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While I now tend to spend most of my time in urban areas (read: I never want to be more than ten minutes away from Sephora), I actually grew up in the country. And not five-minutes-outside-of-town country, either, but the whole shebang: no-neighbors, people-drive-tractors, moose-crossing country. 

When even the nearest grocery store is a twenty five minute drive in the pickup truck away, we tended to find our own ways to have fun. And number one on our list was the good, old fashioned bonfire party. It’s the ultimate summer event- huge crackling fire, marshmallows galore, and good company. What else could you ask for? (Well, I wanted on-demand lipstick, hence my move, but you know what I mean.)

So what do you wear to such an event? If this is your first time going to a bonfire party, I’ve got you covered. From your shoes to your lip balm, you’ll be all set to sit back, relax, and enjoy as many s’mores as you want.

Bonfire-chic isn’t really all that difficult. You generally want to be comfortable, cute, and non-flammable. Denim shorts are a staple this summer, and the cuffs on this pair are adorable. You can absolutely never go wrong with a plaid shirt- layered over a basic tank top, it can be tied around your waist when you’re warm and toasty by the fire, and then buttoned up once the night grows cooler.

As far as accessories go, flat sandals are a stylish choice that will still be practical, seeing as most bonfires take place in settings featuring lots of dirt, sand, or both. It took all my restraint to omit a pair of cowboy boots, but it just felt a little too Footloose for my taste. But if you want to channel your inner 80s-dance-movie, go ahead (but why aren’t you picking Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing? We’ll have to talk). Cute floral stud earrings finish off the sweet and easy look you’re going for, and don’t forget lip balm! Turns out, exposing your face to a huge fire for a few hours can be sort of dehydrating, so do your lips a favor and keep some lip balm in your pocket.

Because shivering is neither cute nor fun.

Summer nights are not always warm. Sometimes they have an identity crisis and think it’s time to channel the polar ice caps. Bonfires also sometimes have a tendency to emit these horrible things called sparks. They’re nice to look at when they’re far away but up-close they’re downright annoying (just like some of my ex-boyfriends!). Sparks have this uncanny ability to seek out whatever part of your body has bare flesh exposed and then they land right there, causing jumping, swearing, and other un-ladylike behavior. So let’s skip all of that, shall we, and opt for this outfit choice instead.

A pair of dark-wash bootcut jeans are universally flattering and also won’t show any dirt you collect after sitting on logs. A cute tank top layered underneath a cozy sweater will be both warm and chic without looking too stuffy (no blazers here, ladies!). Again, finish off the look with a pair of sandals like these super trendy gold gladiators, and keep the lip balm close. The lip treatments by Fresh are some of the most hydrating balms out there, and I recommend them highly!

Finally, one last accessory:

…it’s an absolute must-have.

What would you wear to a bonfire party?