! Love your quilted vest. I have one of those, but it’s white, not the best camping color! Thanks so much for joining the competition.

  15. Hajra April 28, 2011 at 7:43 am #

    Oh…I just hate camping, simply because I live in a desert and it gets very hot all the time! But I hope people will come up with some fabulous ideas!
    Hajra recently posted..SINGLE BAD TIMING!My Profile

    • Heather Fonseca April 28, 2011 at 10:17 am #

      I hope so too! Personally I like camping by the beach, so I can see why desert camping might not be on everyone’s list of things to do.

  16. Jamillah May 3, 2011 at 7:32 am #

    Hmmmm…I would love to partake, but I might be waaaaaay off as I never go camping. Ok, I’m going to try. Eek! I’m excited to see what everyone comes up with!

    • Heather Fonseca May 3, 2011 at 9:17 am #

      Oh please do try Jamillah! So far only two people have sent me images. It would be great to have a couple more.