To celebrate Glastonbury this week, Stephanie Smith picks out the key festival looks that can work for all this summer’s outdoor events.
There is much we can all learn from festival fashion, whether we are hedonistic attendees, mere armchair music fans or among those who have never been to a music festival (and intend never to do so).
Dressing for festivals is all about surviving a whole day, or three, while looking good, staying dry and wearing items that will not disintegrate or degenerate into dishevelled rags at the slightest touch of moisture and/or mud.
Glastonbury is actually a five-day event, concluding this Sunday. Those who intend to stay from the beginning for the duration are going to have to have some tricks up their sleeve (probably fluted or split this year) if their back-packed wardrobe is going to be a success.
In that sense, festival fashion is not so different from holiday fashion, certainly a camping or travelling holiday. Nor, on a shorter timescale, is it so very dissimilar to dressing for arts and classical music festivals and events, or even for next month’s Great Yorkshire Show.
All must combine practicality with effortless style – and that requires forward planning.
For inspiration and the festival fashion lowdown, Coachella, the Californian music and arts festival, sets the agenda these days. A quick flick through last April’s Instagram looks reveals a number of key trends, from fringing, bra tops and off-the-shoulder styles to swimwear under see-through dresses.
A key look featured cut-off jeans shorts and T-shirts with a long lace or crocheted or floaty chiffon jacket over. Practical and glamorous, this is a style that can be adapted by all shapes and ages, switching shorts for cropped jeans or leggings.
The dress over trousers or leggings is a summer fashion trend that works well for festivals and outdoor events, too. It’s often seen teaming a chiffon transparent midi dress over skinny jeans, but you can experiment with a variety of styles, as long as the proportions work well together.
British festivals, of course, do not usually enjoy Californian style sunshine, and weather-appropriate practicality is needed to ensure rain does not stop play.
Therefore, waterproofs and technical pieces borrowed from the hiking world are set to rule, especially light parkas, anoraks, macs and raincoats. The Ivy Park one featured here is ideal, as it’s slightly transparent so you can still see your carefully selected festival outfit underneath, whatever the weather conditions.
Bright and neon yellow, however, looks set to be a festival favourite for outerwear, with the advantage that you can easily be spotted across fields of folk at gatherings. Unless everyone else wears also wears yellow, of course.
Logo T-shirts are another festival trend for this year, from Dior’s ‘We should all be Feminists’ to Topshop’s ‘Vote and Save the Future’ tees. Expect a healthy sprinkling of Corbyn-approving T-shirts, too.
In terms of footwear, Reebok Classics are the on-trend choice, but sturdy ankle boots will always be a sound option, far better in a large moving crowds than a pair of toe-exposing sandals, no matter how chunky.
Floral print dresses of all lengths are a favourite every year with boho lovers, even more so this year, and rightly so. Too much volume, however, and you will keep getting caught on everything and everyone you pass, so consider this before piling on the chiffon and crochet.
Choose cheap but colourful statement accessories (you’re almost certain to mislay them). So look out for cats-eye sunglasses, ranger style wide-brim hats, embellished cross-body bags, bold necklaces and huge printed pareo style scarves to swathe yourself in or sit on.