Today’s post is a guest post by the fabulous Allie of the style advice blog Wardrobe Oxygen. (If you don’t already know and read Wardrobe Oxygen, here’s a little bit more about Allie in last year’s Site Spotlight.)
Heidi asked if I could write about what to wear for a music festival and I jumped at the chance. I went to my first multi-day music festival in 2007 and haven’t looked back. These are events that are full of music, art, and friends but the experience can be drastically affected by what you wear.
Unlike a concert, a music festival is for an extended period of time so you are going without typical creature comforts. Don’t expect modern plumbing, access to shade or air-conditioned spaces.
Here are some tried-and-true outfits that will work for any music festival on your summer schedule!
What to wear to an outdoor music festival: Outfit option #1
Denim shorts are a great choice for music festivals because they are durable and look great even when dirty. Choose a pair long enough to not ride up when walking and loose enough to easily slip on and off in a hot porta-john. Pair with a cotton camisole so you can catch any breeze and dry quickly if caught in an unexpected afternoon rain shower.
A lightweight crossbody bag can hold your water, festival map, phone and sunscreen while still leaving your hands free for your camera, a beer, or to dance. A canvas shoe like TOMS are perfect because they will stay on your feet even if it’s muddy and wet and aren’t too heavy. Finally, no matter how much of a sun worshipper you may be you should protect yourself from the rays with a hat.
What to wear to an outdoor music festival: Outfit option #2
My favorite thing to wear to a music festival is a cotton sundress – it’s breezy, festive, and convenient. Choose one no longer than midi length so it doesn’t drag in the mud or get in the way in the porta-john. I like to wear bike shorts under sundresses at festivals – it helps prevent chub rub and provides modesty when sitting on the ground.
A dress also looks fantastic with a big floppy sun hat, which will protect your shoulders as well as face. A pair of flat sandals with ankle straps are a sound footwear choice – just be sure they aren’t your favorite shoes for they may be destroyed come the end of the festival.
While you may see celebrities wear maxi dresses, wedge heels, tight jeans, and designer bags to Coachella, I do not recommend any of these for regular folks. There will be mud and dust, beers will be spilled, porta-johns will not be emptied quickly enough, and you will be doing quite a lot of walking during the hottest points of the day. While it is important to dress for comfort, as you can see from the above examples, it is possible to be comfortable as well as stylish.
(And what to bring)
Now, what to put in that crossbody bag? As I mentioned, one should bring a bottle of sunscreen – I like the spray bottles so I can put it on without having to rub it in. Also bring a reusable water bottle – festivals always have filtered water stations and it’s cheaper and easier (and more eco-friendly!) to bring your own bottle.
I also recommend bringing a cotton bandana or scarf – you can use this to protect your scalp if you wish to take off your hat, can tie it around your neck to protect from the sun, dip in a bucket of ice water and place on the skin to cool off. I have also used mine as a dust mask for festivals during droughts.
I also bring a baggie with some toilet paper in case the porta-john I get is out. Have your cell phone, cash (ATMs are usually few and far between and often run out), insurance information, a couple of business cards and a pen to connect with new friends, and a Sharpie in case you bump into an artist and want their autograph.
I also like having a tinted lip balm with sunscreen and fruity gum to refresh the mouth after a long hot day. If you plan on staying through the evening, pack a hoodie; if there’s chance of rain consider a packable poncho. If you want details on what to pack for such a festival, check out my article on packing for a music festival.
Now you’re ready for any festival – comfortable and still chic. So get off the computer and get to dancing!
Thanks again to Allie for writing this guest post! Although I’ve been to a few myself over the years, I’ve never been this well prepared, so I definitely learned a lot. I hope you did, too. (Now when can I get tickets for next year’s Sweetlife Festival?)
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