The candy-colored of retro beach movies beckons me this time of year. Those soft oranges, pale peaches, and frosty sea foam green tones dance in technicolor. When I first watched Beach Blanket Bingo, my mom offered me the VHS saying something about them making “so many” of the films. The Beach Party genre, from Gidget to the aforementioned Anne Funicello and Frankie Avalon series, still hold water as an aesthetic — like a tiny time capsule of the candy-colored dreams of the mid-sixities surf culture.

The campy atmosphere and unbelievable plots create a charm that always feels like summer to me. Aliens, mermaids, bikers, and grouchy parents take turns creating obstacles for teen romance and summer fun.

Last summer, I snapped up a red one-piece bathing suit and paired it with bright orange shorts. It was the first time I turned to color for beach wear in my adult life — something about the tone and texture reminding me of a similar choice I made as a preteen in the late nineties.

I probably looked like a creamsicle but, I felt like sunshine.

Because what is summer if not orange and red?