Coachella kicks off next week, bringing with it the de facto opening of music festival season, which includes other large events like Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Outside Lands, and Glastonbury. As you may know, whether you've rocked out at the fests or pored over street-style photos, dressing up for these events is about way more than functionality.
Many of these festivals have come to be associated with a certain style aesthetic, which contributes to an overall community vibe. Still, there really should be no pressure to look or dress a particular way. "I think people get too caught up into thinking they are going to feel out of place," says stylist Wilford Lenov, who has pulled together bold festival looks for rising singer Bebe Rexha. "I say have fun and be creative. When you’re feeling your look and vibe, the overall experience just heightens your mood. There's no better feeling than when you get those extra compliments and photos for your look. People appreciate art and fashion. That's what these events are all about, to experience music, fashion and vibes."
"It's like a costume party—if everyone is dressed up it makes it that much more fun and an overall rad experience," says Natalie Saidi, who has styled Vanessa Hudgens for Coachella outfits. She, too, advocates approaching festival-dressing as a no-pressure situation. Her number one rules? Be yourself, and feel comfortable in your own skin. Fair enough, but what about the flower crowns?
The ethereal crowns (and hair braids) have been festival staples for several years now, but are they still cool? The stylists aren't ready to give up on them just yet, but that doesn't mean a reinvention isn't in order. "I don't want knock the flower crown or the people who love it but maybe try a different variation of it," suggests Lenov. "Maybe do a floral choker? Or maybe some [braids] with flowers on them?"
"I think everyone should interpret their own personal boho style," Saidi says of Coachella's desert aesthetic. "Just because everyone wears denim shorts and a crop top doesn't mean you have to. It makes me sad to see girls wearing things that are not right for their body type just because they want to fit in. Boho can be done in so many different ways. Embrace your body and have fun!"
For hot weather fests, she recommends "jean cut-off shorts, a fun beaded or vintage cropped top, choker, rings, boho sandals, oversized floppy or straw hat, cool sunnies that fit your face shape, maybe some flash tattoos—in this situation, more is more!"
You can also take a cue from Vanessa Hudgens and extend the fun to your fingernails. Vanessa reportedly dropped $190 for this manicure last year, but there are plenty of easy new spring nail trends you can do yourself at home on the cheap.
Lenov and Saidi both see some new trends ahead in the field this year. Lenov is banking on the emergence of a "'90s sport vibe," while Saidi is on the lookout for an explosion of bandanas and scarves. "Think Axl Rose from Guns N' Roses vibe," she predicts.
But what if it's not blazing hot at your festival? What should you wear if you're heading to an event—such as Lollapalooza or Glastonbury—that's practically guaranteed to see some rain? Saidi recommends wearing an oversized, distressed sweatshirt with thigh-high flat boots, or cute rain boots and a raincoat, adding, "Don't forget cute stones for your face!
"For a rainy festival day, you have to make sure you have statement key pieces," says Lenov. "A really cool rain jacket that's fun and comfortable, like this one from Asos, is a statement on its own [since] it has a cool metallic sheen to it. Paired with an oversized T-shirt and some sneakers, you have something comfortable, effortless and chic."
Most spring and summer fests take place in warm climates, with the notable exception of San Francisco's Outside Lands, which usually requires a winter hat—even though it takes place in August! If you need to bundle up for the party, Lenov favors a jumpsuit.
"It's simple but sexy. I really like this one from G-Star paired with some chunky heel booties and a fun pair of sunglasses—this could be a moment. Another cool idea is playing up with tomboy sportswear and doing a pop of color, like this look from Coal N Terry. I love how they paired it with a fishnet underneath—so fresh and cool."
Now that you know how to prepare, all that's left to do is enjoy your festival season.
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