I am totally in my element at music festivals, surrounded by all the music, dancing, local food and people just expressing themselves. It’s that self-expression that makes for one of my favorite festival pastimes: people watching. Outfit-watching, if we’re getting specific.
Festival style is a movement. Some fests (ahem, Coachella) get more coverage for the outfits people wore than any of the bands that played. Everyone loves the opportunity to unleash their inner hippie and it makes for some really creative and inspired looks. I know that when I’m packing for a festival trip or just getting dressed at home for an outdoor show, I’ll usually google up street style pics from festivals. Not that I want to show up looking like a pirate, but I do get plenty of inspiration to give my everyday minimalist wardrobe a little bit of boho.
Of course, you need to be ready for everything when you’ll be spending several days outdoors (just check out my muddy pics from Sweetwater 420 Fest). It pays off—big time—to bring along waterproof gear and long-lasting beauty products with SPF.
Here is some of the gear I love and am looking to buy for the spring and summer festival season:
Hunter Rain Boots
I have rain boots. I bought them from Wal-Mart. They are terribly practical, but not all that fashionable. That was fine when I just needed footwear in a pinch that could wade through mud. But I’ve gotten so much use out of my cheap and ugly rain boots that I think it’s time to invest in the holy grail: A pair of Hunter wellies. I’ve got my eye on a black adjustable-back pair (since I’ve read plenty of great reviews and heard they can accommodate my big calves).
I’ve got problem skin, so even in poor weather, I like to have some kind of makeup coverage. This Bare Minerals foundation can go on sheer or full-coverage, and combines it with a skincare serum formula. I don’t know if it’s helped my complexion, but it definitely doesn’t hurt it, like some other products. Plus an SPF of 20 is a huge boon when you’re outside all weekend.
A Cross-Body Bag
Most festivals enforce a limit on the size of the bag you can bring in; you’ll need something small that you can keep close. So I practically live inside a small camel-colored cross-body bag I grabbed at H&M a few years back. It looks kind of like this one, minus the fringe. But clearly, if you have a choice, always pick fringe.
A Floppy Hat
Getting rain in your face sucks (especially so if you’ve got sunscreen or makeup on). At the Sweetwatee fest, I carried around an old baseball cap, but I’m thinking I should upgrade my headwear to something with a little more style. I saw a few girls wearing floppy felt hats that looked cool and comfortable. This Topshop hat is at the top of my list.
Waterproof Phone Case
I have personally had my phone drown in my own pocket at a rainy music festival before. I spent $80 to have it fixed, then another $200 on a new phone when I realized that even with a “fixed” wet phone, some essential features (like wifi) would be permanently broken. Don’t be like me; invest in a waterproof case. After that festival fiasco, my parents bought me a Lifeproof case (always lookin’ out, parentals) and it is a godsend. It’s so easy to snap on and still gives you access to all your controls and the headphone and charging ports through screw- and snap-on covers. I have this iPhone 5 case and it’s really slim—unexpected from something with such great protection from impacts and the weather (Lifeproof is owned by Otterbox, if that tells you anything).
So that’s it! Pack this stuff for your next festival, along with some cash and your best hippie-girl clothes. Any other essentials I’m missing?