Packing for a festival is a demon that most of us must face. Beyond trying to squeeze as much booze into your rucksack as humanly possible, as Brits, we also have to bear in mind that any attempt to look even vaguely stylish may result in pneumonia.
Beyond the whims of the weather, festival fashion is about nailing summer trends, despite the fact that you probably won’t have showered nor looked in the mirror for days. There are now some looks that are so out-dated you’d be forgiven for thinking festival sites have become time warps. You can pretty much bet your last bottle of mixer that at any festival in the UK, you’ll see flocks of young women adorned in floral headbands. The summer nymph look is inoffensive, sure, but it certainly won’t win you any praise from the fashion powers that be.
I’ve established the top fuss-free festival trends for 2016, together with some handy advice on how to embrace practicality whilst looking the part.
- Turn to Coachella for inspiration, as the stars at this American extravaganza set festival trends for the year. See the next point.
- Incorporate fringing. Ideally in the style of festival bag of the moment: the tan crossover Hudson by Chloé. Ditto two pieces or anything crochet.
- Pack shoes that will keep your feet dry. It’s tempting to bring sandals, yes. But don’t. Even if the weather verges on the miraculous, your toes will thank you when they’re not being trodden on at every step.
- Bring wellies. Hunters may have been around for years, but they’re still the ultimate festy footwear.
- Pack a good pair of sunglasses. But not so good that when lost to a squelching mud pit you’re left feeling as though you’ve just been made bankrupt.
- Remember your waterproof jacket. The puffa, as seen everywhere during fashion week, is very in this year. As is the bomber jacket. Be warned, if you don’t pack a coat, you may well end up wearing a bin bag as a poncho. Just saying.
- Wear any expensive jewellery or your posh watch. Crawling around on the floor in a dark tent filled with hundreds of people is not something you want to be doing. Embrace cheap and cheerful costume jewellery as an easy way to spice up an outfit. If you (ladies) want to be on trend, you can’t go wrong with a choker or a body chain.
- Dismiss fancy dress completely. As much as you probably won’t feel like ‘going all out’ when you’re battling a three-day hangover having slept in a field, fancy dress can have its uses. Take inspiration from Miss Kylie Jenner and wear a wig, it’s a great way to cover up unwashed hair. Chaps: some face paint, glitter or even an ostentatious hat will do the job nicely.
- Risk a Native American style headdress. Sure, they look cool, but now they’re just plain tired and predictable. Plus, wearers have previously been blasted for cultural appropriation. Just steer clear.
- Wear a onesie. The preserve of drunken male festival-goers everywhere, avoid at all costs if you’d prefer not to look like a giant baby.
Follow these golden rules, and you’ll spend the weekend channelling your inner Kate Moss or Idris Elba. And you never know, if you do play your sartorial cards right, you may even get featured in a promotional video for a cider with a name you can’t pronounce.
Originally published in BN1 Magazine, June edition.