The hardest part of festival planning isn’t the tickets, the transportation, or the camping. It’s picking out the perfect festival clothing to wear at each event throughout the weekend!
Create a Fashion Theme
Every festival has a unique theme that spans broadly across the event. Coachella is a chill SoCal experience, while SXSW is a neo-western extravaganza with a dash of tech. Burning Man, on the other hand, is like a parallel universe in the middle of the desert!
Theme is important because it sets the tone for the whole weekend, while also providing a template for your outfits and accessories. You want to match the vibe of the event while putting your own spin on things and standing out from the crowd in the right way.
Here are some theme outfits to consider and key pieces to add:
- Flower power jeans, t-shirts, and sequins
- Neon glowing reflective gear and
- Goth-inspired black leather and chains
- Western tassels, chaps, and boots
- Urban athleisure and streetwear
- Graphic tees, shorts, classic canvas shoes
Knowing the theme of a festival will help you generate a wardrobe strategy months in advance of the show, giving you plenty of room for creativity. You can go thrifting, shop online, and avoid scrambling at the last minute for outfits.
Set Outfit “Slots” Each Day
The best way to eliminate fashion anxiety around festival season is to create individual outfits for each day of the event. Simply look at the schedule, envision the scene, and assemble a look based on who is performing and where.
The beauty of this strategy is that it takes all the pressure off your shoulders when you finally arrive at the venue. You have outfits already planned, saving you time and energy when you should be out and about, having fun.
To get even more strategic, you can schedule outfit changes or tweaks at certain times of the day, allowing for greater versatility and improvisation. Your favorite performers wear multiple outfits in an hour-long performance, so you might as well have frequent costume changes, too!
The one caveat here is that your wardrobe can bulk up fairly quickly if you aren’t careful. Play it safe by packing only items you know will be worn.
Go Easy on the Footwear
We know, those platforms and high heels look great and give you a height boost in the crowd, but many shoes simply aren’t practical for a festival setting. Ever tried navigating a muddy pathway in pumps? You might just end up face-down in the dirt.
A better approach is to wear rugged clogs or hiking shoes that still bring a bit of style.
Water shoes are a perfect compromise, offering a mix of open-toed breathability and the durable toughness to get you through a marathon weekend. Plus, they dry quickly, which is always a welcome bonus.
Various combat boots and high-tops will also serve you well, while helping to maintain balance in crowded spaces. Old-fashioned trainers can help you out in a pinch, as long as you’re prepared to give them a full wash and cleanse later on.
Mix and Match with Friends
Is your festival clothing wardrobe lacking before the big event? Rather than going on a pricey shopping spree, try pooling resources with your closest friends and getting more mileage out of each item by sharing.
It only takes a small group to multiply your wardrobe options by 2x, 3x, or more! You’ll have way more choices to play with, and it’s always more fun to get dressed up with your BFFs.
Even if your besties can’t make it to the show with you, they may be generous enough to entrust you with some of their most desirable fashion pieces and give you the style boost you need.
Load Up On Accessories
Accessories are everything in the land of festivals and fun. The whole point is to go overboard with necklaces, bracelets, glitter, bandanas, funky glasses, and more. If you have the space in your bag or on your body, you’ve got a place to put more accessories.
In a worst-case scenario, you can give away extra bits of flair to friends or share it with others in the crowd. The good news is that most accessories are relatively cheap and reusable.
Plan to Layer Up (and Down)
When the sun goes down at your favorite festival, the cold kicks in, and those revealing clothes won’t keep you warm. Pack at least one comfy hoodie or cardigan that you can grab at any time and give you some much-needed warmth.
Sweatpants and a beanie won’t hurt either, especially during festivals that take place in the early Spring or late Fall.
Every Outfit, Every Event
The best festival clothing is comfy, flashy, and built to last in any environment. Use this guide to get started and enjoy every performance while looking your absolute best.
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