Even though we’re already in September and we’re all starting to feel like summer will soon fade out, festival fashion has a longer way to go still. Little boho-chic touches to an otherwise smart-casual wardrobe can bring a touch of sunniness to even the most gloomy and cold day.
That’s why I’m not planning on putting away my festival clothes just yet. Bring it on fall and winter. You can’t get me out of my festival style just yet.
The Basics of Festival Fashion
When you hear the phrase Festival Fashion, think carefree and boho attire, plus free and fun outdoor gatherings of friends. The words hippie and flower power might come to mind. Truth is, the roots of this fashion trend are in the 70s – the original flower-power era when the legendary festivals like Woodstock took place.
Rule 1: Remember Practicality
Pulling off your best festival look does not require you to choose between bohemian and practicality. Some festival fashion staples are actually far more practice than cosmetic.
The clear rain mac (pictured above) is an example. It’s meant to be taken in a rush over the shorts and camisole top, is one such practical item. Other practical choices include hats, capes and longline open cardigans for chilly evenings, and comfy sandals and boots.
Another side of practicality is cost. Festival fashion pieces tend to be pretty affordable, which is always a good thing.
Rule 2: Don’t Be Too Carefree
Not all festival fashion clothes are equal. Let’s do that again: not all festival pieces are equal. Festival-goers tend to take ‘carefree’ to the extreme, and end up looking sloppy instead of chic. I’m going to make it easy for you to avoid this mistake though. Read on for the top — and bottom — five festival pieces.
Ready to build your own festival look?
Top 5 Festival Pieces
The shorter and more revealing cousin of the jumpsuit, a playsuit can be a really sexy outfit. It’s shorter than most skirts, without being too revealing. A playsuit can be also split open at the top to reveal a crop top or bralette underneath.
Anything crocheted is usually a good choice for a festival. (You can also wear a crocheted cape outside the festival, over a nice pair of jeans for example.) Crocheted capes have nice movement to them, and they’re kind of like fringes, but classier.
The same lovely crochet material also makes a great dress. Remember to wear something under that dress though—try a cami dress or crop top with shorts.
Off-shoulder Folk Blouse
The folk blouse is a timeline fashion classic with diverse cultural roots. Sure, the folk blouse is reinterpreted in more modern designs, but it just never goes out of style. For an extra touch of unforgettable, choose an off-shoulder blouse. That one detail is slimming and very feminine.
Festival Jewelry (Feathers, Coins and Anklets)
Accessorize your bohemian look with feathered jewelry, real or metal. Beads, coins and tassels are also good choices. Also, a special place must be reserved to anklets – nothing could be more flower-power than this, as far as jewelry goes.
Festival Fashion Pieces to Avoid
Psychedelic multi-color prints
Nope, sorry. Though the psychedelic skirt may look good when you see it in the online store, this illusion fades fast. Trust me. You’ll arrive at the festival and realize that colorful psychedelics just don’t look good on anyone – including you.
Ultra Flare Jeans
Again, nope. Even though festivals are a place to become nostalgic for the 70s and 80s, those decades had their fair share of ridiculous stuff. Ultra flare jeans fall into that category. They look great on models, but tend to be unflattering for the more average physique.
Though I’m not opposed to sequins by default, they are a more appropriate fit in other contexts, like evening dresses for a cocktail party. Wearing an abundance of sequins is a bit too sparkly and flashy for festival fashion, which is supposed to be visually compelling only through colors and boho style.
Crochet makes a great cape, but a terrible boot. Even though the crochet boot has flooded the festival scene in the past five years, please say no to this look. If you want to wear summer boots with a boho dress, that’s fine, but choose leather or suede. Keep the lace and crochet for your clothes or jewelry.
Flower or chain head crowns
Flower crowns are intended to make you look like a fairy, but intention is a long way from reality. First, flower crowns almost always look artificial. Worse, they tend to give the wearer the air of a creepy girl from a horror movie. You don’t want that. Skip this look entirely.
About the Author
Arthur Lamber was born and raised in South Carolina, then moved to L.A. to study fashion design. After graduating from a B.A. and completing a student exchange program in Europe, he returned home to a place he never guessed how much he will end up missing. He freelances as a designer, fashion advisor and also collaborates with http://www.serbags.com/.