Festival fashion often feels like a parody of itself. People imagine music festivals as packed with cultural appropriating, faux hippie/flowers in the hair wearing, boho bummy dressing, spaced out, super high music fans. And while that can still be true, it’s becoming an increasingly reductive way to view the whole scene. Sure, the super high music fan aspect might still be correct, but people are, in large part, done with the culture vulture style of dress and on to much cooler, less problematic styles.
Among the droves of people getting decked out to see their favorite artists and bands, a few specific fashion trends stick out as the freshest. And these styles look good — whether you’re Coa-chillin’, getting Lollapa-loose, being Afro-punked, or sitting at home or work waiting for your chance to revel with a couple thousands of your new best friends as some yet unsettled date. So check this list out, pick how you want to look… then absolutely skip on the Native American headdress.
1. Track suits and windbreakers
Festivals are all fun in the sun until nighttime wind chills set in. The only thing worse than getting rained out while you’re outside watching your favorite artist is freezing to death mid-show. Luckily, both track-suits and windbreakers are back in style for both men and women. And just like back in the day, when you get too warm, you can tie it right around your waist for safekeeping.
2. Tiny, round sunglasses
Either Yeezy was right, or we’re all following his lead, but tiny sunglasses with round lenses are hot right now, and will be even hotter on the festival grounds. Protecting your eyes from the sun is kind of a pain with chunky glasses that keep falling off, and during those nighttime set you don’t want something that won’t fit in your pocket. These sunnies are cool, compact, and can still get the job done.
3. Slip-On Shoes
Sunny days usually call for sandals, wedges, and other shoes that let your toes hang loose, but those shoes, as cute as they are, aren’t really reasonable when it comes to festival season. No one wants their toes stepped on in large crowds, their feet all dirty as they walk through mud and dirt, or their arches hurting on the trek back and forth between stages. Bending down to tie your shoes every 10 minutes also doesn’t sound like anyone’s idea of a good time.
Slip-on shoes are perfect festival footwear because they provide the comfort and protection people are looking for during big music events. Luckily for music lovers, there have been a ton of new releases in cool colorways that are both fashionable and foot-friendly.
4. Fanny Packs, Bum Bags, Lumbar Packs
I’m not sure who it was who decided women’s pants pockets should be tiny, but imagine carrying the junk that’s in a woman’s purse inside a pocket. These bags — with different names depending on where you are and how you position them — can hook securely around your waist and are so much more functional than purses or shoulder bags. They also have come in some pretty cool colors (thanks, Supreme) and some even have with holders for water or other beverages.
Haute couture and hydration, all in one.
5. Bigger, Bolder, Brighter
We already mentioned the tracksuits, but the ’90s are back in every way imaginable, including the resurgence of techno — and the fashion that came with it. Think Clueless, then add a hint of Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, then add a dash of A Night at the Roxbury. Don’t cringe just yet, all the aesthetics we loved (the metallics, the platforms, the high-waisted swimsuits, the colorful faux fur) are back in updated versions for 2018 (also, feel free to bring out those items that you just couldn’t bear to part with that survived the Y2K apocalypse).