Festival season is here, along with the search for the cutest yet most practical outfits to get you through the day! Anything boho and free-spirited works for festival style: crochet, fringe, long hair, braids and sunglasses. It’s time to let your gypsy soul wander in the sun (and shade). It gets so hot in the summertime. So, anything that keeps the heat off your back is good.
In Houston, we have the Free Press Summer Fest every year. We joke that the difference between the summer music festivals and the winter music festivals like Day for Night are the masses of people, and that’s kind of true. How do so many more people come out for summer music festivals when it is sooooo hot here?
Festival Style Tops
I like to wear a loose, long boho print top that toes the line of a minidress. Or, layer a loose cotton tank with a lunar print over your bikini top and tie it off at the waist. Lighter colors are always better, but white will usually turn see-through by midday, so I avoid it unless I layer a second shirt underneath it.
Jean shorts are great, as long as you are comfortable in them. They’re sturdy enough to sit in, and likely won’t be ruined by the end of the day. This year, I’m loving distressed denim cutoffs with a little bit of crochet lace at the bottom. You could easily make these yourself by sewing some lace on the bottom of your favorite pair of cutoffs, or buy them at Free People. Cloth shorts are the most comfortable in the heat. They wrinkle easily and may tear, but they’re a really fun way to mix prints in your outfit or bring a print to your look.
A boho print dress is always fun at a festival, especially in a comfy mini shift. Keep it light and airy, and layer shorts under it so you won’t have to worry about decency when you collapse on a grassy hill in the heat after walking for miles. Don’t wear a romper. Rompers are really cute and comfortable, but too much to maneuver when you have to use a dirty public restroom.
Always wear a bikini under your outfit. It’s so comfortable and cute! And you never know when you might end up on a waterslide. I like Volcom reversible bikinis right now. Always go with a print.
When picking out your shoes, keep in mind that your feet will probably swell throughout the day. On the first day, you may be able to get away with wearing tennis shoes. But try to avoid leather, wear socks, and bring bandaids. On the second day, my feet are usually too swollen for anything except sandals. This year, I’m loving lace up leather gladiator sandals. Bring bandaids! The only downside to sandals is that your feet may get really, really dirty.
I still love my tortoise shell Illesteva sunglasses with reflective lenses. Karen Walker makes an adorable similar pair. They’re feminine and protect my eyes. But, I also like to wear Chris’s Spy Optics Happy Lenses, which make everything look coated in rainbows. Cat-eye and aviator styles also stand out as exceptionally cute this year.
A lightweight bag is always better. Take it from me, and make sure to bring a bag with a closure, unless you want your stuff stolen! I’m still a little upset about losing my cell at the last festival I went to. A fringe backpack or even a fannypack is super cute.
In my bag: I always pack hand sanitizer, sunscreen, tissues, gum, sunglasses, bobby pins, bandaids, mascara, and lipstick. That’s it! You won’t need anything else. Now that I have my mophie waterproof extended battery phone case, I can finally leave my rechargeable phone batteries at home. But I used to take 2 extra batteries and a charging cord – one for me, and one for the friend you run into whose phone died and needs some help. I love helping friends out in situations like this.
I like to bring my DSLR camera and a few lenses, so this year I have to go with a bigger bag that will protect it. I’m loving my Billingham. It’s the perfect size for my camera gear, and I know it will be safe. For my camera, I’m bringing a Nikon D750 – a nice full frame camera – a 70-200mm f/2.8 Nikon lens for long distance concert photography and a 50mm f/1.4 Nikon lens for later in the evening when there isn’t any light left. I’m excited to get out with the 2.8, so I may just bring that one this time.
Pile on the jewelry! Have some fun with it. This year I love long pendant necklaces, lace embellished chokers, and can’t wait for y-necklaces to really reemerge. Semi precious gemstone and wood beads, and duster earrings are also cute.
Remember that it gets so hot at these outdoor festivals. I like to pick up a couple of cute paper umbrellas from China Town. They’re not the highest SPF, but they look adorable, offer some shade, and can be easily discarded at the end of the day. I don’t want to be lugging around a sunbrella all day! If you have a cute straw hat that you feel the same way about, wear that. The appliqué ribbon ones are so cute this year.
Festival style hasn’t changed that much since last year. Find more summer music festival wear ideas and tips on what works in the sun, especially what kind of sunscreen to use.