It’s hard to believe that once upon a time, the notion of ‘festival style’ for guys didn’t really exist. Cut to 2015 and festival fashion is headline news, with celebrities and their getups often earning more headlines than the music, along with shop fronts everywhere suggesting pieces to pack for a weekend in the wilderness.
Festivals are a chance to experiment with your look, have some fun and treat yourself to a new outfit (the majority of music weekenders cost as much as a holiday, so why not go the whole hog?).
Apart from avoiding the dodgy face paint and silly hats, if you’re a regular festival goer you’ll know there isn’t much in the way of style rules, and all fests differ in terms of terrain. So, to help you spend more time catching up on your favourite bands’ back catalogues and less time worrying about what to wear, here’s our advice on what to pack for, and expect from, some of this year’s best music festivals.
Legendary Brit festival Glastonbury guarantees five days of iconic acts, as well as plenty of mud, half-pitched tents and often questionable hygiene. In short, it’s not the place to go with something precious packed in your bag (take it from me – I had a pair of newly purchased Levi’s 501s stolen from outside my tent one year).
2015 sees everyone from Kanye to Florence and the Machine performing, with a chilled out, family-friendly atmosphere by day and enough nightlife to satisfy a hundred stag dos.
If you’re Worthy Farm-bound, keep in mind that your wardrobe needs to work hard – so start with some solid outerwear. Windbreakers and rain jackets are perfect, being sturdy enough to shield you from potential downpours but lightweight enough to easily stow in your weekend bag.
“Just in case the weather doesn’t hold out, a Stutterheim raincoat would be my first choice,” says Samuel Smith, Fashion Editor at oki-ni.com. “The design is based on raincoats worn by Swedish fishermen, so they’re the real deal.”
Easily combined with a T-shirt/sweatshirt and a pair of denim shorts/jeans (dark washes are best to keep inevitable mud stains as invisible as possible), a raincoat is that essential festival all-rounder that delivers on both the form and function counts.
As well as your hard-working outer layer and a few days’ worth of casual basics, it would also be wise to take a pair of wellies or boots (ideally already broken in) to make wading through muddy fields as painless as possible.
Consider Hunter or Dr. Martens, the latter of which Smith endorses too. “Dr. Martens have been a festival essential since before I was born,” he says. If you want to look a little smarter, try a low-cut pair, which provide all the durability of the original 8-eyelet style but will easily combine with a wider array of looks.
If the weather forecast looks good before and during the event, you may even be able to switch these heavyweight silhouettes for a simple pair of leather trainers.
- Shore Leave By Urban Outfitters Nylon Hooded Jacket In Green
- Stutterheim Mens Cobalt Stockholm Raincoat
- Allsaints Karatsu Switch Denim Short
- He By Mango Slim-fit Garment-dyed Chinos
- Asos Sweatshirt With Crew Neck And Raglan Sleeves
- He By Mango Slim-fit Dark Wash Denim Shirt
- Rains Long Waterproof Jacket Orange
- Uniqlo Men Packaged Dry Crew Neck Short Sleeve T-shirt
- Uniqlo Men Slim Fit Straight Stretch Selvedge Jeans
- Asos Wellies
- Topman Dr Martens Original 8 Boots
- Vans Classic Slip-on Leather Shoes In Black
A gem of a festival situated in North London’s Finsbury Park, Wireless showcases the best in hip-hop, R&B and dance, with names like Drake, A$AP Rocky and Kendrick Lamar headlining this year’s extended four-day schedule.
Yet arguably the best thing about this event is that there’s no camping allowed, so, rather than packing for a muddy onslaught, you can afford to be a little more dressed-up each day.
London’s microclimate can go from stuffy to freezing in mere hours, so a bomber jacket in cotton or nylon makes for the ideal outer layer. A lighter weight alternative to a coat, it still comes equipped with enough pockets to keep all your belongings secure when you’re losing your sh*t in the dance tent.
If you’re one to wear your love for your idols on your sleeve, then stick to crisp monochrome looks made up of longline tees/shirts, sweat tops, tailored track pants and jersey shorts – all of which channel the swag-heavy sports luxe aesthetic advocated by the likes of A$AP and Kendrick.
T-shirts covered with graphic prints will also help you stand out here, and we’ve been spoilt for choice this summer with dark florals, sharp geometric and abstract camo designs all widely available. However, we recommend you steer clear of any cheesy slogans for fear of looking like someone from a TV documentary that laments the worst of lad culture.
A snapback is a natural partner to any streetwear-inspired look, while a pair of minimal leather trainers or hi-tops will round out this slick, contemporary aesthetic perfectly. Just make sure they’re more River Island than Rick Owens, in case you find your feet have been soaking in beer for the past twelve hours.
- Allsaints Etra Crew Sweatshirt
- Allsaints Jaroh Crew T-shirt
- Abercrombie & Fitch Jersey Shorts
- Cheap Monday T-shirt All Over Autograph Print
- Asos Super Longline T-shirt With Skater Fit
- Levis Line 8 Jeans 522 Slim Tapered Fit Black Mid
- River Island Black Zip Pockets Bomber Jacket
- He By Mango Satin Nylon Bomber Jacket
- River Island Black Ri Studio Panelled Joggers
- Obey Ryan Cap In Graphite
- Garment Project Leather Trainers In White
- Adidas Adidas Originals Top Ten Hi
London’s coolest gathering, this summer fixture is the ideal event to discover the up-and-coming artists you’ll be introducing your mates to over the next few months – previous Field Days have seen The XX, Grimes and Santigold perform long before they hit the charts. Expect serious muso cred, but also a laid-back, chilled ambience.
Based in Victoria Park, the Field Day look is all about incorporating some of that iconic East London uniform, so try a leather biker jacket, some slim jeans and sneakers (comfortable and practical) or Chelsea boots (a nod to the classic rock aesthetic).
A pair of slim or straight-leg jeans is far easier to traipse around in for two whole days rather than a stiff pair of skinnies, and technically a little more on-trend given we’re gradually moving away from the ultra-tight drainpipe jeans of indie. Try Levi’s Vintage for a start. “They’re made from the brand’s Red Selvedge raw denim, which is very hard wearing,” says Samuel Smith.
Team them with a band T-shirt (one you actually rate, mind) to lend your look a little individuality, or go classic with a plain white shirt or tee. Some East London denizens use this festival as a platform for some serious style statements, but we’d suggest you avoid – people should be looking at their favourite acts, not fixated on your oversized fedora.
- Allsaints Utility Leather Bomber
- Asos Longline T-shirt With The Horrors Logo Print
- Topman Black Ramones Tour 77 T-shirt
- He By Mango Leather Biker Jacket
- Asos Shirt In Long Sleeve With Buffalo Check
- He By Mango Slim-fit Cotton Shirt
- Asos Skinny Chinos
- Topman Black Ripped Skinny Fit Jeans
- Levis Vintage Clothing 1967 505 Slim-fit Dry Selvedge Denim Jeans
- Icon Brand Good Ship Venus Ring
- Allsaints Nash Boot
- Selected Homme Dylan Trainers In Black
Running from the end of July to the beginning of August in Chicago’s mile-wide Grant Park, the acts at ‘Lolla’ are as diverse as the city itself, with The Weeknd, Tame Impala, Metallica and Paul McCartney among this year’s performers. It’s also a hub for some snap-happy street style photographers, so anything goes style wise – but beware the heat!
Simple tees and lightweight cotton (rather than heavyweight twill or denim) shorts will serve you well for this event. Steer clear of anything too skinny or tight and instead prioritise looser cuts and summer-ready materials such as linen, which will keep you cool if you find yourself standing around for hours in the midday sun.
Bold colours and prints are more than welcome at this festival, so feel free to experiment with everything from subtle pin dots to wild geometrics. If you’re more of a classicist, a striped top is a timeless and fool-proof staple that shows you’re above trends – opt for St James, the original Breton label, if you want maximum style kudos, or try the likes of Sunspel, Armor Lux and River Island for stylish alternatives.
If you’re the type that won’t leave their hotel without a jacket, an overshirt makes for a smart compromise, layering easily over tees and vests alike, and is easily rolled up into your bag when you’re not wearing it.
In terms of footwear, running trainers come into their own for a city festival, whether you’re dancing, waiting hours in the queue for the bar or legging it from one stage to another to catch the next act. Breathable mesh or woven slip-ons (don’t forget your invisible socks) are also worth considering if you don’t plan on dashing.
Hotter climates generally equal fewer clothes, so if you’re looking to customise things a little, you might want to add a subtle necklace or bracelet and a pair of statement sunglasses.
- He By Mango Leaf-print Cotton T-shirt
- Selected Tri Marl T-shirt
- Allsaints Jutland Shirt
- River Island Red Faded Floral Print Dip Dye T-shirt
- Uniqlo Men Striped Tank Top By Michael Bastian
- Armor-lux 1525 Long Sleeve Loctudy Tee
- He By Mango 5 Pocket Bermuda Shorts
- Rivieras Cotton Mesh Slip-on Shoes
- Nike Free Run 2 Trainers
- Asos Aviator Sunglasses With Rainbow Revo Lens
- Icon Brand Wild At Heart Necklace In Black
- Polo Ralph Lauren Double Plait Leather Bracelet
While some blogs and shops might push a festival ‘look’ that’s heavy on the ripped denim and graphic T-shirts, we’d suggest prioritising practicality and personality above all else. Reasonably sturdy basics that you can easily replace are the way to go, ensuring you remain comfortable and ready for anything that might happen.
Which festivals are you attending this year, and what will you be wearing? Any tips – style or otherwise – you’d care to share?
Let us know in the comments section.