It's finally summer, and many of us have thoughts of sunshine, freedom, and killer live music on our mind. That's right. It's festival season. Music festivals are not only a great venue to hear tons of great bands, but also an opportunity to express yourself through your wardrobe.
I recently went to my first music festival called Shaky Knees in Atlanta, GA, and yes, it was totally amazing. After hours of intensive research (okay, maybe it was just Pinterest) I pieced together my own flower child-esque outfits for the three-day festival. I learned a lot along the way (including some things you probably wouldn't learn from looking at those picture-perfect girls on Pinterest), so I thought I would share with you a (sort of) ultimate guide to festival life and dressing your best.
So let's get started. First, here are some important things to remember when you're preparing for the experience of a lifetime:
1. Dress for comfort. Maybe it seems weird to list this first, but it's absolutely necessary to wear something you can be comfortable in for hours and hours. You'll probably be in the sun, you'll be standing for hours and sitting on the ground, and, of course, you'll be dancing. Be aware of that as you choose what to wear. The most important thing is rocking a pair of shoes that complete your look but won't kill your feet after being on them for hours. I saw several girls wearing crazy tall heels and my heart went out to them. As cute as they look, heels just aren't practical for this kind of event.
2. Express yourself. You're going to be around a lot of people you probably don't know in a pretty hip atmosphere. This is your chance to shine. Play it up. Try something you wouldn't normally wear. Add tons of jewelry. Be eccentric. Don't worry about looking weird because there will definitely be someone there who is dressed more strangely than you. And that's the fun of it.
3. Be prepared. Book a hotel, pack your tent, or find a friend to stay with. (I stayed in a hotel during my festival, but camping survival is a totally different subject.) Make sure you have your tickets/wristbands and information when you arrive at the venue. Pack a small backpack with water, money, and SUNSCREEN (apply liberally every few hours. Trust me.) Be sure to stay well-hydrated and cool. Bring enough money to buy food and whatever merch you may want. It's also good to make a plan of attack. Check with your festival buddy/buddies about what bands everyone wants to see and make a schedule. Locate the stages and designate a meeting place in case you get separated.
4. Try new things. Above all, have fun! Go see bands you've never heard of. Who knows? They could be your new favorite. Go crazy with your makeup. Give yourself and your friends flash tattoos. Wear glitter in your hair. On your face. Anywhere. Are there food trucks or vendors? Try some crazy foods. At Shaky Knees I had one of the bests meal of my life from a food truck: a marinated tofu rice bowl. It sounds a little strange, but I'm drooling just thinking about it...
Anyways. Moving on.
Now to the fun part: the fashion. There are lots of trends and styles that can be seen at music festivals, and many of them vary by location. The boho style is a very classic look for music festivals (see: Woodstock) and it is crazy trendy right now. Or you might be more into the grunge scene. Identify a fashion genre you vibe with to help find your look.
To start your outfit, try some of these:
- Maxi skirts
- Ethnic/tribal prints
- Printed pants
- Floral everything
- Crochet & lace
- High-waisted shorts
- Crop tops & bralettes
- Vintage band tees
- Acid-wash denim
- Flowy cardigans & kimonos
Piece them together in ways you wouldn't have tried before. Wear a band tee with a maxi skirt. Wear a button-up dress as a cardigan (see image above). Be sure to dress for the weather. Will it be hot and sunny? Don't wear too many layers. Cooler temperatures? Bring on the cardigans. Is there a chance of rain? Pack a jacket or umbrella.
The next step in creating your perfect festival look is the accessories. I'm completely convinced that accessories can make the look. Once you've formed the base of your outfit, accessorize that bad boy. And remember: comfortable shoes!
- Multi strand necklaces
- Crystal jewelry
- Flower crowns (I don't care if they're cliché, I freakin love flowers)
- Choker necklaces
- Rings + midi rings
- Bangles and various bracelets
Now you're ready to rock out to some amazing tunes and look like a total vintage goddess while you're at it. If you have any more questions about my experience and what you can expect, or if you have any more tips and advice, feel free to leave them in the comments section below!
To see more from my festival adventure, follow @vagabondarydesign on Instagram. Or to hear the bands I got to see live, follow my Shaky Knees playlist on Spotify. Check out my Pinterest board for more outfit inspiration.