How To Dress For Any Music Festival This Summer

Festival season is upon us. Fashionably navigate the sea of crocheted fringe, misguided Native American headdresses, and neon SWAG hats with this guide.

1. The Crowdsurfer

H&M top, C. Wonder sunglassses, Miss Selfridge cuff, Debenhams bag, Vans sneakers, Hanmattan shorts.

Ah, metal and hardcore festivals, where anyone with a day pass and a dream can live their fantasies of sailing on the hands of their brethren forever, or at least until they get dropped on a dude with a statement face-to-neck tattoo. If you want to brave the pit at Warped Tour, Ozzfest, or Mayhem (and of course you are because it’s the best part), you’ll need clothes that won’t get caught on anything and a cross-body bag with a solid latch. Wear things that will let you shred without fear of flashing a butt cheek, losing your ID, or snagging your shirt on on a wallet chain. AND TAKE OUT YOUR PIERCINGS BEFORE YOU GET IN THE PIT, for Dio’s sake.

2. The Happy Camper

Paul Smith heart earrings, Te Amo heart cut-out top, BP. sunglasses, Keds sneakers, River Island shorts, Rowallan bag.

If you take to a tent at one of the camping-friendly festivals this year like Coachella or Bonnaroo, you are NOT going to want to be getting heels stuck in the mud or untangling necklaces from your inevitably-filthy hair. Stick to shorts, cotton tops, and sneakers–you know, stuff that won’t get destroyed when you get mud and sweat all over it. Sunglasses are the only accessory you really need, but low-maintenance stud earrings are also workable if you like. Your bag should be big enough to fit tons of water, your wallet (which you need to keep either with you or locked in a car at all times), and enough sunscreen to pickle a snowball. Finally, make sure to bring Febreze for your clothes, tent, and car. Otherwise, you’ll be forced to live the unfortunate truth of smelling like a jam guitarist’s armpit hair for the duration of your stay.

3. The Pavement Pounder

J. Crew necklace, H&M dress, French Connection hat, Roots bag, Rag & Bone boots.

For multiple-day festivals like Summerfest and Bumbershoot, where you have the luxury of staying in a hotel and don’t have to worry about mud-caked shoes, you can pretty much dress as you normally would with a few comfort-accommodating tweaks–no fringe or beaded headbands required. Low-heeled boots are good for running around to different stages while still looking pulled together, a floppy ol’ hat will protect you from relentless UV rays, and a cross-body zippered bag will keep your merch table purchases firmly in your possession. Wow, you’re amazing at festival fashion to the point that it’s actually kind of inspiring. Good work.

4. The Candyflipper

River Island top, Claire’s headband, Opening Ceremony backpack, Wanted sneaker wedge, Jack Wills shorts.

So if you’re going to Electric Daisy Carnival, Electric Zoo or any other festival with a similarly-charged name, you WILL be wearing neon and some sort of ridiculous leftover-Halloween-costume accessory. This is an inalienable truth, so you might as well go buck and dress like a highlighter who also happens to be wearing cat ears for some reason. But please, forgo the furry boots–there’s nothing grosser than plasticky pink faux-fur matted with jungle juice and other people’s pacifier spit. Keep it bright and basic and you’ll look, dare I say, ELECTRIFYING (oof, sorry) all night.

5. The Day Tripper

Lulu in the Sky earrings, Alexis Kirk bracelet, Boticca bag, ASOS flats, 2020AVE romper.

Choosing an outdoorsy festival that isn’t too gritty, like Newport Folk Fest or Rock the Bells, means that you can wear stuff that’s slightly more dressed-up than at a festival where mud pit dance parties are heartily encouraged, but you should still be conscious that you’ll be traipsing through grassy fields all day. Sunny, simple accessories are great for jazzing up a cute, simple romper or sundress without getting too fussy or try-hard-y. So easy. Now all you need to do get dressed, have fun, and casually smile for fashion blogs all day. Enjoy!

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