What Do I Wear There? Music Festivals

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What to wear to a music festival

The change from Winter to Spring brings me considerable excitement each year, as Spring is by far my favorite season for fashion. Spring style has always appealed to my inner "Penny Lane" (from Almost Famous), making me want to go for loose hair, floaty floral pieces, lace accents, and natural makeup.

Of course, my "Almost Famous" fantasy would not be complete without a fabulous soundtrack of live music enhanced by the enthusiastic chorus of singing fans. That's why I love attending music festivals during the spring and summer--from the relaxed, fun atmosphere to the amazing live music to the plethora of Satorialist-worthy street style fashionistas, everything about them is so inspiring!

With South by Southwest, one of the biggest festivals of the season, already underway as I write, and many more to come shortly, I thought this would be a perfect time to give some advice on how to dress for outdoor music festivals/concerts. I decided to divide the looks up by weather to address any concerns about what to wear if you are attending one of these festivals in rain or shine.

Look One: What to Wear to a Music Festival in Cooler Weather

Outfit to wear to a music festival

Product Information: Tank: Lagarconne.com, Cardigan: Topshop.com, Jeans: Topshop.com, Flats: Ae.com, Sunglasses: Shop.nordstrom.com, Scarf: Musthaves.dk

The outdoor music festival season has already started, which, for many of us, will mean braving the residual winter weather AND the scorching spring/summer sun. This strange time of year can be extremely confusing to dress for.

To anticipate these issues, I tried to create an outfit loose and airy enough to keep you cool in a close crowd, while keeping you warm if there is still a bit of winter chill in the air. The overall theme of this look is definitely comfort, with slouchy boyfriend jeans, a loose tank, and knit cardigan providing a simple but stylish base. Add a dash of flair with a pair of comfy flats in a fun print!

Complete your comfy-cool look with sunglasses--a must at outdoor festivals when you're lucky enough to have a sunny day--in a retro shape that will add a vintage feel to your outfit. Finally, a bright scarf will not only keep you warm but add color to your look.

Look Two: What to Wear to a Music Festival in Rainy Weather

What to wear to a concert in the rain

Product Information: Top: Topshop.com, Coat: Shopnastygal.com, Shorts: Topshop.com, Boots: Piperlime.gap.com, Scarf: Liberty.co.uk, Watch: Urbanoutfitters.com

For this look, I have to admit that I stole much inspiration from the attendees of last year's Glastonbury Music Festival who braved warm, sticky, often rainy weather with seemingly effortless style.

For this outfit, I wanted to keep the fun, funky festival vibe going despite the prospect of gloomy weather. To do this, I went for details that would really brighten up the day!

I love the lace flowers on this slightly cropped top, which has a great "Almost Famous" vibe when combined with slightly high-waisted denim shorts. (Add tights or knee-socks on a cooler day.) To complete the bohemian look (and keep damp hair away from your face), use a colorful printed scarf as a headband.

For rain protection, I chose a lightweight, waterproof army green coat that fits into spring's safari trend and a classic pair of black rain boots. Also, I added a watch, which is essential for a music festival in the rain, as you're going to want to check the time to make sure you can see your favorite bands, but won't want to get your cell phone wet. This watch is especially great because its chain detailing makes it double as an adorable bracelet.

Look Three: What to Wear to a Music Festival When it's Hot and Sunny!

What to wear to a summer music festival in hot weather

Product Information: Tunic: My-wardrobe.com, Shorts: Topshop.com, Headband: Urbanoutfitters.com, Sandals: Piperlime.gap.com, Sunglasses: Forever21.com, Bracelets: Urbanoutfitters.com; Urbanoutfitters.com

This is my favorite look for a perfect sunny, warm festival day! The breezy, sheer pink tank creates a perfect girly, summery look when paired with faded floral print shorts, while lace-up gladiator sandals and some rope-and-chain bracelets add the perfect amount of a tough-chic style as well.

A headband will keep hair off your forehead (which is so important when it's hot and sticky out), whether you want to go for the hippie vibe seen in the picture above or wear it as a traditional headband with your hair in a loose braid or bun. As I said above, sunglasses are a must, especially in super sunny weather, so go for an oversize pair to ensure your face is protected! If you're feeling especially bohemian, add a fringe vest to this look for a 60's Woodstock festival vibe.

More Music Festival Style Tips & Tricks

  • Makeup - The most important makeup advice I have is to wearSPF! I think a natural look is best for festivals since your makeup has to last all day, so stick to a tinted moisturizer with SPF, some waterproof mascara, and SPF-infused lip balm.
  • Beware of... - As much as I love rompers and leotards, they are not always the best choices for music festivals. Both will be problematic if you have to use the restroom during the day. Since most festivals only have outdoor Port-A-Pottys, removing your entire outfit to pee is not something you'll want to do! Dresses are also something you may want to stay away from if you are planning on trying to crowd surf at your festival, as you do not want to give the audience a show of your own. Finally, go easy on the perfume in the morning, as the heat may exacerbate the aroma and you do not want to give yourself or those around you a headache.
  • Wear cheaper pieces - Crowded outdoor festivals are prime places for you to lose jewelry, have your shoes trampled on, and get your clothes dirty, so dress accordingly. I absolutely would not wear any favorite pieces, or anything valuable or irreplaceable!

What do you think?

Do you attend music festivals in the spring/summer season? Are there any you're looking forward to this S/S? How do you usually dress for them? Any other tips on festival style? Let us know in the comments!

And if you have any "What Do I Wear There?" questions, leave them below. Yours may be featured in the next column!

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