Blogs: On Your Market / Fashion

The Bracelets That Say Summer Camp For Adults


Earlier this week, I shared some details from the new Instagram Insider fashion report that the social media platform just introduced (you can read about that here). It featured some incoming fashion trends that I found to be pretty exciting—psychedelia, in particular—and gave us a tiny bit of insight into what we should be asking of our jewelry come summer.

Lizzie Fortunato Candy bracelet
Candy bracelet in gold-plated brass with recycled glass and bone, $150; Lizzie Fortunato (photo: Thomas Kletecka)

The one style description in all of Instagram’s spring 2021 issue was “summer camp, but for grown-ups.” The author was referring to a sort of homemade vibe in jewelry and fashion, such as beading, crochet, patchwork—but the aesthetic extends well beyond those styles.

Noor Shamma infinity bracelet
Infinity bracelet in 18k yellow gold with chalcedony, $1,200; Noor Shamma
Graziela emerald bracelet
Bracelet in 18k white gold with emerald and black and white diamonds, $11,750; Graziela

There are two fashion camps that may emerge from this quarantine experience: The one made up of people dressing to the nines after over a year of being fashionably suppressed, and the one composed of those who, while they want to express themselves and look good, aren’t quite ready to give up their cozy comforts.

Elsie Frieda H20 festival bracelet
H20 Festival bracelet with vinyl record beads, $45; Elsie Frieda

I happen to fall into the latter categorization, but I can’t blame it on the pandemic: I like to be comfortable, but somehow put together, too. And this idea that summer-camp style could be the solution to dressing for the upcoming season is just what I need.

Lagos blue caviar bracelet
Blue caviar bracelet in sterling silver and ceramic with 0.55 ct. t.w. diamonds, $1,950; Lagos
Nina Nguyen Chloe turquoise wrap
Chloe convertible wrap in sterling silver with turquoise, $275; Nina Nguyen

Think 1970s teen-camp staff vibes (I like to picture the cast from Friday the 13th). We’re talking ringer tees, dolphin shorts, crochet bell-bottoms. Now is finally the chance to wear those tie-dye T-shirts you’ve been working on all pandemic long—in public. Yes, these are for the better part lounge clothes, but you’d wear them with polish and purpose: a tee knotted at the top of a high-waisted skirt, an artisan-made crochet knit set you either procured from a vintage store or a young new entrepreneur. This isn’t so much “slob central” as it is carefully and thoughtfully dressed with comfort in mind.

Ellinas Treasures amazonite bracelet
Helios macrame bracelet in 18k yellow gold with amazonite, 725 euros ($870); Ellina’s Treasures

But what is the summer-camp experience without the bracelets? I remember carrying around a green plastic case, each of its sections filled with a different color string. I learned how to make those cool friendship bracelets (I can’t imagine I’d remember how to now)—the knots, the fishtails, the chevrons. Perfect the look today and you could probably sell them, given the current appetite for homemade goods.

Ananya bracelet
Chakra bracelet with tanzanite, iolite, diamonds, and crystals, $7,510; Ananya

But what I’m most interested in is this look but upgraded: with precious beads and metal accents. It doesn’t have to cost an exorbitant amount to be treasured, but these grown-up touches differentiate something you could have made in summer camp from something you self-purchase because you’ve earned it after this year.

Grace Lee diamond disc bracelet
Silk cord bracelet, $138; Grace Lee

Don’t hit the brakes at knits, though. Look for beaded bracelets that take on a relaxed, casual aesthetic while boasting some stellar materials. Stock up on stretchy beaded bracelets that will be a must for all ages. And consider this look in necklace, ring, and even earring format, too, even though bracelets seem like the most conveniently wearable category for piling on.

Top: Arcadia collection bracelet in 9k yellow gold with Murano glass-sourced beads, $685 (Gecko sold separately); Robinson Pelham

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By: Brittany Siminitz

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