11 Festival Looks That Need To Retire In 2012

As you pack your Coachella weekender bag, please remember that you don’t have to dress like a nu-rave hippie freak. (Sidenote: Does anyone actually enjoy watching bands sober in broad daylight?)

A ragtag caravan of gypsy courtesans.

As Coachella draws near, my inbox becomes crammed with useless festival style suggestions from retailers. Of course, they’re begging me to buy the usual hippie-dippy, fringey-dingy skimpwear, hoping to capitalize on my desire to get as “free-spirited” as possible. Thanks, but no thanks. A girl really only needs one sheer midriff beaded-fringe crop top to get by — the kind that handily doubles as part of a slutty Halloween costume in the fall.

For some reason, “festival style” has stagnated, bypassing the fickle temperament of the fashion zeitgeist. You’d assume that boho died years ago along with the Sienna Miller era of 2005-2006. Yet it thrives at summer music festivals, where homogenous hordes of youth and bare skin come together in a dystopian summer-of-love nightmare that looks nothing like 1969. But no matter what type of festival goer you are, there’s no reason to re-purchase that crocheted vest, even if your old one’s still caked with mud from last year.

Sorry, do I sound like I hate music festivals? Maybe I’m just the type to stay in a hotel rather than live in a teepee, and find more enjoyment in eating a giant spiral french fry on a stick than taking ecstasy before the Deadmau5 set. (Yes, ironically while festival style devolves, festival cuisine is really pushing boundaries.)


But you don’t have to wear the same nonsense to this summer’s festivals that you’ve worn the past five years! Here are my tips for updating Ye Olde Summer Festival looks.

7. Tired Look #1: Feather Accessories

Feather earrings and feather headdresses — with moccasins — likely turned these women into VIP tent exiles.

9. And These Moccasin Alternatives

10. Tired Look #2: The Flag Motif

11. Instead Try: CATS!

Most people probably love cats more than their own country anyway. I think it’s one step in the right direction the internet may have brought to fashion, for once.

13. Tired Trend #3: Teeny-Tiny Cut-Offs

I know what these ladies are thinking. “Any shorts are acceptable as long as they have enough surface area to fit my backstage pass sticker.” No. Not acceptable. You’re killing cut-offs! I didn’t think cut-offs would ever go out of style, but thanks to Festival Season 2011, I’ve turned my back on cut-offs. Hmph!

14. Instead Try: Shorts That Aren’t Cut-Offs

So many options!

Ships Ahoy Shorts or
White Mesh Inset Shorts.

15. Tired Trend #4: Crocheted Vests

You want to wear a sweater but it’s too hot. But you need SOMETHING.

16. Instead Try: No Vest

A crocheted vest is maybe the most useless item of clothing that exists besides the doggie shrug. You won’t miss it. See? This girl isn’t wearing a crocheted vest, and she looks fine.

Dog in a doggie shrug.

18. Tired Trend #5: The Fringy Bag

We get it. You’re a free spirit. You want to feel your fringy hair and fringy accessories blowing in the dusty festival air. Except that the air actually feels kind of stagnant because you’re in a crowded space with thousands of dirty people who haven’t showered in a week, and all the stringy strands are sticking to your skin in the 105-degree heat. Plus, who wants to deal with long, unruly fringe in the Port-a-Potty? Gross.

20. Tired Trend #6: Midriffs

Let me go on the record as saying I have nothing against midriffs that span less than 6 inches. Any more than that and I can’t help but assume you’re one of Skrillex’s spazzy bra-throwing minions.

21. Instead Try: Cutout Patterns

This is so adorable, you don’t even notice that the shirt is actually pretty revealing.
Other options:
Samantha Pleet’s Theoretical Dress or The Sweden Dress or a dotty backless dress or a tie-front mini.

22. Tired Trend #7: Cowboy Boots

They really are the Uggs of the summer festival.

23. Instead Try: Sandals And Boots With Tough Hardware Details

Other options:
buckle flatforms in black or these cut-out ankle boots.

24. Tired Trend #8: Exposed Bras

Take a look in the mirror. Are you being haunted by Ghost Boobs?

26. Instead Try: A Cropped Tank or Bustier

In a matching color, of course.
Other options:
a stretch eyelet crop bra or
a vegan leather bustier.

27. Tired Trend #9: Fur

It’s very confusing why you see so much fur at these hot-ass festivals. I blame Kevin Barnes.

But the difference between him and you: he’s in a band, so he’s allowed to wear whatever he wants.

29. Instead Try: A (Non-Crocheted) Vest

Or a blanket shawl that can double as a picnic blanket.

30. Tired Trend #10: Headbands And Floppy Hats

Unless you are only attending a music festival to see Devendra Banhart and cry in the rain, there is no reason to continue with this hippie headwear.

31. Instead Try: A Doo Rag

No, really. Doo rags are going to be cool again soon, I promise.

That’s the Alexander Wang runway.

33. Tired Trend #11: Face Paint

It’s the one thing that Coachella has in common with the Gathering of the Juggalos.

34. Instead Try: Juggalo Makeup

May as well take it to the next level.

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