How to Dress for a Music Festival

Desert winds, high temps, long days and late nights. Rain or shine, the show goes on, and dressing to accommodate the (many) extremes of a music festival can be as tough as whittling down your must-see artists list. Climates change, clouds roll in, and frankly, your feet get tired. Here’s some tips on how to look fashionable while getting your groove on.

How to Dress for a Music Festival

cochellaKeep It Easy Breezy. You wanna know why festival style is so closely associated with flowy dresses, crop tops and classic cutoffs? Because you want the living to be easy…especially if you’re camping. Say buh-bye to too-tight fits, restricting closures and uncomfortable or dry-clean only fabrics. You need to be able to breathe (and shake your groove thing) so choose bohemian and outdoor-inspired pieces that work with you, not against you!

Add On A Signature Accessory. Since comfort is king when it comes to your festival essentials, use the accessory front to showcase your signature style. As a budget fashionista you already know that bags, belts, hats and scarves are all convenient (not to mention lightweight) add-ons that play up the personality factor. Choose a standout piece like head jewelry or statement shades to secure a few snaps from the roaming photogs and give your group a way to differentiate and find you amongst the crowd.

Forget Fancy Footwork. Your festival experience is only as good as the shoes you’re wearing– and that goes for quality and comfort. Ditch platforms or cheap sandals that won’t endure. Booties or a trusted pair of Chucks seem to be the most practical options, protecting you from the hundreds that will accidentally (or intentionally) step and spill on you. Besides, there will be times when you’ll need to sprint to your next stage…try that in heels.

Layer Up. Thanks to the need of wide open space, show promoters have taken a liking to sending concert kids to unpredictable areas. From Chicago to San Francisco, Pilton to Byron Bay, it’s tough to tell what locations have in store for a given weekend, even with iPhone apps to help you forecast. You could be looking at triple digit temps or a surprise shower so layering up is key. A shirt that doubles as a jacket as it cools, a spot saved for a friend or a pillow to rest your head can be more clutch than you can imagine. And don’t worry about what to do if you don’t need it, it looks just as cool casually tied around your waist or bag as it does on your bod.


Melissa is creative communication professional with 9+ years of experience writing for the beauty and fashion industries.