Like it or not, the days when festivals were all about the music are long gone. In 2010 you read as much about the fashion as you do the front row and the z-listers grab more of the headlines than the headliners themselves – festivals have hit the mainstream, big time. Festival fashion has become huge business, with many of the high street and online retailers, notably those with younger target markets like Topman and ASOS, tailoring much of their summer promotion around music and festivals.
I’m not saying this added commercialism is necessarily a bad thing though, as like many of you I’m a music fan and fashion lover in equal parts. I prefer to embrace festival fashion as a trend, and a challenge, rather than moan about how ‘things aren’t like they used to be’ at the festivals. After all, if you’re going to be wearing the same thing for 4 days then you may as well wear something that looks great.
For your FashionBeans Festival Fashion Guide I’ve hunted the high street to find key festival items (aside from wet wipes) that will be hotter than the Libertines reunion this summer. Many of the key summer trends will still be applicable – they just need amending slightly to become more practical. It’s out with the chinos and in with the dark denim, out with the sandals and in with the wellies while graphic t-shirts and vests take centre stage.
It’s worth noting that normally when we post articles here at Fashionbeans.com we include offerings from both the high street and designer collections. But for festival fashion I’m keen to focus on the high street because I think a) many of the designer collections aren’t really tailored towards the standard festival goer and b) if you’re going to be spending the whole weekend living out of a tent in a muddy field with nothing but cider for company, you don’t want to be ruining your favourite designer pieces.
Key Festival Trends
Graphic Tees & Vests
While you’re away on your musical mini break, your chosen jeans and shorts should remain neutral leaving you plenty of opportunity to show your style with your chosen vest or tee. Graphic tees, particularly those with a musical twist, are huge this summer which is great news for the style savvy festival goer. There’s a wide range on the high street to suit all tastes and price ranges – but the House Of The Gods collection featured on Asos are definitely my favourite:
Cut Off Denim Shorts
The happy medium between the comfort and practicality of cargo shorts, and smarter tailored shorts – cut off denim is the ideal festival choice. Set to be hugely popular this summer, denim shorts are perfect to combine with a graphic or plain tee to nail the festival look. What’s also great about this trend is that if you’re struggling for cash (and who isn’t after forking out for their ticket) you can easily make your own pair. Here are a few of my picks from the high street:
Although light coloured chinos are a style staple this summer, they may not be the most practical item in a field with temperamental British weather. Dark denim is great because it goes with almost everything – wellies, high tops or boat shoes – and gives you a solid foundation to base your festival style. Leave your designer denim at home and opt for a pair of dark jeans from the high street that fit your body shape well, are comfortable and you could happily wear all weekend if needs be:
High Tops or Wellies
As the festival field can turn from grassy knoll into a mud bath within a matter of hours you need to include at least one practical pair of shoes – preferably wellies – in your festival plans. While ‘farmer footwear’ isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing option, you won’t be laughing when the heavens open all you’re left with is a pair of flip flops.
The recent resurgence of high tops is also great news for your festival footwear – team these 90’s heroes with your dark jeans to provide support, protection and comfort for a long day on your feet. It’s still a good idea to take a pair of ‘fair weather’ shoes like trainers, flip flops or the ASOS Fringed Deck Shoe for when the sun comes out, but only if you’re safe in the knowledge that you have your wet weather back up.
The added accessories are where you can really put your own personal stamp on your festival style – and there is so much out there to choose from. Straw trilby is a fairly obvious choice, so if you’re choosing to wear one you’ll have to accept you aren’t going to be alone! I really like the Plaited Headband by ASOS, particularly practical if you’ve got longer hair that you won’t be able to wash for a few days, but equally quirky. Similarly, the Fold Over Canvas Bag is great because it’s got bags of style (pardon the pun) and practicality in equal measure. Here are a few of my picks, including the all important sunglasses:
Whatever festivals you’re heading to this summer, remember to try and incorporate one or two of the key trends, choosing interchangeable garments that you can layer to warm up, or cool down. But most importantly of all – savour every minute of what’s set to be an incredible summer of music and fashion.