Fashion: Rock festival

Whether you have a festival to go to or not, we can all learn from the glam-rock squad. Stephanie Smith has tips.

Tuesday, 16th June 2015, 9:45 am
Strappy print jumpsuit, £49, by:

HOW do they do it, those celebs who manage to rock up at a music festival (you have to say “rock up” – it’s a thing) looking as if they were born to channel uber-glamorousness in free-style, artless manner, whatever the weather and no matter where they are?

I’ll tell you how they do it, the Kates, Siennas, Alexas and Made in Chelsea starlets of the festival world. They are often on a VIP guest list with access to a backstage area which has luxury teepees and Winnebagos decked out as if on the pages of the White Company catalogue, where make-up artists and hair stylists abound, where they and their fellow celebs can relax and shelter and primp and preen, ready to step outside for an “unguarded” photo-moment, so that they can torment the rest of us mere mortals with images of their glossy tousled hair, barely-there make-up and perfectly artless boho fashion ensembles.

Not that we are bitter or jealous, of course not. And, truth be told, there is a great deal that we can all learn from these glamping goddesses, lessons to take not just to music festivals but to any outdoor fair or festival event, from jazz and classical music gatherings to country and agricultural shows such as the Great Yorkshire Show, which is coming up next month, July 14-16, and features some fabulously stylish outdoor dressers, so do take note.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

First rule, we’re in Britain, not LA, so pack a mac. Lots of stores on the High Street – Primark, for example – sell cheap lightweight hooded macs that pack up to tiny clutch bag size. You can wear it, you can sit on it, so what’s not to like?

Next, you need a cross-body bag or, even better, a bum-bag, so that you can keep your phone, money, cards , sunglasses and tickets safe. If you’re really clever, you’ll be able to hang your pack-mac off it too (reuse a sturdy old keyring). Do not, repeat, DO NOT, take your Mulberry or your Stella Falabella, no matter how boho chic it looks.

Footwear – practical shoes and boots are a must. Don’t even think about flip-flops or toe-exposing sandals, because your feet will be trampled upon at least eight times. Sturdy walking boots or quality wellies are a much better option.

A cotton shirt is another festival must, so go for maybe 
a brushed cotton check one or a chambray one, something light but cosy to layer over 
tees and jeans or just tie around your waist or shoulders.

Maxi dresses and skirts are pretty good for festivals, as long as they are not so long and voluminous that they snag and get trodden on. But wear tights (M&S does temperature control ones) and the same goes for under shorts. You can always take them off if it gets hot, but you’ll be glad of them when the sun goes down. Keep socks in your bag, and a featherweight shawl or pashmina. Apart from that, usual summer outdoor rules apply: sunglasses, hat and sunscreen when hot, and drink plenty water.