Whether you like Rock or Rap, Jazz or Blues, Electronica or Pop – there’s something all we music-lovers have in common; we all love a good outdoor music festival once the weather turns warm. But there’s another reason to attend the likes of Coachella (Indio, CA), Lollapalooza (Chicago, IL), Osheaga (Montreal, QC) or BluesFest (Ottawa, ON); the Festival Fashion of course!
How you dress for these festivals is not only fun but also very important. If you want to be spotted as an experienced Festival Fashionista, you’ll want to rock a trend or two but also express your own unique sense of style in order to stand out from the crowd of well-dressed music-lovers.
Bottoms: The first staple (IMHO) will be shorts. I say shorts rather than a dress or skirt because shorts are more versatile for an event that you will be at all day/night (possibly drinking) and sitting on the ground in a skirt or falling over in a dress is not always a good look. Shorts can come in many forms; high waisted, cropped, skort, palazzo, shortalls or bermuda, the possibilities are endless. Choose one that is comfortable and flatters your body type.
Tops: For tops, I recommend layering based on the temperatures for that day; if it’s going to be hot as balls, you’ll want to rock a bandeau, thin tank and maybe a light cropped tee or flowy blouse (for fabrics think cotton, nylon, chiffon – breathability is key). If you live in a city where the weather can be cool at night, make sure to bring a top layer that is packable, but will keep you warm after dark (I love my packable rain coat by Lululemon, a denim jacket or thin knit sweater or cardigan would also do the trick).
Playsuits: This is a nice alternative to a dress and it means you’ll be comfortable all day long. One thing to consider though is that you will likely have to take the whole thing down when you need to pee (this can happen often if you’re having some happy drinks all day).
Shoes: Footwear is probably the most important consideration when putting together your festival wardrobe, you will likely be doing a lot of standing and walking so you will want to choose something that you will be able to wear comfortably all day and night. Also, you may want to skip the heel for this one since most festivals take place in some sort of field which means your heels will be sinking into the ground the whole time (you don’t have time for that!) If you still want some height opt for a “flatform” or wedge sandal instead. Another consideration is to wear boots or trainers because toes can get trampled so it’s a nice option, especially if you forgot to get a pedicure!
My pick for comfortable, stylish festival footwear this year would be the Native shoe brand (think if your Toms and your Crocs had a baby, that’s a Native shoe) they are made with dual density EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate), they are PETA -approved vegan, they fit true-to-size (I would say this is more-or-less accurate although I ordered two different models in the same size and one pair fit better than the other), most of their shoes are unisex, they are super lightweight, are odor resistant (a big plus for me, TMI ALERT my feet tend to sweat when I don’t wear socks and thus I end up with smelly shoes, gross), they are hand-washable and shock absorbent. Check out the Venice, Verona, and Howard designs, they are my favs!
Hats: This is an accessory that has really gained in popularity over the years and I think it’s definitely a necessity for an outdoor festival because it protects your head from the sun (many hats are available with UV protection) and if it rains your hair and face will be partially protected (if rain is forecasted you may want to pack a small umbrella). There are so many flattering hat styles; fedora, floppy, bowler, cowboy/girl, Panama, visor, baseball cap etc. pick one and pack it!
Sunnies: This is another essential item for a day out in the sun; eyewear is dual purpose – stylish and protective (I even get mine in my prescription so I can see without contacts). The styles of sunglasses are endless so choose something that will flatter your face shape and your outfit too. You may want to get one really expensive, classic pair in a neutral color that will go with every look you wear or if you like to play around with different styles you can opt for the less expensive and buy more pairs.
Sunscreen: This is SUPER important, I’ll admit that I have definitely been guilty of sun damage in the past (because I am too lazy to faux tan and I always think nothing beats the real thing) but I am starting to notice some fine lines and that slapped some sense right into me! Find a formula that is easy to apply, non-greasy and sweat-proof; I found a few new ones I want to try Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion with SPF 50 and this Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer with SPF 47.
Makeup: I’m sure this is a no-brainer but you’ll want to make your makeup last. Go for waterproof and sweatproof so you look hot until the final set. Using a makeup primer is a good way to ensure your makeup will stay put, try to use a foundation and concealer that are long-wearing (10-12 hours plus). If you are contouring, opt for a cream product versus a powder as it will last longer on the skin. Don’t forget to use a setting powder for your concealer, this helps it to stay put and avoids any creasing! Use an eyelid primer (such as MAC paint pots or Urban Decay) this will help your eyeshadow to last longer and will keep it from getting oily if you sweat. For brows, I would use pencil or pomade instead of powder in case of rain (you don’t want your brows bleeding down your face). To add some glitz to your look you can use a glitter glue and loose glitter on top of your eyelid, another must is to highlight those cheekbones and you can even add some little gem stones or flash tattoos to your face if you like to stand out.
Hair: I would opt to keep hair simple, wearing it down with some beachy waves is the epitome of festival style IMO but having it tied up in a bun or ponytail is probably going to be more comfortable if it’s scorching hot outside so do what feels best for you. Check out these tutorials by Alexandra Garza and Helen Torsgarden.
There are heaps of outfit inspiration to be found on Pinterest so if you are stumped for ideas on what to wear this year check out Pinterest, You Tube, Polyvore and Instagram. I will be posting outfit sets from my POlyvore account in the next few weeks and plan to have a few outfit photos of my own going up soon (it’s currently still snowy in Ottawa so I think I may wait until winter decides to eff off…)
Until next time!