Summer Festival Fashion Do’s and Don’ts


As the temperatures are rising and our standards are lowering (just kidding…maybe), we can only stand with one arm open and welcoming and the other arm holding a huge chunk of watermelon because festival season is here. All of those hours spent at the gym and meal prepping are going to pay off once you get to hashtag that pic of your body in front of the main stage somewhere. All of that money made during overtime went directly into a Coachella fund, and it was well worth it.

Of course, we see a lot of beautiful and majestic people who are just embodying everything you’re feeling at the festival, and then you see it:  there are those guys who are still wearing Native American headdresses. Though I don’t personally think you need to wear a crown of flowers on your head to deem yourself the queen of floral, I am a person who promotes wearing whatever the hell you want because in the end, it’s all about comfortability. Or likes. Do it for the likes.

In any case, I think we can all agree that there are a few things that should and should not be present at a festival, so here are a few do’s and don’ts of festival fashion!


Realize That Fanny Packs Are Super Useful.

Ladies: when you go out to the clubs, you just find the guy in your group to hold your credit card and ID as you frolic from table to table like it’s nobody’s business. I get it, I do it too.

However, don’t be that person who makes everyone else carry your stuff because your outfit doesn’t have pockets; small backpacks and fanny packs are in — technically they didn’t even really leave.

Once you get over your irrational thought that fanny packs make you look like an old foreign tourist, you’ll realize how ridiculously useful they are. Though they may be pricey, they’re well worth it, so get off your fanny and go out and buy one so you can pack that ass up.


Say it With Me: Vans and Chucks. 

Girl, you’re not fooling anyone with those strappy gladiator sandals that are going to give you the most peculiar tanline. Instead, be smart and go with some Chucks, Vans, Toms or even some Docs.

If we’re truly going on comfortability, I would wear my Roshes to every event, but event weather can f*ck everything up, so you might want to stray away from bringing your Nikes because we both know that they weren’t Free when you bought them.


Look Up the Weather.

(I typed in “music festival weather” into Google and this showed up so I said ok.)

Just because a festival/event is in the summer does NOT mean it’s going to be shorts and tank tops and crop tops all day. Sometimes, Mother Nature just wants to take a fat sh*t on your day because she feels like it, and if you come to a festival without a jacket because you worked really hard on your #festivalbod, you’re going to be SOL.

Always travel with a light jacket/sweater/flannel, something you can either tie around your waist or stuff into that fanny pack/backpack. It’ll be #trendy as well as useful. It’s also useful to bring a bandanna or cloth to tie around your face. Sure you may think you look like a ninja/gangster, but if it’s super windy and you find yourself in a Midwest-force dust bowl, you might be thanking your lucky (ninja) stars that you brought that bandanna from your 8th grade talent show costume. Lastly, it might be wise to invest in a plastic poncho. Ponchos are very in.

Just don’t be stupid — it takes 17 seconds to swipe right to unlock your phone, pull down from the top, click on the weather portion and then type in the location of the event to see that no, it’s actually NOT going to be super sunny today and there is a 30% chance that it’s going to rain.


Bring On the Two-Piece Matching Sets.

I’m all for monochrome and tasteful two-piece matching sets. From a tasteful crop top and pants to an open button up and shorts, I’ve got nothing but positive vibes for matching sets. If you’re picking a pattern, try finding one that isn’t too busy/elementary school kid looking, and sometimes, a simple matching set of a monochrome color is completely fine. From floral to polka dots to a solid grey, I say yes to the sets.


Be Reasonable. 

I understand that we are all for posting very cute photos on the ‘gram of our #OOTDs. I mean some of us work out for months in advance just to take that perfect shirtless photo with our bros at HARD Summer — sh*t gets real. However, if you’ve kept up with Coachella fashion, which is basically like BOHO Fashion Week in the desert, you’ve seen pictures of people in ridiculously chic items. But COME ON. How are you supposed to have fun for 10+ hours wearing heels in the desert? Are you serious.

And this isn’t just for the ladies; fellas, it is not wise, NOT WISE, to bring out your brand new set of kicks just so you can hopefully take a good #snobshot like seriously that sh*t isn’t worth it ok.

Do draw the line between fashionable and reasonable, for me. Please.


Wear Sunscreen.

I hate the smell and the thickness of sunscreen.

You know what else I hate? Skin cancer.

From regular festivals to huge pool parties, sunscreen will be your best friend. Your SPF level should match your standards (which is why I wear SPF 70 — I’m just looking for someone average at this point.)


And now, the don’ts!


Be Culturally Inappropriate.

We won’t spend too much time on this because it’s so 2000 and late, but just in case you’re unaware, wearing something that is symbolic and meaningful towards a certain culture as a fashion statement or deeming it trendy is not ok. And yes, there are a few things that distinguish appropriation from appreciation, but tbh if you’re going to go through all that trouble to fully establish why it is ok for you to wear a bindi for less than 24 hours because you truly understand the culture, well then I hope it’s worth it.

If you’re unsure of whether what you’re wanting to wear is culturally inappropriate, just think to yourself, “Self, is this going to offend someone?” If you find yourself even having to ask that question, you and I both know the answer is YES.


Wear Something Just Cause It’s Trendy.

(Your legs are out of this world!)

Going along with cultural appropriation (or lack there of), you don’t need to wear something because you’ve seen your favorite celebrity do it, or because it’s super hot on Pinterest. Flower crowns were the staple of festival cliches, but newsflash: cliches can  change. If you find yourself wearing flash tattoos, body chains, and have pastel colored hair, you are currently in the midst of becoming a cliche very soon.

Obviously you can’t really run away from a trend, so YOLO and wear what you want. However, just draw the line at wearing what YOU think is cute versus what you THINK is cute. Here’s an example of an ok thought process versus a not ok thought process:

OK: Even though I’ve never worn joggers before, I want to wear them to this event because they look good on me, they’re comfy, and they look bomb with my long line tank.

NOT OK: Even though I’ve never worn joggers before, I want to wear them to this event because I looked up pics on Insta of guys who wore them and they have a lot of likes on their pics, ergo if I wear joggers, I will get a lot of likes.


Bring Out Your Designer Anything. 

Alright seriously unless you have two pairs of designer shoes and this one is your “adventure” pair, please do us all a favor and leave the expensive items at home. Unless you are truly wearing your designer item because you believe 300% that it is necessary and is useful for your celebration of music festivities, there is absolutely no point in sporting these goods that will most likely get dirty, broken or possibly stolen. You’ll spend most of your day being super careful that you don’t break a strap or lose a stud on your item, and that stress is not necessary at a music festival.

Also, there’s about a 1 in 2039489230 chance that someone will come up to you and say, “OMG can I take a picture of you for my fashion blog?” and you’ll blow up and become Instafamous, because obviously that’s the dream.



Wear This.

I don’t think I need to really explain this one.


So that concludes a few fashion do’s and don’ts of music festival season, but honestly, I think they kind of intertwined with each other (my bad). My own personal thoughts when it comes to festival fashion is to wear whatever you want, whatever you look good in, and whatever you’re most comfortable in. Also, aside from this whole post telling you to try and stray away from being a cliche trend follower, if you want to wear flash tattoos and wear rhinestones around your eyes, then DO IT. No one should really be judging you anyway, so yo f*ckin’ lo, wear whatever you want, and have a good time with good music, good company and good vibes!


Christina is a writer based in Palm Springs, LA, and any place with WiFi. She graduated from UCLA and currently attends USC because she's a traitor and loves being in student debt. She hopes to be the next Carrie Bradshaw with better hair (sorry SJP), and when asked to describe herself in one word, she chooses the word, "indescribable." Don't follow her on Instagram because you'll hate how extra she is and you won't want to be her friend in real life.

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