Festival season will soon be upon us, and in true FashionBeans style, giving a full coverage of what you should and should not be wearing (although it will probably be stolen regardless) seems only fair. So today we are going to take a look at some of this summer’s most popular locations for festival-goers, and break down an essential item for each.
If like me you grow weary of reading articles advising you to take Barbour jackets and your best pair of Ray Bans to get a steaming tumbler of urine thrown over them then fear not; this article will reflect the true nature of festival life, albeit no more than a week at a time!
Let’s begin with one of my favourites (lord knows why): Leeds Festival (24th – 26th August 2012).
First, you need to be prepared to wade knee-deep through piss and mud for a week, no matter which festival you go to. A good pair of ‘Wellies’ should aim to keep most of this from giving you some variation of trench foot. While Hunter boots are durable and reasonably affordable, in hindsight you will be spending roughly £40 which could have been money well spent on an extra couple of crates.
Tesco are offering a sturdy and well-fitting wellington for a mere fraction of the price of Hunter’s at only £12 in the sale. Not a bad investment considering their likely fate will probably involve them becoming some sort of drinking implement two days in!
Respectively, for those who are die-hard Hunter fans, or are simply a label junky, ASOS currently have a range of the boots on sale starting at £30 for the Lowthers and ending at £125 for the Original Brit edition.
Finally, for those who really are looking to invest a little more to ensure they stand out from the masses, the Hunter/Jimmy Choo crocodile style wellingtons would guarantee just that – retailing for £225 on Mr Porter.
Next stop on the festival scene would have to be Benicassim (July 12th – 15th 2012).
Definitely one of the hottest stops on this guide (both physically and metaphorically). An essential for the week has to be at least three or four pairs of shorts, and I mean shorts! The amount of guys I see sporting swim shorts, hoping the untrained eyes of the masses won’t realise, is flabbergasting.
Personally I would not take shorts to a festival worth more than £30. The simple reason being they will go through hell and back once my underwear supply is gone.
Sticking to a plain bottom half allows for more versatility with your top half. While prints are all in this season, going head to toe in Navajo is not a good look. The limitations of a 15kg allowance will almost become your bucket list – the things you need otherwise you’ll die.
Coming in at this price mark and following this season’s yellow colour trend, American Apparel are offering up a decent pair of basic shorts. The block colour will allow you to effortlessly mix them with a patterned or printed t-shirt and with a price tag of only £21, these shorts won’t be missed if an “accident” occurs.
Next up: Denim. At a slightly higher price of £28 (£25.40 for all you students out there) these are a must for any festival. Denim shorts are your best friend when it comes to a situation like this. Easy absorbency and multi-tone blends make stains virtually invisible (aside form a good caking in mud of course). The durability will also make falling flat on your arse when trying to stumble through an ocean of ropes and tent pegs a little more bearable.
Pastels are set be another huge trend this year and again meet with the block colouring guidelines. There are plenty of versions available on the high street this year at very reasonably prices. Perhaps make sure you get to wear them a few times before you go so it won’t sting as much watching them decompose in ‘that’ corner of your tent where all the dirty clothes and other questionable items seem to accumulate (just me?)
Next up would be Rock for People festival (1st July – 8th July).
Held in Prague, Rock for People is becoming a hit amongst the student generation and is soon building itself a reputation as ‘the new Amsterdam’ for anyone looking for that kind of holiday.
Cheap ticket prices and an even cheaper cost of living make this just too good to resist. The only downside being the bi-polar weather conditions, which are rivalled only by the likes of Britain.
You can expect to see rain, wind and a heat wave or two all within the same week. To prepare for this, I would suggest taking a lightweight jacket and festival essential number one; a poncho.
The yellow waxed jacket from Urban Outfitters below will provide ample protection from the elements while maintaining your style standards – at £95 this is about average for a piece of outerwear. However, as this jacket risks never making it back to home soil again, and with the majority of festival goers being cash strap adolescents, I’d say this was on the pricey side of my wallet.
Haunted by the memories of being the only kid in school with one of these, this has deterred me from ever contemplating owning one. Now I think about it – despite my mother forcing me to wear a Paddington bear version – a Cagoule in a bag is highly practical. Especially when faced with limited luggage allowance.
Waterproof, lightweight and now thankfully a lot more stylish, ASOS have created the ideal jacket for any festival. Patterned shoulder plates and a bright coloured body make this a stylish and affordable piece, coming in at only £32.
My final option would be a black waterproof parka. Working well with the knee length black wellingtons, this is a basic but practical option that can easily adapt to other autumn/winter looks come the end of the year.
Top Tip: You can pick up a poncho for a couple of quid from just about anywhere. Supermarkets and eBay will be the cheaper option as you’ll end up going through about ten of them regardless of how much you spend. If all else fails there are often people dishing them out for free when you get there, so this area is definitely covered.
My final stop on this leg of the tour would be Hideout festival (29th June – 1st July 2012).
This year will only be the second time this festival has ever happened. My advice would be to dress to the beat of the music (a quote that sounds like it would not be out of place leaving the lips of Bob Marley). Dubstep, Electro and Trance music will undoubtedly conjure the image of psychedelic prints and tie-dye patterns – which is exactly what this summer is all about!
A lot of modern clothing has been produced as part of a trend cycle. Designers constantly take influence from previous eras and trends of their time and just add a little twist and a larger price tag. My philosophy: If you are buying vintage designs, why not just buy vintage? After a little high-street recce you’ll find your town or city will probably be laden with shops selling what you are searching for, but at a much cheaper price.
Falling into the mid-range (AKA acceptable) price bracket is the printed vest below from Urban Outfitters. Retailing for £32, it offers a unique design which I would not feel bad about forking over the cash for. A couple of vests when heading to a warm country are essential. Firstly, you get to show off your guns – always a plus. Secondly, if your barrels are a bit empty (FYI still talking about the guns here) then you can throw a lightweight cardigan over this and still flaunt the design.
Finally, the high-end option: Oki-ni are offering an outstanding range of prints, patterns and colours this spring/summer, with my eye being immediately drawn to the Paul Smith shirt below priced at £230.
When wearing a shirt to a festival this only looks ‘cool’ if a) the shirt is oversized and b) it has more colours than a rainbow in Wonderland. Denim shirts are great for a casual choice but for anyone wanting to be the face that stands out from the crowd (particularly useful when you have lost everyone you arrived with) then following the aforementioned steps is key.
To round everything off, something I would suggest that is essential for any festival is the typical ‘douchebag’ jewellery. We all know the type: Long scruffy hair, probably an ‘I heart New York t-shirt’ hidden under a denim cut-off, Converse and the only muppet who brought their acoustic along to keep friends entertained whilst sitting around the camp fire at night.
I’m not a huge fan of accessories as I find they over complicate outfits and I prefer to look like a laid back kind of guy. Yet every year when I am saddling up the hitchhiker bag (and suitcase or two) I find myself throwing in a load of old, tacky jewellery as well. This usually consists of woven leather bracelets, beaded necklaces and some sort of bandana.
Gold, beads, feathers and leather all round off the perfect summer chic/bohemian festival outfit.
Whether you’re a budget buyer or an investor of classic pieces, when living the festival life it really all boils down to one thing – flammability.
Let me know which festivals you are going to be attending this year, and what your key fashion picks are in the comments section below…